Howard Dean Too Liberal?

That's the word coming from the mass media today, via the Democratic Leadership Council. Take a look at some of the headlines:

"Centrist Demos weigh Dean dilemma"
"Centrist Democrats: Don't Vote for Dean"
"Centrist Democrats plot strategy, continue to assail Dean"
"Centrist Democrats Reserved Toward Dean"

Is Dean really too liberal? No. These reports are based on Dean's position on a single issue: the US-led invasion of Iraq. (We'll discuss same-sex civil unions at a later date.) On a host of other issues, Howard Dean is justified in saying that he represents "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Some liberals even consider his views on fiscal policy, the death penalty and gun rights to be somewhat right of center.

So the question is, will America support a presidential candidate who openly opposed the unilateral invasion of another country, which was eventually undertaken under false pretenses and without UN approval? I feel stupid for even asking.
Many members of the Democratic Leadership Council are convinced that Dean's opposition to the war in Iraq makes him too liberal for middle America, and they worry that if he wins the nomination it could undo years of work to persuade the country that the Democratic Party isn't controlled by its left wing.

"The Internet may be giving angry, protest-oriented activists the rope they need to hang the party," wrote Randolph Court in the DLC's bimonthly newsletter, The New Democrat Blueprint.

Still, few of the moderates assembled in Philadelphia thought that the Dean campaign or any campaign platform that includes a plank against the war in Iraq will survive once a broader audience begins paying attention to the race.

"People like his courage. They like the fact that he's been speaking out," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. But, she added, "I think there are those who would say that it would be very difficult for someone who opposed the war to get elected in my state today."

New Hampshire state Rep. Peter Sullivan said that in his primary-crazy home state, Dean has made a splash in college towns and border communities that have attracted young, liberal voters transplanted from other states.

But in blue-collar cities such as Manchester, "it's like he's not even there," said Sullivan, who wore a Joe Lieberman button. This, he said, despite Dean's reputation in Vermont as a fiscal conservative who supported the death penalty and rights of gun owners.

"I think it's going to be tough for him to move past the 18 to 19 percent he's got right now, even though, when you take away his opposition to the war, he's probably as much a New Democrat as anyone here."

Howard Dean Eats Turkey; Dick Cheney Eats Crow

Some good news from the Howard Dean campaign today. Dick Cheney held a $2,000-a-plate luncheon in Columbia, SC today. Dean responded with a competing fundraiser. While Vice President Dick Cheney hobnobbed with those who could afford to shell out big bucks to have lunch with him, Gov. Dean ate a $3 turkey sandwich sitting at his desk in Burlington, VT. Just over 100 people showed up for Cheney's event, while more than 8,000 people made contributions to Dean's campaign over the weekend.

Dick Cheney raised about $300,000 today. Howard Dean has raised over $450,000, and the contributions are still coming in.

You can join the thousands of Americans who are showing the GOP that our government is not for sale by joining the campaign. Check it out for yourself at the official Howard Dean weblog.