The artists formerly known as Republicans

Maybe this makes no difference, but I genuinely believe that the “conservatives are Real Murkins/the liberal media hates Real Murkins” narrative hurts Democrats politically. So it annoys me when Karl Rove Lanny Davis Howard Dean says things like this:

Howard Dean … expressed a surprising admiration for the mad-as-hell tea party movement….

The former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Vermont governor [spoke] at a forum on the 2010 midterms sponsored by Hofstra University on Thursday….

“I actually approve of most of what the tea party is doing… I think it’s great to have individuals reach out to take their own responsibility for their own [future] and lashing out against government that has really forgotten them… but I also believe that there is a fringe of racism in the tea party, which unfortunately for the tea party that is focused on” by the media.

He blamed the “liberal media” for focusing on the “Obama is a Nazi” posters instead of the party’s populist undercurrents but also said “FOX runs these race-baiting programs… aimed at ginning up the racists attitudes that you see.” …

I think it’s fair to say that DC elites have forgotten about the unemployed. But teatards (this is the same study I linked to before) are not disproportionately unemployed or economically disadvantaged.

Much of Bush’s 2004 re-election strategy involved firing up the teatard base (they weren’t called that before but it’s the same people).

But, hey, Obama should have given Howard Dean a cabinet position.






101 replies
  1. 1
    FlipYrWhig says:

    “I actually approve of most of what the tea party is doing”

    If I wanted to be unfair, I’d grab this and never let it go. But I’d prefer to be fair. Isn’t he really just saying that at heart what they’re doing is populist mobilization? In other words, he’s endorsing the form, not the content.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    Why add the last sentence?

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Um, Howard? You realize of course that the real reason the tebaggers are “mad as hell” is that a ni*CLANG* is in the White House, right?

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Because I had 3 million conversations with people about how Dean should have been Surgeon General or head of HHS during 2009.

  5. 5
    taylormattd says:

    @Corner Stone: Because Howard Dean is turning out to be a dumbass, yet is still revered as progressive-jesus in this corner of the blogosphere?

  6. 6
    taylormattd says:

    @FlipYrWhig: he’s also completely downplaying how utterly infused with racism the entire teaparty movement is.

  7. 7
    Comrade Mary says:

    Because Dean, as admirable as he is in many ways, and despite being damn whip-smart and effective in earlier roles, really sucks dead donkeys at messaging. In fact, I think Paladino has the video evidence out there some place.

  8. 8
    kwAwk says:

    Sometimes it helps to clear things up if you click through the links…

    “I don’t think they are all racists,” explained Dean, who clashed with Democratic party leaders — including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel — over his “50 State Strategy” geared at tapping grass-roots Democratic activists in deep-red Republican districts. “[But] If you look at the tea party, they are all people of my complexion and my age… there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority… That is a very hard pill to swallow if you are an American who is my age. That is a swirling issue that nobody wants to talk about.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/s.....z0zoMBdAO5

  9. 9
    cleek says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    “I actually approve of most of what the tea party is doing… I think it’s great to have individuals reach out to take their own responsibility for their own [future] and lashing out against government that has really forgotten them

    sounds to me like he’s agreeing with the (ostensible) fundamental premise of the teabaggers.

    if he didn’t agree with that, he’d say something like “…however misguided their beliefs are.”

  10. 10
    Bob Loblaw says:

    I think it’s fair to say that DC elites have forgotten about the unemployed.

    Shouldn’t this be of greater concern than what Howard Dean has to say about the organizational honesty of the Tea Party movement?

    Why are you always so concerned about what the media is saying when the far more important issue is what they’re not? You’re pretty much playing right into their game with this personality-driven bullshit.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    Obama has the luxury of having a cabinet because of Dean.

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    @kwAwk:

    Then how does he approve of most of what they’re doing? And why does he think there’s too much emphasis on the fact that they are racists? I don’t see how including an expansion of his remarks on race makes his statement look that much more sensible.

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    In an alternate universe, the Tea Party would be a good thing. You’ve got a bunch of older folks and underrepresented conservatives stepping up and taking the reigns of a party that has clearly lost it’s foundation. The Tea Party could have been a counterpoint to DKos and the netroots populist push to retake the Democratic Party.

    That would have been a good thing.

    You’ve got thousands of grassroots mom & pop Tea Party shops cropping up across the US. And say what you will, but when forty people meet up at a local cafe to talk politics because they are frustrated with the current climate, that’s as grassroots as it gets.

    Dean’s harkening back to his “Confederate Flags on Pick-up Trucks” rhetoric. He sees a bunch of blue collar folks getting pushed around by corrupt local and state politicians, tricked by local demagogues, and generally taken advantage of. And he says, “These guys don’t have to be Republicans. They could be our guys!”

