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Eve
01-04-2004, 06:40 PM
From today's NY Times:

STORM LAKE, Iowa, Jan. 3 — Little by little, the Lord is seeping into Howard Dean's presidential campaign. In South Carolina the other day, an invocation preceded the political speeches, and David Mack, a state legislator, closed the rally with "God bless you and keep you." In Iowa last weekend, Dr. Dean referred to the New Testament. On Friday in New Hampshire, he invoked a Muslim phrase, "inshallah," God willing, to make a point about Americans believing they control their destiny.

"I'm still learning a lot about faith and the South and how important it is," Dr. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, said as he flew here, 150 miles northwest of Des Moines, Friday night on his chartered jet, predicting he would mention God more and more in the coming weeks. "It doesn't make me more religious or less religious than I was before, but it means that I'm willing to talk about it in different ways."

Dr. Dean recently told an audience in Iowa that he prayed daily. On the plane he declined to detail his prayer ritual but described how a 2002 trip to Israel deepened his understanding of the connections between Judaism and Christianity. He named Job as his favorite New Testament book, then later corrected himself, noting that it is in the Old Testament. "I'm a New Englander, so I'm not used to wearing religion on my sleeve and being as open about it," he said. "I'm gradually getting more comfortable with talking about religion in ways that I did not talk about it before."

The changes come amid concern from several corners about the stridently secular tone of his campaign so far. In contrast to his Democratic opponents, who frequently discuss their faith in public, not to mention the born-again incumbent, President Bush, Dr. Dean said plainly in an interview a couple of months back: "I don't think that religion ought to be part of American policy." A cover story in The New Republic last month, headlined "Howard Dean's religion problem," called him "one of the most secular candidates to run for president in modern history," and suggested this would "mark him as culturally alien to much of the country." A rash of columns followed with similar warnings, and voters have begun to inquire about the issue at town hall meetings.

--So, what about it? Is Dean a genuinely religious man who is just now speaking up, or a canny pol who realizes there is no way a secular candidate could be elected in this religion-obsessed country?

Would it be the better part of valour for an athiest or agnostic (I have no idea if Dean is either) to be honest, or to "play the game" and God it up, as Dean is doing?

John Mace
01-04-2004, 06:44 PM
Is Dean a genuinely religious man who is just now speaking up, or a canny pol who realizes there is no way a secular candidate could be elected in this religion-obsessed country?
The latter-- and you don't have to be too canny to realize that. I actually think this is the rare GD OP that actually belongs in GQ.:)

RickJay
01-04-2004, 07:04 PM
It would appear Dean is pandering to the religious set. Evidently he is less courageous than I originally believed.

Marley23
01-04-2004, 07:10 PM
I think the pandering is probably necessary to some extent. Heck, everyone else does it, so it'd look bad if he didn't. But I think he's still making himself look bad because the pandering is so obvious and out of character. :p

pantom
01-04-2004, 07:20 PM
Well, the only thing I look for is a politician who's willing to agree with me on the issues.
The idea that any of them would have any real courage is just wacky. Courageous politician is as complete an oxymoron as military intelligence.
Still, one doesn't want to just come out and say during the campaign, "I have balls the size of marbles." Dean needs some advice somewhere through here.

Polycarp
01-04-2004, 07:28 PM
From what I've been able to establish, Howard Dean and his wife are members of the United Church of Christ (Congregationalists) and have been for years. He attended regularly but not weekly -- "about once a month" was the information I got -- and the tenets of the church are in no way contrary to what he's expressed as his public views.

I'm inclined to believe that he's telling the truth, and that his greater outspokenness about his faith as he brings his campaign nationwide is politically motivated -- because he realizes that people are more outspoken about their beliefs in the South and Midwest than in New England -- but that he is doing nothing more than being more open about what he's felt all along, not "getting religion" for political reasons.

London_Calling
01-04-2004, 07:38 PM
Has he been granted a private audience with Jerry Falwell yet ? I guess not, hence the policy change.

Jackmannii
01-04-2004, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by Eve
On Friday in New Hampshire, he invoked a Muslim phrase, "inshallah," God willing, to make a point about Americans believing they control their destiny.
Not sure how this squares with his being a "canny pol". :rolleyes:

ElvisL1ves
01-04-2004, 08:02 PM
There's a surprisingly large Arab population in NH with some election wins to their credit, is how. John Sununu Sr. and Jr. and Jeanne Shaheen (well, by marriage) are the most notable. Shaheen is on Kerry's campaign, btw. (http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/articles/2004/01/04/granite_states_shaheens_put_weight_behind_kerry/)

Spoke
01-04-2004, 08:06 PM
He's found religion!

Now if he could only find the book of Job...

Asked his favorite New Testament book, Dr. Dean named Job...

...An hour after his comments, Dr. Dean returned to the clutch of reporters, saying he realized he had misspoken because Job is not in the New Testament.

Serves him right for pandering, sez I. Back to Sunday School for Mr. Dean.

pantom
01-04-2004, 08:14 PM
:smack:

He didn't even know if it was in the Old or the New? Oh man. I need to get them to hire me as Chief Stopper of Stupid Gaffes. This is too dumb.

Larry Borgia
01-04-2004, 08:45 PM
Wow, I'm amazed how many Dopers are telepathic! James Randi's gonna be short a million soon.

Seriously unless you know Dean personally, I dont see how you can possibly judge the sincerity of his religious beliefs. (Though I understand how the timing could raise some suspicions)

Evil Captor
01-04-2004, 08:48 PM
As an atheist, I could give a flying fuck where the book of Job is, but I don't think it's fair to fault Dean for not knowing even if you're religious. Back in my churchgoing days, there were a lot of us who didn't know a lot of Bible lore. You don't have to be a Ned Flanders to be religious ... do you?

Eve
01-04-2004, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by Larry Borgia
Wow, I'm amazed how many Dopers are telepathic! James Randi's gonna be short a million soon.

Seriously unless you know Dean personally, I dont see how you can possibly judge the sincerity of his religious beliefs. (Though I understand how the timing could raise some suspicions)

Ummm, we're not "judging" them, or even stating whether or not he is religious. Did you even read any of the posts? We are discussing the timing of his religious statements, and whether a secular candidate could ever win an election.

Ukulele Ike
01-04-2004, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Evil Captor
As an atheist, I could give a flying fuck where the book of Job is, but I don't think it's fair to fault Dean for not knowing even if you're religious.

As an atheist, I STILL know the friggin' Bible. I don't fault Dean for his "lack of faith," but rather for literary ignorance....it's as if he placed the Thane of Cawdor in Hamlet or something.

Could a secular cadidate win a Presidential election? Damn, it's hard to say. Going back as far as Ronnie and Jimmy, we've got "Born Agains."

