Has Howard Dean Sold Out?
January 28, 2004 6:49 PM   Subscribe

Has Howard Dean Sold Out?
One of the most prominent themes of the Dean's insurgency campaign, was the call to "Throw the Bums Out!" Dean, in most speeches talks about his rivals as "Washington and Party Insiders", and he draws contrast with himself. One of his battle cries has been to get rid of the "special interests" and "take back America" for the people.

Why then, has Dean fired his campaign manager Joe Trippi, who is often credited with the candidate's fast rise and strong organization, and replaced him with Roy Neel, former adviser in the Al Gore 2000 presidential campaign, and former chief lobbyist for the U.S. Telecom Association? (A nice combo of a "Washington Insider" and a "Special Interest," if there is one)

Howard, what happened to "taking America back" from the Special Interests?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood (106 comments total)

 
AgendaFilter.
posted by iamck at 6:52 PM on January 28, 2004


NeenerNeenerFilter.
posted by stonerose at 6:53 PM on January 28, 2004


[This is bad.]
posted by subgenius at 6:57 PM on January 28, 2004


As Kos sez in his blog, Trippi was great but when you can't deliver results, you get the boot. These sort of shakeups might have to do with Dean's burning through $35 million with no results.

However, I don't think who your campaign adviser is necessarily taints your own political position or ideals.
posted by Happydaz at 7:01 PM on January 28, 2004


Steve_at_Linnwood, when did you stop beating your wife?
posted by mookieproof at 7:05 PM on January 28, 2004


Look, just ignore S@L's obvious baiting -- yes, that's agenda driven and annoying but it's probably more worthwhile to focus on the question of what it means that he picked Neel.
posted by weston at 7:09 PM on January 28, 2004


Despite the FPRant, this is still a very interesting development, and will present an interesting challenge to the Deaniacs. I mean, it's not just that Trippi is gone, it's that his replacement is the consummate insider. Former Clinton staffer? Telecom lobbyist? How does this jibe with all the conspiracy theories about Dean being taken out by the DLC? In a sense, it's a brilliant kind of repositioning. He's saying he wants to be mainstream, while also (he hopes) getting a guy who can help him deliver the goods.
posted by alms at 7:11 PM on January 28, 2004


It's not even the rightist political alignment that bothers me. I expect that from Steve_at_Linwood. It's the non sequiter. Sir, you lower thyself.
posted by scarabic at 7:14 PM on January 28, 2004


I have to admit this move seriously damages Dean's credibility in my eyes. As such, my support immediately moves to Clark/Edwards - whoever is more likely to beat Bush. Dean was the only person I actually wanted to see IN the White House - now I've just fallen back to the contingency vote - which is how can we get Bush OUT of the White House?
posted by Ryvar at 7:15 PM on January 28, 2004


Well, according to The Register, there may have been a conflict of interest with Trippi. But that's all a moot point now.
posted by O9scar at 7:18 PM on January 28, 2004


Kerry shook up his staff a while ago--why shouldn't Dean? He wasn't winning before--now maybe he will. (If Dean doesn't win a few states soon, there's no chance he can stay in for the whole ride)
posted by amberglow at 7:18 PM on January 28, 2004


dean is done. kerry doesn't have a chance against bush, no matter what the right says about being 'oh so worried' that it would come to this. puhhhleeeaaaze.
posted by poopy at 7:21 PM on January 28, 2004


I seem to remember Bush claiming to be a compassionate conservative in the beginning of his campaign. Then he got his ass handed to him in New Hampshire by McCain. What was next? Bush visited Bob Jones University and launched an incredibly negative ad campaign in order to defeat McCain in South Carolina.
posted by machaus at 7:22 PM on January 28, 2004


Dean's national co-chair is the former head of AIPAC, a pro-Israeli lobby and a lobby right up there with the NRA and AARP in terms of power. This news isn't so shocking.
posted by raysmj at 7:25 PM on January 28, 2004


steve-
Are you trying to debase yourself? In case you hadn't figured it out yet, a lot of people around here had gotten used to you making sense before the last few weeks.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:27 PM on January 28, 2004


40 Million? WOW That Better Be Some Good Crack Howard...

Anyone Catch Nightline The Other Night? They Had A Hilarious Clip Of Kerry In A Supermarket Just Emptying Trays Of Krispy Kremes Left & Right.

Now If He Could Only Put That Kind Of Passion In His Campaigning. He Might Just Win...

;/
posted by Dreamghost at 7:31 PM on January 28, 2004


Perhaps Howard should've replaced him with Skinny Pimp.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:42 PM on January 28, 2004


For a bit there, Howard Dean was the real world's "Bullworth" - for better or for worse. Now, no more. This Bullworth will just fade away.
posted by troutfishing at 7:45 PM on January 28, 2004


watch Howard implode after "super tuesday".
posted by clavdivs at 8:00 PM on January 28, 2004


What Is Up With The Capitalizations, Dreamghost?
posted by y2karl at 8:04 PM on January 28, 2004


I support Dean because he didn't support the war. Kerry did. Edwards did. I won't forget this, and will do my part to hold them accountable for shortsighted political cowardice. Simple as that.
posted by Hildago at 8:07 PM on January 28, 2004


secret code y2k--shhh : >
posted by amberglow at 8:07 PM on January 28, 2004


I notice that most hate Dean, loathe Kerry. Some rationalize love for Clarke or that ambulance chaser cum Congressman, Edwards. Come on people. If Bush is unbeatable, it's time to start looking into ways to succeed or expatriate. I for one sent some more coin Dean's way.
posted by shagoth at 9:03 PM on January 28, 2004


I wanted Dean to get the nomintation, because even if he would have lost to Bush, he would have kicked the crap out of him in the debates and it would have been fun to watch.

