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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Howard Dean's Cosmology

Newsday/AP:
Down with divisiveness was the message Wednesday delivered by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean as he told a group of Florida business leaders that Republican policies of deceit and finger-pointing are tearing American apart.

Dean called President Bush "the most divisive president probably in our history."

"He's always talking about those people. It's always somebody else's fault. It's the gays' fault. It's the immigrants' fault. It's the liberals' fault. It's the Democrats' fault. It's Hollywood people," Dean said. "Americans are sick of that. Even if you win elections doing that, you drag down our country."
...
The Republican agenda "is flag-burning and same-sex marriage and God knows what else," Dean said. "We need real change in this country. We're in trouble."
The most hilarious thing is that no one on the left is going to see the humor in this. It appears to be projection on a grand scale. I've never seen Bush quoted as talking about "those people". Wasn't it Kerry who said Bush's position on same-sex marriage was exactly the same as Kerry's? Go right through Bush's speeches, and it's clear that Bush actively avoids name-calling and finger-pointing. Bush exemplifies the southern trait of being polite to a person right up until the moment when the southerner decides the person needs to be killed. I think that's what everyone missed about Bush's "sh_t" remark in reference to the situation in Lebanon.

Dean, on the other hand, tends to get personal, and holds grudges with a vengenance. MensNewsDaily:
"Dean himself moved from Episcopalian to Congregationalist "because I had a big fight with a local Episcopal church about 25 years ago over the bike path." He does not hesitate to reveal this information or to declare that he seldom goes to church." -- Robert Novak
...
"I think a library trustee is pretty important," Dean said, during "an administration that likes book burning more than reading books." -- Howard Dean as quoted by USA Today
...
"The truth is the President of the United States used the same device that Slobodan Milosevic used in Serbia. When you appeal to homophobia, when you appeal to sexism, when you appeal to racism, that is extraordinarily damaging to the country."
And don't forget:
John Ashcroft is not a patriot, John Ashcroft is a descendant of Joseph McCarthy.
...
I don't hate Republicans as individuals. But I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country. I really do.
...
I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.
...
This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good.
But let's not be divisive, okay?
"You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever and get home and still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well Republicans, I guess can do that. Because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
Another aspect of Howard Dean's personality is that he's willing to withhold judgment on some people, but willing to assume the guilt of others:
"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found. I will have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."
...
"I don’t know. There are many theories about (9/11). The most interesting theory that I’ve heard so far—which is nothing more than a theory, it can’t be proved—is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is? But the trouble is, by suppressing that kind of information, you lead to those kind of theories, whether they have any truth to them or not, and eventually, they get repeated as fact. So I think the president is taking a great risk by suppressing the key information that needs to go to the Kean Commission."
...
Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence.
That LIHOP quote is breathtaking. In one paragraph, Dean moves from saying that LIHOP is an unprovable but interesting theory to maintaining that Bush is hiding information from the Kean Commission.

Dean admits he's a bit of a waffler, but not, you know, on the important things, such as rights issues. Free speech for those who don't agree with him is bad:
I've waffled before. I'll waffle again.
...
I will use whatever position I have in order to root out hypocrisy. Democrats have strong moral values. Frankly, my moral values are offended by some of the things I hear on programs like "Rush Limbaugh," and we don't have to put up with that.
Unless, of course, they're Democrats:
"I believe that the flag of the Confederate States of America is a painful symbol and reminder of racial injustice and slavery which (Abraham) Lincoln denounced from here over 150 years ago"
...
I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks. We can't beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross-section of Democrats.
Wasn't Abraham Lincoln the first president of the Republican party? Whatever you say, sir:
"You know, the Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. Pretty much, they all behave the same, and they all look the same. ... It's pretty much a white Christian party.''
But you're a committed Christian, right? Yup:
I'm a committed Christian. I worship in my own way. That's my business. That's not the business of the pharisees who are going to preach to me about what I do and then do something else.
Oh, well, at least Dean's not white. Er, at least he's not Republican. Howard Dean has his own Bible, and he sticks by it. There is no such thing as original sin - all of God's creation was and remains good (except perhaps for Republicans):
"From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people."
We await the word from the DLC pulpit on child molesters, and I think Dr. Dean needs to have a talk with the March of Dimes people. Darn it, God wants those kids born handicapped and they shouldn't be obstructing God's will. (Note, this is a theological point, not a slap at people with birth defects or homosexuals.) Dr. Dean's Bible has a slightly different, but admirably pluralistic, New Testament:
"If you know much about the Bible—which I do—to see and be in the place where Christ was and understand the intimate history of what was going on 2,000 years ago is an exceptional experience," he said.

Responding to this comment, along with earlier statements that Dean has read the Bible cover to cover, a reporter asked the candidate what his favorite book from the New Testament is. He answered by citing Job, a book from the Old Testament.

