To hear the Democratic
presidential candidates tell it, the winners of the New Hampshire primary
were John Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Wes Clark, and Joe Lieberman.
Evidently the latter four are using the same vote-counting strategy that
they wanted to use in Florida four years ago. That aside, Tuesday’s
real winner was Sen. Kerry of Massachusetts, who has been leading for the
past week or so. I guess New Hampshire voters aren’t the poll-defying
bunch they were made out to be.
The best part of the evening wasn’t listening to Kerry talk about how much
he “loves” New Hampshire and Iowa, watching John Edwards blather about the
“two Americas” of which he’s so fond, or seeing Dennis Kucinich explain to
Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes why he can still win this thing. The best
part was hearing a somber, post-Iowa-scream Howard Dean tell America what
his plans for the country are. To be sure, he has quite a few of them,
but he got the biggest whoops from the crowd over his comments on abortion,
It seems that two significant schools of thought have emerged regarding the
continued hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. One side—Howard
Dean, Saddam Hussein—says there were none. The other side—George W.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Bill Clinton, Hillary
Clinton, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin, the United Nations,
and the vast majority of the American public—says there were. In November,
it looks like we’ll get to decide with which group we’d like to align ourselves.
For the record, anyone who still thinks Saddam didn’t have any weapons should
talk to the Kurds.
One weapon of mass destruction of which Dean seems to be fully in favor is Roe v. Wade.
On his website, he boasts of having worked for Planned Parenthood, and then
ominously reports that “In contrast, George W. Bush is openly hostile to
a woman’s constitutional right to choose.” (Don’t get excited; it doesn’t
look like he knows where the Abortion Clause is, either.) “Make no
mistake—President Bush and Republicans in Congress want to challenge the
Supreme Court. They want to turn back the clock 30 years.” I
certainly hope Dean’s right about that!
Bush has made precisely two decisions directly related to abortion.
First, he’s nominated a lot of anti-abortion judges, none of whom can overturn
Roe. Second, he’s signed legislation banning one
of the most gruesome procedures ever performed, partial-birth abortion.
Inasmuch as most people don’t care much for dead babies, those actions were
probably pretty savvy on the President’s part, not to mention moral.
Dean failed to mention that only a handful of Senate Democrats voted against
the bill, including Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, and Ted Kennedy (this
time he didn’t have to swim anywhere afterward). Vermont apostate Jim
Jeffords also voted against the legislation.
Now the question is what the future holds for Kerry, Dean, and Edwards.
Of the three, clearly the boyish Senator from North Carolina and the pompous
left-winger from Beacon Hill have the lead. Dean may have had the money
and the “organization” the press keeps prattling about, but without voters,
that doesn’t help much. Kerry now has the momentum he needs to run
around the February 3 states, and Edwards has the home field advantage in
places like South Carolina, where he was born. Word on the street is
that these two will make up the Democratic ticket. According to those
who like this idea, everyone who doesn’t like New England liberal snobbery
will vote Democrat anyway, so that they can have southern liberal snobbery.
Dean’s prospects don’t look quite as rosy. He can still earn money
and votes, but not for long. It is absolutely crucial that he win New
Mexico and Arizona and that he then go on to sweep the rest of the primaries
thereafter. If he can’t do that, he can forget the nomination.
Z. Sterrett, a resident of Aptos, California, is a Lifetime Member of the
California Junior Scholarship Federation and a Sustaining Member of the Republican
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