This is the first presidential election where I really don't feel like bothering to vote. Ugh.
posted by mecran01 at 9:18 PM on January 28, 2004


What, the last one was more compelling?

My concern with Kerry is that he'll handle debating Bush the same way Gore did. Dean would at least be openly confrontational, as I suspect Clark would; Edwards' tack would be different but also probably effective. Though if Kerry gets the nod, a Clark/Cheney or Edwards/Cheney debate would be some fun watching.
posted by furiousthought at 9:42 PM on January 28, 2004


This is the first presidential election where I really don't feel like bothering to vote. Ugh.

Funny -- I've watched the dem primary with interest for the first time in a while, because to my eye, nearly all of them have something interesting about them. I'd actually be happy to see just about any of them chosen. Maybe it's just not enough familiarity to breed contempt, but maybe not... while there are certain things I don't like about each of them, it honestly looks to me like each has their own merits. Even if you're only looking at the "beat Bush" factor.
posted by weston at 9:47 PM on January 28, 2004


What Is Up With The Capitalizations, Dreamghost?

Curses, Foiled Again!

secret code y2k--shhh : >

There's A Glitch In The Matrix

...

4th grade english aside...
posted by Dreamghost at 9:47 PM on January 28, 2004


Let's see... three paragraphs and bold text on the FPP to unnecessarily make an agenda out of "Dean replaces Campaign Manager."

Hell, even if you made it "Dean replaces Campaign Manager with DC insider and Gore associates" it seems we should be much more critical of the tacky violation of style etiquette than partisanship.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:03 PM on January 28, 2004


This is the first presidential election where I really don't feel like bothering to vote.

You fucknozzle, you need to vote. Even if you have to hold your nose to do it.
posted by ilsa at 10:05 PM on January 28, 2004


Hell, even if you made it "Dean replaces Campaign Manager with DC insider and Gore associates" it seems we should be much more critical of the tacky violation of style etiquette than partisanship.

And it's as childish as any Bush-bashing post for that reason. One can only conclude that steve has decided to be as childish as possible, in hopes that people will see it as a clever allusion to other people's childishness, thus causing them to come to the epiphany that steve is a grown-up and the rest of Metafilter are poopy-panted fart lickers.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:06 PM on January 28, 2004


Oh, barista? At the table next to us, who is the asshole ranting at that top of his lungs in an attempt to get everyone's attention that he needs ?
Could you tell him to Have A Nice Day, please?
posted by y2karl at 10:22 PM on January 28, 2004


Ignoring S@L's obvious baiting and bias, it looks like Dean didn't sell out but simply went broke and donors are shying away from him. From salon.com
Following defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire, and less than a week away from a make-or-break series of Democratic primary election contests, Trippi on Wednesday quit the Dean campaign after being offered a lesser position. At the same time, Dean announced that his high-flying campaign is broke, and he announced to workers that their paychecks will be suspended for two weeks because of a multimillion-dollar debt.

Roy Neel, former chief of staff to Al Gore, was appointed CEO of the campaign, supplanting Trippi, who served as a high-profile campaign manager, ad man and inspirational icon to many of Dean's Internet supporters.

It was devastating news for a candidate who, just four weeks ago, had been seen as the strong front-runner to win the Democratic presidential nomination. The campaign was basking in the glow of upbeat news coverage, fundraising prowess and endorsements from elected officials, labor leaders and celebrities. But after two decisive losses in the space of eight days, chaos that apparently had been percolating through the campaign organization broke into open view.

After Tuesday's clear defeat at the hands of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, Dean's "one remaining hope was to be able to pivot very quickly this week onto a sort of new substantive message," said Democratic consultant Howard Wolfson. "This is going to completely interfere with that."

The pessimism even had spread to many of the operatives and volunteers who staffed an organization known for its idealism and optimism. "The wheels are coming off the chassis," one said yesterday.

Even before Wednesday's shakeup, Dean had been undergoing a public, on-the-fly makeover -- tempering his language, making fun of himself on the David Letterman show and appearing with his wife, Judy Steinberg Dean, for an emotional TV interview. But the latest developments were more than cosmetic, and they made clear that a campaign once deemed unstoppable is now in very real danger of disintegrating.

Financially, donors wondering about the viability of the campaign are likely to hold onto their money. And critics are certain to question whether a candidate who could not manage the estimated $40 million he raised last year is capable of managing the world's biggest economy.
Whole article here.
posted by skallas at 10:33 PM on January 28, 2004


So what if Kerry voted for the war; according to polls, the public at large is more concerned with the economy anyway. Surprise, surprise...
posted by The God Complex at 10:49 PM on January 28, 2004


In fact, in New Hampshire it appears even "anti-war" voters who have a very strong dislike for Bush still voted for Kerry, either despite the fact that he voted for the war or in complete ignorance of it. I personally find Kerry to be something of a boring figure, and in any other year I'd be distressed to be facing the possibility of fours year of that sort of nonsense come across the border, but compared to Bush anyone looks like a godsend.
posted by The God Complex at 10:58 PM on January 28, 2004


Yeesh, is S@L refreshing MeTa every 5 seconds or what? Someone put him out of his misery.
posted by scarabic at 11:08 PM on January 28, 2004


Dean is dead, and it appears many of his followers are in a mourning/lashing out phase.

