4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 26, 2004
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I'm going to give
him a pass. I take care of
- Comedian Dennis Miller, on how he
plans to discuss President Bush in
his new television program that
debuts on CNBC tonight, as reported
by The Associated Press.
/tom ~ , 1 l~s~ y ..--.
SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX
Whither the Deaniacs?
ZAC PESKOWITZ TiE LOWER FREQUENCIES
he political obitu- of North Carolina. Dean did so poorly in Iowa precinct captain, told Slate's Chris Suellen-
ary of Howard that he told The Washington Post this weekend trop, "I think if we could blame (Dean's loss)
Dean, the former that the state would "have to change its caucus on anyone, blame it on the 18- to 25-year-
governor of Vermont and system" if it wanted to retain its position at the olds, because they were nonexistent." And
fiscal conservative-cum- start of the sprint for the nomination. From this was an electoral event tailor-made to
anti-war liberal Democ- denouncing the caucuses as an electoral traves- increase the clout of activists; what's going to
ratic presidential aspirant, ty captured by "special interests" to shameless- happen to Dean in the Oklahoma primary?
has yet to be written. ly pandering for Iowa's special place in the The reasons for Dean's troubles are
Despite his disappointing nomination process and back again, Dean's twofold. First, organization will never be as
third place showing in position tracks perfectly with the perceived potent as it was in the era of wardheeling
the Iowa caucuses, Dean still has a fighting utility of the Dean organization. machine politics. The conventional wisdom
man's chance at the nomination even if he The failure of the much-vaunted Dean vol- that cable news and the Internet have dramati-
places second in tomorrow's New Hampshire unteer effort is a particularly delicious bout of cally altered the motivations of the electorate
primary. The aura of inevitability that had irony for those who doubted the guiding prin- holds true in this instance. Through techno-
cloaked Dean for months is now gone and he ciple of the Dean campaign: Appeal to the lib- logical innovation, political information can
faces a long, hard slog to a successful corona- eral wing, get out first-time voters and swamp travel faster than ever before and voters have
tion at the Democratic National Convention in the center. Dean made a lot of enemies when intimate access to candidates. The failures of
Boston, but the candidate still possesses formi- he boasted to LA Weekly last summer that the Dean and Gephardt field operations are
dable assets. The prowess of the Dean fundrais- "we've already got 39,000 people working for just the most recent episodes in the long, slow
ing machine, the awesome might of the Dean us all around the country ... I really do believe decline of organizational politicking.
website, the companied passion of hordes of - and I think about this - I want to get this More relevant to future campaign strategists
bloggers and most incredible of all, that invin- nomination, and if I don't ... these kids are is the lesson that the "new voter mobilization"
cible, indefatigable, almost inhuman army of not transferable. I can't just go out and say, gambit cannot work in a large-scale campaign.
orange-capped volunteers of Deaniacs. 'Okay, so I didn't win the nomination, so go No matter who is espousing that argument, be it
"Organization," which everyone on down ahead and vote for the Democrats.' They're Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly in 1964
from David Yepsen, the dean of the Iowa press not going to suddenly just go away. That's not or University of California at Berkely Prof.
corps, pronounced to be the "key to victory," gonna happen." Dean's arrogance lay with his George Lakoff in 2004, it doesn't work. The
had an awfully uninspiring effect on Dean's belief that he could power himself to the nomi- tragedy of Howard Dean is that there were signs
performance last Monday. The 3,500 volun- nation by offering the voters "a choice, not an that he had already absorbed this lesson at the
teers, from college students to union operatives, echo" a la the 1964 Barry Goldwater cam- beginning of his quest for the presidency. In
who canvassed the state for Dean were utterly paign. Dean would mobilize all those alienated 2002 he told a crowd of supporters "Get the gun
ineffectual. The incantation of "organization, voters and bring these new voters to the polls issue off the table ... It cost Al Gore three states
organization, organization" proved to be a in a political tsunami. - and the presidency." Unfortunately for Dean,
chimera, as both Dean and Rep. Richard While it was all about the kids last August, it's probably much too late to return to the
Gephardt of Missouri got stomped by the last Monday Kerry walloped Dean in Iowa's immutable wisdom of political expediency.
smaller field operation of Massachusetts Sen. college towns. From Grinnell to Iowa City to
John Kerry and the practically nonexistent crop Ames, youth refused to drink the Kool-Aid of Peskowitz can be reached
of volunteers working for Sen. John Edwards Generation Dean. George Davey, a Dean firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Reader: Christian faith
'prejudiced' against others
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to Eric
Dueweke's letter (Columnist Joel Hoard
went overboard in criticizing Bush's faith,
Christianity, 01/23/04), in which he said he
was insulted when Hoard called Christiani-
ty a "baseless faith." I am not going to
challenge whether Christianity is a base-
less faith or not, but I would like to say
that Christians get insulted way too easily.
