Howard Dean's the Real Deal 2004

Comments from Lisa Pease on the Dean for America Campaign.

This blogger logs my interest in and support for Dr. Howard Dean's run for the Presidency in 2004.


Dean For America (Official Campaign Site)
My picture at a recent Meetup (see I'm on the left.
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Sunday, April 04, 2004
Well, well. At the campaign, they asked us not to blog so we could keep the focus on the official campaign blog.

Now that the campaign is over, I want to continue to share important events in our country with you, but will do so from my new Real History Blog. I hope you come by and check it out. Please read the recent post about Electronic voting and the dangers to our democracy that come from not having a mandatorily audited paper trail. Please get involved with that all important issue while it still matters. If our vote can be stolen, we may never get it back. Please help. Thanks!

Saturday, August 09, 2003
I'M GOING TO VERMONT!!! I've accepted a job with Dean For America in Burlington, Vermont to work on the Dean campaign, and couldn't be happier!

One of my friends asked that question I've had to answer a lot lately: Why are you so passionate about Dean? Here is my response:

At a time when I could hardly stand to be an American, someone I had never heard of stood up before the nation and said we should not be going to war in Iraq. This is WRONG. I sat up and took notice. Who is this guy? Is he for real? I started reading his positions and saw quickly that here was someone who had solid experience as a five-term governor. Here was a man so bright he cruised through medical school in 3 years. Here is a guy that not only said the war was wrong BEFORE we went to war, but reiterated that sentiment even at the very height of its popularity, when 70% of the country was in favor of it. When the press, trying to (perhaps?) do him a favor tried to say Dean was backing down, Dean stepped up and said no, I still oppose the war. They had given him an out, and he didn't take it. THAT REALLY got my attention. Then I heard about his support for civil unions in Vermont, even when it nearly cost him his last re-election. Later I was to find out he wore bullet-proof vests during that campaign because he had received such credible death threats. But the clincher for me was not that he was doing and saying everything right, and not that he was standing all alone in the process. At the Winter Conference of the Democratic Party last year, Dean opened with these amazingly bold questions, which spoke right to the heart of my own concerns:

"What I want to know . . . is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the President's unilateral attack on Iraq?

"What I want to know . . . is why are Democratic leaders supporting tax cuts? The question is not how big the tax cut should be -- the question should be: Can we afford a tax cut at all with the largest deficit in the history of the country?

"What I want to know . . . is why we're fighting in Congress about the Patient's Bill of Rights when the Democratic Party ought to be standing up for health care for every man, woman and child in this country?

"What I want to know . . . is why our folks are voting for the President's No Child Left Behind bill that leaves every child behind, every teacher behind, every school board behind and every property tax payer behind?

"I am Howard Dean. And I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."

And that was it. I was smitten, in the political sense. This guy is IT. THIS is the guy who can beat George Bush. What appeals to me is his strength as a candidate via his experience and knowledge, and his courage in standing up not only against Bush but against his own party when they have sold out our ideals. He had a stellar record in Vermont, managing to cut taxes, increase health care coverage, protect the environment and balance the budget. And he was no magician. He tried to get single-payer health care passed. It failed miserably. What did Dean do? Did he, as the Clinton administration did, throw up his hands and give up? No. He fought a smarter fight. And inch by inch, incrementally, he brought better health care to his state. THAT is perhaps his most impressive achievement - proving himself a true master of the "Art of the Possible" as politics is often called.

And there was more. On Tim Russert's Meet the Press, Dean showed True Grit. When Russert tossed off a sneaky hit and run comment, Dean seized on it and would not let Russert off the hook. Look at that, I thought. There is a fighter. There is someone who is not going to stand by and let Bush set the agenda, as Gore did. There is someone who is going to fight back if called a liar. This guy has gravitas.

But there's still something more. He has a powerful charisma about him. Something in him, his anger, his outrage, has tapped into the anger I have felt for so long. And it's an anger born of love, love for what could be in this country, not an anger born of hate. And his campaign is not only allowing, but encouraging unprecedented grassroots participation that is bringing a whole new set of people to politics. That can only be a good thing. He is not a leftist. If he were a peacenik, I wouldn't waste a vote on him. But he's not a peacenik. He's not even that much of a liberal. But he is a solid, principled man who believes that government can be both of the people and for the people. By supporting this man, with all his brains, savvy, courage, and charisma, and I think I'm holding the winning ticket to starting finally to reverse a serious trajectory of horrible events set in motion one gray day in Dallas back in November of 1963. FINALLY, we have a true leader again before us. I can think of nothing better to do with my next 15 months than to spend every waking minute trying to get him elected. Maybe I'll spend some dream time at it too, come to think of it. ;-)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
We're going to hit 75,000 people signed up for meetups across the country tomorrow. We are indeed changing the face of politics in this country. Now we need to change the face in the White House! ;-)

I've been swamped with other projects and haven't been able to blog much of late. There's so much to read I'd rather be doing that than blogging, at the moment. But all things come around and I will be back in force again soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the remaining summer days!

