You Like Canada, You’ll Love Howard Dean
is a line from Rob Reiner’s White House propaganda film,
“The American President,” where Michael Douglas, portraying
the good but much maligned incumbent President of the United
States (a Democrat, of course), is watching his evil Republican
rival, “Senator Bob Rumson,” played by Richard Dreyfus,
attack him on television. Rumson is throwing chunks of political
red meat to a group called the “Conservative Coalition.”
the end of his speech, he looks into the camera and delivers
the most mindless signature line in the history of politics:
“My name is Bob Rumson and I’m running for president.” To
which the president smugly replies, “I’m sure glad he cleared
that up, because that crowd was about to buy some Amway
here in the real world, a man named Howard Dean is running
for president, and what he is selling is a snake oil worse
than anything ever pedaled door-to-door or at any MLM convention.
In fact, what Howard Dean is pushing would make FDR gasp
and Lenin applaud.
few years ago Dean was the governor of Vermont, a tiny state
with more than its share of leftwing ideologues: Patrick
Lahey and Jim Jeffords in the U.S. Senate and a self-proclaimed
Socialist named Bernie Sanders in the House of Representatives.
Dean was right in line with the Vermont tradition of his
colleagues, taking ultraliberal positions on abortion, homosexual
special rights, health care, Social Security, Medicare and,
of course, the taxes to pay for it all.
he was governor, Howard Dean signed an outrageous piece
of legislation that legalized civil unions between members
of the same sex. It was tantamount to same-sex marriage,
and now 49 other states have to deal with the contractual
migraines created by this perversion of the Constitution’s
full faith and credit clause.
he is on the campaign trail running for president. An internist
by training, Dr. Dean is gleefully running to the left of
everyone – no small task when one is running in field of
whining collectivists that includes Richard Gephardt, John
Kerry, Dennis (the Menace) Kucinich and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Yet there he is, the maverick from Vermont, the man who
is capturing the media’s fascination: “Could he be just
blunt-talking enough to capture the Democratic nomination?
Film at eleven.”
is the one person in this weak group of Democrats who can
hurt John Kerry. Without Dean in the race, Kerry, from nearby
Massachusetts, would probably win the New Hampshire Primary
without breaking a sweat. However, with fellow New Englander
Dean assaulting him from neighboring Vermont, Kerry could
very well be in trouble, especially since the courts have
ruled that he cannot finance his campaign with his wife’s
vast personal fortune – the “ketchup money,” as Gephardt
has called it (Kerry is, after all, Mr. Theresa Hines).
all adds up to a rerun of 1988’s Bush-Dukakis race: a liberal
from New England captures the imagination of the activists
in the Democrat primaries, then reveals himself to be the
emperor with no clothes when he has to make his case before
the entire country.
say that Dean’s personal problems will derail his candidacy.
Quite the contrary, among his Democrat base in particular.
Like Dukakis, whose wife, Kitty, admitted to emotional and
drug problems, Dean’s difficulties with a teenage son in
trouble with the law will make him human in the eyes of
many voters, especially Democrat women, soccer moms who
tend vote with their emotions.
course, barring some catastrophe, Howard Dean will not defeat
George W. Bush to become the next President of the United
States. Those who truly wish for such an outcome can always
move to Canada and pretend their guy won.
Patton is a freelance columnist who has served
as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor at
the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns
can be read in newspapers across the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor.
writes for Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).
e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org