Howard Dean: "Name One Thing The Republicans Will Do If They Win"

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(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)

The conventional wisdom is that whichever party is in power during a down economy will suffer great losses come election time. Certainly, we can look at the '94 and '06 elections as verification of that rule.

But I would argue that we're not in an era of politics as usual. For all the rhetoric the corporate media pushes about anti-incumbent sentiment, special elections between 2008 and now have not borne out those theories. And as former DNC head Howard Dean points out, when the alternative is the insubstantive platform of the Republican Party, it's hard to justify electing them over the Democratic Party, no matter how ineffectual we find them.

I think this is the time to put that stuff behind us. We've got to win this election. And we're going to have -- after the election is over, we'll go back to having our policy fights, but this is about winning. You cannot get anything done unless you have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House.

And the Republicans have proved it. They are the party of no. They haven't had a single constructive -- name one -- anybody who's watching this show, name one single constructive political initiative that the Republicans have put forward.

And when, finally, somebody did put forward one, Paul Ryan, he was lionized for three days and then abandoned by the Republicans because he wanted to privatize Social Security and Medicare. Name one thing that you could hope for from the Republicans if they should win this. That is not a winning strategy.

Transcripts below the fold

CROWLEY: How bad do you think it will be this fall, in November? What are your predictions?

We've got the vice president who has said, if I could bet money on it, I would bet that we will keep the House and the Senate. Charlie Cook, who I'm sure you know, well-respected politico, who said he thinks it's going to be a wave election and that, in fact, the Republicans will take over.

Would you bet money on House Democrats staying in charge?

DEAN: I'd bet money on the Senate, for sure. The House is much tougher. I think, at the end of the day, we're going to win in the House and we're going to have a majority. It will probably be reduced to many -- perhaps as small as a five or 10-seat majority.

We simply have better candidates. And even the districts that are troublesome districts were very close, or we're going to -- I think, for example, Gabby Giffords will win in Arizona. I think Mary Jo Kilroy will win in Ohio. I actually think -- there's a young guy named Tommy Sowers, who's a Vietnam vet, who's going to knock off Jo Ann Emerson in Southeast Missouri, Rush Limbaugh's home district. He's just running a tremendous campaign. He's raised a lot of dough.

So we're going to have some pickups. We're going to have some losses. At the end of the day, I think we control both houses.

CROWLEY: Let me talk to you, a little bit, about the professional left. I don't know if you consider yourself as a member of the professional left that got skewered, a little bit, by Robert Gibbs.

(LAUGHTER)

But certainly, you have voiced, on "Don't ask, Don't tell" and on the health care bill, some of the real misgivings that the left has had about some of the things the president has done. And it boils down to this, this fall, do you think the left sits home or do you think the left goes out to the polls? And what gets them there?

DEAN: Well, look, I don't think that the left -- what Gibbs was talking about with the so-called professional left -- I don't know what he meant by that. You know, I think -- but that is a very small number of people. I think there are a large number -- I think that the people around the president have really misjudged what goes on elsewhere in the country, other than Washington, D.C.

I don't think this is true of the president, but I do think his people, his political people, have got to go out and spend some time outside Washington for a while. The average Democrat is a progressive. And, you know, there are some things that are upsetting about the kind of deals that were made by the president's people on health care.

But I think this is the time to put that stuff behind us. We've got to win this election. And we're going to have -- after the election is over, we'll go back to having our policy fights, but this is about winning. You cannot get anything done unless you have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House.

And the Republicans have proved it. They are the party of no. They haven't had a single constructive -- name one -- anybody who's watching this show, name one single constructive political initiative that the Republicans have put forward.

And when, finally, somebody did put forward one, Paul Ryan, he was lionized for three days and then abandoned by the Republicans because he wanted to privatize Social Security and Medicare. Name one thing that you could hope for from the Republicans if they should win this. That is not a winning strategy.

So all I can say to the Democrats is this is the time to put our differences aside, and let's get this job done and let's win and let's work like crazy and then we'll go back to our policy fights after the election is over and after we win it.

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