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Straightforward Dean: a Democrat's Democrat

May 06, 2003

In "Dean Sets Tricky Standard for Himself" (May 2), Mark Barabak questions former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's veracity while quoting strategist Garry South as an impartial political observer, who states: "When you set yourself up to be the only one in the race telling the complete truth, you better always tell the truth and nothing but the truth." While most readers may not be aware that South has a bias in favor of Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) campaign, many insiders know better.

Both Kerry and Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) have tried to play both sides of the fence on the war. Each counts on the support of pro-choice organizations. Both skipped the most important abortion vote in a decade. If Dean is a little messy in calling attention to this hypocrisy, I forgive him. At least he's standing for something.

Jon Felson

Santa Monica

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Barabak might not like Dean, but Dean is the candidate who offers the most hope I've seen for the Democratic Party in my lifetime. He is straightforward and unafraid to take issues head-on (civil unions for gay couples, the war in Iraq). Nor is he afraid to take on President Bush, who seems intent on destroying the very fabric of our nation with the erosion of civil liberties and privacy rights.

As Dean stated, he's here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Dean is our man for president. He has all the greatness of former President Clinton, without the slickness.

Tim Hane

Los Angeles

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On Sunday, I watched the first 2004 presidential debate on C-SPAN , and I have some thoughts and questions: How can we be a model of democracy for the world when this debate was shown on a broadcast station only in the middle of the night, then repeated only on cable? Did all of those who walk around with American flags printed on their shirts or fly flags from their cars, and who have either VCRs or cable, watch this debate so they can be informed voters? Will they vote at all? Bringing out the vote was brought up in the debate.

There were nine candidates, and four or five of them made some impressive statements and demonstrated that they were thinking "out of the box." I hope they can continue to distinguish themselves from the Republicans and establish a truly (small d) democratic platform.

Carol May

Los Angeles

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