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February 08, 2005

Comments

Rich Leonardi

Roemer, a Catholic, opposes abortion but has said he does not advocate overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, or changing the Democratic Party platform’s support of abortion rights.

That's a bit of a disappointment. My impression was that he was conducting some sort of message campaign around the pro-life cause.

As reported on Fox this morning, Roemer's parting words were that Bush won 97 out of 100 of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S. in '04 and that Democrats are in duck soup unless they change course.

Dale Price

Chairman Dean, indeed. Dr. Planned Parenthood.

That'll be great for outreach.

Proof positive that the Democratic learning curve looks an awful lot like a flatline.

Gerard E.

Some people should expect those of us oriented not to vote Democrat- particularly the sub-group, myself included, who were deprogrammed from these tendencies- to rejoice that Howard Dean will manage the party. Not this one. Refuting, criticizing, exposing their antics and faulty arguments is becoming far too easy. Never good for a democracy to have one party generate most of the ideas, the other to either stop those ideas cold or go into angry spasms over them. If the Republicans are the Road Runner, the Democrats are Wile E. Coyote, trying another new Acme Supercharged Jet-Propelled Thingamabob. Which will only drop them to earth, trailing a large dust cloud.

Sean Gallagher

Dean as DNC chairman? Exxxxcellent. (Hey, somebody had to do it since Shea is on hiatus.)

John Heavrin

Don't you have to be in a race before you can drop out of it?

Roemer was never in this race.

I don't know if this is a bad move for Democrats or not. Dean certainly got Democrats excited and was able to raise a lot of money. He became nationally prominent overnight, on the strength of hard work and, yes, charisma. He has huge faults, but I do think he's far from an extreme liberal, except on the Iraq War. He's ardently pro-choice; so is the Democratic Party. Does anybody expect them to put a pro-lifer in this position?

Even the Democrats ultimately didn't want this guy as their nominee...but to excite people, pump up flagging spirits, and to work like a dog and raise a lot of money, I think Dean's a good choice.

The election's over; Bush and the Republicans can't measure success by whether they can win an election, or "beat" guys like Kerry or Dean. They did that. Bully for them. Now they'll be judged by whether they can deliver to those who put them there. If they don't deliver, pointing to Dean won't save them. So the Republican chortling is misplaced, in my view. They may end up making Dean look good.

Cheeky Lawyer

"His candidacy was bumpy from the start, drawing outcries from groups that support abortion rights. Roemer, a Catholic, opposes abortion but has said he does not advocate overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, or changing the Democratic Party platform’s support of abortion rights."

So how exactly is he pro-life then? I know he voted pro-life but come on Congressman. We can't prohibit abortion unless we a) amend the Constitution or b) overturn Roe v. Wade.

Perhaps instead of hoping for a pro-life amendment (something no-one seems to talk about or push) we should merely amend the Constitution to say that nothing in the Constitution shall be read to prohibit laws banning abortion. Could we obtain the numbers we need to make such an amendment? Probably not but it would have a better chance than a Human Life Amendment.

stuart chessman

So Roemer comes clean: how long will people follow the willow-the-wisp of a Catholic Democratic party? Wise up: there's no place for you there.

Peter Nixon

I'm personally disappointed that Dean is going to be chair, but his victory over Roemer may not have much to do with abortion. Dean has a large national base within the party, the fruit of his recent campaign for president. Most local Democrats had never heard of Roemer, who is known mostly to Beltway cognoscenti.

It also helped Dean that the major job of the DNC chair is fundraising, and Dean's efforts to use the Internet to cultivate a small-donor base for the Dems was probably attractive to a lot of DNC officials.

I'm not saying that his pro-life views weren't a factor. But most of the people who would have voted against him because of that would probably have voted against him for a lot of other reasons. There is also, of course, his vote against the first Clinton budget in 1993. There are a lot of former Democratic members of Congress who voted for that budget and paid for it at election time. Some of those folks have long memories.

