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Well, so much for not using her as a political tool

Remember the outrage at those heartless, sinister Republicans, who had the gross indecency to use Terri Schiavo as a political issue? Remember the fury over the GOP talking points memo, drafted by one of Mel Martinez' staffers?

Well I hope they reserved some of that outrage for DNC chairman Howard Dean (emphasis mine.)

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Friday that his party would wield the Terri Schiavo case against Republicans in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but for now needed to stay focused battling President Bush on Social Security.

"We're going to use Terri Schiavo later on," Dean said of the brain-damaged Floridian who died last month after her feeding tube was removed amid a swarm of political controversy.

You know, it never fails. Anytime I write something halfway positive about Howard Dean, he promptly makes me regret it. At least when Republicans are crassly cynical and exploitative, they typically have the good sense not to trumpet it proudly in public.

Meanwhile, the lefty bloggers must be positively apopletic that this poor woman is still being wielded as a political cudgel. I'll bet Josh and Kos and Duncan and Oliver are furiously penning scathing anti-Dean pieces even as we speak. I guess we'll be able to read them any minute now.

Any. Minute. Now....

UPDATE: While there is some disagreement over at Democratic Underground, the majority there seem to think Dean's put his foot in it again. It's not a good sign when even the DUers admit he screwed up. Here's a sampling.

SO wish he hadn't said that.

Yup. Really stupid.Didn't anyone learn from the Martinez memo??

Can't see folks taking any more kindly to the Dems politicising a family matter than they did when the Repugs did it.

Not at all helpful, Dr.

I have a lot of respect for Dean, but I have to agree this is sort of a fuckup.

I have defended Howie at every turn, particularly with the DNC chairmanship. At times like this, though, I'm tempted to think the conventional wisdom may be right -- that he's the answer to Karl Rove's prayers.


There is a big difference between what Howard Dean meant to say and what some republicans did. Some republicans really did use the case to advance an (ultraconservative) agenda. Dean simply meant to say that this should be used (the behavior of the republicans in this case) in the next election. He also called the congressional intervention in this case "political grandstanding". I think the difference is more than obvious.

What's "obvious" is your glaring double standard and the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party.

Howard Dean is cannot open his mouth without shoving both feet in there. Lots of luck with this guy, Dems.

You are entitled to your opinion, but I respectfully disagree. Only time will tell how effective Dean will be in his new position. I personally think that he is great and will help the democrats win back the white house in 2008.

Fewer brain damaged people in the general population means fewer Democrats in public office. Maybe Republicans should re-think this thing.

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