Howard Dean: Weapon of Self Destruction V3.0

DNC Chairman Howard Dean’s slips of the tongue in the past have been well documented here.  A few examples before I proceed to the latest are:

“I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization,” the failed presidential hopeful told the crowd at the Roosevelt Hotel, where he and six other candidates spoke at the final DNC forum before the Feb. 12 vote for chairman. -January 30, 2005
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“We’re going to use Terri Schiavo later on … This is going to be an issue in 2006, and it’s going to be an issue in 2008 because we’re going to have an ad with a picture of Tom DeLay saying, ‘Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?’ ” -April 15, 2005 at a gay rights group’s breakfast in West Hollywood.
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But he did draw howls of laughter by mimicking a drug-snorting Rush Limbaugh. “I’m not very dignified,” he said. “But I’m not running for president anymore.” In fact, as part of his commitment to lead the party for the next four years, he has sworn not to seek any office until after 2008. I’m not running for president anymore.” -April 20, 2005 (Star Tribune link no longer works, so I’m providing an alternate source) at a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota
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Dean’s 25-minute speech to the Campaign for America’s Future annual gathering was interrupted frequently by applause, but his line about Republican work habits also produced an undertow of ‘’oohs’’ and ‘’aahs.’’ Asserting that some Florida voters stood in line for eight hours in November, Dean said that was a hardship for people who ‘’work all day and then pick up their kids at child care.’’ But, he said, Republicans could stand in eight-hour lines ‘’because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives.’’ -June 2, 2005, in a 25-minute speech to the Campaign for America’s Future in Washington, DC

Well, the Dean of Disology is at it again. This time, in comments about Bill Bennett:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ — Former Republican Secretary of Education William Bennett remarked yesterday on his radio show that, "I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement:

"Bill Bennett’s hateful, inflammatory remarks regarding African Americans are simply inexcusable. They are particularly unacceptable from a leader in the conservative movement and former Secretary of Education, once charged with the well being of every American school child. He should apologize immediately. This kind of statement is hardly compassionate conservatism; rather, Bennett’s comments demonstrate a reprehensible racial insensitivity and ignorance. Are these the values of the Republican Party and its conservative allies? If not, President Bush, Ken Mehlman and the Republican Leadership should denounce them immediately as hateful, divisive and worthy only of scorn.

"As Americans, we should focus on the virtues that bring us together, not hatred that tears us apart and unjustly scapegoats fellow Americans."

But what did Bennett actually SAY? Read on:

BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don’t know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don’t know. I mean, it cuts both — you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well –

CALLER: Well, I don’t think that statistic is accurate.

BENNETT: Well, I don’t think it is either, I don’t think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don’t know. But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.

As John Cole – who has made clear in the past and in this post what he thinks of Bennett – points out (emphasis his):

There is nothing for him to apologize for regarding this statement. It is a statement of fact, he was not advocating it, and, in fact, he noted that it would be an “impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do.”

Yep.

Howard Dean is being a demagogue.  As usual.  Will the media call him on this? I won’t hold my breath.

UPDATE: The WH has officially condemned Bennett’s remarks.  Sigh.  Jeff Goldstein writes:

And the White House, increasingly incapable of taking a principled stand, provides these disingenuous race baiters with cover—presumably still realing from the last round of disingenuous race baiting, which came in guise of Hurricane outrage.

I don’t disagree with that at all.

(Cross-posted at California Conservative)

UPDATE 2: The Washington Post has linked to ST. Heh!  Welcome, WaPo readers :)

57 thoughts on “Howard Dean: Weapon of Self Destruction V3.0

  1. Sister Toldjah,

    I understand that neither you nor William Bennett are advocating black babies should be aborted. What you are saying is that if this were to happen, it would lower the crime rate. I do not agree with this. It is possible that crime rate could drop if this happened but it is also possible that the crime rate could drop if this didn’t happen as it did in New York City. What I see as the biggest factor in the crime rate is the quality of the government, not the number of black people. If a city has a very good mayor and very good people working for him, it is possible to keep the crime rate low in the city regardless of how many black people live there.