    And he’s fucking right. There’s no reason a guy living in Mississippi making $20k / year hauling lumber should vote Republican because he’s white and Democrat because he’s black. When the media fixates on racial tensions, it does help exasperate them in the short run. And when it completely ignores legitimate complaints against local, state, and federal governments, the media exasperates those problems in the long run.

    Tea Party voters should be Howard Dean voters. Dean sees it. Why don’t you?

  14. 14
    NonyNony says:

    There are way too many ellipses in that blockquote.

    But the full version at Politico isn’t much better.

    Why do I get the feeling that there might be some additional context in those ellipses that Politico is eliding over? Perhaps because Politico is traditionally full of shit? I’d like to see Politico publish the full transcript, because those ellipses could be pauses or they could be edits.

    That said – Dean sucks at messaging. I could see him stumbling when he’s trying to condemn racism with one hand and yet laud individual activism with the other. After all, the entire reason anyone knows who he is is because of left-leaning activists in the Democratic Party.

  15. 15
    Cris says:

    @FlipYrWhig: In other words, he’s endorsing the form, not the content.

    Exactly, and that’s politically dangerous, especially in a soundbyte media culture.

    I’ve done the same thing, in conversation. I’ve expressed abstract admiration for the nonviolent methods employed in the early days of Operation Rescue. But that got me into hot water, for good reason — it sounded like I was endorsing their ideology, or the more violent methods of their associates.

    It’s fine to endorse the form, when you’re keeping it on a high level. But you have to keep perspective on the broader picture.

  16. 16
    one two seven says:

    I have to wonder how much of this is Dean just smarting from the treatment he received from the Obama crew after basically rebuilding the DNC from scratch and winning two consecutive elections by decisive margins, only to be frozen out of the post-election process and his strategies abandoned.

    I’m not saying he should have been in the cabinet, but some acknowledgement/thank you for what he did for the Democratic party between 2003-08 by Obama would have been nice.

  17. 17
    DougJ says:

    @Zifnab:

    Tea Party voters should be Howard Dean voters. Dean sees it. Why don’t you?

    Tea Partiers are not especially blue collar, that’s a myth, according to the data I’ve seen (you can find it at that link I provided).

    Tea Partiers are just right-wing Republicans. They shouldn’t be Dean voters unless Dean’s politics are very different from what I think they are.

    EDIT: To be clear, I think Dean is fundamentally wrong about how Tea Party voters are. It’s not just a matter of messaging. He’s right about the race part, but these aren’t sensible moderates who happen to be frightened by diversity. They are former John Birchers who are also frightened by diversity.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    But] If you look at the tea party, they are all people of my complexion and my age… there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority… That is a very hard pill to swallow if you are an American who is my age. That is a swirling issue that nobody wants to talk about.”

    To a lot of white people, if you don’t say the “N” word, you’re not a racist (or some other such ridiculously low standard), so they’re genuinely confused when people call them racist, and I suspect that standard makes perfect sense to good chunk of the media (and apparently to St Howard), conditioned for the last forty years to ask themselves if they’re being fair and balanced toward Republicans and their supporters, whom they know they look down on. So this kind of race-based anxiety isn’t racist. And the media can tell themselves that what these people in Flyoverland are really anxious about is the economy.

  19. 19
    Martin says:

    @cleek: Yeah, that’s what I have a problem with. The government he claims has really forgotten about them is a Democratic government. I don’t mind reminding Democrats in Congress that they’re elected by us and not by Goldman Sachs, but this isn’t an institutional problem with Dems. It is an institutional problem with the GOP.

  20. 20
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Howard Dean = Michael Steele

    Each party has its millstone apparently.

  21. 21
    Rick Taylor says:

    First he speaks about how the builders of the community center with a mosque in New York need to compromise, now this. What’s up with him?

  22. 22
    Karen in GA says:

    Sorry for the OT, but I’ve only got time for a drive-by today, and thought you’d like this.

    Two facts about the place where I work:

    1. They’re having a company barbecue this afternoon in the parking lot behind the building.

    2. The dominant color of the company logo is green.

    Today, an enthusiastic co-worker says, “They’ve got it set up really nice outside. They’ve even got green ballons!”

    I’ve been laughing all day.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

  23. 23
    4tehlulz says:

    @Rick Taylor: he’s positioning himself as the go-to anti-Democrat Democrat when Lanny Davis retires.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @DougJ: I’m sorry to hear that.
    How would having Dean in the Cabinet be any worse than having Judd Gregg?

  25. 25
    Cat Lady says:

    All of this tea party nonsense started within 2 months after Obama was elected, and the misspelled witch doctor Hitler Mao Stalin pimp signs about taking the country back appeared instantaneously. Thanks for the 50 state strategy Howard, but fuck you and your apologia. When he calls the whole teatard movement out as the asshole racists that they are*, then he can talk. Now, just STFU. DougJ is right – these are the basest of the Republican base and always were.

    *He did say that they’re not all racists. Whoop de do.

