And for the record, Dean, as usual, came across as well spoken, firm, credible and wouldn't play into the distractions or games that Wolf tried to rope him into.
I nearly had to turn off the interview, because of the arrogance, sneering questioning, constant interrupting and baiting of Dean.
Just a few examples of how one of the leaders of a party that is
- Trying to get back into power,
- Has been the only ones to come out with a call for plans to withdraw from Iraq,
- Is raising more money than pretty much ever before,
- Putting in an infrastructure to challenge Republicans where they haven't been challenged before,
- Has come out with calls for a nationalized form of health care coverage and security for our people in their hometowns,
- Has been pushing for investigations into crimes committed in this country's name and most importantly,
- Doesn't control the legislative agenda or the corporate right wing controlled media
gets the brush off and is forced to answer asinine questions about why people don't think they have a plan or defend "breaks in the party alliance" while their efforts are mocked and minimalized.
BLITZER: You just heard the ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, say that this has been a good day in trying to form a new government of national unity in Iraq. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll asked if Democrats in Congress have a clear plan for Iraq. Seventy percent said they do not have a clear plan. Only 24 percent said they have a plan. The Democrats seem to be all over the place.
OK - can anyone tell me what the republican plan is for Iraq, other than continue to lie, cover up, ignore and distort reality while keeping our troops in harms way with no goal, no armor and no measures of success? I guess "stay the course" is good enough when huge percentages of the population think that a civil war will, if not already, break out. Or that over 70% of our troops in Iraq are calling for a withdrawal this year.
At least Dean didn't back away from that, indicating that there was a Democratic-originated resolution that passed in the Senate making 2006 a "transition year".
But Wolf wasn't done showing his idiocy.
On the 2006 elections and the issues. Wolfie seems to be of the "head up his own ass" camp when Dean dared to mention all of the lies that we have heard these past few months alone:
DEAN: I think big issues will be security, the desire for a change, and honesty and openness in government. I think we win on all three of those. I think the people of this country have lost confidence in the president's ability to defend us, principally because he hasn't been very truthful with the American people.
BLITZER: And specifically on which he hasn't been truthful, are you saying he lied to the American people?
DEAN: I'm saying that he misled us not just on Iraq and not just on Katrina, but he misled us on issues -- for example, how much the drug benefit for Medicare was going to cost and then what a mess that was going to be; misled us on the fact that he said he was going to fire anyone who leaked information, and Karl Rove still has a security clearance today.
You know, this is not an administration that's been terribly truthful to the American people -- and I think the American people realize that now.
So what we offer is real reform. You can see the Republicans in the Senate have now backed off any kind of lobbying reform. Well, we still think that you houldn't take private jet flights, you shouldn't take free lunches -- and we ought to change the conference committee routine so you can't stick things, like the Republicans stuck in before Christmas, $20 billion giveaways to HMOs and oil companies.
Those are fundamental ethics reforms that ought to be made. I don't care if the Abramoff scandals have faded into the background because of all this other business; we need to make those changes. We need real openness and honesty in government again.
That leads to a discussion on taking back Congress in November, including Dean referencing Newt's strategy in 1994 - while disagreeing with the policies. And while Dean lays out the important items that Dems want to focus on for 2006, all Wolfie cares about is what snazzy name they are going to call it:
DEAN: Give a consistent message about what Democrats want: honesty and openness in government, American jobs that will stay in America using energy independence as a new industry to create those jobs, a strong national defense based on telling the truth to the American people and our soldiers. Those are the kinds of things where we can really make difference -- health care...
BLITZER: It sounds, Governor...
DEAN: ... a health care system that works for everybody. Those things we've all agreed on -- governors, senators, congressmen, mayors have all agreed on those things.
BLITZER: It sounds like you want to have a contract for America the way that Newt Gingrich had his contract for America?
DEAN: Well, if we do, we certainly won't call it that. But there are some fundamental things...
BLITZER: Well, what are you guys thinking of calling it?
DEAN: Who knows? I mean, we haven't got to an agreement on that. I'm actually meeting with the leadership again this week to have further discussions. But the agenda is very clear. Again: honesty and openness, security, jobs, health care, education, and retirement security.
And we wonder why the perception is that there is no plan. All these ideas laid out, and instead of talking about the issues, the importance of these issues or how the Republicans have dropped the ball or don't care about regular Americans, or reiterating that these are issues that are important, and all Wolf wants to know how shiny the packaging will be.
Regarding the fundraising success that Dean has spearheaded:
BLITZER: But the Republicans still have a lot more money.
Regarding the "rift" between Ickes/Clinton and Dean on infrastructure:
BLITZER: So is Harold Ickes wrong?
DEAN: I would disagree with Harold. He's a friend of mine, but I wouldn't agree with him on this one.
BLITZER: So they're just basically wasting money. They could use the DNC for their purposes.
DEAN: I wouldn't say he was wasting money. He may want to do this for his own purpose, but it won't basically help candidates. They have to rely on hard money. It can't help federal candidates.
BLITZER: Is Hillary Clinton too liberal to win the presidency?
Wow. Rapid fire vomiting of nonsense by Wolf that would make Tweety proud.
And lastly, I'll leave you with an exchange about November and making the issue of trying to right this country after everything that has gone wrong, ignored or just plain fucked up something more like a game than what is really at stake here:
BLITZER: I've spoken to a lot of Democrats, and you speak to a lot more than I do. They are really sensing that they could win in this November, given all the problems the Republicans have had, the president, the White House, Katrina, Iraq, Scooter Libby, the vice president's former chief of staff, the vice president shooting his friend in the face in that hunting accident, the warrantless wiretaps, the Dubai ports deal.
So much negative stuff for the Republicans. If the Democrats don't take advantage of this, as one person said to me, there's going to be all hell to pay.
DEAN: Well, first of all, I'd prefer not to look at it as taking advantage of Republican weaknesses. After all, what's really at stake here is the future of the country. This country's become much weaker under President Bush, not just security and the outsourcing of our ports operations and all that, but the deficits. We're about to vote next week on a new debt ceiling. I think the Democrats are going to vote no. And thank God. Somebody has to be fiscally responsible in this country. And the Republicans have lost the mantle of fiscal responsibility.
Democrats are the only party in the last 40 years who have run a surplus under Bill Clinton. We've got to return us to the basics, return this country to the basics, where we're focused. You know, the president talks about homeland security. Well, homeland security means hometown security. And the Republicans have forgotten about ordinary people in the streets of America.
This is PRECISELY why Dean is doing, to take a phrase from Dear Leader, a "heckuva job". Pointing out the obvious to the oblivious. Standing firm. Calling bullshit on the lies and crimes. Articulating as specific a plan as he can at this point. Talking about the failures of the Republican controlled Congress and Executive Branch.
Too bad he has to tell it to a blowhard pompous ass like Blitzer.