Sunday, July 27, 2003
Well well well. I've been busy joining Yahoo groups this week so I can help get the word out about Dean events in Washington State. I have big news but am waiting to share it.

Meanwhile, watch the bat! Watch David conquer Goliath! Watch how the little people say hey, our money is just as good as the high-rolling donors to the Bush-Cheney effort! Check out the Bat at And then contribute. Every little bit really adds up.

Dean Team vs. Bush Cheney - help us raise money by Monday night!

Saturday, July 19, 2003

If you want to see a top presidential candidate upfront and
personal, check out the People-Powered Howard Sleepless Summer Tour! Howard Dean will be appearing in the following
cities in August:

Saturday, Aug 23 - Alexandria, VA
Sunday, Aug 24 - Seattle, WA
Monday, Aug 25 - Portland, OR
Monday, Aug 25 - San Antonio, TX
Tuesday, Aug 26 - Chicago, IL
Tuesday, Aug 26 - New York, NY

Find out why people who see him are so enthusiastic about him. See
what the press means when they call him a great orator. You'll have a
blast. Sign up, bring some friends, and be prepared to be wowed!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
This is too good. There's a photo on the White House site, showing George Bush going through the State of the Union address "line-by-line and word-by-word." In case it's been moved, the Dean For America blog has captured it and the original caption. Check it out!

Monday, July 14, 2003
Dean supporters have often heard, "Don't vote for another McGovern." Now, George McGovern is speaking out in defense of speaking the truth. Here's a snippet from his opinion piece in Today's LA Times:

I wish that in today's political dialogue we had more politicians willing to say what they honestly believe is best for the nation rather than going along with the polls and the focus groups and the conventional wisdom. I thank God for Sen. Robert Byrd, who has courageously challenged the Bush administration's unconstitutional invasion of Iraq -- a country that has done no harm to us, poses no threat to us and which had nothing to do with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. More senators should have stood up against this foolish war that is needlessly taking American lives.

I also wish more of our elected officials would raise hard questions about the Patriot Act, which really ought to be called the Anti-Bill of Rights Act. Some searching questions should also be directed to the so-called Homeland Security Act, which has created an enormous, costly bureaucracy that will add little to our security while increasing taxes and red tape.

With the 2004 race about to begin in earnest, I would only add: Give me a presidential candidate who speaks the truth as he sees it and I'll show you a candidate whose campaign, win or lose, will be good for the nation.

You can read the full statement without having to register by going to the Public Newsroom at

And now, a note on blog ettiquette. As I've been getting out and about around the blogs, I see a lot of link issues. I used to deal with people with Accessibility issues. There are a huge number of people who use the Internet via screen readers - a utility that actually reads text outloud. Whereas a seeing person can scan a page to pick out the links on the page, a person using a screen reader usually has to press a key, and then the links get read aloud to them.

But in the blog world, that must be really frustrating to hear the following:


Bloggers, please make your links a little longer, for those who hear them out of context. I've tried (maybe successfully, but probably not always) to make links that are explanatory out of context. Check out my most recent post below. It only takes a little effort, and will allow you to reach and appease an important and surprisingly large population of users. It's one of those little things we can do that make life better for others. Go on. Expand those links!

I've never met Joe Trippi, but I think I'd really like him. His posts in the official Dean campaign blog are always so hopeful and inspiring. Truly, this campaign and the people I've met in it so far are indeed inspiring. I've done a lot of research into the darker side of history, fraught with lies, deception, drugs-for-guns and other horrible alliances. It's so inspiring to meet people who aren't willing to roll over and play dead, who want to stand up and use their own voice, and support the one candidate giving voice to the anger within so many of us.

The biggest secret in America is that we, the people DO have power. And Dean is reminding us of that. The republicans never win when there is a large voter turnout. So they've spent years telling us our votes don't matter, and funding candidates like Nader and the Green Party (there was a big scandal about that here in the Northwest) to split the Democratic vote. But not this time. NOW, the only thing standing between us and victory will be a fair vote counting system, and the electronic systems going in across the country are owned by Republicans. And one brave New Zealand media source demonstrates how easily forgeable vote counts are. Please read this important article on how votes can be tampered with and how the database keeps double books, allowing spot checks to read accurately but composite results to be easily alterable. It's very real, and we should all be very concerned.

In addition, we should all be writing or calling our State Secretaries and the press asking how votes will be counted in our own areas. Only when we raise our voices together will we succeed. I am firmly convinced the outrageous behavior of the Republicans in the last year comes from a complacency that bespeaks a foreknowledge of next year's election results. If we let them control the voting systems, that will likely be the case. SPEAK UP on this very important issue, in every outlet that you can. Nothing is as precious as our vote. We need to ensure its accuracy. The burden of proof needs to be on the system to show us that it will accurately report the votes such that tampering cannot be allowed.

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