  26. 26
    bs23 says:

    @DougJ:

    From what I’ve seen, you’re right — anyone at tea party rallies and who self-identifies as a teabagger is likely one of the crazies.

    However, I think there’s the potential for a lot deeper support than just the crazies. Those are the voters Zifnab’s talking about, I’d imagine.

  27. 27
    slag says:

    @DougJ:

    He’s right about the race part, but these aren’t sensible moderates who happen to be frightened by diversity. They are former John Birchers who are also frightened by diversity.

    Exactly this. And Howard Dean was stupid as hell to make this ignorant statement.

    Way to contribute to the false narrative, Howard!

    Maybe Howard Dean fell on his head recently along with Tim Kaine. Or maybe they’ve been huffing together. Either way, they should both just sit down and STFU for a while until they get their brains set aright.

    ETA: I agree with this:

    How would having Dean in the Cabinet be any worse than having Judd Gregg?

  28. 28
    Cain says:

    @taylormattd:

    @Corner Stone: Because Howard Dean is turning out to be a dumbass, yet is still revered as progressive-jesus in this corner of the blogosphere?

    He’s no dumbass. He does have a big mouth though. We still owe him for his strategy, so let’s not forget that. I think the thing is that it would have been nice if we democrats did something similar to smack the hell out of Blanche Liconln and the Ben Nelsons of our party.

    But we can’t because we have the professional left and the jane hamshers of the left.

    cain

  29. 29
    Joshua says:

    I have to wonder how much of this is Dean just smarting from the treatment he received from the Obama crew after basically rebuilding the DNC from scratch and winning two consecutive elections by decisive margins, only to be frozen out of the post-election process and his strategies abandoned.

    It’s not that his strategy was just abandoned – Tim Kaine’s strategy was “let’s go back to doing the stuff that made us lose.” And that led to… losing. And nobody has a problem with that.

    Democrats didn’t want that 60 seat majority because they had no intention of passing the stuff they said they would. So, really, Dean just gave them a giant headache.

  30. 30
    Jager says:

    Dean is certainly on the money with this..

    If you look at the tea party, they are all people of my complexion and my age… there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority… That is a very hard pill to swallow

    It’s going to happen, the young folks don’t give a shit, so get over it already…trying to stop it is like pissing against the wind. Most of the teabag assholes won’t be around in 20 years much less 40.

  31. 31
    Cain says:

    @Zifnab:

    Tea Party voters should be Howard Dean voters. Dean sees it. Why don’t you?

    This.

    cain

  32. 32
    Steve says:

    “The people cannot be all, & always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.” –Thomas Jefferson

  33. 33
    Cliff says:

    @Corner Stone:

    ugh, puke. the mere thought of Greg gives me a sad.

    (NH resident.)

  34. 34
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Howard is trying to eclipse Hamsher as the leader of the would-be firebagger crowd, that’s all. Doing so requires him to swallow the media’s horse-shit depiction of the teatards as honorable, blue-collar, average Americans looking for a fair shake, as opposed to the racist, lying, well-off, pro-business elitists looking for a tax cut and a chance to fuck over the poor that they really are. And THAT, the true nature of who these fuckwads are, is the real “swirling issue that nobody wants to talk about.” The media doesn’t just want to avoid their racism and xenophobia, it also wants to avoid the fact that these teatard entities are all being bankrolled by billionaires and are on their knees for corporate America.

  35. 35
    JohnR says:

    Sure, we’re still descending into a Christianist fascist hellhole of a future at what appears to be an ever-increasing rate, but to be fair, some of their ideas about law and order are not all that bad….

    What we need is a Democratic Party that will actually challenge the turd-bags. What we have is a Democratic Party that is mainly concerned with not being rude.

  36. 36
    Guster says:

    Apparently Obama shouldn’t have even given Obama a cabinet position.

    This isn’t nearly as bad as Dean on the community center or Obama gay marriage.

  37. 37

    Here’s an even better idea: How come Obama hasn’t given Bill Clinton a place on his beleagured economic team?

  38. 38
    DougJ says:

    @bs23:

    Sure, in theory there could be teatards who were potential liberals, I don’t deny that. But in practice, I’ve seen no evidence that there are any.

    I’ve hardly heard any of sane positions at all from tea partiers. I don’t see why I should see them as potential political allies.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    jl says:

    I don’t have enough interest to spend much time anatomizing why Dean is so erratic, or at the least tone deaf. I do agree with what Dean said, but he said in a way that buried his good points.

    The last Dean quote in the Politico piece was that people elected O’Donnell more because they are angry than because they are crazy. If that is Dean’s main point, then that is an arguable and reasonable position.

    Another Dean quote is “I think the tea party has a big race problem,” and the quote “I don’t think they are all racists,” is faint praise indeed.

    I also admire the Tea People’s enthusiasm and energy.

    I think it is bit unfair of Dean, if he is accusing liberals of not being enthusiastic and energized. Liberals have been both in the past.

