I don’t want a puppy, I want a President

I don’t want a puppy, I want a President
: Dean just can’t keep his foot from marching into his mouth:

“In other words, I lead with my heart and not my head. That’s the only chance we have against George Bush,” Dean said as he sought to recover from his third-place Iowa finish and the fallout over his scream-filled speech on caucus night that raised questions about his temperament.

That’s the last kind of person I want in the White House, somebody who’ll be ruled by emotions, somebody who’ll take it all personally.

It’s not about you, Howard. It’s about us. Think for us, like us. That’s the job.

45 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    What an absurd leap of logic to go from leading with his heart to someone who will take it all personally. Do you even try to be honest or has it all become just about the spin for you?

  2. Steve Gigl says:

    We had a guy who led with his heart and not his head as governor of Minnesota, and his tenure was not a high point. I highly recommend we avoid such a thing nationally.
    And I’m not so sure you can’t draw a link between leading by emotion and letting emotion get the best of you, which is clearly something that happens to Dean fairly often.
    Item: when faced with someone who thinks George Bush is a neighbor who Dean ought to be attacking less, Dean shouts at him to “…sit down. You’ve had your say and now I’m going to have my say.”
    Naw, Dean doesn’t take things personally…

  3. Independant George says:

    Wait a minute – isn’t that the (admittedly, sometimes fair) standard criticism of Bush – that he’s not intellectually engaged, and decides on policy based on instincts instead of reason? Simplistic ‘Axis of Evil’ rhetoric instead of dispassionate, nuanced reasoning?

  4. Anil says:

    I’m curious, Jeff, if you keep saying how the election should be focused on positivity, especially by those of us on the left, why do you keep harping on the negatives of one guy who’s in (at best) third place?
    What do you *want* to see? What are the praiseworthy traits of our Democratic candidates? There’s nobody who ever leads with just heart or just their head, we know that, so it seems like a petty and pointless issue to fixate on.

  5. stoddart says:

    It seems to me that he’s blogged an awful lot here about how positive Dean’s embrace of blogging and networking has been, and the influence of that on the whole process (regardless of whether he’s the front runner or not).

  6. Charlie T. says:

    I’ll remember this post when you and your pals are savaging Kerry for being “dull” this fall.

  7. Hipocrite says:

    Don’t forget french-looking Charlie, and that he doesn’t know who he is. And Jewish – Rethuglicans don’t want to lose the anti-semite vote.

  8. Michelle says:

    “I’m a fiscal conservative, social/cultural liberal and foreign policy hawk.” Andrew Sullivan
    Dean hits 2 out of the 3. He was derided by quite a few here in Vermont because he didn’t make any attempt to please all. He pulled it off, he was a good steward of the Vermont economy during his tenure as governor.
    The “screech” was a gaffe in that it allowed too many to have a good laugh at his expense. It reflects a man who is not polished. It does not reflect a man who is unhinged.
    Unfortunately for Dean, I’m a “Blair democrat.”

  9. Dean’s heart scares me a lot more than his head, and the fact that he can’t confront its content is scarier still.
    This is a standard pander to the naive element of the left, because it underscores a familiar claim: the left are the “caring people”, and the right are the calculating and therefore cruel people. But real life demands more than noble feelings, it needs policies that realistically accomplish noble ends, like teaching people on welfare how to support themselves. And that’s where the Heart People lose to the Head People every time.

  10. >The “screech” was a gaffe in that it allowed too many to have a good laugh at his expense. It reflects a man who is not polished. It does not reflect a man who is unhinged.
    I think Dean was making fun of all those who have been claiming he is too angry. If you watch the footage of his speech, his sarcasm can clearly be seen.

  11. Dann says:

    At the risk of being crude, I’ll say that leading with the heart instead of the head is one of the reasons why modern liberalism is in trouble. Modern liberalism (at least the part that is charge of public policy) says that a guy like Bill Gates or Ross Perot or Jack Welch that is sitting on a huge pile of wealth generated by productively serving the legitimate needs of the world are in some way less deserving of economic liberty and is somewhat criminal in comparison with the average homeless person. (using extremes on purpose)
    Modern liberalism (according to those same folks in charge of public policy) wants so much to ‘help’ people, that they fail to check to see if their ‘help’ is helpful or harmful over the long term.
    From that starting point, we have trod the road to hell; paving it with our own good intentions. We may not be in hell right now, but it wouldn’t be much of a trip if our government successfully persuades the majority of the population that a car, home, food, clothes, health care, etc. are American birth rights justified by the mere drawing of a breath as opposed to being the purpose for pursuing a useful education and gainful employment.
    IMHO.
    -Regards

  12. Easycure says:

    You guys are all taking Jeff just a little too seriously.
    He makes some funny (and often poignant) remarks about a guy who resembles a Giant Human Thumb and you get all bent out of shape?
    Lighten up! Sheesh.

  13. RB says:

    Good advice, easycure. Lighten up folks.
    Howard Dean has given us all some good laughs at his expense, and as soon as Dean starts to lighten up, he might resemble a lunatic less often.

