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Democrats Government Politics

Governer Dean Becomes Chair of DNC 219

Posted by Zonk
from the good-for-him dept.
sg3000 writes "It's official: the Democrats elected Howard Dean as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean won the position after a particularly contentious run for chairman, as reported in The New Republic. Governor Dean became a national figure during his impressive run for president in 2003, where he started as an outsider and long-shot candidate but became the front runner, only to see support fail to materialize during the Iowa caucuses."
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Governer Dean Becomes Chair of DNC

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  • In article title: Not "Governer", "Governor"

    BALRHGHGHASGHH!
  • by jpatters (883) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @04:59PM (#11654415)
    Dean? A Democrat? Yes, he signed civil unions into law, but publicly declaired his discomfort about it and did the signing in private with no press allowed. He was practically the Republican governor of Vermont for ten years!
    • Psst...

      Gay rights are not a core Democratic platform. Every democratic presidentcal candidate EVER has been against Gay marriage. At the most expansionist, they're in favor of it being up to the states.

      (Gay rights are included within a few other party ideals, but they're hardly a major issue.)
      • by Pendersempai (625351) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @07:00PM (#11655199)
        Sad but true. Gay rights are not a core Democratic issue. But they SHOULD be. Democrats are having a hard time distinguishing themselves from Republicans. No one believes that they're in favor of fiscal responsibility, or that their position on Iraq is viable.

        But if they remade themselves as the Party of Tolerance, I think they could do a lot better. They could brand the Republicans as intolerant, exclusionist, backwards. They could make gay rights into the Civil Rights struggle of the new generation that it will inevitably be and call themselves the champions of it. They could personalize all of the anti-gay policies the GOP pushes under the sterile cover of "protecting the sanctity of marriage." Put some very charismatic, very likable gay people on TV. Have them tell their stories. "Why does President Bush hate this man? Why doesn't he deserve the right to marry someone he loves? Why does the Republican Party think they're more moral than him, when he's just trying to live his life with the hand God dealt him?" The Republicans are VERY vulnerable on this front, and the Democrats could make a lot of headway pushing at it. They could also make the world a much better place.
        • And if they did that, then the Republicans could reincarnate Hitler and get the vast Christian majority of this country to vote him in on "moral issues."

          Kerry ran and was fairly open about wanting tolerance -- and he lost to a President with the lowest par-approval rating EVER.
          • And if they did that, then the Republicans could reincarnate Hitler and get the vast Christian majority of this country to vote him in on "moral issues."

            I'm really, really sick of people associating the Republicans with Hitler. Lets take a look at Hitler's political beliefs.

            He was for:

            abortion (like the democrats)

            censorship (like the democrats.. under the mask of being politically correct)

            euthanasia (like the democrats/left)

            gun control (like the democrats)

            vegetarianism (like the democr
            • I'm really, really sick of people associating the Republicans with Hitler.

              You are obviously justified in your anger, but your attempts to link Hitler with the Democrats are no less suspect.

              From http://www.politicalcompass.org/ (where Hitler is presented as an authoritarian in the middle of the left/right divide, and so he might do well with the authoritarian elements of either party in their primaries):

              'You can also put Pinochet, who was prepared to sanction mass killing for the sake of the free market,
              • You are obviously justified in your anger, but your attempts to link Hitler with the Democrats are no less suspect.

                Linking him with either party in America is silly, but I was proving a point. His political beliefs were in line with some on the left (perhaps more-so than the right).

                From http://www.politicalcompass.org/ (where Hitler is presented as an authoritarian in the middle of the left/right divide, and so he might do well with the authoritarian elements of either party in their primaries):

                I d
                • You are correct that many of Hitler's social policies were leftist or left-leaning. For instance, Hitler enforced anti-smoking and anti-pollution legislation.

                  However, although I still contend that Hitler was not a strict vegetarian (and I'm a vegan, so I know this means never consuming any animals or animal products, such as cow's milk or chicken's eggs), it doesn't matter unless he was a vegetarian for leftist moral reasons. As a leftist vegan, I object to the consumption of animals because of the viole
            • So Mr. Dragon, before you argue that Hitler would be a republican if he were reincarnated

              I didn't. I said that, if the Democrats did swing hard-left and make gay rights a platfrorm issue, the Republicans could literally elect ANYONE THEY CHOOSE.

