Monday, May 15, 2006

Howard Dean: What I MEANT to say was ...

Howard Dean, chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, just appeared for an interview on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. Interview opening question from Stewart: "President Bush is very low in the opinion polls. I believe he's now at negative 13. People are displeased with his handling of Iraq, the economy, his family, Katrina ... How will the Democratic Party blow this?"

Dean explained that he hoped that this time, the Dems wouldn't blow it. Seems that two weeks ago, Dems knocked on a million doors -- in Dean's words, "a thousand groups of people went out and knocked on a million doors, in every state in the country, with a message that we hope Americans will like." Stewart: "So Democrats are now as powerful as some of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Is that what you're telling me?"

[Math break: to knock on one million doors, 1,000 groups would have to knock on 1,000 doors each. The typical precinct walk/door-knocking exercise can hit roughly 25 doors per hour per person. That means that EACH of Dean's 1,000 groups would have had to devote 40 man hours to hit 1,000 doors. Which leads me to wonder if Dean's numbers aren't just as far off as that banshee yell with which he let loose two years ago in Iowa.]

Then Dean pulled out a door hanger, to show what they leave behind when no one's home to answer the Dems' knock. Stewart looked at it as if were a hunk of enriched uranium that had just been deposited on his studio desk, and then said "You are SO not taking back the House and Senate!"

I guess Dems in New York City, where Stewart lives, don't bother with door hangers.

Stewart then went on to whack Dean for a typically vague campaign agenda -- "Open and honest government," in Dean's words -- and finished the bit by asking, as he held up the door hanger, "Are you sure this isn't just a way for Democrats to let each other know they're [having sex]?"

[Editor's note break: Yes, I cleaned that up a bit. My mother reads this blog.]

Dean then went on to lie (again) about the President's plan on illegal immigration: "This is a President who can't find a six foot four Saudi terrorist. How's he going to find 12 million undocumented people and send them all back across the border? That's what he wants to do."

Observant readers of this blog -- hell, observant readers of any newspaper -- know that this is, flat-out, a lie.

Here, exactly, is what the President said in his address tonight re: the 12 million illegal immigrants who are already here:

"Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant – and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border."

Just a few days ago, Mr. Dean found himself in trouble when he said, during an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network, "The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says that marriage is between a man and a woman. That's what it says."


In fact, as Mr. Dean hastened to acknowledge, "I misstated the Democratic Party's platform, which does not say that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, but says the Party is committed to full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and leaves the issue to the states to decide."

This reminds me of an old Steve Martin riff: "Always ... no, NEVER ..."

Can't wait to see the RNC's rejoinder in the AM.


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