Ford doesn't count.

Tricky Dick made Henry (Jewish) Kissinger get down on his knees alongside him and pray to Jesus.

What the hell did LBJ believe in?

Kennedy was famous for being a Catholic.

Eisenhower, Truman, FDR....I have no idea, but I can't picture any of them passing the collection plate.

pantom
01-04-2004, 09:57 PM
Evil Captor: I'm not particularly religious either, to put it mildly, but knowing where the Book of Job is is kind of like being able to hit the blind side of a barn from 5 feet away with a rock.
Ah well, at least he knew it was in The Bible. I just hope no one decides to ask him if The Sermon on The Mount is in Job or not.

London_Calling
01-04-2004, 09:59 PM
He gave a sermon on a horse ?


Anyways, way back when, the religious right wasn't organised by Rev. Hoffa with teevee stations and 10 of millions hanging on every pole-iti-sizhed wurd.

It's a modern phem, phen, pheomon, development.

manhattan
01-04-2004, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Ukulele Ike
As an atheist, I STILL know the friggin' Bible. I don't fault Dean for his "lack of faith," but rather for literary ignorance....it's as if he placed the Thane of Cawdor in Hamlet or something.

Eh. Someone said "New Testament" and he mentallly heard "Bible." As gaffes go, not much of one IMO.

This is gonna be a fun election season, though. I can't wait for the Bush bashers to start trumpeting the merits of an over-credentialed, undersmart, Jesus-loving opponent of gay marriage and supporter of faith-based federal grants to charities, who has no foreign policy experience and a secrecy fetish. "Look -- he's just like Bush, except that he "supposes" that it's a good thing Hussein is out of power and he wants to increase your taxes! Vote for him!"

Sam Stone
01-04-2004, 10:35 PM
Lots of politicians have made 11th hour 'conversions' to avoid upsetting the public. Does anyone really think Bill Clinton is particularly religious?

Still, Dean has been pretty ham-fisted in the way he's dealt with this.

amarinth
01-04-2004, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp
From what I've been able to establish, Howard Dean and his wife are members of the United Church of Christ (Congregationalists) and have been for years. He attended regularly but not weekly -- "about once a month" was the information I got -- and the tenets of the church are in no way contrary to what he's expressed as his public views. From what I've read, while he's a Congregationalist, his wife and children are Jewish.

John Mace
01-04-2004, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by amarinth
From what I've read, while he's a Congregationalist, his wife and children are Jewish.
That is correct.

I'm an atheist and would prefer an atheist candidate. But that's not the debate here. The debate is:

1. Is Dean actually religious? Clearly not. The BS about New Englanders being more private about their religion is just that: BS. I grew up in Boston, and one of the first things someone there will ask you is what religion you are (if they don't know). Absolute BS, but yes, all politicians do it. Ronnie was not religious (contrary to whoever above said he was "born again"), but he did a good job convincing people that he was.

2. Can a secular person win the presidency? Probably not. Maybe someone who is silent about religion, but not someone who says even one bad word about it. Dean will have a tiny problem (among many hard core Christians) because his wife is Jewish, but a much bigger problem because his kids were raised Jewish. It's a rare serious Christian who would allow his kids to be raised Jewish. That's more the actions of someone who says to his wife: "Hey, I don't give a shit about religion. If you want to raise the kids Jewish, go ahead."

Fear Itself
01-04-2004, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
The latter-- and you don't have to be too canny to realize that. I actually think this is the rare GD OP that actually belongs in GQ.:) I agree, it is on par with George Bush gushing about how Jesus is his most admired person, yet he is unwilling to turn his other cheek, nor give away his cloak.

IWLN
01-05-2004, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by John Mace
2. Can a secular person win the presidency? Probably not. Maybe someone who is silent about religion, but not someone who says even one bad word about it.I'd like to see them all be silent about religion. I believe in G-d, but don't see why it matters if the president does. Morals and values are important, religion is not.

Eonwe
01-05-2004, 12:19 AM
As someone who has lived in VT under Dean for many years I can say that I cannot ever remember him mentioning his religion or faith in more than passing ever. Whether this is because he didn't/doesn't have any or because it just didn't play a part (or he didn't want it to) in his state politics I cannot say, though if polycarp's info is correct then I'd be apt to believe he's not making this up.

Despite what John Mace feels about New Englanders in general, I can tell you that I don't have any clue what faith any of my elected officials are (though I imagine most of them are some flavor of Christian), and very very few of them make much a deal about it. So, at least in contemporary VT politics, religion takes a major back burner.

So, I guess I'd believe that he is understanding that he needs to bring his faith to the fore in order to impress certain constituancies. I am kind of bummed about this; the less I see Dean play the game the happier I am.

elucidator
01-05-2004, 12:29 AM
Get over it.

This next election is going to be one butt-ugly mo-fo, and don't you doubt it for a second. If the polls show that GeeDubya will cruise to a 80%-20% massacree on voting day, then the Forces of Darkness will be quite content to play like gentlemen, murmuring genteel debate while sipping tea, pinkies akimbo.

But if there is any chance of a close election, the gloves come off and the shivs come out. The "Willie Horton" episode will seem like a fraternity prank, stealing the other teams mascot.

I wonder if Mr. Dean will have the option of having the Secret Service enforce "free speech" zones for him? In the interests of national security, of course.

Somehow I rather doubt it.

Eonwe
01-05-2004, 12:35 AM
Maybe I'm still young and idealistic, but I'd like to imagine that a completely honest, straightforward, and frank candidate could give Bush a run for his money, or at least leave a big footprint on politics of the future (whether or not that candidate is Dean, I don't know).

Michael Ellis
01-05-2004, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by Ukulele Ike
it's as if he placed the Thane of Cawdor in Hamlet or something.

Yeah. Everyone knows it's from Beowulf.

John Mace
01-05-2004, 01:10 AM
Despite what John Mace feels about New Englanders in general, I can tell you that I don't have any clue what faith any of my elected officials are (though I imagine most of them are some flavor of Christian), and very very few of them make much a deal about it. So, at least in contemporary VT politics, religion takes a major back burner.
What with the plethora of religions one finds in VT, I'm sure it's a tough call to guess that they're Christian, as you actually pointed out yourself. Maybe Protestant VT is a bit different from Catholic Boston. Heck, you folks elected a godless socialist to Congress.:)

I don't doubt that religion plays a bigger role in the South, generally speaking, than in N.E. But Dean's comment says more about his personal social circle, though, than it does about N.E. as a whole.

