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Howard Dean: How’d he screw this up?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, May 12, 2006

Say what you will about Howard Dean (and I usually have plenty to say), he usually gets the party talking points right. So what happened here?
Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean has contradicted his party's platform and infuriated gay rights advocates by saying the party's platform states "marriage is between a man and a woman."

"The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says marriage is between a man and a woman," Dean said May 10 during a "700 Club" program hosted by conservative Christian leader Pat Robertson on his Christian Broadcasting Network.
What in the world was Howard Dean doing on the "700 Club"? Oh it's understandable that Dean would like an opportunity to recruit among the "white, mostly Christian" Republicans I'm sure he thinks watch the show, but isn't the "700 Club" like going to, oh, I don't know, Bob Jones University for a liberal?

And this isn't the first thing Dean has done to upset the gay community:
Within hours of the program's broadcast, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force denounced Dean's misrepresentation.

"Disturbingly, this is not the first time he has misrepresented this important and affirming plank [of the Democratic Party platform], and he has been asked before to correct the record and to cease making these misleading statements," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the Task Force.

"Governor Dean's record on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues since becoming DNC chair has been sorely and sadly lacking," Foreman said. "The Democratic Party chair should stand by and fight for the party's own platform and values."
Not only that, there have been a couple of other occurrances that haven't set well with LGBT community:
On May 2, Dean fired the Democratic Party's gay outreach adviser Donald Hitchcock. The firing came less than a week after Hitchcock's domestic partner, Paul Yandura, a longtime party activist, accused Dean of failing to take adequate steps to defend gay rights.
And:
Last year, Dean upset some gay Democratic activists by eliminating the DNC constituency desk system, including the GLBT outreach desk. He said he replaced the desk system with a new system of integrating constituency outreach work throughout all DNC offices and programs.
Not to mention:
But some gay Democrats were further angered in February, when the DNC released its "Annual Report to the Grassroots," which omitted any mention of gays or the party's gay outreach efforts. Activists pointed to a similar grassroots report issued a year earlier by Dean's predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, which included a detailed account of the party's gay outreach program.
So while Dean likes to talk the talk (and he even screwed that up), he's not been much for walking the walk according to many in the LGBT community. Dean has admitted to misstating the Democratic positon on the "700 Club":
"I misstated the Democratic Party's platform, which does not say that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, but says the party is committed to full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and leaves the issue to the states to decide," Dean is quoted as saying in the statement.
That is, btw, as I see it as well ... it is up to the states to decide. But on the subject of Dean, I can only wonder if he was in full "pander" mode on Robertson's show. And I'm not the only one. In fact, a donation made to a gay group by the DNC was returned in protest:
[Matt] Foreman said in response to Dean's "pandering and insulting interview" with the Christian Broadcasting Network, the [National Gay & Lesbian] Task Force would return a $5,000 donation it received from the DNC.
I know many out there think Dr. Dean is the greatest thing since sliced bread when it comes to fund raising (and even that's been questioned), but continuing to misstate his party's platform, pander to those he usually denounces and alienating key Democratic constituencies doesn't seem like it would fall in the job description of the Chairman of the DNC.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
"I know many out there think Dr. Dean is the greatest thing since sliced bread"

I am not a fan of the left but I couldn’t agree more!. ;)
 
Written By: markm
URL: http://
Actually, it "made the DNC money". The DNC had made a donation to the NGLTF, which the NGLTF returned. Maybe that’s Dean’s new fundraising mechanism!
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
You know, you’re right ... I "misstated" Dean’s effect, since edited.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Dean’s recent actions are indicative of the way the GLBT community gets treated. What is a real shame is that if the left doesn’t support the community, there is no one to do it. Rights are being trampled and the Democratic party is not doing anything to help.
 
Written By: Vivian J. Paige
URL: http://vivianpaige.wordpress.com
Dean’s recent actions are indicative of the way the GLBT community gets treated
They get treated the same way the Dem party treats blacks...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"They get treated the same way the Dem party treats blacks..."

Can I charge you for my coffee soaked keyboard and nosebleed?

Thanks, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
WaPo (I think it was) reported a few days ago that Karl Rove plans to push back against low approval ratings this summer, in preparation for November, by congressional activity on the anti-gay marriage amendment, and more federal abortion legislation. That is how Rove is going to try to rev up the base.

Never mind that issues like marriage and abortion are properly left to the states. This is the new, big govt GOP that loves encroaching on the power of the states as much as any New Dealer ever did.

Howard Dean’s appearing on the 700 Club and saying what he did is reprehensible, but he is trying to ward off Dem losses that the Rovian plan hopes to effect.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Never mind that issues like marriage and abortion are properly left to the states.
So Mona, the Democratic NATIONAL Committee should not be addressing this one way or the other?
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
McQ: I know many out there think Dr. Dean is the greatest thing since sliced bread. [...] Not only that, there have been a couple of other occurrances that haven’t set well with LGBT community.

