Howard Dean Launches Democracy for America;
Republicans Cry Foul

On Thursday, Howard Dean announced the launch of a new grassroots organization -- Democracy for America -- to support the Democratic nominee for President, progressive Democratic candidates for Congress, and universal health care, among other things.

Dr. Dean had this to say during his appearance in San Francisco, which I attended:
"To defeat George Bush, the Democratic Party and its nominee must stand up strong for our principles, not paper over our differences with the most radical White House in our lifetime.

We can do better, and we will.

I'm going to do everything I can to make sure John Kerry succeeds in sending George Bush back to Crawford, Texas. But that is not enough. Changing presidents is not enough. We have to fundamentally change the Democratic Party."
The Republicans responded in typical fashion, not simply criticizing Gov. Dean, but accusing him of making remarks regarding the recent events in Madrid that were unacceptable.

But Gillespies didn't stop there. He went on to demand that Dean retract his comments, and more ridiculously, conflated Dean with the terrorists for repeating "the threats made by those we are trying to defeat in the War on Terror."
"In failing to retract his comments that President Bush and the War on Terror are responsible for those murdered in Spain last week, Howard Dean continues to help steer the Democrat Party even farther out of the mainstream of acceptable political discourse.

We can only hope that Howard Dean will right the wrong he created with these comments by retracting them the next time he makes a public address. Presidential candidates like John Kerry and the surrogates who speak on their behalf have an obligation not to repeat the threats made by those we are trying to defeat in the War on Terror."
What exactly constitutes "acceptable political discourse" to Ed Gillespie and the Republicans? That's easy: any discourse which concurs with their ideology is acceptable, while any which disagrees is not. This is the same sort of bully rhetoric we got from Bush and his administration after 9/11. Remember what Bush said in his "Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People" just nine days after the attacks?

"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

In his collection of essays, The Great Unraveling, Paul Krugman draws parallels between the tactics of the Bush conservatives and those of a "revolutionary power" described by Henry Kissinger in his doctoral dissertation. There is a method to their madness, and its not unfamiliar to historians.

Thanks to Howard Dean, and others who were courageous enough to stand up and criticize the policies of George W. Bush when doing so seemed risky and self-defeating, the Democrats are finding their political voice, and hundreds of thousands of Americans are getting involved in politics, to take back America from the extremists now in power. The Republicans have shown themselves willing to do and say anything to get their way.

We can stop them, and we will.