Primary Tales from the Crypt
Funky Dean Dives as White Folks Vote
By Michael I. Niman ArtVoice etc. 1/29/04
One hundred and twenty thousand Midwesterners from the second whitest
state in the union caucused two weeks ago, and if we’re to believe the media
spin, the earth has trembled. When
the dust finally settled – and there’s a lot of dust in
– former Democratic frontrunner,
Howard Dean was reduced to a mumbling fool, with Johns Kerry and Edward rising
to take his place. Dick Gephardt,
who finished a distant fourth, dropped out of the race.
I can’t help but think the media is placing a little too
much credence on what Iowans think. First
debate was quite a bit skewed to a few rather bizarre Iowa-specific topics,
mostly regarding corn. Hence,
gasohol subsidies played a uniquely large role in determining the
outcome. Topics important to other
Americans, like, say, mass transportation or even fisheries, held no importance
Iowans, with their strange caucus system, have a
disproportionate role in selecting the president.
This is rather unfortunate, considering their demographic breakdown and
how unrepresentative they are of the American population.
While their handful of delegates probably won’t make much of a
difference come convention time, Iowans enjoy the privilege of setting the
momentum for the coming election, derailing campaigns such as those of Gephardt
and Dean, while blowing new life into others.
The power they have is based as much on who they are, as it
is on when they caucus.
voters, almost half of whom are black, voted a week earlier, with Dean coming
in first and Sharpton coming in second. Their
vote, demographically as skewed as
’s, however, was all but ignored – with no major media outlet reporting on a
“Sharpton surge.” The media also
mostly ignored the fact that the caucus system, in which voters literally meet
and line up in corners supporting different candidates, strips Iowans of their
right to a secret ballot. This adds to the bandwagon effect, benefiting
The collapse of the Dean campaign in
isn’t surprising. Dean is one of
those products that sell well on the internet, only to be a major disappointment
in real life.
was Dean’s debutante celebration – the first time Dean was in voters’
faces on the evening news almost every night.
And he just plain didn’t come off presidential.
Crippled by his commanding poll position, Dean developed a level of
arrogance unbecoming to a waffler.
Many pundits interpreted Dean’s loss as a repudiation of
his anti-war position. But they
never actually questioned the legitimacy of that position.
Yes, unlike rivals such as Kerry, Gephardt, Edwards and Lieberman, Dean
didn’t vote to authorize the war. This,
however, might just have been a matter of his being lucky enough not to be in
the Senate or Congress when the vote came up – since evidence shows that he
was duped by the same Bush administration lies as were his opponents.
Back in 2002 when anti-war demonstrators were rallying in record numbers,
Dean was parroting Bush administrations lines, telling CBS News that,
"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the
and to our allies." Dean
bought into the weapons of mass destruction lie hook, line and sinker, appearing
on Face The Nation and arguing that
"is automatically an imminent threat to the countries that surround it
because of the possession of these weapons." Dean
also supported unilateral action against
, even in defiance of the United Nations. On the eve of war, he told The
Los Angeles Times that if Bush presented persuasive evidence showing
with weapons of mass destruction, he’d support military action without U.N.
authorization. Today, with the CIA
publicly declaring that
did not possess such weapons after the first Gulf War, Dean has changed his
tune. Recenlty in New Hampshire, he argued that “there was no serious threat
to the United States from Saddam Hussein," while telling The New York Times, "I never said Saddam was a danger to the
United States, ever,” while regularly condemning unilaterialism.
, Kerry campaigned arduously as an anti-war candidate.
On his website, he points out that Dean publicly backed a
resolution by Senators Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Joe Biden (D-Del.) that would
also have given Bush the same unilateral power to wage war. According to
Kerry’s website, “mere technicalities” differentiated the congressional
resolution he backed from the one Dean supported.
Kerry, who admits to being misled on the war, argues Dean wouldn’t have
acted any differently. Kerry, like
Dean, ran as an anti-war candidate in
– only he did it more honestly, ultimately winning
the corn state caucus. Despite the
punditry, there was no denunciation of the anti-war message in
– only a denunciation of Dean.
Dean quickly joined in, denouncing himself by reaffirming his
conservatism going into the final laps of the
race. On the positive side, however, he did end his
political career with a hoot – laying down the lyrical foundation for a
bitchin’ dub (listen at http://homepage.mac.com/lileks/.Public/Yeagh.mp3)
Kerry, however, literally has his own skeletons in
the closet to hide. While normally a
strong public speaker, he shrinks whenever anyone raises questions about his
bizarre worship of the “Goddess Eulogia.”