I actually find a lot to like in Dean's candidacy. He makes a more compelling case to me than most of the other Dems. I don't mind his "gaffs" such as this one, but just wish he'd own up to his beliefs. I'd have more resepct for him if didn't seem so eager to pander. I watched the Dem debate today in large part to get a picture of where he stands on things and was quite disappointed in the way he backpeddled about religion, ObL, and other topics.

Still, he's got a lot more going for him than Kerry, Gephardt and Edwards.

Lissa
01-05-2004, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by Jackmannii
Not sure how this squares with his being a "canny pol" [using the phrase "inshalla"]. :rolleyes:

I think I do. It may be designed to show religious tolerance, something that's generally supported by his target demographic.

Dean knows that the hard-core Christian vote is already firmly Bush's: he doesn't need to worry about offending them, because he hasn't a chance in hell of drawing them to his side, anyway.

Eve
01-05-2004, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by Eonwe
Maybe I'm still young and idealistic, but I'd like to imagine that a completely honest, straightforward, and frank candidate could give Bush a run for his money, or at least leave a big footprint on politics of the future (whether or not that candidate is Dean, I don't know).

AH-hahahahahaha . . . Oh, that's so cute. I really must have you bronzed for my mantelpiece.

Shodan
01-05-2004, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by Fear Itself
I agree, it is on par with George Bush gushing about how Jesus is his most admired person, yet he is unwilling to turn his other cheek, nor give away his cloak. Good thing we can judge one candidate as a hypocrite based on his statements about religion, but not the other.

Now if Dean had misspelled "potato", now THERE'S a significant story!

Regards,
Shodan

ElvisL1ves
01-05-2004, 09:58 AM
Ah, the RW ahte-machine's effort to portray Dr. Dean as either stupid or ignorant has begun, I see. Ever occur to any of you that it just might backfire out of sheer implausibility, just like so many other of its/your personal-destruction efforts in recent years?

If you can't win on the issues, you don't deserve to.

IWLN
01-05-2004, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by John Mace
I actually find a lot to like in Dean's candidacy. He makes a more compelling case to me than most of the other Dems. I don't mind his "gaffs" such as this one, but just wish he'd own up to his beliefs. I'd have more resepct for him if didn't seem so eager to pander. I watched the Dem debate today in large part to get a picture of where he stands on things and was quite disappointed in the way he backpeddled about religion, ObL, and other topics.Let's see, we have no way to discern what Dean's belief's really are and he's telling people what he thinks they want to hear. Not very compelling to me, unless the other Dems. are worse! :eek: I admit I don't know enough yet to make any decision beyond not voting for Bush, but I keep hoping there'll be a better reason to vote than to try and keep someone out of office.

Shodan
01-05-2004, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
Ah, the RW ahte-machine's effort to portray Dr. Dean as either stupid or ignorant has begun, I see. Ever occur to any of you that it just might backfire out of sheer implausibility, just like so many other of its/your personal-destruction efforts in recent years?

If you can't win on the issues, you don't deserve to.
The trouble being, when we do win, you assume that it wasn't based on the issues. Getting all upset when perfectly legitimate questions are asked about a candidate doesn't seem so implausible to me.

For instance, Dean seems to be trying rather hard to say that Bush is on the wrong track with regards to national security. Dean has said, for instance, that he doesn't feel any safer just because Iraq's dictator has been captured, and that the country should be taking other steps to ensure our security against terror attacks.

And yet, for the last decade or so, Dean has ignored repeated warnings that the nuclear facilities in Vermont are vulnerable to terrorist attack. During Dean’s final year in office in 2002, an audit concluded that despite a decade of repeated warnings of poor safety at Vermont Yankee, Dean’s administration was poorly prepared for a nuclear disaster...Vermont laws required an active state role by creating a panel to review security and performance and requiring plant operators to set aside money for the state to use in the event of a nuclear disaster.
(http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040104/NEWS08/201040368) The Nuclear Regulatory Agency ranked the Yankee Reactor in Vermont dead last in the nation.

Apparently those Saudis who Dean speculates tipped off Bush in advance of 9/11 didn't give Dean the same heads-up - he did essentially nothing during the 90s, even after a mock raid on the plant got several simulated terrorists inside the reactor building.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke Dean not only believes this - he seems to have based his entire foreign policy on it.

Regards,
Shodan

Fear Itself
01-05-2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Shodan
Good thing we can judge one candidate as a hypocrite based on his statements about religion, but not the other.I don't know what you mean by this. My statement was pretty clear that I condemn hypocracy in both parties; do you? I do find Bush's unctuous variety of Christianity more offensive than Dean's holy-come-lately conversion, but both are worthy of criticism.

Fear Itself
01-05-2004, 10:57 AM
hypocrisy

John Mace
01-05-2004, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by IWLN
Let's see, we have no way to discern what Dean's belief's really are and he's telling people what he thinks they want to hear. Not very compelling to me, unless the other Dems. are worse! :eek:
(My bolding.) If you had read the sentence directly after the part of my post that you quoted, you'd see that's exactly what I said.:) Here it is:

Still, he's got a lot more going for him than Kerry, Gephardt and Edwards.

IWLN wrote:
I admit I don't know enough yet to make any decision beyond not voting for Bush, but I keep hoping there'll be a better reason to vote than to try and keep someone out of office.
Sadly, that is more often the case than not. I can think of plenty of Republicans I'd rather see in the W.H. over Bush.

ElvisL1ves
01-05-2004, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by Shodan
For instance, Dean seems to be trying rather hard to say that Bush is on the wrong track with regards to national security. A mainstream position.

Dean has said, for instance, that he doesn't feel any safer just because Iraq's dictator has been captured, and that the country should be taking other steps to ensure our security against terror attacks. Also a mainstream position. Ridge raised the color code just a few days after Saddam's capture, and there it stays.

And yet, for the last decade or so, Dean has ignored repeated warnings that the nuclear facilities in Vermont are vulnerable to terrorist attack. Don't you get dizzy from all that spin? Who was really doing what during that time frame?

Good Burke quote, noting as it does the current triumph of evil facilitated by inadequate efforts by the good. But the silly, simplistic manichaeanism is your own.

To repeat, if you can't win on the issues, you don't deserve to.

elucidator
01-05-2004, 11:07 AM
Hoover, for instance. Rather have Hoover. Yes, I know he's dead. Rather a point in his favor, under the circumstances.

Revtim
01-05-2004, 11:16 AM
Here's my fantasy:

A political candidate is asked about his/her religious views, and answers "My religious views are my business. Since we have a seperation of church and state, they are inconsequential to anybody but myself. Ask me about issues, and I will gladly tell you my views on them."

I have another one involving Nicole Kidman and various lubricants, but that's beside the issue. But probably about as likely to be realized.

