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January 06, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-06

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 6, 2004




SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Well, you know,
I'm electable if you
vote for me."
- Democratic presidential candidate Dennis
Kucinich in Sunday's debate, when asked by
Des Moines Register reporter David Yepsen,
"I talked to a lot ofDemocrats who say
they really like what you have to say, but
they don't think you're electable."



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The media award Dr. Dean an honorary Ph.D.

T he papers all
seem to agree,
Howard Dean
may be an M.D., but
really he also has a
Ph.D.: his Playa Hater's
Degree. The papers and
major newsmagazines
portray Dean as an
angry man, perhaps too
pissed off for the presidency.
The cover of the Economist declares this
"America's angry election year," both
Newsweek and Time feature Dean on the
cover and The New York Times ran a profile
on Dean's temper last Saturday. Behind it all
is the question of whether Dean's propensity
to say things as he sees them, with a mini-
mum of diplomatic filter, will lead to killer
gaffes and slip ups that will doom his candi-
dacy. The conservative National Review
perhaps leads the pack, urgently begging for
a Dean candidacy with the assumption
Dean's anger would not resonate with voters
and he would self-destruct, guaranteeing a
second term for Bush.
Alright, I'll buy that anger alone
doesn't win an election. But what wins the
election is honesty and passion. And right
now if other candidates aren't angry and
pissed off about the direction of the nation
they should be. Either the other candidates
are actually angry and hiding it behind
slippery phrases or they aren't really that
angry - either choice is unsatisfactory.
Let's look at these supposed gaffes, the
things Dean has said in the heat of the
Lately Dean has gotten a lot of heat for
suggesting that Osama bin Laden deserves
a fair trial before punishment is handed

down. It's a sorry state indeed if Dean is
attacked for suggesting we follow the rule
of law instead of vigilante justice.
Saddam Hussein was captured right
before Christmas, making the world safer,
right? Well, judging by the increasing casu-
alties in Iraq, the boost to Code Orange and
the return of fighter plane escorts of com-
mercial planes, apparently not. Dean was
right to point out that the capture of Hus-
sein is not a significant improvement in the
actual safety of U.S. citizens compared to
Hussein hiding in a spider hole.
Dean has also caught heat variously for
suggesting that Bill Clinton is not perfect
(he's not), that Democratic national Chair-
man Terry McAuliffe is killing the party (he
is) and that the Democratic Party needs to
reach out to poor white southerners (they do).
So what's the problem? The supposed
slip ups are in fact right on. That Dean has
backtracked a little from these quotes is not
evidence that they were wrong, simply that
in this hyper media age a few quotes out of
context can kill a campaign.
The real reason Dean is getting attacked
for his anger is because everyone in power
is afraid he will win not just the nomina-
tion, but the presidency. Dean is an out-
sider, who built an entire campaign from
the ground up, using real honest grassroots
appeal and not relying on the grimy hands
of the Democratic Leadership Council to
guide his actions.
There's a reason Dean says a third of
his followers are under 30. Dean is doing a
lot to bring in new members and first-time
voters to the party. During the last 15
years, largely under Clinton and the leader-
ship of the DLC, Democrats lost the Sen-
ate, the House of Representatives,

numerous governorships and the last bit of
the South. If Democrats want to sally forth
from their bastions of power in the cities,
they seriously need to re-evaluate their
image, and Dean, despite his supposed
Northeastern elitism, is the only one I have
seen with new appeal.
In a world where the United States has
few allies and where international relations
are as sour as the milk I left in the fridge
over break, there is something to be said
for diplomacy. The Bush administration's
efforts at diplomacy managed to actually
eliminate the post Sept. 11 goodwill of
other nations. Can Dean, with his temper
and off-the-cuff remarks, truly rebuild
America's standing in the world?
If the organization of his campaign is
any guide, then the answer is unequivocal-
ly yes. Dean may have anger on the sur-
face, but his ability to build a nationwide
coalition of support and to do it over the
Internet with minimal central control and
open trust is refreshing and stands in sharp
contrast to the top-down precision-guided
control of the Bush campaign.
While Bush has carefully poll-tested
responses and virginally tight-lipped spin
control, the looseness with which Dean
speaks reveals a confident candidate not
afraid to speak his mind or say unpopular
truths that the public should hear.
Dean says what he thinks and is called
an angry man. If that's supposed to stand
in contrast to the other candidates and
Bush who apparently hide behind rhetoric
and say what they think is popular, then
sign me up for Dean.
Piskor can be reached