Just like the dot com crash, dean's 'support' consisted of smoke and mirrors, and the only supporters still brave enough to remain are those that still don't get it.

It's time to turn in your cult errrrr club memberships and stop drinking the kool-aid. There is no santa claus ;)
posted by Dennis Murphy at 12:30 AM on January 29, 2004


Forget about Dean, what does this do for Gore in 2008? He gave his backing to the then front-runner and now that front-runner is no more. No doubt Gore was hoping to be up there on the campaign trail helping Dean in his valiant, but unsuccessful, campaign against Bush in order to get the rub going into 2008.
posted by PenDevil at 12:57 AM on January 29, 2004


Well, who knows what this means for Dean, but Trippi seriously fucked up. And a huge amount of that money whent right into his pocket for making those horrible ads.
posted by delmoi at 12:57 AM on January 29, 2004


"Howard, what happened to "taking America back" from the Special Interests?"

Steve,
by now we all know you're not the most tightly-packed sandwich in the basket, so we understand your mistake: but really, it's highly unlikely that Gov Dean is a MeFi user (but maybe you know something we don't). so MeFi's front page is, like, totally not the best of places to post your legitimate question.
if you really want an answer, why don't you send an e-mail to deanforamerica.com ?
or, you know, are you just annoying other customers in this café, as karl pointed out? because that would be quite rude, wouldn't it.

not to mention, I'm not sure about your op-ed's point: are you trying to tell the whole community here that you're happy that finally Gov Dean has seen the light and joined the corporate gangbang you constantly shill for, here and on your blog? or you suddendly figured out how corrupt Washington lobbyists are, and are you hereby leaving the Republican Party to join the "Draft Nader 2004" movement?


*eagerly waits for the next "BiasFilter/AgendaFilter/NewsFilter" MetaTalk rant by Steve@Linnwood*

posted by matteo at 4:20 AM on January 29, 2004


What happened? Another crop of young, naive Americans met their pied piper, and then met reality.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:55 AM on January 29, 2004


I know, FreedomParamus, the phantom-WMD's pied-piper thing was really a disgrace. all that talk about mushroom clouds... and now the "no WMD's" reality check.
glad we agree, every once in a while.
posted by matteo at 5:11 AM on January 29, 2004


I wonder what would happen if the right wing spin machine aimed the same kind of scrutiny and hyperbole at george w. bush.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:37 AM on January 29, 2004


mcsweet, hopefully some of the shit that's been building up will hit the fan this year, before the elections--I'm counting on the 9/11 commission to do some real and deserved damage to Bush.
posted by amberglow at 5:48 AM on January 29, 2004


You know matteo, I think you need eyeglasses for your myopia. Everyone, EVERYONE, including those countries who opposed the liberation of Iraq, believed there were WMDs--was there some intelligence you're hiding from the rest of us. In any case, the entire chemical WMD program of Iraq could fit in several, or perhaps, even one 18 wheel truck (minus the missles), so I think you're a complete ass in your certainty; and your certainty they're not in Syria.

Why do you keep spinning your wheels, wasting energy on aspects of issues, points, that no significant number of people really care about? Why not attack George Bush on his vapid environmental or fiscal positions? Iraq will only help him win in November--WHY DON'T YOU GET IT?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:48 AM on January 29, 2004


"I'm counting on the 9/11 commission to do some real and deserved damage to Bush."

The worst said commission could conclude is that thew Bush administration relied on the same intelligence relied on by the Clinton adminstration. In other words, non-partisan intelligence failure; no political fallout.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:53 AM on January 29, 2004


I am looking forward to the liberation of Syria--aren't you?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:55 AM on January 29, 2004


Liberation from what and for what? Has Perle been whispering sweet nothings in your ear again?
posted by amberglow at 6:00 AM on January 29, 2004


So Dean hired a Washington Insider for his campaign manager? It's Dean that's running for office, not Neel. What do you expect him to do?

Steve, you're really 111, aren't you?
posted by bshort at 6:01 AM on January 29, 2004


An Edwards/Cheney debate would be a disaster for the Democrats. I'll wager fat cash on it if that matchup looks likely.

-and-

Iraq is not going to help Bush come November, ParisParamus's addled ramblings to the contrary. In fact, look for a recent resurgence in interest in Afghanistan as well, both of which will look like nation-building failures as well as less than effective victories in the war on terror. They won't be considered losses, like most Democrats would like, but they won't be seen as a success.
posted by hank_14 at 8:56 AM on January 29, 2004


You fucknozzle

Ilsa,

Don't mince words. Speak your mind. ;)
posted by wsg at 9:07 AM on January 29, 2004


Everyone, EVERYONE, including those countries who opposed the liberation of Iraq, believed there were WMDs--was there some intelligence you're hiding from the rest of us.