Eve
01-05-2004, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by Revtim
Here's my fantasy:

A political candidate is asked about his/her religious views, and answers "My religious views are my business. Since we have a seperation of church and state, they are inconsequential to anybody but myself. Ask me about issues, and I will gladly tell you my views on them."

That's almost exactly what Dean had been saying up until a week or so ago, when his handlers and the press started telling him, "Ummm, you're never going to get elected if you don't start Godding it up, bucko."

Dean's stand on Nicole Kidman and lubricants has not yet made the radar.

IWLN
01-05-2004, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by John Mace
If you had read the sentence directly after the part of my post that you quoted, you'd see that's exactly what I said.:)I read it. That was a case of "damning with faint praise." But that, to me, is the equivalent of saying "good thing that rapist isn't a murderer".


Sadly, that is more often the case than not. I can think of plenty of Republicans I'd rather see in the W.H. over Bush.That's not what I want to hear. I was hoping someone could convince me of some sort of positive outcome to this. :(

elucidator
01-05-2004, 11:47 AM
To be fair, Dean hasn't had as many opportunities to express his Christian faith in deeds. For instance, in the matter of executions.

Our Leader is ever mindful of the Gospel. He notes the admonition from The Boss that he who is without sin shall cast the first stone. But a moments reflection and he realizes that death by stoning is not an option in Texas, so the issue is moot. As well, he is mindful that human judgement is not perfect and true justice can only be achieved if the accused is passed to the jurisdiction of a Higher Court. Often, we are told, GeeDubya would agonize over signing a death warrant for as long as half an hour. One is moved to weep over the burden of his sacrifice.

Further, he is mindful of Jesus' one major failure, and that is His unseemly prejudice against the financially overendowed, and His dire warnings about camels not passing through a needle's eye, etc. GeeDubya's tender heart is rent with compassion, he is more than ever determined that the travail of the wealthy should be lightened, that while they might dread the life to come, thier life here should be as free from vexation, legislation and taxation as humanly possible. This is Christianity in action, not mere mouthing of platitudes about compassion, forgiveness, and other questionable lefty slogans.

By these actions, GeeDubya shows that he is entirely in agreement with Jesus' firm guidelines.

John Mace
01-05-2004, 11:48 AM
Revtim wrote:
A political candidate is asked about his/her religious views, and answers "My religious views are my business. Since we have a seperation of church and state, they are inconsequential to anybody but myself. Ask me about issues, and I will gladly tell you my views on them."
And then the next question would be "Where do you stand on having 'under God' in the pledge?" Unfortunately, there's just no escaping the religion trap if you want to run for prez.

Originally posted by IWLN
I read it. That was a case of "damning with faint praise." But that, to me, is the equivalent of saying "good thing that rapist isn't a murderer".
Nope. It's the equivalent of saying "good thing the fibber isn't a rapist or a murderer." Let's keep this in perspective.

elucidator
01-05-2004, 11:57 AM
To be fair, Dean hasn't had as many opportunities to express his Christian faith in deeds. For instance, in the matter of executions.

Our Leader is ever mindful of the Gospel. He notes the admonition from The Boss that he who is without sin shall cast the first stone. But a moments reflection and he realizes that death by stoning is not an option in Texas, so the issue is moot. As well, he is mindful that human judgement is not perfect and true justice can only be achieved if the accused is passed to the jurisdiction of a Higher Court. Often, we are told, GeeDubya would agonize over signing a death warrant for as long as half an hour. One is moved to weep over the burden of his sacrifice.

Further, he is mindful of Jesus' one major failure, and that is His unseemly prejudice against the financially overendowed, and His dire warnings about camels not passing through a needle's eye, etc. GeeDubya's tender heart is rent with compassion, he is more than ever determined that the travail of the wealthy should be lightened, that while they might dread the life to come, thier life here should be as free from vexation, legislation and taxation as humanly possible. This is Christianity in action, not mere mouthing of platitudes about compassion, forgiveness, and other questionable lefty slogans.

By these actions, GeeDubya shows that he is entirely in agreement with Jesus' firm guidelines.

Shodan
01-05-2004, 12:54 PM
Don't you get dizzy from all that spin? Who was really doing what during that time frame?
Dean was doing essentially nothing during that time frame. Which was my point. Sorry you missed it.

To repeat, if you can't win on the issues, you don't deserve to. And to paraphrase, if you can't debate the issues, you don't deserve to win. Which you won't, because with an Bush approval rating hovering around the 60% range, and a margin over Dean of almost two to one, it would seem that your positions are not as mainstream as you would like to assert.

To sum up, Dean has a weak record on national security. Bush has a very strong one. Bush supporters have a record of success in Afghanistan, North Korea, Libya, Iraq, and Iran to point to. Dean supporters do not seem to be able to defend their boy's positions or record, except to complain weakly that discussions about Dean's record on security issues are avoiding the issues.

I understand completely your intense desire to divert attention from Dean's failures back to attacks on Bush. Unfortunately for your side, so does much of the American electorate.

Regards,
Shodan

PatriotX
01-05-2004, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by Shodan

Apparently those Saudis who Dean speculates tipped off Bush in advance of 9/11...


Wow! He's a conspiracist?
I did not know that. I'd only read this quote (http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2003/12/5/232545.shtml) of his on Newsmax. Obivously it doesn't indicate what you've indicated, though. Could you let me know how to find out more about his pet conspiracy theories?


a caller asked Dean why he thought President Bush didn't want to turn over his top secret daily briefing summary from the CIA to the independent commission investigating the 9/11 attacks.

Dean responded, "The most interesting theory that I've heard so far – which is nothing more than a theory, it can't be proved – is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis."

The top Democrat continued: "Now, who knows what the real situation is? But the trouble is, by suppressing that kind of information, you lead to those kinds of theories, whether they have any truth to them or not."

John Mace
01-05-2004, 01:29 PM
'luci wrote:
To be fair, Dean hasn't had as many opportunities to express his Christian faith in deeds. For instance, in the matter of executions.
Well, he's now on record as saying he thinks ObL should get the death penalty. If you watched yesterday's debate, you would have heard him say so. Has he always been pro-death penalty, or is this part of his new religion? I don't have the debate transcripts, but he's also on record from December in this Chicago Sun Times article: (http://suntimes.com/output/elect/cst-nws-dean28.html)

''As a president, I would have to defend the process of the rule of law. But as an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves,'' Dean said.

SimonX wrote:
Dean responded, "The most interesting theory that I've heard so far – which is nothing more than a theory, it can't be proved – is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis."
Yeah, this is the worst kind of weasling. Say that something is a rumor so you can get away with using it against your opponent, but can still deny that you actually believe it. Note that he said "it can't be proved" and not "I emphatically don't believe it".