  14. Anon says:

    I guess it’s better than someone that takes his marching orders from God.
    “Why did you go to war Georgie?”
    “God told me to punish the evil doers.”
    “The ones in Saudi Arabia?”
    “Yeah, those… hey…. fool me once… won’t get fooled again.”

  15. Eric Deamer says:

    Anon:
    Another insightful and meticulously sourced critique. Of all comment posters, Anon is my favorite. He/she appears in so many places and adds so much to the conversation. What would we do without Anon? Someday I hope to meet this mysterious person.

  16. >You guys are all taking Jeff just a little too seriously.
    Look through Jeff’s latest posts. Every day there is at least one or more posts about Dean and his anger. So why do you not expect him to be taken seriously on the subject when he has obviously become obsessed with propagating the “Dean is angry” propaganda.

  17. diana says:

    Dean’s heart scares me a lot more than his head, and the fact that he can’t confront its content is scarier still.
    Gosh, you scare easily. Dean is the ex-governor of a small state. He is the proprietor of a failed dot-com.
    What are you scared of?
    And why is everybody talking so much about him? He is so yesterday’s news.

  18. “I think Dean was making fun of all those who have been claiming he is too angry. If you watch the footage of his speech, his sarcasm can clearly be seen”
    No. He lost it. Had *I* done something like that, say, at a party or wedding, I’d be taken away – even if it was just a joke – and then reminded of my horrible behavior for the rest of my life. Dean gets no quarter for acting like a lunatic and would be a dangerous president. Worse than Dan Quayle would’ve been.

  19. Jim Treacher says:

    “I think Dean was making fun of all those who have been claiming he is too angry. If you watch the footage of his speech, his sarcasm can clearly be seen.”
    So is he running for president, or trying to get into McSweeney’s?

  20. angell says:

    Well, if he was just making fun, why was he so red in the face? He looked like he was about to pop a blood vessel. He was angry –plain and simple–there are pictures out there to show an angry little man throwing a tantrum.
    Look at the second shot–is that sarcasm or temper tantrumism?

  21. Bryan says:

    Dean’s a nut. You don’t lead with your heart, especially in the middle of a war. Just try sifting through competing battle plans based on your emotional read–you’ll get a lot of people needlessly killed. Leading with your heart in wartime can lead to things like striking out in a blind rage instead of crafting a measure response, as Bush did in Afghanistan. But Dean’s toast anyway.
    His statement pretty much sums up where most Democrats are, though–emotions count far more than reason, and intentions count far more than effect. As long as you meant well (and are liberal), most Dems will always give you a pass no matter who you do.

  22. Greg D says:

    Wait a minute – isn’t that the (admittedly, sometimes fair) standard criticism of Bush – that he’s not intellectually engaged, and decides on policy based on instincts instead of reason? Simplistic ‘Axis of Evil’ rhetoric instead of dispassionate, nuanced reasoning?
    No, that is a dishonest criticism of Bush, made by people who can’t tell the difference between thinking, and engaging in mental masturbation.
    Bush does a very good job of “speaking to the heart” (which is why his speeches leave me cold, I’m not interested in a politician appealing to my heart). His policies, however, show a great deal of logic behind them. Which is why I strongly support him, even though I hate his speaking style.

  23. megapotamus says:

    Dean’s a nut.

  24. Come on. We all know the truth. It’s not his head or his heart. He leads with his ego.

  25. >Well, if he was just making fun, why was he so red in the face?
    If I’m not mistaken, Dean is or was a state governor, so unless you can cite credible evidence that he governed with his heart and not his head, all this nonsense is nothing more than NBA trash-talk. Dean has been in politics for a number of years, so there should be some evidence of his rage affecting his political ability. In other words, show me the rage or STFU about Dean being angry.

  26. Angus Jung says:

    “Dean has been in politics for a number of years, so there should be some evidence of his rage affecting his political ability.”
    He’s living through it right now.

  27. ebb tide says:

    Forget about screaming a list of states, I think at the presidential debates they should have to scream out this list, IN ORDER:
    http://usembassy-australia.state.gov/hyper/2003/1210/epf304.htm
    (scroll down to the bottom of that page for the list)

  28. angell says:

    Meanwhile Clark graces the cover of the Advocate, begging for the gay vote. He is one phoney puppy!
    http://drudgereport.com/clark.jpg

  29. Joel says:

    I think we can go beyond hearts and heads here:
    Clinton governed with his wet index finger in the breeze, Ventura governed with his middle finger in the air, Carter governed with his other cheek, Ford governed with both thumbs, Schwarzenegger might govern with his thumb and fingertips, Bush governs with the back of his hand, Davis governed with his hand under the table, etc.

  30. penny says:

    Bravo, Joel

  31. Warbonnet says:

    Most of the Democratic presidential candidates (and generally speaking most Republicans for that matter) think with the political part of their mind, but harness their heart when it is politically useful.
    Years ago Dean said he favored Medicare and Social Security reform, a clear indication that he’s using his head as any objective observer knows these two systems can’t continue in their current forms. But now that he’s in the middle of an election, he purports to lend a heartfelt defense of the current system in order to protect the old from any painful (mild or otherwise) changes to these programs.
    Ditto for John Edwards. See today’s Drudge Report. In 1998 he favored a hybrid private/public Social Security system. Now that he’s in a race for the presidency, he’s pandering to the Democratic base and insists that the government must protect SS payments indefinitely.
    Those thinking with their minds will ask how will it be funded in future years, but that’s a minor technically for someone trying to capitalize on his bleeding heart.

