Durfee’s trip to New Hampshire [Will You Be My President?,
Jan. 29] was a great way to see each Democratic presidential
candidate through the eyes of a pretend New Hampshire voter.
It was a nice, entertaining read. The piece began with these
words: “It’s the electability, stupid.”
Given that the focus of Durfee’s article was voters’ concerns
about electability, here are some things Metroland
readers might like to consider.
On his way to the White House, Howard Dean is putting the
backbone back in the Democratic party. Meanwhile, his opponents
and the media have tried to convince us that Dean is “unelectable.”
I don’t buy it, nor do supporters who have raised $2 million
in small donations since his second-place finish in
Howard Dean has a long record of leadership, and as governor
of Vermont he achieved results like gangbusters. He balanced
budgets even in the most difficult times, provided health
care for 92 percent of the people in his state including all
children, increased the minimum wage, created good paying
jobs, and enlarged protected “forever wild” lands by 200 percent.
He did this while lowering taxes, twice. Inspired voters kept
Dean in office for 12 years, Vermont’s longest gubernatorial
tenure in a century.
John Kerry has now become a kind of Dean Lite, opposing policies
of the Bush administration, suddenly. Unfortunately, he and
other senators lacked the courage and leadership to stand
up to George Bush when it really mattered: on the Patriot
Act, on the preemptive war with Iraq, on No Child Left Behind,
and on Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy. It’s true that Kerry
was consistent, but he positioned himself on the wrong side
of issues, voting for them all. Meanwhile, Howard Dean stood
up for the right side, even when it was not popular
to do so.
Howard Dean says he is out to change a government dominated
by special interests. Sure, Dean is beholden to special interests,
too: ordinary people, like the ones who have donated less
than $100 each, thereby funding 89 percent of his campaign.
Playing hardball with George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove
is not for sissies. Without a clear alternative to George
Bush, a Democrat in the mold of Kerry, Edwards, or Lieberman,
is certain to be defeated. Isn’t it time we voted for someone
like Howard Dean, someone who not only has a terrific political
record, but has the guts needed to win this thing?
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