    However, it is easier to get big media attention for your energy and enthusiasm if you have super rich sugar daddies funding a lot of it, and a sympathetic corporatist media willing to pay a lot of attention.

    The whole framing by the political establishment and especially our horrible media finds favor with this mixed up Teabag combo of bitter racists, ignorant deluded and fearful people, and cynical corporatist shills.

    Far more fair minded, reality based, and mainstream, sentiments expressed on the liberal to left side have been repeatedly dismissed as extremist and angry, and beyond the pale.

    That is the cultural setting non reactionaries live in, and we have to learn to deal with it.

  41. 41
    Bulworth says:

    Starting to not be able to tell the difference between Dean and Lieberman.

  42. 42
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @jurassicpork:

    Part of the reason his economic team is so beleaguered is that it’s dealing with the fallout of policies enacted under Clinton.

  43. 43
    Jewish Steel says:

    The media has an interest in valorizing the Tea demographic. They are the last and vanishing group who still buy newspapers, watch obscene amounts of television. They have money and consume traditional media.

  44. 44
    PeakVT says:

    Tea Party voters should be Howard Dean voters.

    SOME Tea Party voters should be Democratic voters, mostly those who are easily swayed by enthusiasm and don’t pay attention to the finer details of policy. The question is how many of those people are out there.

    I think Dean just isn’t keeping up with what is going on anymore, but is still willing to go on air and give his opinion. He should either give his full attention or keep quiet.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    jl says:

    On the other hand, the no more Mr. nice blog link contains this

    ‘ And it’s not just race. Dean says:

    “If you look at the tea party they are all people of my complexion and my age… there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority… That is a very hard pill to swallow if you are an American who is my age. That is a swirling issue that nobody wants to talk about.” ‘

    I can’t find where Dean said that. But if he did say that, it is pretty off the charts.

    I am Dean’s sex and race. I’m about fifteen years younger, but that is good enough to be ‘of his age’. But I do not feel that way at all.

    Who gives a damn? Dean sees ‘a very hard pill to swallow’ for his type of person. I do not see any pill at all, and in some ways, am eagerly waiting for the day.

  47. 47
    DougJ says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    I agree with you. Tea partiers are not quite as old as I had thought on average (according to that study) but they are old enough they probably watch more tv news than the average American. So the national news is likely to cater to them a bit disproportionately. And, as you say, they are average to slightly above average financially, as a group,

  48. 48
    jl says:

    @Jewish Steel: I agree. That might be an important issue, if your are right about the demographics of corporate media viewership.

    I keep reading that the average age of OReilly’s audience is over 65. Can we get social services after him for elder abuse?

  49. 49
    jinxtigr says:

    Zifnab’s right. Dean is trying to say ‘yes, Washington is totally broken, it’s right to make populist uprisings in general’.

    It’s a play for sympathy from tea party people who are more like him than they are like Palin or McCain. He’s trying to suggest some of those people’s motives are about legitimate reform.

    I’m not sure he’s right. It would be nice.

  50. 50
    Cat Lady says:

    @ jl

    I read that part too and thought “projection much?” It would explain a lot about his recent appearances.

  51. 51
    Lev says:

    DougJ, this isn’t hard. Dean is no longer a professional politician. He is a professional pundit. Being a professional pundit means that he has to say outrageous/ridiculous things in order to stay famous and relevant. And that’s really it. As soon as progressives realize that Howard Dean is as much an advocate for progressivism as James Carville is, we’ll be able to ignore him that much easier.

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    Jeesh. I never idolized Dean but I admired much of what he did, especially being pretty forthright in denouncing Bush Jr. era shit.

    What the fuck?

    I grew up in a small town (actually outside) and there were all kind of normal, Real American folk and though I liked many of them and wished them all the best, I sure as hell wouldn’t think it a great thing if they were out there screaming about soshullism and Obama = Hitler and basically forming the support of a proto-fascist movement just because they as a group have been screwed as the working and middle classes of our political and economics elites.

    ‘Wow, that’s great that these Real Americans are getting out there because they’re scared of how many coloreds they’ll be in 40 years and how their out there screaming stuff about ‘taking back the country’ while being organized by paid whores for billionaires!’

    Yeah, that’s real fucking reformist popular democracy, fucking d-bag.

  53. 53
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I don’t know how someone like Dean, for instance, can view the teabaggers with anything other than extreme suspicion concerning their motivations considering they never existed when Bush was fucking up the world, bailing out big business and doubling the national debt from 5T to 10T.

    I just don’t see how they can exist solely in the vacuum of a moderate Republican administration like Obama’s without a whole lot of other baggage driving things.

  54. 54
    mcd410x says:

    The thing about snark is you have to not do it on occasion for it to be effective.

  55. 55
    Cacti says:

    Dean understands that the Teabaggers are a racist backlash against the election of the first non-white POTUS…

    But approves of most of what they’re doing?

