Stop it now before it's to late
The text of a letter I just sent to John Kerry: Dear Senator Kerry, I read, with distress, a report this morning that your campaign has issued a statement criticizing Howard Dean for his alleged comments that the Iraqi people are not better off without Saddam Hussein and that Dean is suggesting that America should prepare to step down from its role as a superpower (I read this on the DailyKOS, http://www.dailykos.com/archives/002500.html). I respectfully submit that, on the former point, you have been duped into perpetuating an RNC smear against Gov. Dean. He never said any such thing about the well-being of the Iraqi people post-Saddam. I have a more detailed analysis of this smear on my website Interesting Times(http://interestingtimes.blogspot.com/2003_04_20_interestingtimes_archive.html#200193575). The short of it is that Matt Drudge seriously distorted the governor's comment in order to make it sound like he was saying something truly ridiculous. Do you really want to gain a reputation for taking your cues from Matt Drudge? As for the governor's comments that, "we won't always have the strongest military", I have not seen the context of these comments either, so I don't know how they might be distorted. But, in substance, I agree with the Governor. We can't assume that we will always be on top and thus able to beat down anyone who might oppose us. There are people alive today who can remember when Great Britain had a global empire as powerful as anything America has today. We should, as President Bush suggested in the 2000 campaign, be humble toward the world precisely because we won't always be able to enforce our will through our superior military might. We cannot rely on strength of arms to always carry the day. That way lies eventual destruction. I am writing you this letter to express my serious disappointment that you would sink to repeating right-wing distortions of the Governor's position. I happen to be a Dean supporter, but I know fully that his candidacy is a long-shot and that the Senator is the most likely nominee and would have been more then happy to support him if he won. But that support will be more difficult if you continue to perpetuate attacks as reprehensible as this one. Attack Gov. Dean on his policies and positions. Do not become a water-boy for the GOP smear machine. We cannot risk the consequences. Yours Truly, Chris Andersen P.S., I will be writing to the Dean campaign, urging them not to respond in kind to the smear your are perpretating but to instead try to elevate the level of debate to one of substance instead of distortion. The Democrats cannot afford to waste their time on nonsense like this. And the text of the letter I sent to Howard Dean: Dear Governor Dean, I read this morning, with distress, that the Kerry campaign has issued a press release calling into question your stance on the war in Iraq and your position on the continued strength of the U.S. military (I read this on the DailyKOS, http://www.dailykos.com/archives/002500.html). I am distressed by this because the Kerry press release perpetuates a smear first produced by Matt Drudge last week. The Kerry campaign appears to have bought into the Drudge spin that you said that the Iraqi people were not better off without Saddam in your appearance on Wolf Blitzer last week. I did not see this program, but having read the transcript I can tell that this was a serious distortion of your position. It saddens me that John Kerry would sign on to the perpetuation of that smear and I have sent a letter to him telling him just that. However, I would urge you not to escalate this any further then it already has gone. As much as you might be personally offended by the Kerry campaigns awful tactic, getting into a pissing match with a fellow Democrat cannot be anything but a benefit to the Bush campaign. You should, instead, try to elevate the dialogue between yourself and Sen. Kerry above the level of RNC smears. Might I suggest that you meet with the Senator and try to come to some agreement on this matter? Part of being President will involve sitting down with leaders of the opposition and of foreign countries, people whose personalities and attitudes you may find repugnant. Part of being President will require you to work with them on agreeable terms. "Burying the hatchet" with Sen. Kerry would go a long way toward demonstrating that you have that quality in spades. Please do not escalate! The Democratic party must be united in at least one purpose: the removal of George W. Bush from power in 2004. All other considerations are secondary, including our personal feelings. I am a strong supporter of your campaign. I talk about you often on my web site (you can find a breakdown of the Drudge smear there at http://interestingtimes.blogspot.com/2003_04_20_interestingtimes_archive.html#200193575). Please take this request to heart. We must not become a circular firing squad. Keep up the fight! Yours Truly, Chris Andersen I urge everyone else to send similar letters to both campaigns. We must stop this now before it gets out of control.