"But I don't like the way it ends," he said. "Some would argue, you know, in some of the books of the New Testament, the ending of the Book of Job is different. … I think, if I'm not mistaken, there's one book where there's a more optimistic ending, which we believe was tacked on later. … Many people believe that the original version of Job is the version where there is not a change, Job ends up completely destitute and ruined. It's been a long time since I looked at this, but it's believed that was added much, much later. Many people believe that the original ending was about the power of God and the power of God was almighty and all knowing and it wasn't necessary that everybody was going to be redeemed."
Howard Dean's quibble with the ending of Job is that because of Job's refusal to blame God for Satan's work, Job regains his health and wealth, and acquires a new family. Howard Dean strongly suspects that Job leaned Republican from then on, and he does not consider that a happy ending. Howard Dean prefers the variant of Job in Dean's New Testament in which Job discovers that Satan is the head of the Republican party, and vows to vote Democratic forevermore. And yeah, yeah, Job is still on the dungheap, but that's a position of moral leadership:
This country was the moral leader of the world until George Bush became president.
The reason that the Democratic party isn't winning elections any more is that it has embraced the holy ideology of victimology so deeply. People simply don't want to end up destitute on a dungheap in a position of moral leadership - but this is what happens when you toss out the Torah and enshrine a few select portions of a carefully edited Old Testament as your New Testament. You have dumped the law of Moses (we inherit the conditions of our lives from the decisions of our ancestors, therefore you have the obligation to act in society's interests, not your own, even in your bedroom) and now can no longer even understand the teachings of the New Testament. What remains is not very successful in practice, and the American people are a practical people.


Comments:
Talk about projection! Today's Democratic Party is largely *based* on dividing people into groups and setting them against one another..indeed, it often seems as if many of today's Democrats do not see individuals at all, only groups.
 
Which probably accounts for their pronounced distaste for traditional religion, which is focused on controlling individual behavior.
 
In my experience, the core reason for rejecting "traditional religion" is that Pesky Christian Sexual Morality, whatever twelve-syllable words of psychobabble it gets painted over with.

Every Perfect Utopian Future -- from the French Revolution to Star Trek's Federation to the fanboy masturbations inflicted on me at various F&SF cons -- has two things in common:
Atheism and Total Sexual Freedom.

The Headless Unicorn Guy
 
One of my brothers quoted your comment on the mud at Woodstock to me the other day. You're getting famous.

Those other commandments cause a lot of heartburn as well. See my next post. Those pesky Christians! Those pesky Jews! All that "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not lie" is very, very bad for business (at least in the short term).
 
One of my brothers quoted your comment on the mud at Woodstock to me the other day. You're getting famous.

I'd like to see that one-liner become a general-knowledge meme. I came up with it originally as a possible dedication for an SF novel, and a few months ago had a fragment of a filksong come upon me:

"First we'd stand upon the Moon,
Then we'd walk on Mars;
Then L-5s and asteroids
And finally the stars!
(two missing lines about future wonders ending in "ay")
Screwing in the mud at Woodstock
We threw it all away!"

And a fragment of a verse, about what The Future holds for us now:
"Nonstop Bread and Circuses,
Then ALLAHU AKBAR!"

And an idea for a music video:
1) Starts out in the early Sixties, as a nerd kid with thick glasses reads SF novels and dreams.
2) Interlude number as the characters from all those SF novels appears and pulls him into that wonderful future.
3) Cuts to today; the nerd kid is a forty-something burned-out nerd in today's American meltdown. The characters of those wonderful futures all say goodbye to him -- Johnny Rico salutes, Lost C'Mell embraces him with a purring kiss, the guy from Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy shakes his hand, etc -- before all step back, one by one, and vanish into nothingness.

And he is alone among the gangsta rappas, hos, punkers, queer-in-your-face, feminazis, victocrats, welfare-bum-and-proud-of-its, assorted colors of supremacists, Paris Hilton wannabes, Jerry Springer guests, Netizens, and all the other arrested development cases soiling their diapers and screaming their tantrums.

The Headless Unicorn Guy
 
One of my brothers quoted your comment on the mud at Woodstock to me the other day. You're getting famous.

I'd like to see that one-liner become a general-knowledge meme. I came up with it originally as a possible dedication for an SF novel, and a few months ago had a fragment of a filksong come upon me:

"First we'd stand upon the Moon,
Then we'd walk on Mars;
Then L-5s and asteroids
And finally the stars!
(two missing lines about future wonders ending in "ay")
Screwing in the mud at Woodstock
We threw it all away!"

And a fragment of a verse, about what The Future holds for us now:
"Nonstop Bread and Circuses,
Then ALLAHU AKBAR!"

And an idea for a music video:
1) Starts out in the early Sixties, as a nerd kid with thick glasses reads SF novels and dreams.
2) Interlude number as the characters from all those SF novels appears and pulls him into that wonderful future.
3) Cuts to today; the nerd kid is a forty-something burned-out nerd in today's American meltdown. The characters of those wonderful futures all say goodbye to him -- Johnny Rico salutes, Lost C'Mell embraces him with a purring kiss, the guy from Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy shakes his hand, etc -- before all step back, one by one, and vanish into nothingness.

And he is alone among the gangsta rappas, hos, punkers, queer-in-your-face, feminazis, victocrats, welfare-bum-and-proud-of-its, assorted colors of supremacists, Paris Hilton wannabes, Jerry Springer guests, Netizens, and all the other arrested development cases soiling their diapers and screaming their tantrums.

The Headless Unicorn Guy
 
I LOVED THOSE LITTLE FUZZIES!

As for the rest - you made me laugh. And today I really needed one. But I am afraid there is some truth to this. Those men in the funky-looking glasses sitting in the control room at NASA during the 60's probably never dreamed we would accomplish so little in the next 40 years.

We had it all - and we decided it was just too much trouble!
 
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