Thursday, March 24, 2005

This Is Why I Wanted Dean To Head DNC

The liberal wing of the Democratic Party seems to have all but given up on the South, as evidenced by their lack big-name campaigning her over the last few years. Their biggest names (Daschle, Pelosi, Kennedy, Clinton) couldn't help a candidate here get elected, and for the most part weren't even wanted by the Democratic candidates here. The one notable exception, Max Cleland, was run out of office for his liberal voting record.

To improve their chances nationally, the DNC saw fit to elect Howard Dean as its national chairman. As a conservative, I applauded this choice. It helps to more clearly define what the party stand for, and who actually runs it (hint: they're not centrists!). I've got to say, Dean does not disappoint.

Speaking to a crowd at Vanderbilt University on Tuesday, Dean said, "...As the party moves forward it needs to show those who live south of the Mason-Dixon Line that it respects them and the values they hold."

That sounds good, but instead of showing that respect to Christian conservatives, he proceeds to accuse them of hypocrisy.

"The party allowed its opponents too often to define debates and control issues, such as faith and family values, Dean said.

"We need to talk about values and not be afraid of them," he said, going on to make two biblical references.

In the first he said Jesus' directive to "love thy neighbor" didn't mean one could choose which ones to love. He then remarked that Republicans never brought up the scriptural verse saying it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.

"We should never let anybody tell us we don't respect faith," he said.
Dean need not worry about anyone telling them they don't respect faith. It's readily apparent, and doesn't need to be mentioned. That's apparent when we go back to Dean's comments while campaigning in Oelwein, Iowa in January 2004. During the campaign appearance, Dean took a question from a crowd member. Here's part of the story, from the decidedly non-conservative Boston Globe (emphasis is mine).
"It just makes me furious when the political media and the columnists slam, bam, and bash Bush," contended Dale Ungerer, 67, a registered Republican from Hawkeye.

"If you analyze it, how many times did you criticize Bush, but what's the sense if you don't actually say that 'My plan involves this and this?' "

Ungerer called on the Democrats to heed the biblical maxim of "love thy neighbor," adding, "Please tone down the garbage, the mean-mouthing, of tearing down your neighbor, and being so pompous."

Dean, who listened quietly, immediately replied, "George Bush is not my neighbor." When Ungerer tried to interrupt, the former governor shouted: "You sit down! You had your say, and now I'm going to have my say."

"It is time not to put up any of this 'love thy neighbor.' "
Looks like it's going to be a fun time following Howard Dean as he leads the DNC. It shouldn't be boring, and it should help better define the differences between the Dems and Republicans.

(Thanks to James Taranto's Best of the Web for the heads up on this one.)