  56. 56
    cleek says:

    @jinxtigr:
    maybe

    but it’s dumb as shit to say “[they’re railing against] government that has really forgotten them” when your team is running the government.

  57. 57
    RinaX says:

    “I don’t think they are all racists,” explained Dean, who clashed with Democratic party leaders — including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel — over his “50 State Strategy” geared at tapping grass-roots Democratic activists in deep-red Republican districts. “[But] If you look at the tea party, they are all people of my complexion and my age… there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority… That is a very hard pill to swallow if you are an American who is my age. That is a swirling issue that nobody wants to talk about.”

    Maybe it’s just me, but expanding on his comments just makes him and the Tea Party sound worse, not better. This just reinforces to me that the Tea Party is, for the most part, a bunch of white people really scared about the idea of them not being in the majority, and fighting hard as hell against that. So yeah, they are for the most part a bunch of racist assholes. Thanks for that, Howard Dean. He’d have a point if, as another commentator already pointed out, they had not formed only after a black man was elected to the White House, or if we had heard a peep from them at any point during the Bush presidency.

  58. 58
    Mike in NC says:

    They are former John Birchers who are also frightened by diversity.

    Former?

  59. 59
    Mark S. says:

    I might believe the teabaggers were actually populists if they ever advocated any positions that didn’t have the happy effect of making rich people richer. But that’s what happens when you adopt the ideology of such millionaires as Rush and Beck.

    Dean is a jackass. I don’t think his other comments make up for the stupidity of central point. These are not grassroots protests; these are idiot Fox News viewers who would not be doing any of this if Walnuts were president.

  60. 60
    Glidwrith says:

    @Zifnab: Sorry to pick a verbal nit, but I’ve seen this more than once: exacerbate not exasperate.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joshua:

    It’s not that his strategy was just abandoned – Tim Kaine’s strategy was “let’s go back to doing the stuff that made us lose.” And that led to… losing. And nobody has a problem with that.

    It’s September of 2010, not December. Unless you’ve just returned from the future in your time machine to bring us the results from the election 6 weeks from now, I’m not quite sure how you can say Kaine’s strategy is a failure since, you know, the midterm election hasn’t even been held yet.

    In every special election except the Massachusetts Senate election, Democrats who go up against teabaggers have won. Please tell us exactly which races you’re thinking of that have happened between 2008 and now that prove that Kaine’s strategy doesn’t work.

  62. 62
    Svensker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    To a lot of white people, if you don’t say the “N” word, you’re not a racist (or some other such ridiculously low standard), so they’re genuinely confused when people call them racist, and I suspect that standard makes perfect sense to good chunk of the media (and apparently to St Howard), conditioned for the last forty years to ask themselves if they’re being fair and balanced toward Republicans and their supporters, whom they know they look down on. So this kind of race-based anxiety isn’t racist. And the media can tell themselves that what these people in Flyoverland are really anxious about is the economy.

    People generally don’t like change. If they grew up and went to college and then to work with a particular group of people who were like them, it can be disconcerting to find not “John” or “Bill” or “Suzy” but “Miguel” and “Pervez” and “Fatima” around them. And those “new” folks don’t share the same cultural history — they don’t laugh at the SNL joke from the old days because they never heard of it. And they don’t have great memories of mom’s apple pie because they have fond memories of mom’s paneer instead. Wanting to have old familiar stuff around you isn’t the same thing as being racist, it’s just human. It can become racism, sure, but let’s not deny the comfort factor that we all have to some extent. Heck, I always feel like the exotic gigantic blonde when we go to Greek Orthodox church (which is full of short, dark people), and my hub feels equally exotic and out of place when we go to a Presbyterian church filled with WASPs. Dean made a good point.

  63. 63

    He blamed the “liberal media” for focusing on the “Obama is a Nazi” posters instead of the party’s populist undercurrents

    http://theweek.com/article/ind.....petmasters

    But, hey, Obama should have given Howard Dean a cabinet position.

    Yes, he should have.

  64. 64
    TruthOrScare says:

    “[But] If you look at the tea party, they are all people of my complexion and my age… there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority… That is a very hard pill to swallow if you are an American who is my age.

    What?? Increasing diversity is a hard pill to swallow for Americans of his age? I’ll grant that’s true of the TeaPeople but this quote makes it sound like a universal truth for all Americans of his age … poor us, we’re going to look like California, now we have all these darkies to look at… poor, poor us. He sounds like he’s sympathizing with that mindset.

  65. 65
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    Howard Dean is a fucking moron. We are starting to figure out how lucky it was for us that he screamed his way out of the presidential race a few years ago. Can you imagine this fuck in the White House?

  66. 66

    Because Howard Dean is turning out to be a dumbass, yet is still revered as progressive-jesus in this corner of the blogosphere?

    Yeah, that is so unlike the people Obama DID nominate, like Geithner and Summers and Salazar.