    Please read my previous post again. During Rudolph Giuliani’s terms in office, the jail population decreased, not increased. The jail population in New York City peaked in 1992 and has been decreasing ever since then. Also the mayor isn’t the one who decides how long people are sentenced to jail. This is determined by judges. According to Rudolph Giuliani, the main factor in the lowering of the crime rate was that the city cracked down on petty crimes such as graffiti and people jumping turnstiles in subways. By not tolerating petty crimes, crime of all types were reduced. By changing the environment of the city to one where lawlessness was not tolerated, the number of people committing crimes started to drop. The jail population in New York City has gone down from 21,000 people in 1992 to 14,000 people by the end of 2004. Even with a dramatic decrease in the number of people locked up, the crime rate has remained low. The reason for this is because of the dramatic change in the environment that occurred after Rudolph Giuliani became mayor.

    As I said before, I’m not a Democrat, I’m an independent and I’m not a liberal. I’m conservative on some issues and I’m liberal on others. I’m in favor of the death penalty. I’m in favor of allowing the government to pay for children to attend private schools. I support free trade with most countries. I originally supported going to war against Iraq. I still would support the war if it wasn’t so poorly planned and carried out. I was especially appalled at our treatment of Iraqi prisoners. I don’t blindly follow any ideology. I prefer to think for myself and decide what is best.

  2. Brain wrote, “I still would support the war if it wasn’t so poorly planned and carried out.” Ever notice your opinions are always accusatory? Just let it be that it’s not going as you’d like in Iraq. 100% of people can agree with you there. But to say that there was no plan as you’ve done in earlier posts makes for accusations.

    Who wasn’t apalled by the treatment of Iraqi prisoners. Many of us have just said YOUR (and your fellow liberals) accusations that it was Bush’s policy to torture and over 60 front page stories on the NY Times have been way overboard. That’s not saying we liked the treatment of Iraqi prisoners. And it’s not blindly following an ideology to point out how absurd you and the NY Times are being and how erroneously accusatory you are being.

  3. Baklava,

    I’m not being accusatory, I’m stating the truth. The Bush Administration ignored warnings of an Iraqi insurgency and did not adequately plan to deal with one:
    http://globalsecurity.com/iraq/cia_warned.htm

    You said:

    Who wasn’t apalled by the treatment of Iraqi prisoners. Many of us have just said YOUR (and your fellow liberals) accusations that it was Bush’s policy to torture and over 60 front page stories on the NY Times have been way overboard.

    Once again you are distorting what I wrote and misrepresenting me as a liberal. I did not write that is Bush’s policy to torture. That is a lie.

    You asked “who wasn’t appalled by the treatment of Iraqi prisoners?”. One person who wasn’t appalled was Rush Limbaugh. Rush compared the torture to “college pranks” and called it “brilliant”.

    You said, “it’s not blindly following an ideology to point out how absurd you and the NY Times are being and how erroneously accusatory you are being.”

    Just because you disagree with what I wrote doesn’t make it erroneous.

    It seems that you are unwilling to criticize President Bush under any circumstances. If you’re not blindly following an ideology or President Bush, can you state where you disagree with President Bush and point out some mistakes he has made?

  4. You’re funny Brian. It’s English 101. Not even politics 101. You sentence after, “I’m stating the truth” is full of opinion and not facts. And to top it off, it’s an accusation.

    The best way I can describe it to you is this… Let’s say you are a parent, and in your professional life you are a psychologist and teen counselor. YOU have a plan. You know what you are dealing with. You know what the future can hold. YET your teenager makes you look like a failed parent who has no plan. Your teenager makes you look like you’ve ignored the warnings and didn’t know what to do.

    Now, you Brian can either choose to empathize with the parent’s struggle or choose to attack that parent verbally. You can realize that the parent can only do what they can do, but the teenager has their own mind and won’t be controlled. And the American left (you fit the pattern) is choosing to egg that teenager on and give aid and comfort to the wrong people. If you continue down that path you only convince people who have common sense that they can’t vote for a Democrat (the people with similar rhetoric).

    Concerning the Iraqi prisoners–this is what you wrote, “I originally supported going to war against Iraq. I still would support the war if it wasn’t so poorly planned and carried out. I was especially appalled at our treatment of Iraqi prisoners.

    You said you supported the war. You said you would still support the war if it wasn’t so poorly planned and carried out. As a follow up sentence to the “poorly planned” sentence you wrote, “I was especially appalled at our treatment of Iraqi prisoners as if that was the plan. If you didn’t mean that then my other statements still apply. Like this one, “Who wasn’t apalled by the treatment of Iraqi prisoners?”