Common sense, maybe? That "intelligence" didn't help Bush & Co. very much; they picked out the bits that supported what they wanted to believe, ignored the rest, and fell flat on their faces. Oops. Those of us who had nothing to go on but the obvious were able to see the obvious: Hussein was bluffing, and there were no nukes.

So what if Kerry voted for the war; according to polls, the public at large is more concerned with the economy anyway.

Kerry also voted for the Patriot Act and the $87 billion Halliburton welfare act. I'll hold my nose and vote for him if he wins the Democratic nomination, but I won't support him in the primaries and I won't expect anything more from him than four years of business as usual.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:16 AM on January 29, 2004


An aside; I find it strange that many of those who stridently cry out against Kerry for his "vote for war" also agressively point to the administration's WMD lies. So what do you expect, people, that Kerry had knowledge that the administration itself didn't seem to have, or that he voted his conscience based on the lies he (and the rest of Congress, and the UN, and the American people) were told?

/aside
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:16 AM on January 29, 2004


Kerry didn't "vote for the war." He voted to give Bush the option of going to war, if other options failed. Bush just went straight to the last resort option, however.

thew Bush administration relied on the same intelligence relied on by the Clinton adminstration

One verifiable lie bush told is about the cake uranium in Niger. You may recall that CIA head Tenet told Bush the intelligence was no good, but Bush put it in the speech anyway...the infamouse 16 words. HUGE lie!
posted by wsg at 9:21 AM on January 29, 2004


Maybe because this only takes place every four years, we forget what a long haul the primary season is. It's really gruelling. Dean's got a lot of young supporters that are more prone to disillusionment.

I thought it was weird to make a change like this in the midst of the primaries, but it also shows he is ready to make the hard decisions and deal with the fallout. Plus, his name stays in the national headlines that much longer. Interesting.
posted by whatnot at 9:26 AM on January 29, 2004


Dean mops floor with Bush in debate......the first presidential election where I really don't feel like bothering to vote.

You don't like Bush, like to see him gone....OK. With the 2 party system, you have no realistic chance of seeing Bush gone by any vote other than the Democratic pick right? And you don't really care for Edwards/Kerry/Person not Dean? Then why not WRITE IN the names on the Democratic side of the ballot? Think Bush will do a better job than the Democratic offering, but still think Bush is a poor choice? Then write in Bush. By writting them in you are sending a message - the trick is to make the message "I'm holding my nose with this choice". If the dis-effected voters were to all turn out and write in their choices, a message gets sent...A record election turn out with most of the votes written in, the talking media heads would be in a tizzy for years.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:29 AM on January 29, 2004


Dean's got a lot of young supporters that are more prone to disillusionment.
It's a real danger, I think--they won't vote for Kerry; they'll just sit home and not vote at all.
posted by amberglow at 10:44 AM on January 29, 2004


The Uranium cake polemic is suspicious, but it's not necessarily a lie.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:47 AM on January 29, 2004


This has been a really crappy two weeks for me (and if you've read any of my other comments to Dean posts, you know I'm a kool-aid drinker).

It blows finding out that the campaign you thought had its shit together had, in fact, been reading too much of its own press. It blows finding out that the guy who's supposed to be an organizing genius didn't know what the hell he was doing. It blows finding out a lot of the money I've donated has been spent on shitty ads. It blows when I think that Howard Dean's chances of getting into the White House have been so diminished.

I don't want to lash out at everyone saying "neener." I'm too tired and depressed for it. I got involved in Howard Dean's campaign because I thought it was about goddamn time we elected a President who had some common sense. I still think he's the man America needs in the White House. This was going to be the first election since '92 when I was voting for someone, rather than against someone.

It ain't over. But I'm not gonna go out an hit the pavement and start canvassing my neighborhood until after Mini Tuesday. And I'll be damned if I know what we're gonna talk about at the MeetUp next week.

You wanna gloat? Knock yourselves out.

(PS. "Fucknozzle"? I think that's been the only highlight of this post.)
posted by RakDaddy at 10:51 AM on January 29, 2004


One of his battle cries has been to get rid of the "special interests" and "take back America" for the people.

Wow; how original!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2004


It blows finding out that the guy who's supposed to be an organizing genius didn't know what the hell he was doing.

I don't know if that's entirely apt. Clearly, Trippi is not as useful as he was a month ago, but it seems that's in his nature as an operative. He is a fastballing starter, who throws serious heat but can not close. He pulled off the brilliant lemonade-stand thing in Texas in '84, but he had no media plan.

In retrospect, it would have been truly interesting to see how things would have gone if this had been anticipated this time around, with a plan to hand over the media and process decisions to someone else at the beginnign of the primaries. The biggest problem with Neel is not that he's such an insider, but that he seems such an arbitrary choice. His track record is hardly better than Trippi's.

And not that you care, but to those who would dismiss those who have supported Dean as naive, do keep in mind that Goldwater voters may have looked a little dumb in '64. For some of us (certainly myself), the most appealling thing about the Dean campaign was not Dean himself, nor some illusion of his somehow being more substantive than the rest of 'em. In the worst case scenario, Dean is just a lying, pandering politician like the rest of them. In that scenario, a Dean victory would still have been a political coup for many, because the lies and bullshit would be in our language and on our terms. Behind the rhetoric (and you are all right to point out that there's no reason to see it as any more true than anyone else's) lie significant and newly illuminated issues and innovations of process that even as a veneer of bullshit would represent an enfranchising step forward.