              (And you forgot that Hilter was also for Expansionist warfighting and discrimination based on religion -- two things that made him a villian, and either of which are Democratic [or really Republican] issues.)
        • by moof1138 (215921) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @08:18PM (#11655665)
          "Gay rights are not a core Democratic issue. But they SHOULD be. Democrats are having a hard time distinguishing themselves from Republicans. No one believes that they're in favor of fiscal responsibility, or that their position on Iraq is viable."

          What the Dems really need to do is convince the American people that they are more fiscally responsible than Republicans. After all, this is actually true, and it appears that the fiscal profligacy and incompetence of the Republicans isn't likely to ever end.

          They also need to make sure that people know that the core values of the Democratic party are affordable healthcare, protecting american jobs, and affordable education, and that these can be achieved while being far more fiscally responsible. They also need to do a better job of pointing out that the Republicans have failed us with respect to all of those goals.

          I am all for gay rights, and am disgusted by the cynical and twisted rhetoric that the Republicans use to try to use people's fear and hatred of gays to push their agenda, but I don't think that should be the focus, as it really isn't going to give that much headway. There are a lot more bigoted jerks in this country than there should be, and many of them will be more motivated to vote based on hate and fear than anything else. While the Dems should be progressive, they shouldn't be holding up their banner about an issue that they have consistently gotten bloody noses on.
        • Has it occured to you that the Republican base supports the GOP because the bigoted, intolerant, exclusionism is compatible with their bible-belt religious beliefs?
        • Gay rights are not a core Democratic issue. But they SHOULD be. Democrats are having a hard time distinguishing themselves from Republicans.

          In order to win, the Democrats need to co-opt some Republican issues.

          Look at the most successful Democrat president of the past generation. Bill Clinton co-opted a few Republican issues. Even though he didn't do it, he ran with a promise of a "middle class tax cut" in 1992. After he pushed the "don't ask don't tell" policy for the military in 1993, rescinded the "glo
          • I agree -- but I think the reason Bush was able to ride bigotry to victory is that the Democrats let him get away with the sterile frame of "protecting the sanctity of marriage." Had they framed it as "denying basic human rights to some people for no reason whatsoever" they might have fared better. True, they would have to do it carefully. But I think the potential is enormous, both for partisan gain and for the improvement of the world.
          • But also keep in mind Clinton oozed charisma, as does GW Bush. Honestly, the more and more I look at presidential politics, the more I become convinced that personality makes or breaks candidates. Why did union members vote Reagan, one of the most anti-union presidents in history(though ironically the only president to ever actually lead a union)? Because he was "standing tall".

            It's pretty much been that way since WWII. The president who is more likeable usually ends up the winner.

            John Kerry and A
        • The Republicans are VERY vulnerable on this front, and the Democrats could make a lot of headway pushing at it.

          I highly doubt it. The majority of Americans oppose gay marriage but support civil unions.

          I am within this majority. I believe that gay couples should have equal protection. I do not believe however that the definition of marriage should be changed.

          I think Dean was a bad choice for the DNC chairman. Dean is seen as a far left person even though this may not be true. The Dems need a moderate
    • yes, yes, but not by the standards of a vast amount of your fellow americans. i know, it's scary as hell, but there you go.
  • by rkcallaghan (858110) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @05:03PM (#11654445)
    ... As long as I can't realistically vote libertarian in a presidential election, this is the lesser of the major evils. I like Dean, too. Sure would have preferred him, but I digress.

    But, if you lean that LP way, and alot on /. I imagine do, you should try and vote libertarian in your local and even congressional elections.

    What Libertarians actually support. [lp.org]

    Go LP!

    ~Rebecca
    • by GimmeFuel (589906) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @06:57PM (#11655174) Homepage
      Voting for the lesser of two evils is still an endorsement of that evil.

      The candidate who gets the "lesser evil" votes doesn't have a party at campaign HQ celebrating the fact that he's less evil. He sees every vote, regardless of why it was cast, as an endorsement of his policies. Vote for the D, he sees it as you voting for the welfare state, affirmative action and all the other un-libertarian Democrat policies. Vote for the R, you're voting for the War in Iraq, the War on Drugs, and all the other un-libertarian Republican policies.

      If you're a Libertarian, please vote for Libertarian candidates or stay home. Anything else is harmful to the Libertarian movement.

      • by Pendersempai (625351) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @10:37PM (#11656551)
        No! Voting for the lesser of two evils is GOOD! Less evil is better than more evil! In a plurality election as we have, no one will ever find a perfect match in a primary candidate. So you vote for the one who is closest. It's only the nutjobs that take your third-party all-or-nothing hardline stance. When your tiny coalition stands in a country of almost 300 million people and screams "All or nothing!", the people are going to give you nothing.