PatriotX
01-05-2004, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
Which you won't, because with an Bush approval rating hovering around the 60% range, and a margin over Dean of almost two to one, it would seem that your positions are not as mainstream as you would like to assert.


This seems to be an overreaching extrapolation from the approval ratings.

Here's a link to PIPA where there's a survey that discusses these sorts of things in more detail tha merely approval ratings:
http://www.pipa.org/

look under Americans Reevaluate Going to War with Iraq

ElvisL1ves
01-05-2004, 01:40 PM
Shodan, are you trying to fill in the gap left here by december? The point, which you missed, is that Dean was doing as much as anyone outside Washington about terrorism during his tenure. But you're singling him out because, well, we know why, don't we?

"Bush approval rating hovering around the 60% range" is offered by you as proof that no more than 40% of the people could disagree with Bush about anything. Rich.

"Dean has a weak record on national security." At least as good as your boy had when he took over, with the added advantage of ability and interest in learning about it.

"a record of success in Afghanistan, North Korea, Libya, Iraq, and Iran to point to. " Snort. Richer yet. Afghanistan is a short-term proposition at best, Libya and Iran have had no real attention from Bush at all, Iraq and North Korea are abject failures everywhere outside Shodanistan. The reality the rest of us live in will decide the election, unfortunately for you.

rjung
01-05-2004, 01:48 PM
Howard Dean finding religion is about as surprising and sincere as George W. Bush claiming to be a centrist. It's what politicians need to do to survive.

The only point of debate here are from those folks trying to use this as some sort of scandalous :eek: revelation against Dean.

PatriotX
01-05-2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by John Mace

Yeah, this is the worst kind of weasling. Say that something is a rumor so you can get away with using it against your opponent, but can still deny that you actually believe it. Note that he said "it can't be proved" and not "I emphatically don't believe it".

So, you're comparing this with Nigerien uranium etc.?

PatriotX
01-05-2004, 02:19 PM
From
http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/press_12_03.pdf

70% Now Say War Has Not Reduced Threat of Terrorism

Three-quarters See Iraq as Less Important than Pursuing Bin Laden, al Qaeda

70% and 3/4 are well within the realm of mainstream it whould seem. Depnding, of course, on how you define mainstream.

blowero
01-05-2004, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
And yet, for the last decade or so, Dean has ignored repeated warnings that the nuclear facilities in Vermont are vulnerable to terrorist attack.
I actually don't know much about Dean, but just looking at the article you linked to, this sounds like total b.s. - If you read past the part you quoted, it says that the NRC has responsibility for ensuring the safety of the plant, but the Dean took steps to do so anyway. So far from "ignoring" anything, he actually went out of his way to address the issue:

Dean’s campaign said Saturday it ultimately was the NRC’s responsibility to ensure security at the plant, but that he badgered Vermont Yankee’s operators and the NRC to make improvements during the 1990s. It noted the NRC’s safety budget was cut in the 1990s.

“After September 11, Governor Dean decided the buck stops here in terms of security and personally ran this effort, creating a Cabinet-level agency,” spokesman Jay Carson said.

Carson acknowledged there were weaknesses before 2002 in Vermont’s nuclear preparedness, and Dean moved quickly afterward to place state troopers and National Guardsman at the plant, distribute radiation pills to civilians, demand a federal no-fly zone over the plant to prevent an aerial attack, and increase emergency preparedness funding.

“As many have said before, hindsight is 20-20 and no one could have predicted what could have happened on a terrible day in September 2001,” Carson said.

“In retrospect, every state in the entire country could have been safer. The important thing is after Governor Dean recognized these vulnerabilities, he took swift, bold steps to make things better,” Carson said.

State Auditor Ready, a Democrat and Dean backer, agreed things improved after her critical 2002 report and that security tests this year showed Vermont Yankee was safer. “Once Governor Dean got that report there was swift and thorough action,” she said.

It sounds like he didn't take these steps until after 9/11/2001, but the stuff you say he's criticizing Bush for is also stuff that happened after 9/11. And as for the comment that we're not safer with Saddam being captured, it's absolutely true. Saddam was not a threat to the U.S. in the first place. It's a sad day when people get lambasted for telling the truth.

John Mace
01-05-2004, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by SimonX
So, you're comparing this with Nigerien uranium etc.?
No, and I challenge you to produce one quote from me even hinting that I did. So, what's your point?

You produced a quote to support your argument that Dean didn't say Bush knew about 9/11 in advance. I simply pointed out that while you might be technically correct, you have also ignored that his statement was stupid, at best, and slanderous, at worst. I characterized it as weasling, and I think i was justified in doing so. Do you think it wasn't?

PatriotX
01-05-2004, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
No, and I challenge you to produce one quote from me even hinting that I did. So, what's your point?

You produced a quote to support your argument that Dean didn't say Bush knew about 9/11 in advance. I simply pointed out that while you might be technically correct, you have also ignored that his statement was stupid, at best, and slanderous, at worst. I characterized it as weasling, and I think i was justified in doing so. Do you think it wasn't?

"Technically correct" was the defense presented for the Nigerien uranium flak.
The gist is this

Nigerien uranium= technically correct but misleading

Are you saying that the Dean quote represents a similar type of scenario- technically correct but misleading ?

elucidator
01-05-2004, 03:52 PM
There isn't the slightest need for Dean to insinuate. The clear and provable facts as regards GeeDubya speak volumes.

If Mr. Bush wishes to make certain that the record is clarified, he has ample means to do so. The alert reader with excellent memory will recall that an investigatory committee was established, over fierce Pubbie resistance, to check into just that sort of thing. The ironicly inclined amongst us will recall with droll amusement how Henry Kissinger, that paragon of candor, was initially proposed to chair said committee.

Recall, as well, the Bushiviks efforts to redact and obscure findings that would be politically difficult for the Saudis, as well as briefing notes that they regards as compromising national security.

Recall the White House's sudden attack of fiscal concern:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,437267,00.html

"Is the Bush White House trying to put the brakes on the congressional panel created last fall to investigate 9-11 attacks? Sources tell TIME that the White House brushed off a request quietly made last week by the 9-11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, to boost his budget by $11 million. Kean had sought the funding as part of the $75 billion supplemental spending bill that the president just requested to pay for war with Iraq...."

Recall how quickly this fell apart when howls of anger arose from the survivors of 9/11 victims.

Recall all that, and then tell me how swiftly and urgently the White House has moved to "clarify" all this.