LGBT = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between a Lesbian and a Gay? I suggest we drop the "G" and just use the term "BLT." Now that would be the greatest thing since sliced bread, bacon, lettuce, and tomato[e].
 
Written By: rammage
URL: www.atlasblogged.com
Rovian plan hopes to effect.
You forgot the compulsory "Bhwahahahaha" after that statement. Wouldn’t want a visit from the rovian killbots. ;)

By the way, are you the same Mona that Jeff Goldstein mentioned in a post about 2 weeks ago?
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://

By the way, are you the same Mona that Jeff Goldstein mentioned in a post about 2 weeks ago?
That would be me. Jeff has consigned me to some evil cabal for the sin of having come to be highly critical of George Bush on matters pertaining to national security and foreign policy.

As for this:
You forgot the compulsory "Bhwahahahaha" after that statement. Wouldn’t want a visit from the rovian killbots. ;)
I really don’t think this is funny. Karl Rove announced the GOP will be pandering to its religious base on gays and abortion this summer. I’d like to know when it happened that marriage law and abortion were deemed federal issues by "conservatives." Perhaps when demonizing gay people emerged as such a useful political tool. What principled people are Rove and the current GOP crop.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Can anyone tell me what the difference is between a Lesbian and a Gay?
Assuming it wasn’t just a setup for the BLT joke, lesbians and gays really are two distinct communities. If you think for a moment, you’ll come up with a bunch of differences yourself. Or to cheat, see this Sailer compilation of comparisons between gays and lesbians. They’re generalizations, yes, but are generally indicative of the differences between the groups.
 
Written By: Jody
URL: http://
I’d like to know when it happened that marriage law and abortion were deemed federal issues by "conservatives."
Composition fallacy?

Not all conservatives are federalists. In particular, federalism runs pretty shallow for social conservatives who are the ones who care the most about gay marriage.

There’s actually a shload of different factions on the conservative side of the political spectrum, it’s just that they haven’t tended to organize themselves into identifiable interest groups as the members of the liberal side tend to do. The most noticeable exception being the Christian conservatives formally known as the Moral Majority and so on.
 
Written By: Jody
URL: http://
I really don’t think this is funny.
Well, if you coach it like a conspiracy theory then it won’t be taken seriously. What you said sounds like something I could have read off one of the countless kos sites.

We won’t know what "evil Bushco and his rovian minions" does until it is acted upon, MSM notwithstanding. The MSM said s a lot things about the curennt admin’s plans, maybe 10% of them are correct.

However, this postwas about Dean’s fantastic ability to put his whole leg down his throat. Dean, the gift that keeps on giving to the "rethuglicans" (did I get the terminology right, one never knows).
Jeff has consigned me to some evil cabal
Yes, I suppose. I think his words were intellectual concubine to Greenwald or something like that. But Jeff has a particular way with words. Please forgive my curiousity.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
At the risk of sounding heartless and cynical, just how key is the LGBT constituency? In election calculus, do they bring the Democratic Party more votes than they cost? And, when you come down to it, where else are they going to go?
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
Screw it up? You seriously think this was a mistake, somehow?
 
Written By: Christopher Taylor
URL: http://networdblog.blogspot.com/
Screw it up? You seriously think this was a mistake, somehow?
I was actually being facetious, Christopher.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And, when you come down to it, where else are they going to go?
Log Cabin Republicans?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I really don’t think this is funny.
Well, if you coach it like a conspiracy theory then it won’t be taken seriously. What you said sounds like something I could have read off one of the countless kos sites.
So what does that mean, captain?
First off, there’s nothing conspiratorial about it. Since 2000, every election cycle is fraught with anti-homosexual (or pro-heterosexual,… whatever.) rhetoric. Then after the ballots are cast, nothing is done about it (at least at the federal level).

Where have you been?

We won’t know what "evil Bushco and his rovian minions" does until it is acted upon, MSM notwithstanding. The MSM said s a lot things about the curennt admin’s plans, maybe 10% of them are correct.
What are the odds? I’ll give you ten to one, if you’re interested.
I really don’t think this is funny. Karl Rove announced the GOP will be pandering to its religious base on gays and abortion this summer. I’d like to know when it happened that marriage law and abortion were deemed federal issues by "conservatives." Perhaps when demonizing gay people emerged as such a useful political tool. What principled people are Rove and the current GOP crop.
Godspeed, Mona. I’ve been beating the same drum around here for a while and I only seem to get grief. Especially from Mr. Perkins.
The GOP apologist’s don’t seem to care if so-called “conservatives” wish to interject, through government, their wishes on the general public when it doesn’t seem to be any of their, the government’s, business. But whatever, right? As long as it is useful to win elections.
And Dean? Well, it seems as though he’s taking a page from the GOP’s political playbook. But it also would seem that he’s had that play for a while. From Andrew Sullivan,
Howard Dean earned a very good reputation among gay people when he supported civil unions in Vermont. But those who have dealt with him face-to-face know his aversion to marriage equality for gay people. He outmaneuvered marriage advocates in Vermont skillfully and adeptly. His position is that his party’s interests come first, and so I’m not surprised to see him going on Christianist Pat Robertson’s show and misrepresenting the Democrats’ position.
As long as it’s useful to win elections. Right, Mr. Dean? (Pathetic)