        If libertarians were more willing to vote for primary candidates, the primary candidates might actually try to accommodate libertarian voters. As long as they throw their votes away on all-or-nothing, politicians can continue to ignore them completely. After all, what possible incentive can there be for a Democratic or Republican candidate to adopt libertarian precepts if the libertarians won't vote for him anyway?
        • Read my reply to the AC above for the reasons that won't work.

          Voting for candidates and then expecting them to cater to you won't work, because they already have what they want: your vote. You have to convince them that they need your vote, which means showing them what happens when they don't get your vote.

          What you have to do is get people to vote for the third-party, then talk to the major party candidate you want to compromise with you, vote totals in hand as proof of your faction's clout. If you hav

      • If you're a Libertarian, please vote for Libertarian candidates or stay home. Anything else is harmful to the Libertarian movement.

        What nonsense. The U.S. first-past-the-post elections suffer from the "spoiler effect," because of which most third-party voters are effectivly voting for the opposite of what they want.

        If you really care about your third party, or accuracy in any "spoiled" election (i.e., with any third party participant), then support instant runoff voting (IRV) [fairvote.org] with all of your politic

  • by kajoob (62237) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @05:17PM (#11654529)
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    • Oh, you think someone could do worse than the outgoing Dem leadership?
  • This is great news! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by damiangerous (218679)
    For the GOP. Dean set all sorts of fundraising records, yet only got a pathetic 18% of the vote. He had no problem getting his message out....and no one cared. His acceptance speech boiled down to "I'm going to keep doing what I've ben doing." Why would the DNC choose as their leader a man who's vowed to push the party into the extreme fringes of liberalism and alienate most of their core? Nancy Pelosi. She's carried a pathetic grudge against Martin Frost, a very viable opponent to Dean, for challengi
    • Dean really isn't very liberal at all. Read about how he ran Vermont.

      Tim
      • He's fiscally conservative about many things, I'll give him that, and that's the reason Vermonters call him "the Republican governor" (apparently they forget what he did with state health care). His drug policy is a bizarre mix of some legalization and more Federal money. But his views on things like health care, welfare, social security, environmental policy, tax reform and foreign policy range from the standard liberal platform to extremism.
        • by manyoso (260664) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @06:27PM (#11654966) Homepage
          I love this! LOL

          "But his views on things like health care, welfare, social security, environmental policy, tax reform and foreign policy range from the standard liberal platform to extremism."

          Here is a translation for those people who don't speak extreme wingnuttian...

          Dean's Views on:

          1. Health care? People should be able to afford it. EXTREME!
          2. Welfare? We should take care of our poor. EXTREME!
          3. Social Security? We should keep it and protect it. EXTREME!
          4. Environmental policy? We should take care of it for us and for our kids. EXTREME!
          5. Tax Reform? People should pay according to their means more or less. EXTREME!
          6. Foreign Policy? We should work with allies, promote democracy and rationality, not lie to the American people to promote wars of aggression. EXTREME!


          Google really should develop a language tool for extreme wingnuttian.
          • Dean's Views on:
            1. Health care? People should be able to afford it. EXTREME!
            2. Welfare? We should take care of our poor. EXTREME!
            3. Social Security? We should keep it and protect it. EXTREME!
            4. Environmental policy? We should take care of it for us and for our kids. EXTREME!
            5. Tax Reform? People should pay according to their means more or less. EXTREME!
            6. Foreign Policy? We should work with allies, promote democracy and rationality, not lie to the American people to promote wars of aggression. EXTREME!

            Strange

            • by manyoso (260664) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @07:13PM (#11655262) Homepage
              Well, only if you follow the "watch what I say, not what I do" rule.

              Bush isn't particularly interested in making Health Care more affordable unless by that you mean, "don't allow class action lawsuits across state boundaries".

              Likewise, he isn't for (in the sense of watching what he does) helping the poor or making sure our environment is taken care of. He's atrocious on all levels here.

              I doubt very much that Bush would be willing to stipulate Tax Reform should be based on a "People should pay according to their means more or less" policy. He's more like, "the richer you are the less you should pay" policy.

              As for a foreign policy that doesn't promote lying to the people to foster support for wars of aggression... Seriously, try to say Bush is for that without laughing.
              • Well, only if you follow the "watch what I say, not what I do" rule.

                Wow... you completely missed my point, didn't you? You're so blinded by your own paradigm that you fail to even concede that someone else might have a different point of view than yours.

