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2004 Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean

There has been a lot of excitement in the American Internet community about Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean because he knows how to use a blog, raise money on-line and maybe not necessarily heap more disgrace upon America. So I decided to check out Howard Dean's website and his stand on the issues.

The high level summary is that he is a tax and spend liberal whose solution to most problems is to throw money at it. He doesn't have any new ideas, few concrete plans and no apparent clue for how we will fund the money he wants to lob around other than getting rid of Bush's tax cuts. While I may identify with large parts of Dean's social agenda fundamentally Dean believes government is the solution, not the problem.

  • Abortion – He claims a right to privacy in the constitution (I should love for it to be there but I can't manage to find it) and uses that as the basis to support his pro-choice platform. Would that he said that the Supreme court was wrong, that there is no right to an abortion in the constitution and that this is a states issue.

  • Capital Punishment – Believes in it for certain types of cases, is mostly interested in procedural changes. I can agree that the state has the right to kill someone, I just think that the right shouldn't be used.

  • Childcare – In what is clearly one of Dean's proudest achievements the Orwellian State of Vermont doesn't just make government designed and approved child care resources available to everyone they actually go and visit every parent in the hospital and home visits after two weeks to give them the government's line on child raising. Is anyone scared by the idea that the government is going to visit your home (only if you approve, of course, although is there is a mark in your state record if you say no?) and decide if you need help and what kind of help you need? Given the US government's history of ordering doctors as to what they can say (Abortion anyone?) one can only imagine the scope of abuse for such a system.

  • Education – Dean doesn't like Bush's education bill's requirements on testing and providing the names of all seniors to colleges and the military. It's not that he wants to fundamentally change the testing programs (which force schools to teach students to the test rather than educating them) or ban splattering information about children everywhere, he just wants those decisions made by the states.

  • Environmental Protection – He wants renewables with aggressive targets and no plans on how to get there other than 'spend money'. He wants international treaties and carbon reduction with vagues promises that this won't cost us a lot of money. The promises may be right but he gives no indication of how we can determine that ahead of time.

  • Equal Rights – His focus is on equal rights for homosexuals but he doesn't mention discrimination against blacks and only vaguely mentions discrimination against women in a separate section.

  • Family Farms – (From his interview on alternet) He thinks they are the future, but why this should be so he doesn't say and I can't possibly imagine.

  • Fiscal Policy – In a perfect metaphor for his over all policy the day I visited this section was empty with a note saying 'Come back soon'.

  • GMOs – (From his interview on alternet) He doesn't think they are harmful but does favor labeling and is worried about genetic drift (if you put GMO crops next to organic crops the organic crops tend be 'infected'). No reasons given for why he thinks GMOs are safe, who the burden of proof should be on to prove they are safe, etc.

  • Gun Control – Let the states decide.

  • Health Care – A true tax and spend Democrat he doesn't want to reform the system by ending employer based health care and 'first dollar' health care cover but instead he wants to pump money into government insurance programs to cover more people and then pump even more money into businesses so they can provide health care at government expense. Of course whomever pays the bills controls the system so in effect he wants to nationalize health care insurance.

  • Homeland Security – He talks about protecting civil liberties but provides no ideas how. He wants to dump billions on the states and border guard while putting in place a vague foreign policy to make foreigners like us more, which he will also spend billions on.

  • National Security – He wants to internationalize the military forces in Iraq. He wants to beef up financial aid to Afghanistan. He wants to create a Palestinian state. He wants to re-engage with multi-lateral institutions and treaties.

  • Sex, Race & Ethnicity Based Discrimination (A.K.A. Affirmative Action) – Big Supporter. He has no concrete ideas for how to build a more equal nation other than to discriminate more.

  • Women's Issues – Most of what I see on his site just makes me sad that he has so few ideas and wants to spend so much money, but this section made me angry. Since when are health care and child issues 'Women's Issues'? I didn't realize men got a pass on worrying about those things.

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