John Mace
01-05-2004, 04:11 PM
SimonX wrote:
Are you saying that the Dean quote represents a similar type of scenario- technically correct but misleading ?
I'm saying that no only is your reference to Bush irrelavant to the discussion at hand, but that it's actually a distraction from it. We are discussing Dean and his stance on Religion as a candidate. There are any number of threads in GD devoted to "Did George Bush Lie" (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=232515) in which you can post your theories about Bush and Uranium from Niger.

elucidator
01-05-2004, 04:24 PM
Not quite, John. You can't seriously expect to cast a slur at Dean's credibility, and then retreat behind a barrier of "relevence". If strict relevence was your guiding light, you wouldn't have supported friend Shodan's efforts in conspiranoia. But, having done so, you are in no position to insist that others refrain from rebuttal because they are as "off-topic" as you are.

Jackmannii
01-05-2004, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by Eve
From today's NY Times:In Iowa last weekend, Dr. Dean referred to the New Testament. On Friday in New Hampshire, he invoked a Muslim phrase, "inshallah," God willing, to make a point about Americans believing they control their destiny....Dr. Dean recently told an audience in Iowa that he prayed daily....he... described how a 2002 trip to Israel deepened his understanding of the connections between Judaism and Christianity.
On further review, not a bad religion-pandering start.
We'll see in the coming weeks how he manages to work in appeals to Sikhs and Wiccans.

I initially missed the part about how he is realizing the importance of religion to Southerners, as opposed to folks in the heathen North.


Well, not all voters are Doper-style cynics, and maybe this will not turn out to be the spiritual equivalent of Dukakis' ride in the tank.



Salaam, baby.*





*Did Arnold say this in one of the Terminator movies? Or was it Aldebaran? Ah forgets.

John Mace
01-05-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by elucidator
Not quite, John. You can't seriously expect to cast a slur at Dean's credibility, and then retreat behind a barrier of "relevence". If strict relevence was your guiding light, you wouldn't have supported friend Shodan's efforts in conspiranoia. But, having done so, you are in no position to insist that others refrain from rebuttal because they are as "off-topic" as you are.
Quite. The topic of this thread is Dean's credibility-- wrt his statements about religion as a candidate. The possibility that he has made other less-than-credible statements about other topics is definitely relavant to this thread.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that we could prove beyond doubt that Bush's Niger statement was in the same league as Dean's 9/11 statement. What relavancy does that have to determining whether or not 1) Dean is sincere in his recent religious statements or 2) Whether a condidate needs to at leat pay lip service to religion in order to get elected?

And I'm not asking others to refrain from rebuttal. I'm saying that I am not going to go off on that particular tangent.

CyberPundit
01-05-2004, 04:37 PM
Coming back to the OP my understanding was that Dean was a mildly observant Christian not an atheist or agnostic. If this is correct I don't see anything in the OP that is false. Certainly he is stressing an aspect of his life that he hasn't till now but that doesn't strike me as dishonest.

As for the broader question of whether an openly atheistic candidate could win the Presidency I think the answer is probably not. Elections are usually decided by margins of under 10% and the proportion of voters who would be put off by an openly atheistic candidate would probably be larger than that.

John Mace
01-05-2004, 04:43 PM
'luci:
Allow me to also add that I'm not trying to set myself up as the "No Tangential Debates Allowed" police. It's S.O.P. for that to happen in GD. But I will admit to a severe dislike of the tendancy to turn every freakin' political debate in GD into a debate about whether "Bush lied about WMDs". At least permit me the option of not participating in that particular thread hijack.

Shodan
01-05-2004, 04:48 PM
Afghanistan is a short-term proposition at best, Libya and Iran have had no real attention from Bush at all, Iraq and North Korea are abject failures everywhere outside Shodanistan. Are you serious about any of this?

To refer to the installation in Afghanistan of a non-terrorist supporting regime as a "short-term proposition" is a statement so ludicrous as to boggle the mind. They just finished work on a new Constitution - did you notice?

To say that Libya and Iran have had no attention from Bush is even more inane. Libya has foresworn WMD, and agreed to inspections. Iran's uranium-enrichment program has been revealed. Remember the quote about "the axis of evil" that had you Bush-bashers in an uproar? That's the sort of attention we are talking about. Notice also that Libya has given strong indication that it was the swift success in overthrowing Iraq and capturing Saddam that brought them to heel.

The idea that the overthrow of Iraq was a failure is too stupid to debate. A regime that had thumbed its nose at world opinion for a dozen years was overthrown in a matter of weeks. And the duplicity of North Korea in violating a treaty negotiated by another weak-kneed liberal dolt in 1994 and his venal and corrupt cohort has been revealed, and NK brought to the negotiations table.

All this on the one hand. On the other, you have Dean, who did essentially nothing to further security in one of the few areas that a governor has to control, and it was only sheer dumb luck that the terrorists didn't attack the Yankee reactor instead of the WTC.

Yet Dean wants to be President. He has done nothing at home to make us secure, and he doesn't want to do anything abroad either.

So Dean states for the record that "my religion does not inform my public policy". And yet here he is speechifying as if it did, and after he left a church because he disagreed with it on a matter of public policy.

Dean is another fuzzy-headed, weak-tea liberal with big talk, no experience, a fatuously ill-informed approach to world politics, and the conviction that if he could just get a hold of my paycheck, the federal government can make it all better. Fortunately, to date his chances of doing so are slim.

On preview -
But I will admit to a severe dislike of the tendancy to turn every freakin' political debate in GD into a debate about whether "Bush lied about WMDs". In this case, they have good reason to want to avoid a discussion about Dean's background and experience. Which is partly why every debate gets pushed hard away from such discussions.

Regards,
Shodan

Cervaise
01-05-2004, 05:30 PM
The pointless yet inevitable hijack about national security aside: I'm a stone atheist, and if I found myself in some Bizarroworld where I had to make a serious run for high office or suffer some unspeakable punishment, you bet your sweet bippy I'd be Goddin' it up. I'd hate myself for it, but in a country where treacly bullshit like Touched by an Angel and Joan of Arcadia get national airing while atheists get hate letters and dead pets in the mailbox, it's completely unrealistic to expect otherwise.

elucidator
01-05-2004, 05:46 PM
A masterpiece, friend Shodan, truly the acme.

It is entirely true that we have installed an apparently decent fellow as the Mayor of Khabul. This, of course, after renting the loyalty of his opposition warlords with baskets of Benjamins. You are, of course, welcome to fantacize that this is the same as installing a new governance in Afghanistan. We are equally free to snicker derisively, which is more respect than this deserves.

...Notice also that Libya has given strong indication that it was the swift success in overthrowing Iraq and capturing Saddam that brought them to heel....

This isn't even post hoc ergo propter hoc, as it wasn't even post! Libya had been making noises about its eagerness to rejoin the community of nations for months before the glorious liberation of Iraq.

...The idea that the overthrow of Iraq was a failure is too stupid to debate...

