Open Letter to Dr. Howard Dean

Dear Doctor:

Or, do you prefer Governor? Mr. Chairman?

On last year’s Election Day, we elected our first African American President, and validated your strategy for the Democratic party — the 50 state strategy. My husband and myself were two of the people out there on the ground, giving what little money we could, literally knocking on doors asking people to vote for Mr. Obama, and turning a “red state” blue.

Frankly, now we’re not sure we got a good deal.

Our troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan, with “support” from profiteering corporations instead of fellow servicemen. Guantanamo is still open for business, and few of the men there are seeing anything that might approach “due process.” The Obama Administration is defending the use of warrantless wiretaps. The GLBT community has a list of grievances and what they see as broken promises.

The government pleads poverty when it comes to helping ordinary citizens weather the biggest recession ever, yet there always seems to be plenty of money for bankrupt banks and poorly run auto makers. We’ve got long term, possibly structural unemployment, and we are being told that private industry is going to have to pick up the slack and hire people. Few companies are hiring, and the combination of a banking mess and a health insurance mess means that few new companies will be opening their doors anytime soon. This is no longer a land of opportunity for anybody willing to work for it. Too much depends on luck, knowing the right people, and having the money up front. Instead, it’s a land where half of all kids will at some point receive food stamps.

And lets talk about this health insurance reform thing for a minute, can we? I’m really sick of writing about health insurance reform, but there are things that must be said. To be honest, I knew we were in trouble when Rahm Emanuel arrived and you weren’t offered any position in the Administration. Let’s face it, Doctor: nobody has experienced the insurance industry from more angles than you. You’ve been insured, bought insurance for your employees, bought COBRA (you mentioned that in the debates, remember?), negotiated contracts and received reimbursement from insurance companies, and helped regulate insurance on the state level. You managed to get coverage for every kid in your state, no questions asked!

Fixing the health insurance mess is critical to getting people back to work — which is in turn critical to getting our economy moving again, fixing the housing market, and getting long term stability for our banking sector. Most Americans want a public option (preferably Medicare For All) that is going to bring prices down, they want “pre-existing conditions” to go away, they want insurance companies to pay what is owed promptly and without argument. Instead, Congress has argued and cut back-room deals with the insurance companies and drug companies that, in the eyes of Joe and Jane Average, are screwing us.

Once they finally put together legislation that looked like it might not be horrible, they set right back to work messing it up with junk like coverage for prayer treatments and separate coverage riders for abortion — which like it or loath it is sometimes a life-saving surgery that shouldn’t require an extra fee to be covered! These are only 2 items that have come to light today; who knows what other junk is in there to turn this franken-bill into a real monster?

I’ve stopped giving money to the Democratic Party in all its forms for the reasons outlined above. Every time they call, I send money to Democracy for America or Move On. And that, Doctor Dean, is where you come in.

It is clear to me that for the most part my [former] party is hopeless: hopelessly corrupt, stupid, spineless, and generally worthless. You were clearly right to leave when you did, while you still had a reputation as a winning political tactician. I think that with your guidance, DFA and MoveOn could and should form a new political party, reclaiming “liberal” as a good word, and based firmly on the principles of the Bill of Rights. I feel certain there are a number of Democratic figures that would want to be part of such a movement (Dennis Kucinich and Ed Schultz come to mind), and if you truly embrace civil liberties right, there might even be some “moderate” Republicans who might at least be friendly.

Please just consider it. Let’s be real here, if you thought there was hope for the party, you’d still be Chairman.

Thank you for your time. I hope all is well for you and your family.

— Bridget Magnus, AKA the ShortWoman, Realtor, former Democrat, and proud American

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One thought on “Open Letter to Dr. Howard Dean”

  1. Forget Howard Dean; that ship has sailed. His prepubescent-sounding crackly voiced yelp (for some reason) did him irreversible harm.
    Perhaps a better idea would be to have a Short Candidate. A ShortWoman candidate?
    No experience? No problem; that bar has been lowered. (did you get the ‘short’ humour?)

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