In case conservatives need a reminder of what we could be up against next year in the Presidential election, here’s a small sampling of the liberalism of Howard Dean, the lead candidate for the Democratic nomination. The following quotes are excerpted from his official website www.deanforamerica.com (emphasis has been added), each followed by a handy translation of my own.
I have been a strong supporter of a woman’s right to reproductive freedom my entire life. I believe that the right to privacy is enshrined in the Constitution. As President, I would do everything in my power to preserve that right.
I have a different perspective on this issue than other politicians because of my medical training and my experience as a family doctor. I am proud to have served as a Board Member of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. I understand women’s health, and I will defend the right of women to control decisions about their bodies.
One of the most outrageous attacks on a woman’s right to choose is the so-called Partial Birth Abortion bill. As a physician, I know that there is no such thing in the medical literature as “partial birth abortion.” But there are rare times when a doctor is called upon to perform a late-term abortion to save a woman’s life or protect her from injury. Yet the House of Representatives recently made it a federal crime for a doctor to perform such medically necessary procedures. That bill will chill the practice of medicine and endanger the health of countless women. . . .
As President, I would appoint federal judges based on experience and merit. My judicial nominees would have outstanding legal credentials, a record of professional excellence, and a demonstrated commitment to the constitutional principles of equality, liberty, and privacy. These were the criteria I used in appointing judges to the Vermont courts, and they are the criteria I would use in appointing judges to the federal bench.
I would not employ litmus tests, and I would not ask prospective nominees how they would vote in any particular case. However, I would review a nominees writings and professional record to ensure that they share my basic view of the Constitution. I believe that the Constitution guarantees Americans certain fundamental rights, including the right to privacy. The men and women I appoint to the bench would share that outlook. . . .
While [President Bush] made these promises and invited mariachis to play at the White House, his Attorney General, John Ashcroft, was deputizing local police authorities as junior INS agents to track down undocumented immigrants. . . .
I am delighted that the Supreme Court has upheld the principle of affirmative action in education. This was a victory for the civil rights of all Americans. The Bush Administration had urged the Court to reverse course in the nations historic march to equality, but the Courts majority wisely refused to do so.
When President Bush used the inflammatory word “quota” to describe the Michigan program, I criticized him for distorting the facts. Now, the Supreme Court has rejected that misleading label. It is time for the President to stop using code words that divide Americans by race, gender, income, and sexual orientation.
As President, I would pursue policies that encourage racial diversity on college campuses because I know that diversity serves important goals — it produces benefits for all students, and for society as a whole. The Supreme Court decision clears the way for policies that advance both equity and excellence. . . .
Howard Dean believes that the United States must restore its role as a global leader by becoming once again an active member of the international environmental community. We must address our own environmental shortcomings and demonstrate progressive leadership on environmental matters from climate change to biodiversity loss, which present major threats to childrens health, our economy, and our national security. But the grave situation that we face provides an opportunity for the United States to set an example for the rest of the world by leading the international, collaborative effort to combat these grave environmental crises.
As President, Dean will push for US participation in international environmental agreements. A Dean administration will recognize the long-term economic and health consequences caused by global warming and will work with the international community to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
As a start, Howard Dean will re-enter negotiations concerning the Kyoto Protocol, a critical international effort to slow global warming. Failure to lead on an issue of this magnitude is immoral. Governor Dean believes that we have a special responsibility to take action and set an example for both developed and developing nations. . . .
As a doctor, Howard Dean understands the importance of a womans access to thorough family planning information. He will work to reinstate the United States contribution to the United Nations Population Fund, an organization that aims to increase awareness and education about family planning choices in an effort to curb population growth. He will also support efforts to ensure universal access to basic reproductive healthcare. . . .
The economic policies of the Bush Administration are misguided, unfair, and unsuccessful.
They fail to meet the basic standard of economic justice: decent, well-paying jobs for all who want them. They are policies that have created a legacy of debt for future generations. Huge tax cuts that benefit the wealthy are starving essential government services like education and homeland security and forcing states and local governments to increase sales, income, and property taxes. While Americas wealthiest individuals – those in the top 2 percent of income brackets – receive the bulk of the tax cuts, Americas middle class is left behind. . . .
I believe we must take drastic actions to repair the damage that this President is inflicting on our economy. . . .
Repeal the Bush tax cuts, and use those funds to pay for universal health care, homeland security, and investments in job creation that benefit all Americans.