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Opening Arguments

Vetting Howard Dean

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, on John McCain:

"While we honor McCain's military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who offers real solutions, not a blatant opportunist who doesn't understand the economy and is promising to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years."

Yeah, a blatant opportunist. What cunning calculation to let himself be taken prisoner in Vietnam just to add to his presidential potential.

Howard Dean, four years ago, on John Kerry:

"Who would you rather have in charge of the defense of the United States of America, a group of people who never served a day overseas in their life, or a guy who served his country honorably and has three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star on the battlefields of Vietnam?"

Yeah, the Vietnam "hero" who used his brief visit to Vietnam as a springboard to the anti-war movement and an entry into politics.

I have problems with some of John McCain's positions. And a military record is not in and of itself a qualification for the presidency. But Democrats who want to talk about defense of the United States should be very careful here, and Howard Dean should be locked in a small, dark room.

(Via Best of the Web)


Tue, 04/01/2008 - 10:20am

In modern politics, a veteran running against a non-veteran typically loses. See e.g.:
Bush v. Kerry
Bush v. Gore
Clinton v. Dole
Clinton v. Bush
Reagan v. Carter

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 10:25am

True. It's also a stretch to consider the Vietnam and Iraq wars "defense of the United States," which was the root problem in both of them.

tim zank
Tue, 04/01/2008 - 10:36am

Doug and Nance both make interesting points. Of course neither one is really a reason NOT to lock Howard Dean in a small dark room. The time alone would be well spent, he could reflect on what a pompous partisan ass he is.

As for the "defense of the United States" claim, One could certainly argue both wars were/are in defense of the free world, not just our physical borders.

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 2:28pm

One could certainly argue both wars were/are in defense of the free world, not just our physical borders.

Go ahead, make that argument. Hold on while I make some popcorn.

Leo Morris
Tue, 04/01/2008 - 3:34pm

Since we've seldom had to fight on our own soil, "defense of the United States" has been defined broadly to also mean protection of our interests (frequently) and advancement of our values (less frequently). A "free world" is part of our value system, certainly. Whether it is also in our interest depends on who has the freedom and what they do with it. That's usually what the next war is about.

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 4:59pm

And sometimes, alas, our interests are defined as capturing non-existent weapons of mass destruction and based on a non-existent link to our enemy. But hey -- omelettes and eggs.

A J Bogle
Wed, 04/02/2008 - 8:26pm

Would not the best defense of our nation be learning to mind our own business in world affairs and stopping the foreign interventionsim that so turns the world and even our allies against us? And would not the best defense of our great nation be protecting our own borders and rebuilding our domestic military bases rather than closing them? I'm just sayin'.............

Wed, 04/02/2008 - 9:15pm

Doug's examples of veterans losing to non-veterans are all "peacetime" presidential elections.

Ronald Reagan, by the way, served as a Captain in the US Army Air Corps during WWII.

A J Bogle
Thu, 04/03/2008 - 5:21am

Making VD and training films. Never saw any combat