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News :: DNC : International
Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
28 Jul 2004
The apparent split between the official stance of the Democratic Party on the Iraq war and the general sentiment of its members provided one undercurrent during a well-received speech by former Vermont Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon. Dean criticized, “the Democratic party, for not standing up to Bush. They thought the best way to oppose George Bush was to be like George Bush.” A Boston Globe report claimed that some ninety-five percent of Convention delegates oppose the decision to go to war in Iraq.
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Howard Dean addresses mainstream Democrats
The apparent split between the official stance of the Democratic party on the Iraq war and the general sentiment of its members provided one undercurrent during a well-received speech by former Vermont Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon.

“We are going to spend the next three months blaming everything on George Bush, and we’ll be ninety-eight percent right,” Dean said, but he laid part of the blame on “the Democratic party, for not standing up to Bush. They thought the best way to oppose George Bush was to be like George Bush.”

The remark garnered perhaps the most enthusiastic ovation of the day from the crowd, which numbered several credential-wielding convention delegates, as well as activists further along the political spectrum.

This comes days after a Boston Globe report claimed that some ninety-five percent of Convention delegates oppose the decision to go to war in Iraq. Nevertheless, the official party platform takes a break from strident political rhetoric to note that “[p]eople of good will disagree about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq.”

The platform does criticize Bush for “badly exaggerating” the case for war and for various perceived strategic errors. However, it is widely reported that the Kerry campaign has instructed convention speakers to avoid particularly harsh criticisms of the Bush administration.

Alan Dahl, a Dean convention delegate from Washington state, said that the Iraq war was a “close second” among the issues he’s most concerned with. Although Democratic nominee John Kerry joined his running mate in voting to authorize the war, Dahl said he is not torn in his support for the ticket.

“Kerry’s too polite to say the real reason, which is that he voted for the war because George Bush lied,” Dahl said.

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) also leveled some sharp criticism of the administration’s war policies, of the type that is unlikely to appear at the Democratic Convention. “We’re talking about eternal war out of these people. That’s all they see…and they need canon fodder,” McDermott charged.

Upwards of three hundred people were allowed to walk through a gauntlet of black-clad members of the Special Tactical Force of the Middlesex Sherriff’s office, through the lobby of the hotel, and out to the back of the facility, where Dean addressed them from the dining terrace of the exclusive hotel. A crowd of nearly 600 heard an earlier address inside the hotel’s ballroom, where the main event took place.

Dean also urged progressive members of the Democratic Party to actually run for office, even in states that are characterized by right wing ideology.

“Why not bring a progressive message to all the states we’re afraid to go to? We’re gonna run and we’re gonna lose a couple times,” Dean said. “But we’re gonna make the case. And sooner or later people are going to stop voting on guns, God and gays.”

Not all members of the crowd received the message warmly.

“We need to talk about reality, not just something that will make a crowd feel good,” said one man who was part of a contingent of Lyndon Larouche supporters. “On economics, [Bush and Kerry] are exactly the same.”

This impromptu address to the overflow crowd came hours before Dean was due to address the Democratic Convention, and the Fleet Center was clearly visible from across the Charles River. The event was sponsored by Campaign for America’s Future, which has scheduled three days of events featuring luminaries from within the Democratic Party. Michael Moore also addressed the main event, though his arrival was delayed over one and one half hours, after being interviewed by Ted Koppel following an event at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline.
See also:
http://www.ourfuture.org
http://www.dems2004.org

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Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
28 Jul 2004
And this made the delegates feel sooooo very much better, along with allllll those happy faced democrats for selling out and for not having the spine to stand up when we needed it. You know, a year and a half ago, before the war started, when we really needed it.

Political cowardice, from the demorats as well as complicity from the corporate media got us here, into a bloody and protracted war. Excuse me if I do not feel overjoyed at their little "happy handclapping stand" at Howard Dean.

They have betrayed us members of the Anti-War and global Justice community. Again. Time to leave ship folks, time to leave ship.

Hey, here is a thought, if we leave ship, then maybe they will make their long anticipated left turn. Just kidding folks, they would just whine some more and buy another SUV and John Kerry Action Doll (includes THREE purple hearts) batteries not included. Also, a free can of Heinz beans and instructions on how to get Wall-Mart stocks, just like John Kerry.

sheesh
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
28 Jul 2004
The point of the post is that there's a difference between the leadership of the Democratic Party, which has undoubtedly moved well to the right, and its grassroots base, much of which is still very progressive. At a human rights rally I was just at, there were a whole bunch of Democrats there (they had stickers clearly identifying them as such). Probably a lot of these folks were turning out to protests a year ago. There's certainly room for debate on whether it makes sense for progressives to stay in the Democratic Party, but you should distinguish between the right-wing leadership and the left-wing base when making your criticisms.
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
28 Jul 2004
I'd have to say that, from observing college Dem. groups and groups in small towns, about half of grassroot Dem.s are very progressive people. The problem is, mainly, the environment they grow up in. They do not feel that capitalism is bad because it tends to work well for them -- they don't realize 35 million people work in sweatshops so they can live the way they do. The war does not directly effect them so they do not feel the need to reject Kerry urgently.