Dean misrepresenting
other candidates' records
on the war in Iraq
Like many Americans, I have been pas-
sionately involved in this election process,
more so than ever, in part due to the fla-
grant dishonesty that has been repeatedly
displayed by our current administration. I
looked to former Vermont Gov. Howard
Dean as a Democratic presidential candi-
date who would come clean about many of
these falsities. I attended my first Dean
meet-up back in September, not too long
before he ran TV ads in Iowa that misrepre-
sented his position as the "only candidate
who opposed the war from the start," and
about one year after he said he would
endorse a pre-emptive strike against Iraq if
it could be proven that Saddam Hussein
had access to weapons of mass destruction
and the means to discharge them. That
endorsement was made two days after The
New York Times ran a news story about
how "a small group of Democratic die-
hards in the House" tried to rally opposi-
tion to Iraq military action, accurately
calling U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-
Ohio) the leader of this opposition and
igniter of a serious debate inside the party.
On Saturday, Dec. 27, the Concord
Monitor in Concord, N.H., noted, "Dean
recently mailed brochures to homes in New
Hampshire with a headline stating that
Dean is the only candidate who 'opposed
the war from the start."'
Dennis Kucinich led the effort against
the war in the U.S. House of Representa-
tives, is the only candidate who voted
against the war, is the only candidate who
consistently opposed the war from the
beginning and continues to oppose it now
and is the only candidate with an exit strat-
egy. His "Prayer for America" speech
against the buildup to war in February 2002
catalyzed this campaign. The Rev. Al
Sharpton and former Ambassador Carol
Mosley Braun also opposed the war.
The war is not over. Soldiers are dying
every day. And Dean would like to contin-
ue the military occupation of Iraq for "a

debate. And yet he continues to use a flyer
that says "Only Dean opposed the war from
the start."
If Dean chooses to gloss over the incon-
sistencies of the positions he took during
the first stage of this war, that's his busi-
ness. But when he denies Kucinich's
record, that becomes our business, and it
ought to be the business of the media.
Dean is misrepresenting a material fact,
and doing so despite his demonstrated
knowledge of the truth. It is the media's
responsibility to find out why he is doing
this. The public has a right to know.
Music senior
Graduate students'
health coverage confusing
and not adequate
I am a graduate student in the Depart-
ment of Biochemistry, and I'd like to bring
up an issue I'm having with student health
When I came to the University to study,
I was promised a modest stipend to live on
and full health coverage. I don't have the
paperwork with me, but I'm fairly certain I
signed some paperwork that said, "We
agree to give you 'x,' and in exchange, you
perform services 'y.' " Given that I have
upheld my end of the bargain, having com-
pleted my teaching responsibility, all
coursework required for my doctorate, and
many, many hours of independent research,
I expect whomever's in charge of my con-
tract with the University to hold up his end.
Well, they most certainly haven't. The
stipend comes through all well and good,
but my insurance has been "dropped" with-
out warning no less than three times, with-
out my prior knowledge or consent.
I discovered this the first time when I
went in to the University health clinic.
They informed me that, indeed, I had no
insurance through the University. Luckily,
I was still registered for classes at the time,
so I got treated for free.
The second time was just this past
November. I went to the clinic for chronic

"many students are dropped from the sys-
tem randomly" from multiple sources (in
fact, pretty much everyone I ask about it),
indicating that it's not just me with this
problem. By all indications, most of the
graduate students who come here probably
are dropped from coverage at some point in
their graduate careers. And in my case, I
was dropped three times.
So, by way of an open letter to
whomever happens to be in charge of stu-
dent insurance, I say this: You are not
doing your job properly. Graduate students
already put in excruciatingly long hours for
minimal pay without having to worry about
whether or not their insurance happens to
be active on any given day. I am sick of
reapplying for health coverage every time I
need to see the doctor. Please, please,
please do what needs to be done to get a
functional system in place!



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Longer "viewpoints" may be arranged with
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