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The Republican Plot to Derail Howard Dean's Campaign Exposed
by R. J. Crane, columnist for topplebush.com
July 14, 2003

An article from Richard Reeves, an independent conservative journalist appeared recently in my newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, July 11, 2003, 13A. The title of this article was: Dems: Leadership needed; Dean, Edwards don't fit the bill.

Reeves opined that Dean and Edwards (although no one else even mentions Edwards as a viable candidate now so his name must have been thrown in this article to keep the focus off the real target: Dean) weren't viable Democratic candidates for President because of a lack of leadership experience and ability, even though Dean has been very successful so far raising money for his campaign and tapping into the power of the internet. Reeves likened Dean to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton -- his examples of presidential failures in comparison to Reagan and the current Bush Administrations. Need I say more? Of these four: Carter, Clinton, Reagan, and Bush, which ones do you think "deserved" to have been impeached for serious crimes? If you didn't answer the latter two, you must have forgotten Iran-Contra and refuse to admit to yourself that Bush lied to everyone about the reasons for the Iraq War. Reagan also left the country in far worse shape economically than Carter did...but everyone felt better about it.

Not more than a day or two after reading Reeve's column, I was sent another article via email that appeared in the July 11, 2003 edition of the Weekly Standard, a small conservative magazine owned by Rupert Murdock. The article was written by Christopher Caldwell.

Here are a few choice quotes from the Caldwell article:

  • "Much of the Clinton brains trust fears Mr Dean's insurrection will be as vain as the primary challenge of Pat Buchanan, the Republican, in 1992 - a sour-grapes candidacy possible only in an undisciplined party and capable of motivating only a rump of hotheads."
  • "Dick Morris, Mr Clinton's strategist in 1996, holds that "if somebody doesn't stop Howard Dean, he and his ideas will be permanent plagues on the Democratic party". Mr Dean would thus resemble George McGovern, who in 1972 pressed the cause of reform so hard that he locked his party out of the White House for most of a generation."
  • "Should he get the nomination, Mr Dean would probably consign his party to electoral slaughter."

This article also conveniently omitted any mention of how much more money the Republican Party has raised and would raise compared to the Democrats trying to shift the focus to where the money comes from and in what amounts to make the Republican Party "appear" to be the real mainstream party.

Both of these articles had a similar message: That Dean shouldn't be the Democratic candidate for President if the Democrats want to win in 2004.

But let's look closely at this message and expose it for what it really is: A right wing plot to derail Dean's campaign using fear to splinter the Democratic voters.

First off, you need to ask yourself "why would either of these staunch conservatives want to offer their suggestions to help the Democrats pick the best candidate to defeat Bush in 2004?" When you realize the folly of this you then need to ask yourself "why are they using this scare campaign to derail Dean's campaign?"

I'll tell you why: They fear Dean more than they do any of the other Democratic candidates because his campaign has caught on fire and he's on a roll. Of course they don't expect him to raise nearly as much money as Bush will. No Democrat would be able to do that. But they do fear that his message will connect with lots of voters including all of the people the Bush Administration has left behind and will keep leaving behind. They also know that Dean is a bright well educated man who makes a good impression when he speaks. Something Bush never could and still can't do unless you call reading even simple messages from a prepared script, speaking. The Republicans also know that Bush is vulnerable on plenty of issues that are important to voters that Dean can address such as health care, the sorry state of the economy, the lack of essential domestic spending because of the huge tax cuts for the rich, and the never ending wars that will only make the deficits worse. If the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq keep going as badly as they have so far, something everyone should be blaming the Bush Administration for, thus costing U.S. taxpayers a combined total of $5 billion dollars per month, Bush will be history in 2004 -- the same way his father was when he lost to Bill Clinton after only one term. And let's not forget the lies Bush told to get us into the war in Iraq -- an issue that should have sunk this ship a long time ago. Dean's position against the War in Iraq make him a strong candidate as the Bush lies for this war keep piling up and are exposed.

Dean by taking a stance against the war early on may be the only "viable" candidate who can unite the Dems with the Green Party to defeat Bush in 2004. If Gore had been able to do this, Bush would be attending Ranger games on a regular basis instead of occupying the Oval Office.

So here's my message to all Democrats, Greens, and Independents. When you read these articles blasting Dean and/or his campaign please consider the source. Please also take note that the Republican strategy is to put the weakest "viable" candidate up against Bush in 2004. While I am not admitting yet that Dean is the strongest Democrat to emerge, he certainly has to be considered as one of the top two. The Republican strategy is now geared toward scaring Democrats and others from supporting Dean. My guess is that you will see many articles similar to the above making the same claims (they all borrow from the same talking points). Ignore them all! Don't allow these Bush supporters to make your decisions for you. Understand that these articles are written because Dean is the candidate they fear the most...not the one who will "crash and burn" on November 2, 2004. Trust me. They don't have yours or my best interests at heart. Recall too that in the early days of Clinton's first campaign for President in 1992, he was considered a long shot with little chance of winning and at that time, not many Democrats even wanted to run against George H. W. Bush, with his popularity up around 89% after the Gulf War.

Let these Republicans know that you won't be fooled by their scare tactics. We know their game plan. It's just been exposed!

R. J. Crane, columnist for topplebush.com

© 2003 Topplebush.com
July 10, 2003

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