Thursday, February 19, 2004

Well, I'm Still Voting for Him

Howard Dean has stopped campaigning, but hasn't dropped out of the race, which is a fine distinction that allows him to keep his delegates and hopefully a good degree of influence come convention time. I know things haven't looked good for him for a while now, but I still hoped there'd be somesort of rallying for the doctor.

Kerry is a fine candidate, as is Edwards, and either of them will have my full support once the convention selection is made, but come Super Tuesday I will pull the lever (or punch the button, twist the knob, or poke the screen with the stylus -- we've had different electronic voting machines for each of the past three elections, so I don't know what we'll be using come 2 March) for Howard Dean.

It will be a symbolic vote, but not a protest one, designed to help keep the Democratic Party on a left-of-center tracking that promises to ensure a better America and a more secure future for all us.

I've been wearing my "I Want My Country Back: Dean for America" badge and getting lots of positive comments (and a little extra scrutiny* at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport) from random people. Most of them, and I agree, said that while Dean wasn't going to win, he did the party a great service in rediscovering its core values. Or, as a commentator on NPR put it yesterday: Dean gave the Democrats a backbone transplant, which was sorely needed after the 2002 elections.

From Dean's speech yesterday:
This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, we’ve engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this year’s record participation in the primaries and caucuses.
By getting new people involved and invested in the political process -- "... the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back." -- Dean has done much to help re├źnergize the electoral base. Now, it is up to all of us who were attracted to Dean to continue the battle to retake the White House, the Congress, and the country.

*Apparently, because of how I'd rolled up my jacket, the badge looked like a knife of somesort to the TSA agent at the x-ray machine, and the guy (presumably Republican) passing through security after me urged them to give me an extra going over because I was a Dean supporter. That actually made me laugh.

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