28 January 2004

Another Live Journal Entry 

So much on my mind, so little I feel like saying... it's Kerry, Edwards, Dean now; Trippi's gone, for good and for ill; but all I can think about is the overtime I'm pulling tomorrow.

Click here, it'll make you feel better. (Adults only, please.)

I wonder if I'll follow their advice....

27 January 2004

Four More Years! 

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

26 January 2004

We Seek the Great Restoration 

Just click here.

An Open Letter to New Hampshire Independents 

Dear friends,

Tomorrow offers you an enormous opportunity, the chance to help choose a new direction for the nation and the world. As a resident of a late primary state, I envy New Hampshire’s privilege to influence presidential politics, and all I can do is hope and pray that you will read these words before you cast your votes.

I urge you to support Howard Dean. Not because of endorsements (although they are numerous), not because of how “electable” he is or how much money he has in the bank… no, I ask you to support Dr. Dean because he is something of an endangered species in American political life – an honest politician!

The mainstream media has focused on the horse race, as they always do, and the pundits have spun every alleged “gaffe” into mountains from molehills. What has been lost from public dialogue is a clear picture of Howard Dean the man and his record as Governor of Vermont: Howard Dean the educated professional, Howard Dean the loyal husband and loving father, and, most importantly, Howard Dean the leader, visionary and pragmatic, honest but hopeful. It is this Howard Dean, not some media caricature, that inspired me and others long weary of two-party politics to join the fight to take our country back from corrupt special interests.

But slogans are not enough: America needs and expects results. And Howard Dean can deliver.

Howard Dean balanced budgets and cut taxes as Governor, while expanding health care programs to cover almost every man, woman, and child in Vermont.

Howard Dean has a plan to win the war on terror, without sacrificing our civil liberties or needlessly risking the lives of our brave men and women in uniform.

Howard Dean understands that the federal government can play a role in improving the lives of all Americans, but that issues like gun rights and education are matters best left to the people at the state and local level.

My friends in New Hampshire, millions of Americans are waiting for the opportunity to vote for Howard Dean… but without your help, we will not get that chance. Please consider giving Governor Dean your support and help us take our country back.

22 January 2004

And now for something completely different... 

Just click and enjoy.

21 January 2004

A Message from Governor Dean 

In the last 48 hours, the nation has, at last, turned its collective attention to politics. The results from Iowa say a lot, and the President’s rebuttal also speaks volumes… rather than shout into the echo chamber, I will let my candidate speak for himself, so that you might think for yourself and decide accordingly.

Two years ago, I got into this race to change the Democratic Party, and to change the country.

I drove down Interstate 89 from Vermont to New Hampshire to meet with voters face to face, with a handful of brochures in my pocket and a conviction that our country can do better.

Something had gone wrong in our country, and Democrats were caving in to the President and failing to offer the American people a real choice. We had lost our way as a party.

Someone needed to stand up to President Bush on issues that matter - to stand up against the war, against his reckless tax cuts, and against a culture of catering to special interests at the expense of our environment and our children.

Standing up for what I believe is what I've always done and always will do - even when the polls say it isn't popular. I did it on civil unions in Vermont and in opposing the war in Iraq. And I've done it in this race for President.

Now it's time to talk more about the change that we need in our country, and who's best positioned to make that change happen.

This race is about the future. It's about fulfilling the Promise of America for our families and kids. And it's about which candidate has a proven record of delivering results.

For eleven years, as Governor of Vermont, I balanced budgets; provided health care for nearly every child in our state; expanded prescription coverage for seniors; created 20% more jobs; and raised the minimum wage.

We invested in Vermont's children. We lowered child abuse rates and raised graduation rates. Teen pregnancy went way down; childhood immunization went way up.

We did all this for Vermont's children, and now, by acting together, we can show how to do it for all of America's families and children.

I am a doctor who's delivered health care. And as governor, I delivered results, not just speeches.

Now the other candidates have adopted our message - they have adopted our position on Iraq, our criticism of No Child Left Behind, and our opposition to Bush's tax cuts.

I'm glad they've joined me. It's good for our party and good for our country. Our message has changed the nature of this race, and our campaign has changed American politics. And finally our party - formerly in retreat - is standing up and offering a real alternative to George W. Bush.

But the true test of leadership is having the courage to stand up for what you believe when it counts - even when it's not popular. That's the test by which I've measured my public life. And it's the test by which I will measure my Presidency.

I hope you will stand by me as we enter this critical period in the 2004 campaign.

19 January 2004

What the Hell Happened? 

I've never been much for revisionist history, and I have no desire to make excuses now.

Dean came in third.

This is not a weak showing, but it is a disappointment. I was never certain of an Iowa victory - check the archives if you wish - but I did anticipate a bit better result.

Let us face facts. Dean must win big in New Hampshire, or one of the other three (Clark, Edwards, and Kerry) will sabotage his efforts at every turn. Without some momentum of its own, this movement will fail.

So what are you going to do about it?

All Eyes on Iowa 

As I sit and type these words, the good people of Iowa prepare to do their part to decide the next President of the United States. I can’t help but wonder – did I do enough? Have my distant relatives and acquaintances been sufficiently harassed? Was the volunteer outreach successful? Is anyone reading this now?

But I must put all of this behind me… the people of Iowa will choose.