    Because I had 3 million conversations with people about how Dean should have been Surgeon General or head of HHS during 2009.

    Well QE freakin’ D.

    Quick, without looking it up: who IS the Surgeon General? Don’t know? Must have been a real home run of a pick, huh?

    Howard Dean = Michael Steele

    LOL. That’s so ridiculous.

  67. 67

    @Bob Loblaw:

    “Why are you always so concerned about what the media is saying?”

    Because that is what Balloon Juice does. Presidents? Congressmen? Generals? The real power lies with talking heads!

  68. 68

    Thanks for the 50 state strategy Howard, but fuck you and your apologia.

    Wow.

  69. 69
    John S. says:

    Dean should have been given a cabinet post, but the Department of Loudmouths hasn’t been created yet.

  70. 70
    artem1s says:

    guess this wasn’t a fluke

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5FzCeV0ZFc

    he was just ahead of his time…

    can’t believe i’m the first to dig this up.also.too

  71. 71
    Phoebe says:

    @kwAwk: So fear of a nonwhite majority is not racist?

  72. 72
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Oscar Leroy: The Surgeon General is Regina Benjamin, who’s awesome. Your comparisons don’t make sense because the netroots disliked Geithner, Summers and Salazar from the beginning.

  73. 73
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Svensker:

    Wanting to have old familiar stuff around you isn’t the same thing as being racist, it’s just human. It can become racism, sure, but let’s not deny the comfort factor that we all have to some extent. Heck, I always feel like the exotic gigantic blonde when we go to Greek Orthodox church (which is full of short, dark people), and my hub feels equally exotic and out of place when we go to a Presbyterian church filled with WASPs. Dean made a good point.

    There’s a difference between “wanting to feel comfortable” and thinking that niggers and Messicans have stolen billions of dollars from the country because they are lazy and just sponge off the government all day.

    Dean’s point in this case is even more poorly thought out that his push for a “compromise” with Park51. You remember that, don’t you? When Dean was talking about how we should be able to sit down and rationally negotiate and compromise with a bunch of know-nothing bigots who resort to parading a fucking missile around lower Manhattan. You remember when he said this, right?

    Again, I would look to do that in collaboration with the people trying to build the mosque. I think the people who are trying to build the mosque are trying to do something good. But there’s no point in trying to do something good if it’s met with enormous resistance from a lot of folks.

    And now we get this nonsense:

    [But] If you look at the tea party, they are all people of my complexion and my age… there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority… That is a very hard pill to swallow if you are an American who is my age. That is a swirling issue that nobody wants to talk about.”

    Nobody has been talking about the coming demographic obliteration of old, heterosexual white men people?! No. People have writing and discussing it for years, just maybe not in the kinds of communities that find the natural evolution of multi-cultural societies to be a “very hard pill to swallow.”

  74. 74
    liberal says:

    @Martin:

    I don’t mind reminding Democrats in Congress that they’re elected by us and not by Goldman Sachs, but this isn’t an institutional problem with Dems. It is an institutional problem with the GOP.

    Huh? Of course it’s an institutional problems with Dems. That doesn’t contradict the fact that the Republicans are much, much worse and totally batshit crazy to boot.

  75. 75
    liberal says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I don’t know how someone like Dean, for instance, can view the teabaggers with anything other than extreme suspicion concerning their motivations considering they never existed when Bush was fucking up the world, bailing out big business and doubling the national debt from 5T to 10T.

    Exactly.

    I just don’t see how they can exist solely in the vacuum of a moderate Republican administration like Obama’s without a whole lot of other baggage driving things. [emphasis added]

    Heh.

  76. 76
    liberal says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    They are the last and vanishing group who still buy newspapers, watch obscene amounts of television.

    TV, yes, but where’s the evidence they have enough brain cells to read a newspaper?

  77. 77
    eemom says:

    @El Cid:

    Jeesh. I never idolized Dean but I admired much of what he did, especially being pretty forthright in denouncing Bush Jr. era shit.
    What the fuck?

    As they say, this.

    It’s like a classic case of something — or somebody — GOT to him. Premature dementia, perhaps?

  78. 78
    calling all toasters says:

    Hey, Howard Dean, thanks for your “50 state” strategy and all, but we find the “East Coast middle-of-the-road elites” strategy is getting far better results.
    Love, BO, Rahm, and Tim K.

  79. 79
    ppcli says:

    @Karen in GA:
    Geez, you must have been whipping him pretty hard.

  80. 80
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Bulworth:

    Starting to not be able to tell the difference between Dean and Lieberman.

    Lieberman’s the one not mounting a primary challenge to Obama in 2012, if that helps…

    Dean’s starting to believe his own press notices, at least those emanating from here. This is fatal in a politician.

  81. 81
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @calling all toasters: Hey, Howard Dean, thanks for your “50 state” strategy Blue Dog recruit-and-elect operation and all,

    Fixed.

    Love, Heath Shuler and Larry Kissell.