    Which you followed up with an incorrect (shocking) interpretation, and allegation (also shocking) of Rush’s comments. I listened to Rush’s comments. Rush even went on for hours talking about how the left was purposely mistating what he said (and why do you guys have this pattern). He played his comments back from tape over and over. The left seems to have a problem with English 101. And actually asserts that they know better of what someone was saying than the person who originally said it. Quite ironic. Happened again with you and Bill Bennet. Full of accusations. Not truth. Opinions.

    Brian erroneously wrote, “It seems that you are unwilling to criticize President Bush under any circumstances.. Sister can vouch for me as I’ve used her blog to say that I only agree with the president about 70% of the time. While I have even said his policy on illegal immigration is acting with negligence, I as a person don’t have the flawed character to say that:
    1) I know Bush’s thoughts and make claims about them (for instance saying that Bush is for big business)
    2) Saying erroneous things such as Bush has no plan.

    People (including you ) who continue that pattern do not add to the debate. And they certainly don’t convince people to vote with them.

  5. Baklava,

    Did you read the article I linked to? If the article is accurate, then what I said is true. There are many more articles documenting many of the mistakes made by the Bush Administration in the war with Iraq. There was a cover story by Time Magazine a few weeks on this issue.

    I don’t think that it was part of the plan to torture prisoners.

    There is no comparison between the war in Iraq and a rebellious teenager. Comparing the two trivializes what is happening in Iraq. Close to two thousand Americans have died there. The country is becoming or is already ungovernable. The fact that you would make a comparison like that shows you don’t understand how serious this is.

    I never said I know Bushes thoughts. My comments are based on his actions, not his thoughts.

    Regarding Rush Limbaugh, I will post some of his comments. If you don’t see these comments as approving or brushing aside the torture of prisoners, please explain what they mean:

    I think a lot of the American culture is being feminized. I think the reaction to the stupid torture is an example of the feminization of this country.

    CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank that stacked up naked men —

    LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it and we’re going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I’m talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?

    You know, if you look at — if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don’t know if it’s just me, but it looks just like anything you’d see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I’m — yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City — the movie. I mean, I don’t — it’s just me.

    All right, so we’re at war with these people. And they’re in a prison where they’re being softened up for interrogation. And we hear that the most humiliating thing you can do is make one Arab male disrobe in front of another. Sounds to me like it’s pretty thoughtful. Sounds to me in the context of war this is pretty good intimidation — and especially if you put a woman in front of them and then spread those pictures around the Arab world. And we’re sitting here, “Oh my God, they’re gonna hate us! Oh no! What are they gonna think of us?” I think maybe the other perspective needs to be at least considered. Maybe they’re gonna think we are serious. Maybe they’re gonna think we mean it this time. Maybe they’re gonna think we’re not gonna kowtow to them. Maybe the people who ordered this are pretty smart. Maybe the people who executed this pulled off a brilliant maneuver. Nobody got hurt. Nobody got physically injured. But boy there was a lot of humiliation of people who are trying to kill us — in ways they hold dear. Sounds pretty effective to me if you look at us in the right context.

  6. Back on topic: The Democrites once again shamelessly race-bait and race-monger to score political points. Once again they arch-hypocritically point fingers at Republicans when in fact they are the true racists for keeping black people on the virtual Democrite Political Plantation. The Democrites will dole out the bennies, paid for by other people’s taxes, in exchange for fealty. They’ll never advance blacks within their party and administrations to the high positions that GW Bush has done.

    They continue to peddle welfare handouts that tend to keep black people down, dependent on their largesse and destroying any spark of self-sufficiency they may have had.

    The Democrites are the real racists, the real enemy of the black people in America.

    And the poverty pimps like Jackson, Sharpton, and others are even worse, because they are the Bledsoes of their era. They are sellouts to the Democrite plantation masters, leading their followers not in the direction of true liberty, but firmly down the dark road of virtual political servitude. They do this for their own personal gain and to maintain their positions of privilege and wealth.

    Now I know this is way too much, too threatening a truth for you Liberal Democrites to deal with, but it is truth just the same.

    I would say to black Americans: Rise up and throw off the chains of your Democrite oppressors, who seek only to keep you dependent and virtually enslaved on their political plantation.

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