Bob's Links and Rants

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Thursday, August 14, 2003

Howard Dean, the Liberal's Conservative
If elected, Dean says, he plans "to do what Clinton did in 1993. We need to make a genuine effort to start to balance the budget to restore investor confidence. The second thing I would do is to support the small-business community." Some leftie! Like Clinton, he'll clean up the Republican deficit, making it impossible to fund Democratic social programs. He's pro-defense and pro-business. He's committed to the environment but he'll likely disappoint liberals on health care, taxes and trade. -- from Ted Rall. (Rall's whole article is worth reading, as is his previous one, as background for this particular rant.)

What do we want?
Investor Confidence!
When do we want it?

There's a rallying cry for liberals everywhere. :-s (That's my attempt at a "sarcasticon.")

The 2004 election should be a fantastic opportunity to bring about real change in the way the country is run. After September 11, W's speeches and policies frightened and angered me so much that I started learning as much as I could about how the US really works. The sleazy campaign financing, the corporate control, the so-called liberal media, the enormous military-industrial complex. What I found out turned me into the progressive blogger you read today. As the war drags on and the economy continues to tank, I think a lot more people will realize that a lot of things are terribly wrong. Unfortunately, most will probably not have the time or the desire to investigate the issues to the extent that I have (and I still have plenty to learn).

This is where the campaign should come in. The campaign could expose all of this to the American public. But if Dean is the Democratic candidate, he will probably blame the mess entirely on Bush's lies about Iraq and maybe the tax cuts. It seems pretty clear already that he will not address the things I mentioned above which made it possible for Bush to be selected and for him to sell his tax cuts and wars. He will not open the eyes of millions to the fundamental flaws in our system. As Bush crashes, we need someone pointing out that he and his policies are the result of systematic failure, not just the deceit and incompetence of one extremely flawed man. We need someone who will ask not just "are you better off than you were four years ago?" but "are you better off than you were eleven years ago, before NAFTA moved your (good) job to Mexico?" We need someone who will ask "why should health care be tied to employment? Aren't you most at risk of being unable to pay doctor or prescription bills when you are unemployed?" These are the questions that should be asked, for which the current answers are the wrong answers. These are the questions that will motivate previous non-voters to vote. These are the questions that will make this a better country. We need a Democratic candidate who asks these questions, and makes it clear that there are alternatives to privately-funded elections, to pro-corporate bias, to media consolidation, to inadequate, incomplete health coverage. Not only will having such a candidate bring these issues into play, I think he will have a better chance of beating Bush for doing so.

You know who that candidate is. It certainly is not Howard Dean.

Dean-niks are welcome to reply: Tell me there's some reason you're on Dean's bandwagon besides its size. (Being against the Iraq war isn't enough--there are four other candidates who opposed the war.)