  82. 82
    Bailey says:

    I guess I see Dean’s attempts a little differently. Instead of lavishing legitimate praise on the Tea Party, it seems to me that he’s just trying to let the air out of the room. If he would have come out and said “Oh, the Tea Party is completely full of a-holes” then that would have generated some sort of show down between Democrats and the Tea Party and lots of breathless on air slobbering. By stating that the Tea Party isn’t the big, bad machine the media portrays them to be, he’s actually taking away their power and ability to hold the media hostage like they’ve so effectively been doing for the past 2 years. Kill ’em with kindness.

  83. 83
    Joel says:

    @Zifnab: What’s the proposal, then, to get these guys to join our side? Serious question.

  84. 84
    Jbird says:

    No, this is strategy. I can’t believe you’d dis Dean like this when he’s trying to help us win in November.

    You see, when there’s a pseudo-populist movement that believes that Democrats are murderous Communists, you have one choice: kiss their asses. A movement largely based on dissolute, xenophobic, paranoid anger toward the Democratic Party is ripe for the plucking, because Glenn Beck throws in that “the corporations” are bad every now and then, generally when talking about their campaign contributions to the Democrats.

    Come on, we have, what, a month and a half! The Tea Party’s as good as ours!

    Okay, to be serious, I think what Dean is trying to imply is that if the news focused on anger over the economy in the movement rather than the racism, it would be better for the Democrats.

    The problem is that any Tea Partier can tell you what’s wrong with the economy in their view: the Democrats. The Democrats are responsible for the recession (possibly Marty McFly is a Democrat?), and the reason it’s gone on so long is because the Democrats are raising our taxes, and because the Democrats are anti-Americans who are more interested in enforcing U.N. law on Americans than in making sure the small business owner gets a fair shake, perhaps because the Democratic President is an illegal fake who was born in Kenya and hates white people.

    Can you spot why the Democrats might have trouble here?

  85. 85
    ruemara says:

    Didn’t the 50 state strategy get us more blue dogs than democrats? I’m not feeling so thankful to Dean, so, I feel fully justified in wishing he’d let 30 seconds pass between thinking and speaking.

  86. 86
    Uloborus says:

    @Zifnab:
    I’m afraid that this is such a bizarre sentiment I have to hope it’s snark. It is in the interests of most conservative Republicans to be Democrats instead.

    They’re still not Democrats, and they’re never going to be.

    We would have to live in some kind of bizarro alternate world for these people to be Democrats. They are not merely ignorant, they are deliberately ignorant. Many of them are serious Christianists who hate all things liberal. Others are in it for the xenophobia – blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, any policy that doesn’t actively victimize the Other they won’t support. Quite a lot of them are good old-fashioned conspiracy theorists, people who do not operate by any logic we could wrap our brains around. The few that are left are heavily invested in a tribalist sentiment linking them to the main mass.

    There is no way to make these people Democrats. They’re not mad at how they’ve been treated by corporations. They’re strongly pro-corporate. The only reason they’re mad at the government is because it’s a Democratic government. They were loudly declaring Clinton had Vince Foster killed, and now they’re loudly declaring Obama was born in Kenya. Most importantly, they’re the Republican base. They vote Republican. They’ve always voted Republican. The only reason they’re not officially Republicans now is because the Republicans are not conservative or insane enough for them. They’ve always wanted to move right. Moving left was never an option.

    As for Dean, eh. I think this is a really dumb thing to say. Whether he has a bad case of Foot In Mouth or was actually a lot less liberal than he pretended, I don’t care enough to investigate. The man just isn’t politically important to me.

  87. 87
    lol says:

    @Joshua:

    Please enlighten us as to what you think the 50 State Strategy under Dean did that OFA 2.0 isn’t doing.

    People who say what you just did typically don’t know much about either.

  88. 88
    calling all toasters says:

    @lol:

    Please enlighten us as to what you think the 50 State Strategy under Dean did that OFA 2.0 isn’t doing.

    Winning.

  89. 89
    lol says:

    @ruemara:

    Actually, you can thank Rahm Emmanuel since he ran the DCCC and did the bulk of the recruitment for House races that gets credited to Dean by the Netroots.

    50 State Strategy in reality meant throwing a ton of money at all the state parties to hire staff (of any kind) and that’s it. There was no actual strategy behind the 50 State Strategy and no accountability.

  90. 90
    lol says:

    @calling all toasters:

    You mean how all but two House special elections have gone our way?

    And the two we lost were because of divided Dems in Hawaii and an incredibly solid Republican district.

    I’ll be blunt – the “50 State Strategy” as it actually existed had fuck all to do with the Dem pickups in 2006 and 2008. That’s a fact.

  91. 91
    Hal says:

    Because I had 3 million conversations with people about how Dean should have been Surgeon General or head of HHS during 2009.