That ParisParamus, he who Believes even the shakiest of Arab-killing justifying platitudes, would call anyone naive is reason enough to read this thread. To say that favoring Dean is naive is to tap the same emotion that tells you you're a sucker for recycling a can when other people don't bother. I'm not an evangelist; I'm not blind to the counter-arguments. But I can hardly lose sleep over failing by the criteria of wisdom employed by those who think themselves above earnestness.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:46 AM on January 29, 2004


Dean's trying to work out a winning combination. If he sees fit to clean house and get some fresh blood then more power to him. Only a fool would continue with the crew as it is and not getting results.

Maybe he can shake things up and regain some of his previous fervor.

I'm still on board but my bags are packed and I'm ready to move to whoever will get the nomination. Unless its Al Sharpton, then I'm moving to New Zealand.
posted by fenriq at 12:11 PM on January 29, 2004


So the so-called penny pincher Dean has already burned through $40 million? Most of this money has been donated by ordinary citizens who gave much of their income because they hoped to be able to make a difference. I would think that the people who received that money had some responsibility to spend it wisely and carefully. Instead it seems to have all ended up in Trippi's advertising coffers. How they expected to go against Bush without saving some resources is beyond me.

Perhaps it's a good thing that Dean's failure comes early, and I think the really interesting question is what the precise causes of that failure are. In spite of all the blogging, it appears that most of Dean's volunteers don't really have much of a say in the day-to-day workings of the campaign. Insufficient transparency and no real collaborative decision making process -- they ended up with more than they could chew on. It also looks like the Internet is really good for raising money, but not so great yet for making a specific regional impact.

Of course Dean has been sabotaged by the media, but there's a great deal of responsibility on his part. Why did the campaign fail in Iowa? Perhaps because they spent more money on ads than on real groundwork. Perhaps because they didn't realize that the last days before a caucus/primary are essential, not the weeks and months before. Perhaps they never had a chance, and should have avoided competing in Iowa - like Clark did.

If Dean wanted to become internationally famous, he has certainly been successful. Too bad that all that is likely to remain of his campaign is a bunch of MP3 mixes.
posted by Eloquence at 12:42 PM on January 29, 2004


Gore gave him early support, and it was a shot across the bow for Clinton's control over the Dem party.

Now that Dean's faltering, gore's stepping in to try and save his reputation. If Dean flames out, its the end of Gore.
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:22 PM on January 29, 2004


Kerry also voted for the Patriot Act and the $87 billion Halliburton welfare act. I'll hold my nose and vote for him if he wins the Democratic nomination, but I won't support him in the primaries and I won't expect anything more from him than four years of business as usual.

I know. I was simply pointing out that the majority of the electorate just wants a safe 401k, a safe homeland, and a guy in office who likes like a president, even the ones that claim they're against the war.
posted by The God Complex at 1:45 PM on January 29, 2004


thew Bush administration relied on the same intelligence relied on by the Clinton adminstration

Not true. The National Intelligence Estimate - Iraq of October 2002 describes weapons programs larger, more advanced, ambitous and, well, imaginary than any document written by the Clinton Administration. It is written in a much more ominous tone and describes overall a hysterical worst case scenario estimate on steroids, as well as providing unique and thitherto unseen examples regarded even then as dubious--aluminum centrifuge tubes, Nigerene Yellow Cake Uranium--information the CIA knew was false at the time. You didn't see anything like that come out of the Clinton White House. No sirree.
posted by y2karl at 1:48 PM on January 29, 2004


Wulfgar, even if Saddamm had WMDs I'd be against a war in Iraq, and I'm surprised so many people seem to oppose the war only on that principle. If they found WMDs, we'd hear about how right they were forever because so many on the left put their eggs in the no-WMDs basket.
posted by The God Complex at 1:49 PM on January 29, 2004


Odd that - a newsworthy-campaign changing event happens and Steve is unlucky enough to post it here. I suppose he forgot that this was metafilter - where democrats and liberals can do no wrong and liberals are always right... no matter what.
posted by alethe at 1:57 PM on January 29, 2004


I am looking forward to the liberation of Syria--aren't you?

No, ParisParamus. Given that my very large extended family lives there right now, no, I'm not really looking forward to it.

You sit in your little armchair passing judgement on the fates of people on the other side of the globe, whose lives hang in the balance. Don't kid me and claim that what goes on in Syria is going to affect your life in the slightest. Meanwhile, millions of average folks are trying to *live* their lives there. I don't even want to hear your rant about how any soil, anywhere in the world, where terrorists may or may not be training themselves is yours to blast off the map at will. You're a tiny, tiny man parroting the rhetoric of some very large hawks. If that's how you want to waste your time, fine, but now you're talking about my uncles, here. My cousins. My fucking grandparents.

You can just put that casual, smirking attitude in a can right now, thank you very much. You'll always be an asshole, but I assume your mouth does have a "closed" position...?
posted by scarabic at 2:07 PM on January 29, 2004


I'm very heavily involved with Dean's campaign in Delaware (I have a meeting at HQ in an hour, in fact).