  32. Lawrence says:

    …unless you can cite credible evidence that he governed with his heart and not his head, all this nonsense is nothing more than NBA trash-talk.
    Credible, eh? How’s this:
    “I lead with my heart and not my head.” — Howard Dean

  33. >Credible, eh? How’s this:
    >”I lead with my heart and not my head.” — Howard Dean
    And how exactly does that translate into showing his actual record as a politician? Unless you can back up the claims with evidence from his time as governor, it’s nothing more than NBA trash-talk.

  34. docweasel says:

    Something I haven’t seen anyone on any of the blogs mention, but isn’t Al Gore a HUGE loser if Dean goes down the tubes? I think the whole reason he backed Dean was he thought Dean would win the nomination but not the election, positioning Gore to pick up Dean’s supposed huge support network and to align Gore with the emerging dominance of the left wing of the Dem party. Now Dean is most likely toast, the ‘new wave’ of Lefty Dominance has swerved center, and Al Gore’s endorsement isn’t worth any more than Carol Moseley Braun’s.

  35. Charlie says:

    I tell you, I just love the DU tinfoil hat folks. (In this context, I’m responding to “Hipocrite”.) Who else could offer us the spectacle of a machiavellian mad genius who is a half-wit and nearly indistinguishable from a chimp, being manipulated by a neoconservative Jewish cabal that can’t risk losing the support of the anti-Semites.
    What’s next: the Klan coontrolling Jesse Jackson and the NAACP?

  36. Lawrence says:

    Unless you can back up the claims with evidence…
    Then is Dean lying? Why must I research his governorship of Vermont to disprove a statement of his that I agree with?

  37. HH says:

    Re: Saying this at awedding
    “I wanna thank my mom and dad, and my lovely new wife for making this magical day possible. Now we’re gonna go… to a hotel… in Washington and we’re gonna have lots of sex!!! YAAAAAARRRRRR!”

  38. Chuck Olsen says:

    The person Jeff is describing isn’t Howard Dean

  39. schizoid says:

    “Howard Dean has…closed over 70 landfills”
    This is a perfect example of not using one’s head. What do Vermonters do with their garbage now? Dump it in the street? Or maybe they spend millions of dollars to ship it to New Jersey and South Carolina and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico and California and Texas and New York and South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan! Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!

  40. boondoggle says:

    On landfills – look up economist Daniel K. Benjamin on recycling myths. 1) It’s not the number of landfills you focus on but the acreage involved and 2) due to the cost of land in VT, it’s probably cheaper to ship the detritus to PA.
    There are better examples of where Dean did not use his head. My favorite, the commuter train from Charlotte to Burlington.

  41. Hipocrite says:

    F you, Charlie. I don’t think anything that you just wrote, you anti-semite.

  42. As far as Deans record as governor goes, it’s probably indicative of as level-headed one can be, same with his record as a medical doctor. But now, in the arena of the presidential election he’s lost that level-headedness. “Spinning” his outburst as if it is/was some kind of joke or that he was “having some fun” offends me. “W” does not act like that, “swagger” or no “swagger.” I’m offended because the excuses for and acceptance of Dean’s behavior go counter to the way I have been treated in my personal life. So much so that “happy outbursts” at say a party or similar social gathering many years ago (example: just being a loud, happy drunk – how unusual) earned me (unfairly) a “reputation” for being dangerously loud and thus my peers won’t take me seriously. Shoot, it’s been twenty years and I have a lot of real accomplishments under my belt (academic, even!) and I’m not taken seriously because my college outbursts are remembered.

  43. Doctor Slack says:

    Not sure exactly where this Charlie rant was coming from, but:
    . . . being manipulated by a neoconservative Jewish cabal that can’t risk losing the support of the anti-Semites.
    Funny, you’d think someone with a measured IQ of 180 and two PhD’s would have the wit to distinguish between recognizing the influence of a self-identified political movement and anti-Semitism, or to know that everyone who dares utter the word is not Pat Buchanan. Unless they’re, say, not being totally honest with themselves. Just a thought.
    “W” does not act like that, “swagger” or no “swagger.”
    Ehhh, Dubya’s not exactly in the best of positions for a contest about whose demeanor is better or more presidential. (Remember the “he plays like he’s intercontinental” outburst in France [scroll down]? How about this more recent surreal exchange, posted originally on the White House site?)
    GOP supporters would be well served to focus on policy issues rather than obsessing about demeanor, really, whoever his opponent turns out to be. Of course, that’s assuming policy issues work in their favour…

  44. Chuck Olsen says:

    Re: closing of landfills — this was complimented by increasing the percentage of recycled waste to nearly 40 percent of all Vermont waste.