Aug. 3, 2003: Just What We Need: Two Howard Deans

Last week, in a sincere effort to befriend the liberals of the world, I said I was rooting for Gov. Howard Dean, of the People’s Republic of Vermont, to win the Democratic presidential nomination because I wanted to be there when he explained the joys of same-sex unions and other mainstream American ideals in rural Georgia. From reading my mail — some from as far away as the state of Massachusetts — I have learned that there may be two Gov. Howard Deans of the People’s Republic of Vermont.

One reader said that while I was an “entertainer” (Look at me, I’m blushing!), I didn’t seem to care about the truth. The truth, according to the reader, is that Dean doesn’t “come close to promoting same-sex marriages.” My mistake. I guess I was thinking about the other Howard Dean, who spoke to the Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association — somehow that meeting didn’t get on my calendar — in 2002 and who said, “As president of the United States, I will recognize civil unions, which will then allow full equality under the law as far as the federal government is concerned.” Sources tell me civil unions include same-sex marriages, although I don’t know that for sure. The Woman Who Shares My Name doesn’t talk to me about stuff like that.

Dean also told the crowd that as president he would not be able to undo the current federal law prohibiting the federal government from recognizing marriages between any couples except one man and one woman, but that he would “encourage Congress to repeal the law and recognize gay and lesbian relationships.” That is the Howard Dean who I would suggest stay out of Bainbridge.

A couple of readers tell me that Howard Dean isn’t a left-wing candidate at all. He is a “centrist.” The Howard Dean I was referring to has been endorsed by actor/political activist Martin Sheen, who is so far left that he couldn’t find Middle America if you gave him a telescope. I can’t imagine any endorsement that would impress the folks in Banks County more than a pat on the back from play-like President Doofus.

The Democrats just don’t get it. The Democratic Leadership Council, a group that has tried with little success to keep the party somewhere east of Hollywood and Vine, recently released a poll which says that only one-third of Americans consider themselves Democrats. Those polled believe that current Democrats stand for big government and are too liberal, too beholden to special-interest groups and out of touch with mainstream America. So, naturally, this makes Gov. Howard Dean, of the People’s Republic of Vermont, an attractive candidate to many in the party.

I am told that Howard Dean isn’t antiwar and that he has “consistently said that we must do everything in our power to ensure than an Iraqi democracy is established.” The Howard Dean I know told Wolf Blitzer of CNN, “The reason the president gave for going into Iraq, which I disagree with, is that Iraq was a security threat to the United States. I don’t believe Saddam was.” In a later interview, one of the Howard Deans — I can’t keep them straight — said he was “glad Saddam is gone.”

At the risk of losing my newfound ability to communicate with the liberals of the world, if they think that Howard Dean is a centrist candidate, they are smoking rope. He may look like a centrist in the Northeast but remember that it snows ten months of the year up there, which tends to muddle otherwise rational people’s thinking. In the South, he will have all the appeal of George McGovern and Michael Dukakis rolled up into one.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. A reader tells me that Dean doesn’t need the South anyway. (Take that, rednecks!) All he has to do is carry the same states that Al Gore did in 2000 — plus New Hampshire — and he will beat George W. Bush.

I hope this won’t mean that Dean’s advisors have written off the South. I had my heart set on being at the annual Vidalia Onion Festival when centrist Howard Dean extolled the glories of same-sex marriages to the folks in Toombs County.