Because of the other Democrats, the leadership and the more moderate grassroots party members, these more progressive Dem.s are kept in line. There will always be a moderate party. What we have to do is learn to reject the Democratic Party but also present a viable alternative to pull more progressive people into the Syndicalist/Anarchist movement so as to present a viable left alternative.

The fact is the Dem.s are moderate/right and the people of this country don't seem to notice. We need to present a viable left and people will follow. See, people, sadly, tend to sacrifice their ideals in favor of what they see as "realistic."

blah blah blah, back to the street. Somethings happenin' here in Boston folks. Bazaars are awesome.
A vote for Kerry is a vote for futility
28 Jul 2004
Wasn’t this an anti-Globalism movement isn’t that how we got all these IMCs? Before it got wrangled up by liberals for the anti-war movement, then morphed into the pro-Kerry movement. Oh, they don’t support Kerry they just want people to vote for him. Dean was just the bait for that last transformation, it was only one small step to Kerry. Congratulations, you’re now hardcore “Democrats”. It doesn’t matter what the party does, the alternative will always be worse. You will pimp their agenda pretending that you’re influencing that agenda. When they change your goal they change your destination. In case you didn’t know, Dean has a new role placating the anti-war camp.
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
29 Jul 2004
To Matthew
You make a good case on the difference between the "rank and file" and the leadership of the Dems. Except for one thing. The DNC has now become a lovefest for Kerry. That is undeniable.
What is equally undeniable is that Kerry has been "chosen" by a majority of the delegates, all those "anti-war" delegates. Again, simple fact.

OK, so we got Kerry supporting the war, legitimizing it even. Kerry is suportive of NAFTA, GATT, WTO. Kerry is opposed to single payer heathcare. John Kerry-Heinz is a billionaire (Billionaires for Bush, do you get this?) John Kerry even owns $1 million in stocks in Wall-Mart. This is not a "single-issue' gripe about Kerry. These are major, significant disagreements with not just John Kerry, but with the party that "coronated" him.

You as a Deaniac should get it that the corporate media character assasinated your candidate, a legitimate strong opponent of the war. This self same corporate media is now adoring Kerry. I don't know about you, but this makes major alarm bells go off inside my bullshit meter.

Holmes, you make an astute observation there, umm holmes. I put it a slightly different, if more confrontational way. Those who are involved in the Kerry lovefest are saying, in an unspoken but direct way "sure, the war is bad but more important than the slaughter of those little brown people over there is bigger, more important issues such as 'my' healthcare, jobs, cheap gas, economy" etc etc. Taken in it's broadest context, it is *shock horror* an inheirantly racist position to take. I know, imagine that American's being xenophobic, ethnocentric or racist. Who woulda thought? Glad to hear the bazzar is going well. I was kinds gettin worried about the low turnout of protests, till I heard about the FSZ boycott. Keep us updated.

Redneck: your post was exellent and thank you for reminding us about the birth of Indy Media and it's roots to the Global Justice (anti-WTO) movement. wait now, who was prez during that time? The evil incarnate George Bush? NO, it was Democratic Billy Bob Clinton!!!!

As for the Dean placating the anti-war crowd in the dems, you are right. Dennis Kucinich is doing a handy job at that also.
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
29 Jul 2004
I won't believe that there's really sufficient widespread anger over the Democrat's endorsement of the war and blank check to Bush for unilateral action in Iraq (before he ever even needed to lie) until DNC leaders--Gephardt and Daschle--stand at that podium and give the apology they rightfully owe us.
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
29 Jul 2004
If the general members of the Democratic Party really opposed the war (and other coprorate policies of the party management), they would not have voted for Kerry.
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
29 Jul 2004
Just one note. I am not, by any strecth of the imagination, a "Deaniac". I nver got the least bit enthusiastic about him. I'm an anarcho-pacifist. My attitude is, never trust a politician, especially the progressive ones. Why especially the progressives ones? Too often when they get elected, the left sits back and expects them to do all the work for them, not recognizing the massive pressures on them to move to the right--which some of them (but not all) then do. By keeping up the pressure on them from the left, we may be able to counter the pressure on them from the right and force/enable them to do something progressive.
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
29 Jul 2004
Blame everything on Dick Cheney, the puppetmaster. And let's win this election by using LaRouche's Democratic platform!
Re: Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
02 Aug 2004
Thanks to Howard Dean for making these remarks. The democrats are currently riding the enthusiasm that Dean created for the party. As for the Republicans, I like some of their ideas, but the Bush administration, the bigots, have to go.
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30 May 2006
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04 Jun 2006
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