Howard Dean’s takin’ a lickin’ for his remarks the other day on the war in Iraq. Reports the Seattle P.I.:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Monday likened the war to Vietnam, adding “The idea that the United States is going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong.”

Howie. My Howie. He knows how to attract lightning. In 2003 and early 2004, Seattle political activist Ray Minchew worked his tail off for Dean’s candidacy. I was working my tush off for Dean too, so I got to know Ray, a delightful, sharp and kind person. After Dean’s statement Monday, Ray wrote this in a group e-mail:

As usual with Howard and his controversial statements, WHAT he said was spot-on, but HOW he said it left the door open for Republican hair-on-fire attacks. Having Bush respond to him directly elevates the question, though.

On Tuesday, in a direct dig at Howard Dean, “President Bush denounced as ‘pessimists’ those who suggested there be a timetable for withdrawal.” (Seattle P.I.) And here’s how Bush referred to Ho-Ho in his Iraq/economy speech on Wednesday:

In this debate, some are calling for us to withdraw from Iraq on a fixed timetable, without regard to conditions on the ground. Recently, one Democratic leader came out in support of an artificial deadline for withdrawal, and said an immediate withdrawal of our troops would, “make the American people safer, our military stronger, and bring some stability to the region.” That’s the wrong policy for our government. Withdrawing on an artificial deadline would endanger the American people, would harm our military, and make the Middle East less stable. It would give the terrorists exactly what they want.

House Speaker Dennis “Bagman” Hastert (R-Ill) also piped up immediately:

“We should all be grateful that Governor Dean is not General Dean. … Rather than standing by our troops who are fighting the war on terror, Howard Dean has made it clear the Democratic Party sides with those who wish to surrender.” (Seattle P.I.)

Jerry Springer, on the MSNBC Scarborough Country show, defended Dean’s statements. Brinnainne paraphrased Springer in the story, “When History Is Written …“:

[paraphrase follows]
    Who gives a rat’s ass about whether or not what Dean said is bad for democrats or good for republicans??? This is WAR we’re talking about, not partisian politics — the question we SHOULD be discussing is: what if Dean is RIGHT? What if that is really the bottom line?

    Then he quoted Bush from [a Today Show interview on Aug. 31, 2004] when Bush said “I don’t think we can win it.” (It being the war on terror…)

WTG, Brinnainne! And thanks for sharing your gift for remembering what Shrub said when. (Below the fold, JPol, who saw the same interview, discusses a problem with some of Springer’s comments.)

While the piling on continues, Dean is replying by saying that “his assertion that the United States cannot win the war in Iraq was reported ‘a little out of context’, saying Democrats believe a new U.S. strategy is needed to succeed there,” reports today’s Seattle P.I./AP, via Howie in Seattle‘s blog:

“They kind of cherry-picked that one the same way the president cherry-picked the intelligence going into Iraq,” [Dean said].

Dean was questioned on CNN about an interview he gave Monday to radio station WOAI in San Antonio. “The idea that we’re going to win this war is an ideal that unfortunately is just plain wrong,” … […]

On Thursday, Dean stressed at several junctures in the interview that Democrats support U.S. troops struggling to secure Iraq. He seemed to be striving to counter charges that statements by some Democrats suggesting a pullout are having the effect of undermining U.S. servicemen and women. … (Today’s Seattle P.I./A.P., via Howie in Seattle‘s blog)

Hey, Ho Ho. Don’t back down too much. We need blunt voices like yours and Jack Murtha’s. Now, for the piece de resistance! From Crooks & Liars, of course:

Howard Stern defends Howard Dean

Stern got all over the NY Post for printing a crazy article that’s not from their op-ed pages.

Stern: I don’t see anybody on the NY Post going over to to fight the war. What kind of cowards are they?

“French Surrender Monkey”

Stern: How many of umm-any of those Fox television guys, John Gibson, Bill O’Reilly—-how do they call someone a coward when they haven’t fought in one war? … (Read all and listen to the MP3)

Thanks, Howard and the other Howard, for telling it like it is, dammit! And, below the fold, do NOT miss JPol’s comments to me in an e-mail, and which he expressly gave me permission to reprint here — for you:

From JPol:

Some of the criticism is really interesting. It starts out attacking Dean and then comes around to acknowledging that a growing number of members of Congress and the public (based on the polls) are coming to the same conclusions Dean did. That was the gist of how it was treated on Matthews last night, and I’ve seen similar coverage elsewhere.

It boils down to: Dean is right, but why does he have to say what he says? Jerry Springer, of all people, basically said the same thing about Dean, I think on Scarborough. He then conceded that perhaps Dean probably would have been better off not having said it.

I think that is bullshit. Dean said what he feels, and a majority of the public agrees with him. The cowardly Democrats who want to look tough in “the war on terror” are simply embarrassed at how their words contrast with Dean’s.

The wingnuts who say he is demoralizing the troops and giving aid and comfort to the enemy just are not to be taken seriously. I think the right wingers are running scared, and the only way they know how to deal with things is to go into attack mode and try to stir up emotions. That may work when Bush has the public scared and mesmerized, but that isn’t the case any more.

The public is starting to notice that they use the same fear/patriotism/support the troops rhetoric over and over again, and it isn’t resonating any more. Daily headlines about planted news, torture, and rendition aren’t helping them either. That German who was abducted and tortured who is sueing the U.S. is an interesting phenonemonen. That was the kind of story you would read about on the blogs and the British media until recently. Now it is front-page msm news.

Go Dean. Keep speaking your mind. If the DNC tries to oust him for his honesty they will have a major revolt on their hands from the rank-and-file. Besides, he is doing a great job organizing Democrats in the Red states, and he is bringing in money. They don’t want to fire him, just to muzzle him.

Go, Howie, Howard, Brinnainne (whose head must hurt from remembering so much about Bush), John Amato, and Jerry P. too!

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