              • You do know that even if a rich person pays 10% of his income in taxes he's still paying more than someone who is poor and pays 11%?
            • 4. Environmental policy? We should take care of it for us and for our kids. EXTREME!

              And yet, I have no doubt that you want to scream every time you hear a Republican propose a new law to "protect the children." Well, guess what: that works both ways. Do not use "for our kids" as a justification for increased regulation. It doesn't solidify support from those who agree with you, and it disgusts people who don't.

              5. Tax Reform? People should pay according to their means more or less. EXTREME!

              "From e

          • Sure, all that stuff sounds great when you leave out the "how".

          • Health care? People should be able to afford it. EXTREME!

            Who can't afford it? The poor? Well you just answered that problem with the next point.

            Welfare? We should take care of our poor. EXTREME!

            For how long? I know people who have been on welfare for their entire ADULT lives. That's not helping.

            Social Security? We should keep it and protect it. EXTREME!

            Sure. Why not. I saw a plan by the IBEW that said that if TAXES were raised, everyone's taxes that is, SS could be saved.

            Environmental poli
  • now to reform the democratic party!
  • I haven't been following this very closely, but frankly I'm pleased that the Dems put him in. People keep arguing that the media is liberal and whatnot but as far as I see it, the entire conversation has been shifted far to the right. So far that those moderate Dems are now considered left wing radicals. The Democrats could have easily buckled into that and put somebody more conservative in this position. That, in effect, would be a victory in itself for the right.
  • Dean=Good Thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lally Singh (3427) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @06:19PM (#11654922) Journal
    What I can't believe is how far to the right this country's shifted so quickly. What was the center in 2000 is now the 'extreme left' today. Dean's a proper left-leaning democrat, not a republican-wannabe apologist.

    The right's gotten a strong wind recently, and we need to fight back accordingly, not start letting go of core values. And it's well-needed, even with such a poor candidate as Kerry, we still got 48%* of the electorate. Kerry ignored most of the issues at hand and only attacked Bush's strongpoints. I don't think Dean will let our newer candidates make the same mistakes.

    Maybe I'm an old romantic, but I don't think homophobia (gay rights), subordination of women (abortion), warmongering (iraq), and the extortion of the lower classes (taxes, social security) are American values.

    --
    * debates over the remnants of fair voting aside
    • and the extortion of the lower classes (taxes, social security) are American values.

      Please clarify this. I see SS as extortion in that I am required by law to provide money to a pension plan that I want no part ot. As for the taxes, I also see that the progressive tax system we have is extortion but only for those who make more. Why not just ahve a flat tax of something like 25% (for starters) and adjust it from there? That way everyone is paying the same amount proportional to their income. And eli
      • Flat tax would be nice. Current tax law pushes most of the burden onto the lower and middle classes. Higher classes get most of their incomes from different areas, like capital gains, which do not pay their due burden for our government. The higher tax brackets they're supposed to have for those higher incomes are rarely effective, as so few make money in traditional ways.

        Remember that SS was put into place because most Americans weren't putting any (or enough) money away for retirement. History has s
      • Re:Dean=Good Thing (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Lally Singh (3427) on Monday February 14, 2005 @05:18PM (#11672454) Journal
        For good coverage on the truth to social security, check out this article [alternet.org], which I of course found 15 seconds after finishing my long post.
  • by edward.virtually@pob (6854) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @06:23PM (#11654942)
    nice summary. of course, it omits both the real reason his campaign failed, namely the endless pushing of the infamous scream by the corporate media and related commentary, and the key bit of truth most of the sheep still don't know, namely that the scream never really happened [go.com] and was fabricated to discredit dean. click on the link. oh, and be sure to print it out before the brownshirts have it deleted. one of the many reasons anyone who uses the phrase "liberal media" is either a liar or a fool.
  • Surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XBL (305578) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @06:28PM (#11654970)
    My prediction is the Dean will surprise all his critics over the next 4 years as a calm, rational, focused, and successful leader. Why? Because he is a calm, rational, focused, and successful person.

    The reason why Dean exploded the way he did is because the media turned against him because he was "unelectable". It was a bunch of bullshit because he was not your typical "say only what you want to hear" politician. I think people in this country would have been smart enough to see that, and it would not have been a landslide win for Bush like the media said it would be. Unfortuntly the media has a lot of effect on the primary elections.

    I gave $100 to the Dean campaign, and I do not regret it. That money indirectly helped him become the chair of the DNC, and I am very happy to see it.

