Monday, May 23, 2005

DNC Chairman Dean on Meet The Press

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean appeared on Meet The Press yesterday and made it clear that he's not backing down on either his own rhetoric or the tone Democrats need to take in dealing with the Republican party.

The following exchange occurred when host Tim Russert questioned the combative tenor of the DNC web site:

Russert: Here's the Democratic National Committee web site this morning. It is in effect a mug shot of Tom DeLay. You can see his height in the back with inches there, a serial number 18821. Is that appropriate? A mug shot?

Dean: I don't think it's appropriate for Tom DeLay to be in Congress, Tim. I really don't. Some of his own party have suggested he step aside while this ethics investigation is going on. I think he ought to at least step aside while this ethics investigation is going on.

We didn't start this. Look, we're not going to stoop to the kind of divisiveness that the Republicans are doing and we're not going to stoop to the kind of abuse of power. But we are going to be tough as nails. This is a fight for the soul of America between the Republicans and the Democrats.

When asked about his recent comments in which he declared that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay belonged in jail back in Texas:

Russert: So you will not retract or apologize for your comments about Tom DeLay.

Dean: Absolutely not!

In one of his strongest moments, Dean addressed his unwillingness to concede moral issues to Republicans:

I'm not going to be lectured as a Democrat. We've got some pretty strong moral values in my party and maybe we ought to do a better job standing up and fighting for them. Our moral values -- in contradiction with the Republicans -- is that we don't think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.

Our moral values say that people who work hard all their lives ought to be able to retire with dignity. Our moral values say that we ought to have a strong, free public education system so we can level the playing fields. Our moral values say that what's going on in Indian country in this country right now in terms of health care and education is a disgrace.

And for the president of the United States to cut back on health care services all over America is wrong.

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.

Our problem in this party is we didn't stand up early enough and fight back against folks like that who thought they were going to push us around and bully us, and we're not going to do it anymore.

Amen, Brother Dean.