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May 22, 2005
Live Blog: Howard Dean

9:01 - On filibusters: "We need more than one party in charge." Perhaps the Democrats could start winning majorities in order to ensure that.

9:04 - Confronted with Democrats' quotes opposing filibusters in the past, Dean changes the subjects. Now he's complaining about Bush's "town meetings" as an example -- WTF?

9:05 - First reference to Tom DeLay!

9:07 - He brought crib notes for his interview to cover his Tom DeLay. Cute.

9:08 - Russert plays the "jail sentence" clip, and Russert slams him with his earlier Osama quote. Response: "I don't think I'm prejudging [DeLay]." Then he says a jury will decide that, even though he hasn't even been indicted. Russert then reads Barney Frank's quote and Dean refuses to acknowledge the issue, saying that his "admonishments" by the House equals a criminal conviction in court.

9:10 - Howard thinks he's Harry Truman!

9:13 - Retraction on DeLay? "Absolutely not!"

9:14 - Russert confronts Dean on his remarks in Philadelphia Inquirer about being on message, and Dean excuses himself in light of the scandals involving Jack Abramoff. He describes Abramoff as Bush's chief fund raiser, but in truth Abramoff raised funds for all sorts of lobbies, and Democrats benefitted at least as much from Abramoff -- or at least they're wrapped up in the same scandals as Republicans involving Abramoff. Russert let him off the hook on that point.

9:16 - Social Security private accounts: "It's brought to you by the same people who brought you Enron." Enron cooked its books during the Clinton administration and got caught by the Bush administration during its first year in office.

9:19 - Republicans eeeeeevil? "Not as individuals ..."

9:20 - Dean's flogging the mercury-level meme again.

9:22 - Russert tackles the Saddam question by noting that Democrats insisted that Saddam was a threat -- like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton -- and Dean says that the President misled them by twisting the intelligence. The problem is that they said these things when Clinton was president as well, which Russert failed to note. Not only that, but the Senate has already completed its investigation and reported that Bush didn't twist the intelligence to support his conclusions on Iraq.

9:25 - "I will use whatever means I have to root out hypocrisy ... We have strong moral values in our party." See his comments on Osama and DeLay above for his tough stance on hypocrisy and morals.

9:27 - Democrats believe in individual rights and individual freedoms?

9:29 - Dean claimns that Democrats want to make abortions "rare", but Russert points out that Democrats have voted against every single restriction on abortion ever presented. Dean stammers back to the cliches.

9:32 - First break, and Dean ends by repeated the canard that abortions have gone up by 25% during Bush's term. I've debunked this before, but it just shows you how much the Democrats rely on urban legends for their arguments. (See also Michelle Malkin.)

9:39 - Schiavo: "This will be the turning point on ... instrusiveness."

9:41 - The Dean base, as Russert points out, hardly looks like the Democratic Party. Dean turns that around to an argument about his Christianity and says he will not be "lectured to" about his spirituality.

9:43 - Not one sitting Democratic governor has appeared with Dean at his fundraisers. Dean claims that when he was in Mississippi, four former governors appeared with him. If he keeps it up, he may have a lot more "former governors" to make those appearances nationwide.

9:44 - USA Today's article gets this response: "There's more petulance in that story than facts."

9:47 - On Bernie Sanders, self-proclaimed Socialist: "Bernie's a populist, not a Socialist." Russert: "It says in his book that he's a Socialist." Dean: "We're talking words. Bernie votes 98% of the time with the Democrats." Did Howard just admit that Democrats are Socialists?

9:49 - Interview concludes. Dean seemed awfully restrained this morning, but he still managed to continue to shoot himself in the foot. Most laughable was his contention that the Democrats represent the moderate position on abortion, which is only true if you buy into the Peter Singer point of view, where parents should be allowed to kill newborns if they appear unsatisfactory.

Most notable, I think, is his near-obsession with Tom DeLay. Clearly, DeLay worries the Democrats and they have targeted him for destruction in order to eliminate his influence. Dean gives the game away with his repetitive, Rain Man-like free association back to DeLay on almost every point during this interview. If DeLay has such a good chance of getting indicted for criminal behavior, why keep bringing him up? Why not just let the DA bring an indictment and let it speak for itself? Indictments and prison sentences aren't the point; crippling DeLay politically and the GOP by extension is what the Democrats want, and they're committing character assassination to ensure it.

I give Howard a C-. He should have kept the focus positive. Instead, he lashed out at DeLay and that kept him on the defensive with a reluctant Russert almost throughout the interview.

UPDATE: The Political Teen has video of Dean on DeLay.

UPDATE II: Transcript here.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 22, 2005 9:01 AM

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