Whether the insult was appropriate or not,
Christians need to realize that their whole
belief system is an insult to others.
I am a good person and I live a good life.
I treat others with kindness and I rarely do
anything mean; in fact, this letter may be the
meanest thing I have done in a long time. If
you were to judge me solely based on my
actions, you would have no problem with
me, but Christians believe that I deserve the
same punishment as bin Laden, Hitler and
the rest of the world's scum. This is not
because of my actions, but because of my
faith. I am an atheist. In their eyes, I deserve
to go to hell. At the beginning of the Ten
Commandments it says something along the
lines of, "You shall not have other gods
before Me," so no matter how I live my life
and treat others, as long as I don't believe in
God, I am a bad person. This is an insult to
me. So while Christians are getting insulted
over every bad thing said about them, they
need to see their foundation of belief is an
insult to many. They have a very prejudiced
system that slanders everyone who is not.
Christian, and using Dueweke's own words,
will not prevent all STDs
TO THE DAILY:
In a letter to the editor, Matt Schaar
(Abstinence education is a logical way to stop
the spread of STDs, 01/23/04) recently said,
"The fact that I have chosen abstinence -
a faith-based, rational decision - means
that my chances of contracting a sexually
transmitted disease, until I'm married, are
exactly zero." The flaw of this reasoning is
marriage, where they trust that their partner
will not cheat on them. The simple act of
marrying someone isn't going to make you
both invulnerable to STDs.
If the president and others really want-
ed to stop the spread of STDs, they would
encourage people to never, ever have sex,
and if they wanted to feel sexual pleasure,
they would have to masturbate. This would
truly be a rational decision. But of course,
such a surefire way to prevent STDs would
not fit into his Christian ideology that he is
trying to promote.
The real fact is that people want to have
sex and should be taught everything about it,
including all the ways that help to prevent
STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Absti-
nence-only education doesn't do this.
President Bush deserves
respect because of his position
TO THE DAILY:
When I read How to tell a 10-year-old
her president sucks (01/22/04), by Joel
Hoard, I was very distressed by the manner
in which Hoard attacked our president. It is
to be expected that not everyone will agree
with President Bush's actions; however, it
is not right to call any president "a liar and
a moron" or to say that "we're fucked" if
that president wins another term. There are
some lines that simply should not be
crossed, and this is one of them. Every
president is more than the commander in
chief. He is also the head of state.
Whether we like it or not, President Bush
represents this entire nation. Criticizing
him on such a level surpasses ideological
differences and becomes distasteful and
On another note, what is so wrong
about promoting abstinenceaas the only
100 percent effective way to avoid STDs?
What is so wrong about testing for illegal
drugs in schools? There is nothing inher-
ently religious about either of these state-
ments, as claimed in the editorial.
Daily should stop constantly
picking on President Bush
Amaker shoud keep his job,
basketballteam is iproming
TO THE DAILY:
In Joey Litman's recent letter to the editor,
Cagers need an offense that puts the ball in the net
(01/22/04), Litman criticized the Michigan
offense in general and blamed the team's
struggles on coach Tommy Amaker. As
another fan of the team, I have also been frus-
trated with the recent three-game losing streak
and the less-than-stellar performances on the
part of the offense. However, I would not be
so quick to point the finger at Amaker, let
alone suggest that the University needs to find
a better coach. Amaker led the team to marked
improvement last season and has shown that
he is a good recruiter, and it is not warranted
to call for his job because of cold shooting and
offensive lapses on the part of some players.
Michigan's offensive struggles can be traced
to the graduation of Lavell Blanchard, the lack
of a solid offensive presence in the post and
the youth and inexperience of this year's
squad. Contrary to Litman's claim that the
team is underachieving this season, I would
say the problem is that they overachieved last
season during their 13-game winning streak
and are now paying the price by being faced
with unrealistic expectations. The process of
turning Michigan's basketball program around
is still a work in progress and it will not hap-
pen overnight. Fans need to stay patient and
support the coach and the team as they contin-
ue to build and improve. I am confident that
coach Amaker has the team headed in the right
direction in the long run and I look forward to
watching the team's development over the
course of conference play.
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