We've gotten very little assistance at all from Burlington. They sent us cell phones to make phone calls with (apparently cheaper than landlines). They bought us one batch of stamps. They are paying rent on our office--which we have to vacate in a week. We have a tiny corner of official webspace (which I'm supposed to update every day, but damned if it isn't hard to write something every day about how we're making even more phone calls). We have one person who is kind of associated with Burlington assisting, but he's not full time.

We're all volunteers. We've all busted our asses for Dean and now we're being told that the campaign doesn't give a flying fuck about our state. Sure, we may only have 23 delegates, but those delegates could make a difference.

It pisses me off. Why the HELL should I give any more of my time and energy to a candidate who has written us off? Whose organization doesn't think our state is worth anything?

This is the first time in my life I've ever been involved in anything political, and I can't say that it's been a good experience. It's been frustrating and stressful and to be completely honest, I have enough of that in my life already. I don't need more. I think I'm going to be done after the primary and caucus. Either our efforts are worth something or they're not, and the campaign has sent a pretty clear message to those of us here in Delaware that all the ass-busting we've been doing doesn't matter.

</rant>
posted by eilatan at 2:11 PM on January 29, 2004


Eilatan, that's understandable but it's about strategy. If Dean doesn't win one of the seven on tuesday, he's done, so they have to choose the strongest one or two places and put most of their efforts into them. You're probably the holding-down-the-fort guys, which sucks, but that's pretty much the political process right there.
posted by The God Complex at 2:20 PM on January 29, 2004


I am looking forward to the liberation of Syria--aren't you?

What an ignorant, hateful thing to say, Paris. Scarabic has rightfully called you out and you ought to account for yourself.

eilatan, you're right to feel frustrated. But try to look at it from a purely tactical perspective. 13 states in 12 days is a crazy campaign schedule. I live in Northern California, where politicians usually bypass us because we're a "known quantity" not a "swing group." If you're fighting for Dean because you believe in his platform, then take your lumps and keep fighting. Politics isn't all hams and plaques, you know. :^)
posted by squirrel at 2:27 PM on January 29, 2004


I suppose he forgot that this was metafilter - where democrats and liberals can do no wrong and liberals are always right... no matter what.

Waaaah, someone disagreed with my political preconceptions, waaaah!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:38 PM on January 29, 2004


I appreciate it, eliatan (if it helps)...you're doing a good thing, whether you have all the support you need from higher-ups or not. We all learned in 2000 that every little thing counts, so I'd say your delegates will matter, even if it's just to make sure that whoever the nominee ends up being, they'll have had to move closer to Dean's positions. A difference has already been made, in the process and in policy.
posted by amberglow at 3:21 PM on January 29, 2004


TGC, for what its worth, I also am strongly opposed to Bush's campaign of Iraqi vengeance against the guy who cooked up a half-assed plan to kill Daddy. But we're not US Senators, and we weren't given a vote. What I asked was about how much we can arguably blame Kerry for that vote ... which he had ... and we didn't.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:30 PM on January 29, 2004


eilatan, I understand your frustration (truly) but our responsibility isn't to work our tails off and then feel betrayed because others didn't act as we wanted. Our responsibility as Americans is to vote for the best person we can to administrate our country. Don't give up after your work is done, because it isn't. Dean or not, November is what its really all about.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:37 PM on January 29, 2004


I think we can put some of the blame on the Senate (maybe a lot) They were the firewall holding this war back, had they chosen to--many millions of us in the world knew it was all "sexed-up" and fake evidence anyway--why didn't the senators? How naive are they that they believed Bush would seriously follow a UN/diplomatic/inspections process before going to war? How stupid are they? Kerry's excuse doesn't wash with me, for one, and we can only hope that should he be elected, he won't be that incredibly lame as president.
posted by amberglow at 3:38 PM on January 29, 2004


I am looking forward to the liberation of Syria--aren't you?

What an ignorant, hateful thing to say, Paris. Scarabic has rightfully called you out and you ought to account for yourself.


It's probably going to happen. I suspect Iraq has been proping up Damascus for decades. With that lifeline gone, a disgusting regime, which has created a poverty economy, is going to get increasingly desparate. The attacks on Israel, through the thugs of Lebanon will probably increase...maybe Israel will have some good intelligence and some sechel bombs, and then...NO MORE ASSAD!

How ignorant of me to look forward to this.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:57 PM on January 29, 2004


Sorry for the spelling mistakes.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:10 PM on January 29, 2004


not ignorant, Paris, just really nasty.
posted by amberglow at 6:38 PM on January 29, 2004


If Dean flames out, its the end of Gore.

It's plausible that Gore knew this. My view is that by throwing his support to Dean, Gore was shooting the moon. He sensed that Dean was spearheading an authentic movement. If he succeeded it would spell doom for those in the party persist in moving it further to the right. In Robert Reich's words, they keep meeting the Republicans halfway, when the Repulicans are standing still.

I think it's pretty clear that the party has lost its soul, sold out to corporate interests and really doesn't have what you can call a cohesive base. The party has no vision, no strategy and no message other than "we're not as mean as the other guys but we won't raise your taxes either".

For a while (a short time at least), Dean seemed like he was able to mobilize volunteers and individual donors, in outlining what was shaping up to be a long overdue progressive alternative that potentially had mainstream appeal. In view of that, I think it was a decent enough gamble for Gore.