    The Obama cabinet proposed by many in the Liberal/Progressive blogosphere differs vastly from it’s actual reality. If anything, I think that’s really where the Obama is Bush narrative started percolating.

    I noticed several commentators above essentially saying Obama owed Dean a spot, or that every Dem elected since 2006 owes him, but this sentiment to me is the same as the Hillary should be President (or at least VP) sentiment you saw and heard so much during and right after the election.

    It’s pointless, and prevents some from living in the here and now and acting in a meaningful way that may still result in what Howard Dean or any other Progressive Dem might want to see, ultimately, with this country.

    To me, this is one of the great problems with certain numbers of the Democratic base. This inability to let go of your ideal Secretary/Cabinet Member/Economic Advisor. Instead, we just want to sit around and day dream of the Krugman/Dean juggernaut that could have been, because we know for sure that would have been a huge success.

  92. 92
    Nick says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay:

    Can you imagine this fuck in the White House?

    absolutely, he’d govern a successful centrist Democrat and the professional left will bitch he needs to be primaried by Senator Barack Obama.

  93. 93
    Corner Stone says:

    @lol:

    I’ll be blunt – the “50 State Strategy” as it actually existed had fuck all to do with the Dem pickups in 2006 and 2008. That’s a fact.

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

  94. 94
    chaseyourtail says:

    Dean is a duplicitous schmuck. Is he honestly this dumb or is he just pretending to buy into the load of phony antiGovernment, home-spun, “we the people” baloney the T-Bagholes put out? I get sick when I hear anyone with a so-called liberal slant taking the T-Slobber’s rhetoric at face value. The T-Slobs don’t give a crap about anything they are spewing. We know this because they never uttered a peep about big government or taxes when Bush was president. Not a peep. Their beef has noting to do with anything they are screaming about and has everything to do with the black Democrat in the White House. Fuck Howard Dean for trying to give these fake-asses any kind of credibility whatsoever.

  95. 95
    Allison W. says:

    @ruemara:

    Didn’t the 50 state strategy get us more blue dogs than democrats? I’m not feeling so thankful to Dean, so, I feel fully justified in wishing he’d let 30 seconds pass between thinking and speaking.

    This is what I think every time someone brags about his 50-state strategy. Somehow, Rahm gets the blame for the blue dogs. Don’t ask me how, he just does.

  96. 96
    Allison W. says:

    @lol:

    I wonder if toaster meant ‘winning the narrative’. I wasn’t paying attention to politics when Dean was in charge so I don’t know if Dems were winning the narrative then either.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @Allison W.:

    This is what I think every time someone brags about his 50-state strategy. Somehow, Rahm gets the blame for the blue dogs. Don’t ask me how, he just does.

    You’re not very bright so I’ll simplify this for you.
    Rahm wanted to spend all the money on a small percentage of candidates, mostly hand picked conservative Blue Dogs.
    Dean wanted to spend money across a wider playing field and contest in areas people had previously thought weren’t palatable for Democratic candidates.
    If Rahm had been given his head he would’ve wasted millions on unelectable Tammy Duckworths, et al.
    Rahm was the Blue Dog version of Jim DeMint.

  98. 98
    El Cid says:

    @Corner Stone: Yeah, I thought this was what was being reported at the time.

    I don’t see how one would blame Dean more for blue dogs when the other main strategy appeared to be to concentrate more resources in fewer and less electable blue dog candidates.

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    The 50 state strategy was always going to result in frustrating outcomes for people of my ideological bent.
    I hate it, and hate many of the candidates.
    But I much, much, much prefer NANCY SMASH holding that fucking gavel than any other possible outcome.
    And honestly, the House has been the way lesser of problems this go round.
    Obviously.

    Tester, Webb, et al are an evil that has to be dealt with.

  100. 100
    handy says:

    I like Glennzilla’s take one the Teatardistanians: still your same old corporatist, xenophobic, know-nothing Republicans, without the fine veneer of “respectability.”

    The day a Teabagger on a ballot has any other initial next to their name than “R” is the day this sham of a movement can claim otherwise.

  101. 101
    Joyful says:

    You’ve all forgotten that Dean had the first tea party campaign strategy. I still have my “the tea is in the harbor” Howard Dean for president 2004 T-shirt, as well as a picture of me in it posing with Joe Sestak for senator 2010. He’s got a natural connection to insurgent politics.

    He said the guy in the pickup with a Confederate flag ought to be voting Democratic in his own self-interest economically and would be if we could get that message across to him.

    Also, with that “scream” speech, remember that the MSM had him wired with a noise-canceling microphone, so the audio didn’t include all the noise in the room that Dean was trying to talk over. My friend was sitting in the second row for that speech and couldn’t hear the “scream.” And then the MSM replayed the tape over and over again, from the most august NPR to the morning drive-time clowns. Dean kinda knows how it is to be an insurgent crushed by the political and media powers that be and seems to suspect that a similar job is being done on the teabaggers. I disagree, but I see where he’s coming from.

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