But the idea of Howard Dean being the voice of the Democratic Party on Sunday morning for the next four years should send chills down the spine of any Democrat seeking to win an election outside the two coasts or upper Midwest. Roemer's parting words should be heeded.

ajb

If I'm not mistaken, Roemer was one of the few Democrats in Congress to both vote AGAINST President Clinton's budget and FOR President Bush's massive tax cuts.

Therefore he would be totally ineffective in challenging anything Bush does on the economic front.

The out-going DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe was an accomplished fund-raiser, but horrible at getting the party message out and largely out of touch with the grass roots.

And Cheeky, the Republicans *talk* about a Life Amendment. It's in their Party platform. But it apparently wasn't as important as the GMA.

c matt

The Dem's problem is not that they failed to get the message out. The problem was not enough people liked the message.

kyle

Gerard has an important point above. We need a sane opposition party. It's not like things are going perfectly in Iraq. It's not like our economy is increasingly humane and friendly to families. It's not like accelerating change in society and technology is just non-stop, universally benificent advance for human dignity. It's not like we're fresh out of problems to overcome.

And it's not like the GOP and its guiding philosophy, increasingly veering toward hard libertarianism with a healthy dose of utilitarianism and a few secular messiahs, has all the answers.

But instead of a sane opposition party, we get the Culture of Death Party, the Bush-is-Hitler Party, the Secular Party, the Judicial Tyranny Party, the Personally-Opposed-But Party, the Homogamy Party, the If-You-Disagree-With-Me-You're-a-Bigot-and-Fascist Party, the Kinsey Party.

I want somebody with a shred of credibility to stand up and say, "You know, this plan for the occupation looks a little pie in the sky." Instead, we get Mr. I-Voted-For-It-Before-I-Campaigned-Against-It. I want somebody to say, "Look, the American economy seems to be flush with Wal-Mart jobs, but that isn't helping families. Here's a plan for reform." Instead we get shrieking conspiracy theories about Haliburton.

I even want somebody to say, poverty and war involve moral values -- without adding as a corollary that running preborn babies through the equivalent of an industrial shredder is a "constitutional right."

I think we need to ask ourselves how long our form of government can sustain a situation like this. I think we need to ask why a party so clearly out of ideas and so morally bankrupt is still able to attract almost half of America's votes. Dean is bad news for a lot of serious reasons.

George

I would dispute that pro-choice individuals such as Dean are morally bankrupt. Perhaps we should just consider them wrong. I would say it is fair to consider pro-death policies to be morally bankrupt if they actually cause deaths. For example, I think that Roe v. Wade did substantially increase the number of abortions in the U.S. in the 70s and early 80s. Since then, government policies have not been a factor.

On a different track, I consider permissive U.S. policies towards torture to be morally bankrupt. But I don't consider Alberto Gonzales to be morally bankrupt because of his flawed legal analysis. He was just wrong.

I differ with most folks here in thinking that repealing Roe will not save any/many unborn lives. Laws don't cause abortions, people do.

The teaching effect of the law is relevant if there is consensus that the law is just. There is no consensus that abortions should be banned. It is arguable there is even a consensus in the U.S. or anywhere in the West that abortions are wrong.

I would agree the "Bush is stupid/he wasn't really elected" line of M. Moore and some Dems was ineffective. Obviously, it won't be their line in 2008, or in 2006. If the Dems don't find a Tony Blair, the country will continue to support Republican majorities. During the next decade or two, there is little evidence of an "emerging Democratic majority", to borrow a phrase. I don't see a dramatic swing to the Republicans, either. But 52-48 is a pretty comfortable majority.

Bush winning fast growing counties doesn't really reflect anything other well-off and more educated voters preferring Republicans, does it? For the purposes of this forum, I would guess that living in a fast growing county also corelates to attending an evangelical church, but probably not to belonging to the Catholic Church or to a mainline Protestant denomination.

Donald R. McClarey

Howard Dean Chairman of the Democrat Party? Thank you Lord!

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