Who knows, though, maybe Gore learns from the mistakes of the Deaniacs and helps to gather a genuine movement of his own to make a push for 2008? If things continue to go they way they have been, it's very difficult to see anything other than another four years of George Bush. All the Republicans need to do is run Bill Weld's 96 playbook against Kerry, and they will turn him into another "Taxachusetts" Mike Dukakis, and relegate him to the dustbin of history.

I hate to say it, but maybe what the left in this country needs is another four years in the wilderness before they can really get their shit together and come up with a REAL alternative to right-wing rule. Assuming, or course, that Bush can spend another 4 years in the White House without bankrupting the Treasury.
posted by psmealey at 7:15 PM on January 29, 2004


I hate to say it, but maybe what the left in this country needs is another four years in the wilderness before they can really get their shit together and come up with a REAL alternative to right-wing rule.
I don't think we can take it--at all--For so many reasons. The 12 Reagan-Bush years are looking better and better compared to the the first 3 of this guy. (but then i didn't think i'd live thru those either)
posted by amberglow at 7:23 PM on January 29, 2004


How ignorant of me to look forward to this.

If you had been following the recent rise of militant Islam in secular Syria, you would realize how utterly ignorant that is. Think of an Islamic state in Syria. That should warm the cockles of your little Gush Enumin heart...
posted by y2karl at 7:58 PM on January 29, 2004


Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I wasn't going to vote in November. I am, even if--as a number of people have said--I have to hold my nose to do it.

And I also understand that we're holding down the fort and that it's strategy, but it still bugs. There are a lot of discouraged/disillusioned people in Delaware tonight. We do have lots of plans for this weekend, but realistically, Dean is not going to do well here. And a big part of that is going to be because we're mostly a bunch of political novices who have pretty much no experience with running a campaign and who got no guidance from the so-called professionals.
posted by eilatan at 8:27 PM on January 29, 2004


"I think it's pretty clear that the party has lost its soul"

But honestly, at what time was it really liberal? Hard as it is to admit it, the Clinton presidency was a failure for liberal aspirations. Huge budget surplus, but no improvement in health care; piddling movement in protecting the environment; NAFTA; he backed down on Supercar; prison population grew exponentially; don't ask don't tell; and despite the lack of a rival superPower, he ended up increasing our already mammoth military expenditures. There wasn't any consideration of truly progressive initiatives, like universal employment. He caved in to every major Republican stance there was to keep the dems in power, and then lost it anyway. The last administration only looks good from the perspective of three years in this one.

But to get back on thread. I've been puzzled by the Dean campaign from the start. What was interesting was not what he said, but who seemed to be supporting him. I suspect that a lot of the vitriol spewed at Dean by the media was inspired by a subconscious fear that the 50% of eligible voters that don't give a damn, might be waking up. It appears that the media sniping has killed a lot of that momentum, but the idea of a lot of new and different young people getting some political experience is encouraging. I just hope people like eilatan don't come away too discouraged. If you are interested in an exercise in frustration, try rooting for the Greens.
posted by MetalDog at 9:13 PM on January 29, 2004


A Message from Roy Neel
posted by amberglow at 9:14 PM on January 29, 2004


How ignorant of me to look forward to this.

Your ignorance is (among other things) in what would be lost in the claiming of what you advocate, particularly in the manner you would likely advocate. How do you propose we "liberate" Syria? Through sanctions and international teamwork or shoot-em-all-let-God-sort-em-out cowboy style? Which method do you think this administration would more likely use?

Your ignorance shows in that you don't think things through, you smug dimwit. And that's not my problem when you're just fucking up your own life, Paris. It becomes my problem when it involves killing thousands of innocent people in pursuit of a bullshit goal like ending "terror."

Wake up, you knuckle-head: your tiny brain is being used against you by a government that laughs at you.
posted by squirrel at 9:58 PM on January 29, 2004


Ah bon. Like Syria isn't right now, just a mini-version of Saddam's Iraq, with more of a focus on foreign policy. Syria isn't Jordan; it's not Egypt. It's as much a member of the Axis of Evil as Iraq was; it just doesn't have the steroid-like effect of oil wealth.

Actually, I would put off dealing with Syria for a while because, post-Soviet Union, and post-Iraq, it may collapse of it's own impoverished weight.

I'm ignorant because innocents would die? What is it about you and so many of your ilk that complain of innocents being killed in relatively short wars, but have no problem with many times more innocents being executed, tortured and/or imprisoned during "peacetime"? What kind of math is that? I know: it's the math and outlook of depravity and bullshit.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:31 PM on January 29, 2004


Whoever is informing your notion of my no-problem view of "innocents being executed, tortured and/or imprisoned during 'peacetime'" is taking you for a longer ride than Bush is, chump.
posted by squirrel at 11:44 PM on January 29, 2004


"Fucknozzle" : background.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:05 AM on January 30, 2004


But honestly, at what time was it really liberal? Hard as it is to admit it, the Clinton presidency was a failure for liberal aspirations.

Absolutely, no question about that. Some more thoughts on this from Robert Reich: NY Times link
posted by psmealey at 4:32 AM on January 30, 2004


Think I'll be voting for Tim Calhoun, anyway.
posted by psmealey at 5:00 AM on January 30, 2004


That should warm the cockles of your little Gush Enumin heart...

what does that mean?