We all know that the goal of a chairman is to get his/her party elected. And we all know that pol’s will pander, pander, pander. Just look at McCain’s plan to speak at Liberty (yeah, right) University. Pander, pander, pander. But it’s significantly sickening to see a party spokesman turn around and slap a constituency in the face… no matter how insignificant a constituency.
Sullivan puts it best,
For me, the deeper lesson is now and always has been the following: the gay rights movement is a moral movement. It is about education, and persuasion, and moral witnessing to the truth about our lives. We should engage members of both parties as much as we can. But we should never become a wing of one party. It tarnishes the movement and leads to such gut-wrenching betrayals as the Defense of Marriage Act and "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," the two most significant anti-gay events of the last decade - both signed by a Democratic president. Engage, but don’t trust. And whetever you do, don’t trust Howard Dean.
But for me, a happily married heterosexual, it boils down to government intrusion. Onto anyone. My libertarian, and GOP apologist, father recently asked me, “who cares about gay marriage?”
“Well, Dad… I do.”
Though any anti-gay legislation may not affect me the slightest, it matters not because it’s just another useless government intrusion onto the lives of the, arguably insignificant, public. End of story.

And, when you come down to it, where else are they going to go?
Log Cabin Republicans?

Written By: McQ
Heh. Talk about insignificant constituency.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
And, when you come down to it, where else are they going to go?

Log Cabin Republicans?

Written By: McQ

Heh. Talk about insignificant constituency.
Yeah, but you have to admit, it answers the question. And hey, if they all went, not so insignificant, huh?

What, Pogue, no cheap shot about my Dean obsession? ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
What, Pogue, no cheap shot about my Dean obsession? ;)
Ya’ see, McQ. I know you all too well, buddy. You probably have a comeback already in the pipe. I’m going to avoid that grief.
Anyway, I’m not the kinda’ guy to attempt to keep you from runnin’ yer traps. ;)

‘sides. I’m in agreement for once.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Actually I think the centrist Dem position is in favor of Civil Unions. Which, of course are different from Marriages. Because they’re spelt differntly.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Pogue Mahone writes:
First off, there’s nothing conspiratorial about it. Since 2000, every election cycle is fraught with anti-homosexual (or pro-heterosexual,… whatever.) rhetoric. Then after the ballots are cast, nothing is done about it (at least at the federal level).
Exactly.

But, even "conservatives" who want the GOP to pass anti-gay laws aren’t buying it anymore. From the Baltimore Examiner :
Karl Rove reportedly has a plan to “stir up” the base to again save the Republicans’ electoral bacon, but conservatives won’t be satisfied this time around with more token efforts on issues like marriage and dire warnings that “the Democrats would be far worse.” Conservatives have heard that song before and know it never has a second verse.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
At the risk of sounding heartless and cynical, just how key is the LGBT constituency? In election calculus, do they bring the Democratic Party more votes than they cost?
Unfortunately, the LGBT constituency is not key in most areas because the group doesn’t vote as a block. Unlike being black, which can be seen simply by looking at me, the gay thing is mostly unseen. So while many gays do vote for Ds, it is not because there is a concerted effort.

If there were a truly concerted effort, these constitutional amendments (such as the one coming on the VA ballot in Nov) wouldn’t pass so easily.
 
Written By: Vivian J. Paige
URL: http://vivianpaige.wordpress.com
If there were a truly concerted effort, these constitutional amendments (such as the one coming on the VA ballot in Nov) wouldn’t pass so easily.


Au contraire.

There’s a concerted effort, but gays aren’t spread evenly throughout the country (especially in places like Virginia), and we ARE a minority without a major party backing us.

Imagine if blacks in Alabama had to take on poll taxes and segregation all by themselves without any major party support in the 1960s. You’d have seen "easy passage" of racist constitutional amendments in those states as well.
 
Written By: Brian Miller
URL: http://
‘sides. I’m in agreement for once.
I hate it when that happens.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
just how key is the LGBT constituency?
Perhaps as a group they donate more per capita to political groups? From what I’ve seen, LGBT tend to be much more activist and often wealthier than your average Joe/Josephine.
 
Written By: equitus
URL: http://

 
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