Kerry, it seems, is a member of the same Yale secret society, The Order
of Skull and Bones, as is George W. Bush, his father George H.W. Bush, and his
deceased grandfather, Prescott Bush. Current
and deceased Bonesmen include a sort of who’s who of the banking and
intelligence communities. A lot has
been written about this spooky network of power and its frightening influence
however, tend to shy away from the more complex nuances of conspiracy theories,
well researched and documented as they might be.
More titillating, however, are the Bonesmen’s odd rituals.
According to The Atlantic
magazine, this would include “masturbating in a coffin.”
The magazine also reports that the society pays “obeisance to
Eulogia, the goddess of eloquence, who took her place in the pantheon upon the
death of the orator Demosthenes, in 322 B.C., and who is said to have returned
in a kind of Second Coming on the occasion of the society's inception.”
If Kerry were to win the Democratic nomination, the
would have it’s first election in which both major candidate were disciples
of the Goddess Eulogia.” True,
this is trivial, but Americans deserve more of a choice than two men who
masturbated into the same coffin.
With the media still mostly obsessed with Kerry and Dean, a strange
phenomenon is emerging – that being the reality that Kucinich seems to be
winning all of the debates hands down. While
the front runners stumble to defend their past Republican-like votes and
actions, and define their new centrist politics, Kucinich is earning the loudest
applauses and impressing viewers with his steadfast unshakable demeanor.
’s former boy mayor, the odd little congressman who once lived in Shirley
McClain’s basement, seems quite presidential.
Kucinich earned himself a sort of mainstream media banishment after
humiliating ABC News moderator Ted Koppel during an early debate.
When Koppel opened the debate acting like a sports announcer, asking
candidates about campaign fundraising momentum and other horse race sorts of
questions, Kucinich called him on the carpet, demanding to talk about the
issues. The result was an immediate
elevation of Kucinich to the ranks of serious candidates – with alternative
press organizations replaying his Koppel lambaste over and over again.
ABC News, for its part, pulled their reporter from the Kucinich campaign,
effectively freezing him out of what little mainstream media coverage he had.
The logic now goes like this: Kucinich might very well be able to stand up
under pressure, and may be the best equipped candidate to take on George W. Bush
in a debate, but he’s “unelectable.” And
why is he unelectable? That’s
because he’s not getting any media access, which he’s denied because of his
supposed unelectability. It’s a
classic Catch-22. Yeah, he had a few
New Age moments in his past. But how damaging can a history of meditation be
when the leading candidates are worshipping at the feet of the Goddess Eulogia?
If mainstream Americans had the opportunity to listen to Kucinich’s
populist message, he could be president. But
they won’t and he won’t.
On the subject of supposed electability, Michael Moore was in the news this
week following his endorsement of former general Wesley Clark.
Needless to say,
’s endorsement of Clark, who might be facing a potential war crimes indictment
for actions he supposedly ordered in the Kosovo War, raised a few eyebrows and
rattled some of the filmmaker’s fans. Moore,
making the old “people change” argument in defending his choice, declared
that the ex-Republican former general, who has been throwing political bones to
progressives lately, would be best equipped to defeat a demonic Bush in the
American heartland. He summed up the
potential general election saying he looked forward to watching “the
general” debate “the deserter.”
This caused ABC’s Peter Jennings to invoke
’s name as he questioned Wesley Clark during a recent televised
debate. With Michael Moore at home
eating pizza and watching the debate on TV,
to call Bush a “deserter” in his presence.
claimed it was “a reckless charge not supported by the facts,” scolding
to be “standing up in your presence and calling the president of the
The fact is, and
declined to point this out, that Bush is in fact a military deserter.
From May of 1972 until May of 1973, National Guard records show that Bush
was absent from his duties without leave. The Guard did not discipline
Bush, whose father was a Representative to Congress at the time, instead
allowing him to leave the service six months early with an honorable discharge.
military law clearly states that “Members of the armed forces who, without
permission, leave their place of duty or organization with the intent to remain
away permanently are guilty of desertion.”
The statute goes on to clarify, “The status of an absentee changes to
that of a deserter after 30 days of absence.”
Look up Article 85.
’s right – that would be a fun debate. But
a fun debate doesn’t quite add up to
being a fun president.
Michael I. Niman’s previous ArtVoice
columns are archived at www.mediastudy.com.
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