Predictably, I'm getting hammered by my fellow Deaniacs over the time-out of my Dean banner. What I don't understand is the "If you're not voting for Dean, you're voting for Bush" meme. (Can I also say I'm getting sick of the word "meme"?)
I don't want us falling into the theme of resignation the Republicans had in 1996. Remember some of the slogans?
"DOLE - Why not?"
"DOLE, I suppose"
"VOTE FOR DOLE or whatever"
This is the attitude they took into that election and they got creamed. Granted, Dole's campaign demeanor didn't help. When did America start liking Dole? When he showed more of his true personality. The curmudgeon gave way to a much more likable guy. But it was too late.
Dean has a little time - maybe too little - but he's got a much rosier future on the national stage if only we can see more of that likable guy. We loved and embraced his original populist good guy message. America was catching on. But the message changed.
I want to be true to Dean. I have to be true to myself. And if I denounced Kerry, Gephardt and Lieberman for their attacks on Dean in December, I cannot in good conscience condone the same from Dean in February. It's not the message the nation desperately needs to hear right now.
A huge majority of the Dean supporters who frequent this board seem to understand how I'm feeling, but a handful have pelted my mailbox with the "You gave your vote to Bush" routine. To them, I say your heart is definitely in the right place, so follow it. But name-calling and hurling absolutes aren't what Dean is about. Look at the bigger picture. Don't get all your information from the Dean O-Blog. Other choirs are singing and you need to hear their tune.
And give me at least this promise:
No matter who wins (and a Democrat WILL win) - they still have to deal with a hostile Senate and Congress. Unless, of course, you devote some of your energy and resources to the progressive kickass candidates running for those seats this year. Go to their websites. Flip 'em a few bucks. No matter where they're running.
Make sure they keep our new president - whether it's Dean, Kerry, Edwards or whoever - honest.