Scarlet Termite: I am a very cynical person and, in my opinion, everything is either politically or monetarily motivated. Altrusim is dead and not just here in America. Lincolns' idea of government has fallen by the wayside and I am convinced that Plato was correct in his assessment that democracy is the weakest form of government. We have forgotten Jeffersons' admonishment,"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." He wasn't just talking about the enemies of the United States. He was talking to us, too. Most of the folks in this country don't pay any attention to the people that represent us until they do something really outrageous or dangerous. That is shame on us! I love the fact that Ann has provided a forum where folks can give their opinions but it shouldn't stop here. We have forgotten that WE have the power. We send these people to the mayors' office, the state capitol, the White House. We have fallen into the habit of the path of least resistance and end up voting for the name we recognize or the politician who gets the most airtime or slams the other candidate more effectively. It's not about issues hardly anymore, it's about who can dig up the dirtiest dirt and the traffic ticket from thirty years ago. We can stop this ridiculousness. By informing ourselves we can go back to thinking for ourselves and begin again to send people to Washington who will represent us and not just use us for their own political gain.
Having said that, I say that Howard Dean will be the Democratic nominee for President and will possibly select Clark as running mate (he ought to) and he will most likely win. I say the first part because the others are attacking both of them so thoroughly and viciously and the second because we as a country are scared, sickened, and dismayed by the current administrations actions in Iraq and elsewhere and want someone in the White House that isn't trying to get us all killed.
Gail Loyd: I'm enthusiastic about Governor Howard Dean. I like the fact that he doesn't have to do a poll to find out what he thinks. I like the fact that he alone among the Democratic leadership did not roll over a play dead regarding taking us into Iraq. I like that fact that he is sharing the power already, not even dictating the running of his own political campaign but saying to Americans "You have the power. Use it." I like the fact that he is speaking to those Americans who have opted out of politics and encouraging them to re-engage and participate. I like the fact that he is strong enough to match the Republicans without accepting huge donations from any one. It will not be a few wealthy contributors to whom he feels allegiance when he is elected. He speaks to me very clearly in his values and forthrightness, in his view of what America ought to represent in the world, and how badly the current administration has betrayed our trust. I believe that if he gets into office and finds that his promises are not possible because of unforseen circumstances, he'll be up front about what's changing and why he is delaying some portion of his campaign promises. Imagine if you will the person you trust most in the world, the person you would chose to cover your back in a fight, the person to whom you would entrust your children if you could not be there, and never give a thought to their welfare while the children were in this person's keeping. If you are lucky that person is your father or mother, your spouse, a brother or sister. I think you ought to feel that way about your President. Everything I know about Howard Dean so far makes me feel that way about him.
Lysa: I'm not one to base how I feel about a person on their looks. I agree with Ann and Keith that there are people out there that do. It is imo a valid question just as many of the other questions and discussions posed here are.Personally I think its great that people think Howard Dean is attractive. All the more reason to move on to more important things. Clark isn't bad looking either come to think of it. Best of all neither of them look snobbish or elitist. Love is a hard word to pin down in this modern society. It can mean a variety of emotions, but imo trust is a quintessential element in love. Without that love can be hollow. With trust, love can develop from that.In those terms, trust really does factor in. When you can look at a person, listen to them, see their body language, hear the tone in their voice, the impact of their language, how their eyes respond to hot button issues or not and so on and say Yes, I trust or I don't trust this person it is a purely primitive reaction but one that should not be discounted. Often those gut feelings do get translated into real factors.Individuals have different qualifications for trust.
Ann Stewart: I'm a little infatuated with Dean and I love Doctors. I really did not know a lot about him till now. I think he is very handsome, but other than that, I think he's intelligent, and a good speaker, and I love that he was against the war with Iraq no matter what. He went against the grain in the government to say it was wrong when it really counted. He is someone who has similar feelings toward this issue as I do and I think I am in love with him for it.
Laura in LA: My first post after months of lurking. New NBC/WSJ Poll has Dean at 17 and Clark at 16. It is important to note that these polls are essentially name recognition. The numbers in Iowa and NH are the polls to watch. Keith, you are great. I have enjoyed your posts and I will say that you are think alike. You are informed and politically active, no doubt; like many Dean supporters. I have been supporting Dean since February. While I respect the other candidates, I am looking for a change. Dean's 3rd Quarter totals will be historical. I will be at Dean's LA fundraiser on Sept. 30th - Rob Reiner and Martin Sheen will be speaking. Dean will speak and then announce the 3rd quarter total. Let them attack Clark for a while - the timing is excellent for Clark's entrance into the race. Next week the news will be about Dean's grassroots power. I personally think Dean is the first Presidential Candidate that has a proposed a workable and "doable" health care plan.
I have watched every forum every debate - every one of them. Once young and idealistic, I bought the "pie in the sky" promises made and voted accordingly, only be to disappointed. Dean is the first Presidential Candidate that tells you the truth. He has blown no smoke up my bum. For example, he readily admits that a single payer universal health care plan would be better but, he then explains that "it will never pass." He looks you straight in the eye and explains the power of the insurance and pharmaceutical company lobbies. He says he's only interested in a plan that can pass. Pragmatic and I love it. In the health care forum, he put forth some great ideas, i.e. a universal application form, one billing code system based on Medicare's . . he explained the cost of the unnecessary paperwork and thereby the money that could be saved. Heathcare is a core issue for me for very personal reasons.
I respect Patty's support of Kerry as well. However, I have yet to ascertain what Kerry's Heathcare proposal is. At first, he was for single payer, then he seemed to adopt Dean's plan. At the health care forum, he as rather weak on presenting a plan, nor did he explain cost or savings from his proposed plan. Kerry is a great man, he speaks well. I admire his work for our country and his service in Vietnam. Yet, he voted for the Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind.
