Vote Early, Vote Often
It's official. Howard Dean got my vote in the March 2nd Vermont primary. I just filled in the circle next to his name on my absentee ballot*.
Let Howie tell you some of the reasons why:
- "Some in Washington will use [the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to support same-gender marriages] to justify the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This would be the first constitutional amendment to authorize discrimination, and I oppose it. Marriage is a matter of state law, and gay bashing has no place in the Constitution." (via the Dean blog)
- "I opposed President Bush’s war in Iraq from the beginning." (via DFA)
- "The skyrocketing cost of campaigns, driven largely by the cost of radio and television advertising, still forces candidates to spend too many hours every day raising unprecedented sums from the wealthiest Americans and special interests, rather than listening to ordinary voters. Left out are the vast majority of citizens who contribute the small amounts they can afford -- or who do not give at all." (via DFA)
- "In Vermont, where I served as governor for the last 11 years, nearly 92% of adults now have [health] coverage. Most importantly, 99% of all Vermont children are eligible for health insurance and 96% have it." (via DFA)
- "Long term economic growth...requires fiscal discipline. The federal budget deficit soars out of control, with no relief in sight. The Bush Administration philosophy has become “borrow and spend” and let our children and grandchildren pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, this administration lets those who have benefited from all the resources of this great country pay less in taxes than their fair share." (via DFA)
To the pundits, supporters of other candidates, and wavering Dean people who argue we should now rally behind Kerry because he's in the lead, I say this: after the Party has selected a candidate I will vote for that person in November no matter who it is, but until then, I will not allow voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, or any other state determine where my vote goes. Maybe I'm silly, but I kinda figure a democracy is about individuals exercising their franchise independently.
I supported Dean when he was an asterisk. I supported him when he was a front-runner. I support him now that he's on the ropes. His standing in the polls and the delegate count does not change the fact that I believe he would be a better President than any other candidate, particularly George W. Bush.
I don't always agree with Dean on all issues, but I do agree with him on the things that are most important to me. His record as Vermont Governor was good enough for me and most of my fellow Vermonters to re-elect him every time he ran, even in three-way races and in the wake of our controversial civil unions bill. He is committed to delivering necessary services, protecting civil rights, and maintaining fiscal discipline.
Dean has executive experience that the other Democratic candidates lack. He also has passion and is unafraid to speak his mind. While that has gotten him a lot of negative press coverage, it's amazing what he has been able to do with all the establishment resistance to his candidacy. I am very proud to have helped him force debate on important issues during the campaign.
If you are looking for a candidate who can take on Bush, bring positive change to the Democratic party and get our country back on track, please consider supporting Dean. It's especially important now as he fights against the "Kerry's inevitable" meme and attempts to regain momentum by winning in Wisconsin. Give Howie some money
so he can continue to be competitive. That's not only good for Dean: a competitive race can and will help the Democrats frame the debate as they get ready to go up against Bush.
I still believe that mousepads, shoe leather and hope will enable Howie to pull off a victory. Win or lose, I am very happy that I voted for Howard Dean.
* Funny thing: only Dean, Clark, Kerry, Kucinich and LaRouche made it on our ballot.
[Update: Folkbum pulls out his Patton impersonation rallying the troops in WI.]
['nother update: Amy's also mustering the troops. Go now.]