Well, yes, of course, as long as you keep the definition closely under control. Was there ever any serious doubt that America's military force would prevail? Was there ever any doubt that if we took a running start and leapt for all we were worth, we could manage to plop ourselves directly in the center of a tar pit? While you have been busy cheering our success, the bubbly glorp is now about our knees, heading north.

...And the duplicity of North Korea in violating a treaty negotiated by another weak-kneed liberal dolt in 1994 and his venal and corrupt cohort has been revealed, and NK brought to the negotiations table....

By golly, that's true! Precisely the same "negotiating table" that the aforesaid "liberal dolt" brought them to in 1994. This ranks as a splendid and bold accomplishment in your eyes. Why this should be so eludes us who do not share your unique perspective.

...Dean, who did essentially nothing ...

Just so. No one did anything, to speak of. The record of this administration and the previous in this regard is dismal, one cannot say otherwise. Precisely how dismal is Dean's record in this is open to view, the record of the Bushiviks is under investigation. We have already discussed the eagerness of the WH to further such investigation and disclosure.

Suffice to say that no one did a splendid job. But Dean failed to adequately protect Vermont. Mr. Bush's responsibility, and hence his failure in that responsibility, far exceeds Mr. Dean's.

...Yet Dean wants to be President. He has done nothing at home to make us secure, and he doesn't want to do anything abroad either.....

A rather broad statement. Suffice to note that you offer us no evidence beyond your much esteemed expertise. Please feel free to return to this theme when you can offer actual evidence.

Dean is another fuzzy-headed, weak-tea liberal ...

Isn't that "fuzzy-thinking"? I remember many years of anti-liberal slurs, I'm pretty sure that is the formula. As to being "fatuously ill-informed" in comparison to Fearless Misleader, I simply cannot proceed, I cannot effectively type with tears of mirth clouding my sight. You are too many for me, I fold.

...In this case, they have good reason to want to avoid a discussion about Dean's background and experience.

If we were to restrict our observations entirely to Mr. Bush's proven capacities in these matters, I rather imagine we could demonstrate that Carrot Top was a superior choice for the office of President. Of course, Dean has no demonstrated ability in the international arena. This is an enormous advantage in comparison to a record of mendacity, ham-fisted diplomacy, and sheer, unalloyed stupidity.

Jackmannii
01-05-2004, 06:47 PM
This just in -

Jackson, TN (AP) Speaking to an enthusiastic gathering of supporters at Mamma's Homestyle Cafe, Democratic frontrunner Howard Dean announced that a genealogical search has turned up two long-lost cousins, one a NASCAR driver (Billy Dean) and the other a circuit-riding Baptist preacher (Bobby Dean). Both newfound Deans will be joining the Vermont Democrat at campaign stops, at least through the Southern round of primaries.
In other campaign news, Dean operatives downplayed any significance to the fact that Dean's wife Judith Steinberg has started wearing a burkha during appearances with her husband.

PatriotX
01-05-2004, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by John Mace

I'm saying that no only is your reference to Bush irrelavant to the discussion at hand, but that it's actually a distraction from it. We are discussing Dean and his stance on Religion as a candidate.

I wasn't referencing Bush so much as the whole of the Nigerien uranium flak.
Originally posted by John Mace

There are any number of threads in GD devoted to "Did George Bush Lie" (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=232515) in which you can post your theories about Bush and Uranium from Niger.
As I mentioned it was technically correct, so it's not a lie.
"It turns out that it’s technically correct what the president said, that the U.K. did say that and still says that.
---Rumsfeld "Meet the Press" 07/13/2003

pantom
01-05-2004, 08:57 PM
Ya know, I get royally tired of this BS about how alleged liberal weakness is going to compromise our safety.
This from supporters of a President who has actually made us less rather than more secure by attacking someone who was no threat and tying up our armed forces in a place they have no business being in at all.
My safety, and that of my family and friends, including those currently serving in the Armed Forces, has been compromised by the current squatter in the White House, and I fully intend to see him pay for it in the only way I can make him pay for it.
The divide is, the right thinks that attacking some random Arab dictator is somehow going to make us safer against the people who actually attacked us. The left would rather we actually deal with the problem at hand, and deal with it with the resources designed for the job: intelligence, police, and Special Ops forces. The military was necessary for clearing out the Taliban. That job is done. For the time being, it was the only military job that needed to be done. The rest needs to be done behind the scenes, but of course this president is incapable of doing such a thing, because then he doesn't get to stand in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner to make it look like he's doing something.
No mission was accomplished. No terrorist has been stopped, none deterred, as a result of the Iraq adventure. That was demonstrated the day after the alleged Dean "gaffe" about Saddam's capture not making us any safer, when the alert level went to orange. Now we've got the government stopping flights almost every day.
Yep, Saddam's capture sure made us safer. Maybe in the world inhabited by the Hobbits, it did, but not in this world.
If the choice is between a president who doesn't know where the Book of Job is, and a president who deliberately neglects his duty to keep us secure so he can grandstand in front of the cameras, well, I know who's getting my vote.
Dean can go to Sunday School after the inauguration.

PatriotX
01-05-2004, 11:39 PM
Public Impatient With Iraq Reconstruction (http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/press_12_03.pdf):

7 in 10 Now Say UN Should Take Lead

Still Committed to Creating Democracy in Iraq

Large Majorities Willing to Accept Unfriendly or Fundamentalist Government

70% Now Say War Has Not Reduced Threat of Terrorism

Three-quarters See Iraq as Less Important than Pursuing Bin Laden, al Qaeda


Majority Believes US Acted on Incorrect Assumptions in Rush to War (http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/Nov_13_03_iraq_press.pdf)

Does Not Believe Evidence on Iraqi WMD, Al Qaeda Links, Human Rights, Met Proper Standards for Going to War

Believes Bush Was Determined to Go to War Irrespective of Evidence

No Clear Consensus For or Against Decision to Go To War
Support for Iraq Reconstruction Undaunted

Seventy-two percent said that when the administration presented evidence of Iraqi WMD to justify going to war, it was either presenting evidence it knew was false
(21%) or stretching the truth (51%).


These are interesting numbers that could be helpful to Dean.

blowero
01-06-2004, 04:01 AM
Originally posted by Cervaise
The pointless yet inevitable hijack about national security aside: I'm a stone atheist, and if I found myself in some Bizarroworld where I had to make a serious run for high office or suffer some unspeakable punishment, you bet your sweet bippy I'd be Goddin' it up. I'd hate myself for it, but in a country where treacly bullshit like Touched by an Angel and Joan of Arcadia get national airing while atheists get hate letters and dead pets in the mailbox, it's completely unrealistic to expect otherwise.
Sad but true. An atheist doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected to public office at this point in our history. Hell, we're not even ready for a black president or a woman president yet. One has two choices: be an atheist or get elected president. There would be no point in admitting you don't believe in God unless you don't want to get elected.