My point is that all candidates tell you what you want to hear. I, like Dean, am only interested in proposals that can pass. Also, since I have watched all these debates, i have seen a clear change in Kerry, Gephardt's proposals to be more like Dean. As Dean caught fire, they were left only to follow his lead. Dean set the tone. They never expected that the war would be the issue to the Dem base.
With regard to the issue of the war, I was against it and , like Dean, did not believe a clear and imminent danger was posed by Iraq. I take issue with any that voted for the war resolution. I ask all of you to read that resolution. Even after the vote, when it was first reported on Feb. 28th of the niger document forgery, my congressman, Waxman, wrote Bush on March 17th, demanding a response to this new information. Long story short, there were many opporunties to question, criticize and stand up against this war - Kerry, Gephardt, Edwards did not. They did not stand with Waxman who too voted for the war but realized that he had been duped. I could write a novella here on the issue of this war.
With regard to the issue of flip flops, I have witnessed "triangulations" by all running. As they forumlate their policies, guage reactions, they all flip and flop. Perhaps, it is simply an issue of changing one's mind. I don't weigh my decision on whom to support based upon triangulations during a campaign cycle on nuances of issues. I do, however, take issue with matters of principle and character. Ya know, standing up for your belief regardless of whether your belief is unpopular. On the issue of elective war (Iraq), there can be no triangulation.
With regard to Dean's statement on Israel, I found it refreshing that Dean said that we should be fair and impartial if we are to negotiate peace. What is so wrong with that LIEberman? Pelosi got an ear full from me on that one. I was at fundraiser in May; while taking a picture with Dean, I specfically asked him about the "roadmap to peace" (for lack of a better word) if he would be willing to pressure Israel by holding back money. He said "no". He pointed out that we give money to Jordan, Egypt, etc. He said we could not favor or oppose one country over another. He pointed out that Jordan, as an example, might one day be persuaded to give up some terrority (for those who know the history of the borders, you follow me on that point). He pointed out too that Sharon and Afafat would not live forever and that we stay on course, giving no preference. He gave me a 4 minute response. I was blown away with the detail and vision he gave to just little ol' me, while people where swarming around to get their chance for a photo. He ended by saying "I tell ya what, we're never going to get peace until we look to renewal energy sources." That is my exact feeling about the trouble in the world.
Lastly, for tonight's post, I will say that that the grassroots movement behind Dean is heartening. I got into this when it was very small. My first Dean Meet-up was essentially 4 people venting about Bush and the war. We organized nothing but our thoughts. I have given my blood, sweat and tears for change. I too have given my money for the first time in my life to a political campaign.
I will support whomever gets the nomination because it is all about sending the Shrub back to Texas. I understand the appeal of Clark but, I just cannot engage in the argument that seems to going on with respect to whose war was just - Clark's Kosovo or Bush's Iraq. In this culture of fear and Bush's use of fear to control and retain power, the appeal of so-called reluctant warrior in Clark is undestandable. However, the issues matter to me. I want to send a message to the world that we denounce pre-emptive war.
Clark has one week one to formulate his domestic policies and I fear now that whatever should come out of his mouth will be placed there by Fabiani and Co. - the same folks that gave you mulitiple personality Gore. I like Dean too because the Dem Elite don't like him - they don't like his grassroots support. That tells me he is rocking the boat; and he has. In my opinion, the Dem Elite's reaction to Dean told me that they do not appreciate "democracy," they think they know better than we do. We are all just a bunch of peace freaks and homosexuals and they certainly don't want us to make that decision. Of course, I disagree; but that's the message they sent. That just makes me battle harder. Think about this people . .I started on this road in Feburary . . people told me over and over again, that Dean did not have the proveriable snow ball's chance . .i was told the war will never be the issue, bush was unbeatable, blah, blah, blah. The Dem Elite miscalculated on so many fronts. They are so out of touch with their own party base that they were blindsided by the anger over their "roll over" to Bush and his destructive policies. These old dummies still don't get the significance of the internet. Like the Communist Chinese gov't that downplayed the SARS epidemic to their people, not realizing they could jump on the net read int' press and find out they were being lied too. They fired the Major of Beijing. No one seemed to note the historical context of that event. Knowlege is power and I belive that the internet made history in this election as well. For it not the internet, would we have had the information leading up and during this war that have put the fire under our collective butts? NO! They cannot lie to us any longer.
The issues of war and the ecomony are intertwined. It's just taking the ill-informed masses to get their heads around that reality. Slowly but surely, they are "getting it" as the recent polls suggest.
Okay, I have written enough. I will be back. On to the debates. This is where Dean shines - he's a fiscal conservative with great ideas. Issues matter. And to that Bush supporter here - - Bush is toast. Blind support for man who waged war for political game sickens me. People are dying, our boys are being maimed - don't talk to me about morals and integrity in the context of Bush. Now, he says Iraq is the central front on the war on terror. Bush has defined a war that he cannot win - he cannot kill every terrorist. Kill one, you get 3 on to Jihad. I'm not interested in Bush's perpetual war on terror. He wanted this war, he got it. And, we are going to end it. Too bad we have to pay with blood and money. I said before this war, that in the end "the American people will left with a bad taste in their mouths, blood on their hands, and a bill courtesy of the US Government." Many have written me back and said "you were right on the money." I also am about to win - I bet a co-worked that NO WMD will be found. How'd I know that? I'll save that for another post. I'm giving that to Dean.
"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." Alexander Hamilton