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April 26, 2007

You don't want to know

Howard Dean said that the best way to get candidates to really talk about the issues is to close the discussion off to press. Dean suggests the candidates have "meetings" with voters where they can discuss the issues off the record. How idyllic it would be, citizens throughout the country gathering around in small meetings and questioning Hillary about her real thoughts on gay marriage, or what Obama would do about Iran. Of course, most people have jobs to go to, kids to raise, errands to run, American Idol to watch and don't have time to listen to each individual candidate at a location that may or may not be near their home, espouse on the views they can fit into the time alloted for the meeting. That's where the media comes in. They have to listen to these people all the live long day. And then they tell us the important or interesting parts of what was said. Everybody is happy.

What does it say about Democrats that their leader doesn't want you to know what they'll do should you elect them to office? It says that they ran on a "we're not Bush" message in 2006 and that's unlikely to be enough in 2008. Howard Dean knows there is no message, there is no plan, there are no new ideas and the American people won't buy what the Democrats are selling if it's sold honestly. They're holding together a very fractured coalition of people brought together in their hatred of George W. Bush, and the less the voters find out about their various positions, the better.

Voters deserve to know what they're getting, and if a candidate can't talk about the issues for fear of it being reported in the press, they aren't a candidate worth taking seriously.

Posted by Karol at April 26, 2007 04:07 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

Of course there's the real reason Dean wants to do that - it gives candidates the opportunity to say one thing in a red state and another in a blue state.

I'm sure if we got an off-the-record conversation with John Edwards down in my neck of the woods, we'd all leave assured he believes in the military, low taxes, minimal federal involvement in state management, gun rights, the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman, and the idea that abortion is a tragedy that occurs far, far too often.

Also, without the media, does John McCain even exist?

Posted by: Gib at April 26, 2007 04:44 PM

Lol I had no idea Dean said that. I wasn't a supporter of howard dean in the first place but hearing this makes me question if he even wants to run for president.

Posted by: keith roderick at April 26, 2007 04:50 PM

He said that days a few days back. http://amerpundit.com/archives/814 I quite frankly, couldn't believe it at first.

Posted by: Brennan at April 26, 2007 09:03 PM

Excellent

Posted by: Jake at April 26, 2007 10:11 PM

What does it say about Democrats that their leader doesn't want you to know what they'll do should you elect them to office?

You're off to a good start there, save for the fact that your version of reality is diametrically opposed to the version actually proposed.

If you replace the whole concept of the candidate not wanting the voter to know what's going on with the idea of the candidate actually speaking directly to voters and telling them what's going on, then you should be back on track in no time.

Posted by: Michael at April 26, 2007 10:31 PM

Michael, again, most people do not have time to attend meetings with individual candidates. That's why we count on the media to attend for us. Howard Dean's dumb idea would insure we would know nothing about the candidates.

Posted by: Karol at April 27, 2007 03:11 AM

Well, when one reads the link it is clear that Dean is not laying out a strategy or even a serious expectation for the way things will go in the future. He's saying, "In the best of all possible worlds..." And he's right. After all, the media--including the blogosphere--is proficient at taking one quote and building a temple of outrage on it. His point, if I'm reading it correctly, is that politicians could communicate more effectively if they knew that they didn't have to construct what they say around a series of sound bites.

Posted by: Michael at April 27, 2007 08:18 AM

But isn't the point of a debate like this for citizens to determine which candidate they identify with?

By not letting the public know each candidates thoughts on different issues and what makes them different, Dean is able to continue to grab for as much power as possible for his party.

He made it clear that he should dictate what the people need to know.

Posted by: StB at April 27, 2007 11:54 AM

That doesn't seem to be what he's saying at all. He's bemoaning the fact that the soundbite culture dictates doling out information in essentially meaningless chunks. What he argues for is the need to speak directly to voters, giving as much detail as possible, answering whatever questions come up, and then moving on to the next group of voters.

This would increase communication and understanding, rather than lessen it.

It's like when teachers say, "Boy, imagine if we could get class sizes down to fourteen or fifteen kids. We could get some solid teaching done then, you betcha." That's not going to happen. They know it. It's just a glimpse of something that would be great, if it were possible.

Nowhere in the article does Dean say, "This is my plan." He only says, essentially, "It would only be through uninterrupted one-on-one communication that a candidate's real plans could be fully explained."

Posted by: Michael at April 27, 2007 01:20 PM

This is classic.

A few days ago, Michael admitted he has "no idea" if 9/11 was an inside job because he hasn't "given it any thought," yet he apparently has given enormous thought to what Howard Dean really meant when he made remarks about the press.

Posted by: BadBoyInASuit at April 27, 2007 02:37 PM

If the fact that I give much thought to some things and little thought to other things can be described as "classic," then classic it is, I guess. I'm not sure what point you think you're making with this observation.

Also: it's not what "he really meant." It's what "he really said."

Posted by: Michael at April 27, 2007 05:03 PM

Howard Dean and the liberal demacratic crooks up to something dirty

Posted by: golden phoenix at April 30, 2007 09:49 AM
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