IWLN
01-06-2004, 04:15 AM
Originally posted by blowero
Sad but true. An atheist doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected to public office at this point in our history. Hell, we're not even ready for a black president or a woman president yet. One has two choices: be an atheist or get elected president. There would be no point in admitting you don't believe in God unless you don't want to get elected. I've been trying to figure this one out. I'm not saying I don't believe it, although it doesn't make sense. Let's say I've decided not to vote for you because you're atheist. What have I just said, or meant. What reason does someone give themself when they make this decision?????

Paco
01-06-2004, 07:06 AM
I believe some would rationalize it by thinking that since you're an Atheist you have no morals, etc. I think it would be quite easy for many.

Alan Owes Bess
01-06-2004, 07:38 AM
In common with many contributors to this GD, I'm very impressed that Howard Dean displays his beliefs so publicly, unashamedly and, dare I say it, courageously.

Does no one remember, a mere few years ago, TV footage of former President, Bill Clinton, accompanied by his loving and loyal wife, Hillary, carrying a large bible to and from church services during his administration.

Does anyone here doubt that Bill and Hill were sincere?

What is the purpose of this less than Great Debate? Speaking for myself, I don't doubt that Howie Dean is at least as sincere as Bill and Hill Clinton.

So what?

In a deeper and larger sense it makes no real difference if you cannot tell the difference between a con man and an honest man.

Once one or the other has been elected, those who have elected them have no power over them worth a damn.

sghoul
01-06-2004, 07:52 AM
IWLN,

Many people vote for whomever they think will best represent their own interests. An open Athiest will leave many feeling that He/She doesn't represent an important part of their lives/beliefs.

BTW, I am a Christian, and I would vote for an athiest. I want someone who is going to best serve our country, and I am well aware that saying you are a (insert religion here) doesn't mean you are a good leader or person.

John Corrado
01-06-2004, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by Alan Owes Bess
In common with many contributors to this GD, I'm very impressed that Howard Dean displays his beliefs so publicly, unashamedly and, dare I say it, courageously.



If stating outright and vocally that one belongs to the largest group in America- Christians- and doing so specifically when it would bring you a political advantage- i.e., campaigning in the South- is courageous, then the standard of courage is so low that there is no point to the word any more.

John Mace
01-06-2004, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by SimonX
These are interesting numbers that could be helpful to Dean.

I'll see your poll and raise you this poll. These are interesting numbers (http://www.pollingreport.com/wh2004.htm) that could be devastating to Dean and very helpful to Bush.

Shodan
01-06-2004, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by Jackmannii
This just in -

Jackson, TN (AP) Speaking to an enthusiastic gathering of supporters at Mamma's Homestyle Cafe, Democratic frontrunner Howard Dean announced that a genealogical search has turned up two long-lost cousins, one a NASCAR driver (Billy Dean) and the other a circuit-riding Baptist preacher (Bobby Dean). Both newfound Deans will be joining the Vermont Democrat at campaign stops, at least through the Southern round of primaries.
In other campaign news, Dean operatives downplayed any significance to the fact that Dean's wife Judith Steinberg has started wearing a burkha during appearances with her husband. In a related story, Dean has decided to begin to emphasize the hard-scrabble nature of his upbringing.

Things were apparently tough for the young Dean. So tough, in fact, that his mother told the New York Times"We didn''t even treat the servants like servants." (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/1/4/21952.shtml) This seems to be an attempt to distance the Deans from the patrician Bushes, who apparently did treat the servants like servants. The grinding poverty of the Deans, in contrast, forced them to convert a living room into a spare bedroom for the full-time, live-in nurse they employed. And Dean's mother engaged in heroic self-sacrifice, scraping together a nickel here, a dime there, and managing to scrape together almost a million dollars to give to her son out of her petty cash.

And the whites-only club to which Dean belonged was apparently not really racist. He describes his family as "pretty open-minded" on topics of race.

Dean supporters have been eager to condemn Bush for his avoidance of the last part of his military duties in the National Guard, from which he requested to be excused on the flimsy excuse of attending Harvard Business School. They point proudly to the important and risky duties Dean engaged in after his medical deferment for a bad back, defending the strategically vital ski slopes from possible enemy attack.

In another potentially devastating scandal, Dean supporters condemned the sliminess of a politician who would dump his bank stocks shortly before they crashed, based on an inside report provided to him by a bank regulator. (http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-elect/2004/jan/04/010401758.html) When it was pointed out to them that it was Dean who did it, not Bush, they responded, "Never mind, then. But what about Halliburton, huh? What about that?"

Further bulletins as they happen.

Regards,
Shodan

elucidator
01-06-2004, 01:25 PM
Howard Dean sold $15,000 in stock in five Vermont banks in 1991 after becoming governor and getting what he says was an "inside report" from the state banking regulator.

"It became clear to me that information I might receive in the future as governor could present a possible conflict of interest," Dean said in a statement Sunday in response to questions about the transaction.

From linkety-link.

$15,000? $15,000? It is to laugh! Thats 15 large to you and me, its money to wipe your butt with if the stall your in is out of toilet paper for BushCo. (Still in the Xmas mood, e. sings "Harken! The harold angles sing....").

As well, his explanation makes perfect sense to me....

Be that as it may, I will be perfectly delighted to have the election depend on which candidate is more beholden to Big Money! Oh, yes, please, sir, can I have some more?

blowero
01-06-2004, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by IWLN
I've been trying to figure this one out. I'm not saying I don't believe it, although it doesn't make sense. Let's say I've decided not to vote for you because you're atheist. What have I just said, or meant. What reason does someone give themself when they make this decision?????
You might use reason when making the decision who to vote for, but I don't think the average person does. Just look who's Governor of California right now.;)

Of course it's just my opinion that an atheist couldn't get elected, since I'm not aware of any admitted atheists ever running for president. And as Paco pointed out, there are all kinds of rationalizations one could use for refusing to vote for an atheist. There seem to be a lot of people who are under the false impression that atheist=immoral.

Actually, I just might start a new thread about this.

rjung
01-06-2004, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by Alan Owes Bess
What is the purpose of this less than Great Debate? Speaking for myself, I don't doubt that Howie Dean is at least as sincere as Bill and Hill Clinton.

So what?
Agreed. I mean, George W. Bush insists he's a church-goin' Bible-readin' disciple of God, but he seems to have forgotten those Commandments about bearing false witness and about murdering. And nobody around here is questioning his religious sincerity...