Happy Birthday Mom!

/ 17 November 2006

Today’s my Mom’s birthday. I’m way off in DC at the American Academy of Religion, so it will have to be phone call greetings ‘til next week. But here’s a small birthday present, since today is also Howard Dean’s birthday. Here’s an excerpt from a speech he gave way back in 2003:

"WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS...what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President's unilateral intervention in Iraq! What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren't standing up for us, joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth in providing health insurance for every man, woman and child in America.

What I want to know is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the President's Education Bill---The "No School Board Left Standing Bill"---the largest unfunded mandate in the history of our educational system!

As Paul Wellstone said---as Sheila Kuehl said when she endorsed me---I am Howard Dean, and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party! ...

I want a Democratic Party that will balance the budget. Bill Clinton balanced the budget and, starting in 1993, without a single Republican vote, kicked off the greatest 10 years of economic growth in this nation's history. No Republican president has balanced the budget in this country in 34 years. If you want to trust somebody with your taxpayer dollars, you'd better elect a Democrat because the Republicans can't manage money.

I want a government which will give us a foreign policy so when we walk down the streets of the capitals of our friends we don't have to worry about watching our backs wherever we go as Americans. ...

In our state, everybody under the age of 18 has health insurance. We have made Medicaid into a middle-class entitlement. If you make $52,000 a year or less in Vermont, everybody under 18 in your family is entitled to Medicaid. We charge if you are at the upper-end of that: We charge $50 a month, that insures everybody in your family under the age of 18. Now, if we can do that in a small rural state which is 26th in income in the entire country, surely the most wealthy and powerful society on the face of the earth can grant all of its citizens health care. I am a Governor, and I am a doctor, and I have done it. ...

We are not going to beat George Bush by voting with the President 85 percent of the time. The only way that we're going to beat George Bush is to say what we mean, to stand up for who we are, [and] to lift up a Democratic agenda against the Republican agenda. Because if you do that, the Democratic agenda wins every time.