According to the pollsters, it’s going to be a close four-way race. I truly hope (and, this morning, Chris Matthews predicted) that Dean will win. In the grand scheme of things, though, even a Dean landslide tonight might not matter all that much. Lest we forget:

In 1980, George Bush the First won Iowa… which was enough to earn him the Vice Presidency as the Gipper beat him resoundingly nearly everywhere else.

In 1988, Dick Gephardt won Iowa… and the much heralded “momentum” from that victory led to defeats in almost every other contest.

In 1992, Tom Harkin won Iowa with over 75% of the vote… and was later defeated by a mere blip in the polls that you may have heard of (here’s a hint: he was President for eight years).

So let us now place our trust in the good people of Iowa to make the right decision: to choose Howard Dean, or to choose to continue their tradition of picking the wrong man for the nomination.

16 January 2004

Anybody But Bush… but who but Dean? 

The question was raised today at Libertarians for Dean, who would we support if by some unwelcome miracle Howard Dean did not win the Democratic nomination? My initial reaction, of course, was to attempt to dispel such an unwanted thought from my mind – after all, my reputation as an amateur pundit is at stake – but nonetheless I was inspired to give it more thought. The loose alliance of Dean Libs is, as I see it, comprised of three main groups, and by their principles we might predict their voting patterns:

The first, left-leaning libertarians (such as those within the Democratic Freedom Caucus), generally look for major party candidates with bearable views to promote the values and causes they hold dear. In this election, you can generally count on them to support the Democratic nominee… but as their ballots are cast in compromise, look to them to vote tactically for the LP in non-competitive states.

The second, the Party Faithful and other conservatives, are likely to break from the alliance and return to previous patterns of protest voting. It is hard enough for these people to support a program of tax increases and socialized medicine… were the distinctions on the Patriot Act and the war to vanish, neither Donkey nor Dumbo would likely emerge as the lesser of evils for them.

The third, where I place myself, are the independents – which is to say, those with no party loyalty whatsoever. I am an active member of the Libertarian Party because I believe in individual rights, limited government, and foreign relations based on free trade and non-intervention, but my economics are more Chicago than Austrian, my philosophy more Enlightenment than Objectivist, and my own programme differs drastically from the party platform. I support that party, and this candidate, as the best way to advance my agenda at this time. Without Dean, where would I (and others like me) go?

Let me be perfectly clear: this year, as four years ago, I want Bush to lose. But not so badly as to vote for Gore! Here, then, are my strategies should one of the other plausible candidates (Sorry Lyndon!) prevail:

Joe Lieberman – If there were 537 other Floridians who used my litmus test in 2000, then it was Joe Lieberman who cost Al Gore the election. Even stronger than my fear of a never-ending Clinton era was the absolute terror provoked by the thought of Tipper and Holy Joe censoring away my civil liberties. If this is the best Democrats have to offer, I will vote Libertarian and applaud the inevitable Bush victory… if only because John Ashcroft is watching.

John Kerry, or some other Dick – These two are miserably failed facsimiles of JFK, FDR, and/or other Democratic TLAs. The nausea I felt during the last presidential election returns just thinking about such wonderful “options”. I would vote Libertarian and renew my passport.

John Edwards or Wes Clark – To me, these men have much in common. I like them, though I disagree with them, and I find them less disagreeable than President Bush. I question decisions they have made, I marvel at their inexperience, and I fear the unintended consequences of their visions for the future… if they have such visions at all. It is possible that I could be coerced into supporting either of them, but the only surefire way for either campaign to shore up independent support would be to play the 1980 Reagan rookie card and choose Howard Dean as a running mate. (For the record, I strongly believe that such a ticket would win).

Further discussion of this topic is encouraged at Libertarians for Dean, where you will find this position stated in an abbreviated form. However, at this moment in time, I would encourage anyone reading these words to avoid idle chatter and instead do your part to help Howard Dean win the nomination, so we do not face such difficult “choices”.

P.S. Thanks, Carol!

14 January 2004

Four Headlines for Faithful Readers 

1. Howard Dean Wins the DC Primary
I know it’s non-binding, but it’s the start of good things. The good people of Iowa and New Hampshire are in my prayers.

2. Dean Is No “Tax and Spend Liberal”
This article has been making the rounds, so I thought I’d include it here. Fiscal conservatives take note.

3. Rolling Stone Subliminally Influences Voters
Just look at the cover. Then ask yourself the question, “Would the President of the United States get this joke?”

4. Charley Reese Endorses Dean, sort of
Considering Neal Boortz’s attacks on “Deanie Babies” like me, it’s nice to see “small-L” Republicans accurately portraying my candidate in the press. Further discussion of this topic is encouraged at Libertarians for Dean.

02 January 2004

The Bush Doctrine 

All right, let me see if I have this straight:

Iraq is part of the axis of evil, so as a God-fearing Christian nation, it is America’s sacred duty to slaughter thousands of Iraqis in the name of “liberation”.

Iran is also a part of that unholy triumvirate, so when the very hand of God strikes down thousands of Iranians, we lift sanctions and provide humanitarian aid.

To paraphrase Talking Barbie, neo-conservatism is hard.

Standard disclaimer: these are my opinions, and no one's paying me to share them.
If you'd like to share yours, feel free to drop me a line or find me at Chat For America.

The Law Is For All