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Monday, December 05, 2005

Re: Rising Body Count

And what’s more, Howard Dean, great patriot that he is (and how could anyone question that?!?), says that we can’t win.  Though, interestingly, he now acknowledges that removing Saddam was a good thing.  


I really don't understand the continued caricature of Howard Dean. As long ago as May, 2003 (and probably earlier, this was just a quick google search), he was saying

"I'm delighted to see Saddam Hussein gone. I appreciate that we have a strong military in this country, and I'd keep a strong military in this country. But this was the wrong war at the wrong time because we have set a new policy of preventive war in this country. Sooner or later we're going to see another country copy [that policy]."

His criticism was that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq, no nuclear weapons in Iraq, and the war would distract from the hunt for bin Laden. Dean is a patriot with a thoughtful take on the issues. He supported the first Gulf War and supported the invasion of Afghanistan. He's a smart guy and not a radical or extremist, just an early opponent to the Iraq war on grounds that turned out to have been pretty well justified.
Why would I make fun of Howard Dean? Well, its just so easy. The man makes more idiotic inflammatory statements than I do. That, and I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of what he says may not necessarily be what he personally believes, just an attempt to make up for his shoddy fundraising so far.
Point to some of these idiotic statements, please, keeping in mind that something that you don't ideologically agree with is not ipso facto idiotic.
I find the insinuation that Dean is unpatriotic troubling. Like him or not--I personally don't--he's devoted a significant part of his life to public service, and I haven't seen anything to make me believe that he doesn't think he's acting in the best interests of the country, even if he's misguided about what would be best.
To interject, I must remind you that "public service" is an egregious misnomer in most cases (in my humble opinion). Just because Dean has committed his life to political causes does not make him a patriot, nor does it make him unpatriotic. "Public service" is just like any job, except usually with substantially more power, and therefore often (again, in my opinion) tends to attract the worst elements of our society.
I think being governor of Vermont probably counts as public service, and regardless, I haven't seen anything that makes me believe Dean doesn't think he's helping the country. Moreover, I haven't seen anything that SUPPORTS Mr. Martell's implication. This seems to be exactly the kind of cheap and baseless "you're not a patriot" name-calling that you decry in a post above.
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