"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for," said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, now chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Dean also blamed Republicans for the unhappy occasion when California voters recalled their Democratic governor: "The right wing of the Republican Party is deliberately undermining the Democratic underpinnings of this country," said Dean on Sept. 6, 2003. "I believe they do not care what Americans think and they do not accept the legitimacy of our elections and have now, for the fourth time in the fourth state, attempted to do what they can to remove democracy from America."
Dean considers Republicans a morally inferior species. In a speech in Kansas on Feb. 25, 2005, Dean said the contest between Democrats and Republicans was "a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good." A couple of months later, Dean also called Republicans "corrupt," and said, "You can't trust them with your money, and you can't trust them with your votes."
Dean says Republicans have minimal mental capability, as when Dean called them "brain dead." The chairman says the "brain-dead" Republicans only won the 2004 election because they kept their message simple, while Democrats need "to explain every issue in half an hour of detail."
Dean calls Republicans racist: "The Republicans are all about suppressing votes. Two voting machines if you live in a black district, 10 voting machines if you live in a white district." Dean considers Republicans either lazy or parasitic trust-fund babies: "[T]he idea that you have to wait on line for eight hours to cast your ballot. . . . You think people can work all day, and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever, and get home and . . . still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well, Republicans, I guess," said Dean, "can do that, because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives." A Democratic Party spokeswoman -- and later, Dean himself -- said he was talking about Republican politicians and leadership, not hardworking American people. (Right.)
Tell us, Dr. Dean, why the anger?
Armchair psychologist and former President Bill Clinton might have a perspective -- maybe Dean is a self-loather. Back in December, conservative Republican fundraiser Arthur J. Finkelstein "married" his longtime male partner in a Massachusetts civil ceremony. When Finkelstein announced his intention to form a campaign chest to defeat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for re-election in '06, Bill Clinton said, "Either this guy believes his party is not serious and he's totally Machiavellian in its position, or . . . there's some sort of self-loathing." So, according to Clinton, when a gay man renounces the customary liberalism of the gay and lesbian community, he becomes "self loathing." Hm-mm.
Howard Dean's father was known as "Big Howard." Big Howard was a conservative Republican who supported Barry Goldwater in 1964. Does Dean consider his late father "brain dead"? Did he "hate" his Republican father? Indeed, according to Steven Thomma and James Kuhnhenn of the Detroit Free Press, Dean himself called his relationship with his father "complicated." "His father, Dean said, . . . was 'an enormous personality' who 'could suck the oxygen' out of a room," wrote Thomma and Kuhnhenn. "'He and I had as complicated a relationship as he had had with his own father, another magnetic and well-regarded individual who was a hard act to follow.'"
Dean opposes President George W. Bush's plan to allow optional private savings accounts. Bush's plan would allow younger workers to invest part of their Social Security contribution in a diversified account that could include stocks. But guess what "Big Howard" did for a living? Dad was a successful -- and apparently honest -- stockbroker. Dean's dad did quite well -- successful enough to live in the exclusive oceanside community of East Hampton on Long Island and on Park Avenue, and to send young Howard to pricey private schools like St. George's, a small Episcopal boarding school in Newport, Rhode Island, plus a postgraduate year at an English boarding school.
There's more. Dean's brother, Charlie, who was traveling in Laos in 1974, was captured and killed by communists. The family had predicted Charlie, not Howard, would be the future family politician. Charlie demonstrated both the interest and the necessary debating skills. About his brother, Dean said, had Charlie lived, "he'd be the one running for president and not me." Did Republican Big Howard prefer Charlie?
So Howard Dean says he "hates Republicans," although his dad was one. He believes the option of allowing workers to invest their money in stocks is irresponsible, even though his dad made a successful living as a stockbroker. And it turns out the family saw a political future for Dean's brother Charlie, but not for him.
Where's Dr. Phil when you need him?