Defeated Democratic candidate and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean offered a defiant and populist diatribe against the "radical right-wing president," the Republican Party, and those democrats that he felt were rejecting traditional liberal values in order to have a shot at defeating the powerful GNP.
On November 29th 2004, nearly a month after his Democratic Party had conceded the presidency, senate, and congress to the Republicans, Mr. Dean told an overwhelmingly partisan crowd that "history is on our side – we will prevail.""51 percent is not a mandate," he declared.
But Mr. Dean garnered some of his largest ovations when he compared President George W. Bush's records on gay rights to former Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic's genocide in the Balkans. Milosevic is on trial for the murders of over 200,000 people in the former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Dean made gay rights one of the themes of his hour-long speech, slamming "the willingness of the President of the United States to bring out the worst in humanity." He observed the constitutional bans of gay marriage in all eleven states that had the chance to pass such an amendment.
Mr. Dean said he believed that President
Bush had misled voters on the realities of gay marriage.
"He convinced people that there was a larger chance of their children being gay if gay marriage was legal."
Mr. Dean also claimed that the value-based campaigning by the Republican Party was less than genuine. "It was simply for the purpose of being re-elected," he said. "Telling the truth is not a prerogative for winning if you're a Republican." "The same people that are lecturing us about moral values were the ones who were prohibiting blacks from gaining freedoms," he added.
The news media – especially the "conservative" news media – came under repeated attack from the bitter ex-Governor. "There's no qualitative difference between the conspiracy theorist wackos on the internet and the New York Post… or the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal."
These and other publications have often been critical of Dean's extremely liberal policies and aggressive political tactics.
But Mr. Dean displayed a self-deprecating
sense of humor towards the media when he recalled his primal scream of the Iowa caucuses. In what will be remembered as one of the Democratic Party's greatest all-time bloopers, Mr. Dean listed off the states he expected to win in future primaries (of which he would fail to win even one) and then let out a bloodcurdling yell that was played thousands of times by mainstream news outlets, and later remixed with Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train."
At Memorial Auditorium, Mr. Dean shocked and delighted the crowd with a reasonable imitation of his famous scream."First of all, let me get this out of the way – YEEEEAH! Now was that so terrifying?" he asked, drawing laughter.
But Mr. Dean found nothing funny with a Democratic Party that he saw as shifting to the right in order to win over the "evangelicals," implying that Senator John Kerry had compromised Democratic ideology for potential Republican votes. "If you run a Democrat who acts like a Republican against a Republican,
the real Republican will win every time. Let's not forget that as we rebuild our party.
"Still, Mr. Dean saved his most stinging
barbs for the winner of the election. "George Bush represents in his policies two percent of Americans." He claimed that President Bush will never adequately address what we want as Americans: job opportunities for our kids, economic security, a decent public education system, and a "moral foreign policy."
"Republicans get a ‘zero' for moral leadership," he said.
After discussing the problems with our current track towards globalization,
the greatness of Lyndon Johnson, and the weakness of the dollar, Mr. Dean could not contain his overwhelming
disdain for the President, returning to the subject of the current administration.
"Truly how many people in this room do not believe you would be a better president than George W. Bush?"
In recalling the results of November 2nd, Mr. Dean looked down at the floor, as if the results of the election were personally painful.
"It was a depressing time," he admitted,
belying his usual brash optimism. "Except at the Hoover Institute."