December 6, 2005

Howard Dean: Democratic Party Truth-Sayer

Democratic Party politicians are fearful of getting too far out ahead of the general public. They fear loosing voter support, or having statements spun by Republican attack macines, and the ditto-head echo chamber of right wing talk radio. This fear is legitimate; recall the famous Scream in the 2004 Iowa Caucus by Howard Dean that was the downward turning point of his presidential asperations. Nevertheless, many people think the Democrat's fear of speaking the thruth makes the Democrats look weak, or worse. This is a dilemma for the Democrats.

The solution: Howard Dean. He has already established his credentials for speaking the truth. On the one hand, as Democratic National Committee Chair, he represents a voice of the Democratic Party. On the other hand, individual Democratic politicians can safely distance themselves. In this way, the general public hears a truth-telling message from the Democrats without any individual politician taking the risk.

Recent Examples: In justifying the need to get out of Iraq, Dean recently said, "This is the same situation we had in Vietnam. Everybody then kept saying, 'just another year, just stay the course, we'll have a victory.' Well, we didn't have a victory, and this policy cost the lives of an additional 25,000 troops because we were too stubborn to recognize what was happening." This was spun on the Drudge Report to read "Dem Chair Dean: USA Won't win in Iraq," something to which no elected official would want their name attached.

Dean can also attack the President, which cannot be done by politicians who might need a favor from Bush at some point. For example, Dean recently said, "The President said last week that Congress saw the same intelligence that he did in making the decision to go to war, and that is flat out wrong." Dean went on to give examples.

Bottom Line: The Democrats have a strategy for speaking the truth, while protecting their elected politicians. We'll see if it works.

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