    BTW, at the Iowa Caucus (I was there) Dean had at least 3x as many people there as Kerry. To be honest, I am still a little amazed how quickly things fell apart.
  • Yessssss (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MerryGoByeBye (447358)
    It's hard to imagine a better development than this! Excellent! Terry McAuliffe had brought the party to its knees with his Republican-Lite approach to leading the DNC. Screw that. Dean is the man!

    Few things are as amusing as watching people get all worked up into a lather denouncing the choice. What, exactly, is wrong with having an intelligent, passionate leader? America has become such a country of clucking chickens that we not only accept the degradations to our liberties performed by the current monke
  • I really enjoy this. The GOP had nothing of substance against Dean. No attack actually was based on his record as Governor of Vermont, only on word games of rhetoric. The Dems would have that problem with anyone, so having someone with Dean's record is a plus. He is a fiscally restrained populist and while he may not make a great candidate, now he doesn't have to.

    So to all the GOP supporters jumping for joy, I'm jumping with you. If you're going to be this easy to distract, it will make it a lot easier to
  • by shanen (462549) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @07:49PM (#11655473) Homepage Journal
    Well, I don't see anything about it so far (or it's moderated below my visibility), but the obvious comment is that Dean's rise is a natural part of the swinging pendulum. The most important factor in the long-term success of the American political system has been moderation. Or perhaps you prefer to call it balance? From separation of powers to checks and balances to the independent judiciary to campaigns directed at the "undecided" moderate voters, the whole system has usually oscillated around central positions and the result has mostly worked very well for most of the people.

    Dean is clearly on the left side of the spectrum, but BushCo is much more clearly on the *FAR* right side. The rightwingers have become so dominant that the system is falling out of balance, and there are basically only two outcomes now. One possible outcome is a swing back to the left, and Dean is of course going to be pushing for that. The stronger the swing to the right, the stronger the counterswing will have to be.

    The other possible outcome would be bankruptcy and collapse. The United States has already lasted far longer than the average government, and it's showing plenty of symptoms of the kind of senility that often appears before a government collapses.

  • by fiddlesticks (457600) on Saturday February 12, 2005 @11:26PM (#11656782) Homepage
    example direct quotes:

    * Why Libertarians Support
    Equal Rights for America's Gun Owners

    * End Welfare

    * The Libertarian Party: Working to slash your taxes!

    * Do you remember when the standard of living in America was the best in the world?

    +++++++

    I mean, really, this is all just nuts

  • by randall_burns (108052) <randall_burns&hotmail,com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @01:47PM (#11660800)
    Dean just plain hasn't got the right mix to make a viable party in the two party system.
    He's hanging with the GOP on unpopular issues like immigration(where he basically endorses Bush's Open Borders policy) and failing to properly handle the social issues like Gun Control, Gay Rights,Drugs, Abortion(which constitutionally should all be state issues.
  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Monday February 14, 2005 @08:53PM (#11674161) Journal
    I'm skeptical about how much Dean will be able to do, but he can't possibly be worse for the Democrats than Terry McAuliffe.

    The Boston Globe [boston.com] had some bits to say regarding Dean:

    "I'll pretty much be living in red states in the South and West for quite a while," Dean told reporters after he was elected to the post on a voice vote. "The way to get people not to be skeptical about you is to show up and say what you think." ...

    "If we want to win nationally, we have to start by winning locally," said Dean, who repeated his pledge to rebuild party organizations in each state. "We can't run an 18-state strategy and expect to win. This party's strength does not come from consultants down, it comes from the grass roots up." ...

    In a news conference after his speech, Dean said he planned to reach out to evangelicals, a bloc of voters that forms the core of Republican support. "We are definitely going to do religious outreach," said Dean, whose recent speeches routinely cite an example of a conservative evangelical who now supports him because of his support for expanded healthcare.


    If I understand correctly the attention to local politics is a significant shift in DNC policy, which has in the past decade had a tendency to almost completely ignore local and state campaigns, focusing almost entirely on failed bids for the presidency. I have my fingers crossed that the Democrats will take up the nigh-forgotten banner of "States' Rights," which the Republicans seem to have dropped like a lead brick (particularly when it comes to things like gay marriage, euthanasia, abortion, and medical marijuana).

    Also, I'm curious to see if Dean's grassroots approach can actually manage to reach beyond those who are already True Believers. Before, it just seemed to basically be Dean supporters (including myself) telling each other how much they hated Bush, which would get them riled up, which would have the end result of them telling each other how much they hated Bush.

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