Think of an Islamic state in Syria.

it is already Islamic or do you have some data to suggest otherwise.

What is it about you and so many of your ilk that complain of innocents being killed in relatively short wars, but have no problem with many times more innocents being executed, tortured and/or imprisoned during "peacetime"?


I have a theory, i think many are selective pacifists
posted by clavdivs at 7:26 AM on January 30, 2004


I am looking forward to the liberation of Syria--aren't you?

if by liberation you mean the not-so-secret neocon code word for war, then no I'm not.

does anyone else recall ParisParamus saying something in a thread ages ago that nobody actually "wants" war? I would look for it myself but I don't feel like wading through pages of "KILLIN ARABS WOO!" to find it.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:56 AM on January 30, 2004


Paris, I don't need you to tell me that Syria is a corrupt regime, a deeply troubled place. I think your supposition of its "poverty economy" is a little overblown. But then, you've probably never been there and don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Your homework for tonight is to consider whether economic trouble and political corruption, mingled with the irresponsible encouragement of hostile acts, is more characteristically Syrian or American. If you're going to argue that people are poor and officials are corrupt there, I'm going to tell you that this spider's nest of a government is in no position to change that. Jesus. You trust Bush to bring integrity and democracy to the world. You are naked in the intellectual jungle, friend.

Moreover, what I object to the most is your glib attitude. You're far to eager to kill a few innocents to "correct" a situation you know little about. You're clearly ready to make war based on what you can see on television, which makes you pretty much the quintessential modern nightmare of a citizen.

You know, people are always speaking up to defend conservatives like you on MeFi because you bring diversity. Well it's a damn shame we didn't have any Iraqis here this past year to remind shitheels like yourself that this isn't a foreign policy soap opera you're watching, and that the use of force must be entered into with grave reluctance, great respect for human life, and only as a last resort.

Your licking your chops and rubbing your palms together, by contrast, makes me ill. If and when Syria does turn up on the chopping block, I want you to remember that I will be here the whole time.

Dismissed.
posted by scarabic at 10:29 AM on January 30, 2004


...must be entered into with grave reluctance, great respect for human life, and only as a last resort.

for a minute I thought you where refering to marriage.
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 AM on January 30, 2004


:::applaud scarabic:::

In Robert Reich's words, they keep meeting the Republicans halfway, when the Repulicans are standing still.

Nonsense—they're diving rightward. Virtually every Republican I know is nervous and uncomfortable because the Republican party no longer really represents them and they are not very happy with being associated with the nutters-in-power...but what can they do? They certainly won't vote Democratic.
posted by rushmc at 8:59 PM on January 30, 2004


it is already Islamic or do you have some data to suggest otherwise.

Um, my personal stalker? Syria is--as you would see if you bothered to click on the link in my comment and read just the headline:

In secular Syria, an Islamic revival

Syria is a secular state. Which any fool should know. You are so hot to make yourself right by making me wrong that you're blowing it out your ass now. So much for your credibility.

PS. Say, ya ever hear of Google?

Boy, you must be checking my comments page twice a day. Pitiful.
posted by y2karl at 10:21 PM on January 30, 2004


Dean's focusing on Wisconsin, according to an email i just got: Our goal for the next two and a half weeks is simple—become the last-standing alternative to John Kerry after the Wisconsin primary on February 17.
Why Wisconsin? First, it is a stand-alone primary where we believe we can run very strong. Second, it kicks off a two-week campaign for over 1,100 delegates on March 2, and the shift of the campaign that month to nearly every big state: California, New York, and Ohio on March 2, Texas and Florida on March 9, Illinois on March 16, and Pennsylvania on April 27.

posted by amberglow at 9:32 AM on January 31, 2004


excellent piece on Judy Dean and the media treatment of her, and first ladies in general.
posted by amberglow at 1:35 PM on January 31, 2004



posted by hama7 at 3:14 PM on January 31, 2004


Man of the people.
posted by hama7 at 3:20 PM on January 31, 2004


stalker. Hmm. I don't think so. I follow many mefis writings and your data is just debatable. That is all.

heard of Google karl.
here is my google link

see, if you said Syria was Secular concerning LAW, perhaps that may be. But you said Secular State...did you not.

oh wait, lets see what the company says karl....

Legal system: based on Islamic law and civil law system; special religious courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

some secular there...maybe.

Government type: republic under military regime since March 1963 .

hmmm.

Religions: Sunni Muslim 74%, Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects 16%, Christian (various sects) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)

hmmmmmmHAmmmm.

WTF was that karl. just ancient history? a swing towards an Islamic state?

I'm just clarifying your feeble data and your apparent lack of history.
can you handle that karl?. If not take it here.
posted by clavdivs at 4:23 PM on January 31, 2004


Like, I said: stalker.
posted by y2karl at 6:21 AM on February 1, 2004


But thank you, in regards to the question of whether Syria is an Islamic state, for sharing your definition of what "is" is ..
posted by y2karl at 6:29 AM on February 1, 2004


well, i would concede it is both Islamic and Secular. Is that possible?
posted by clavdivs at 12:00 PM on February 1, 2004


don't like to talk eh karl. well you where wrong and i was right. The way metafilter is and should be.
posted by clavdivs at 6:56 AM on February 4, 2004


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