Oh, Howard, what have you done?
Despite a record that includes strong support for gay rights and having signed the nation’s first civil unions law, DNC Chair Howard Dean seems to be signalling a shift away from the principals articulated in the 2004 Democratic Platform: We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families.”
Amazingly, Dean appeared on the 700 Club last week and announced that the Democratic platform said “marriage is between a man and a woman.” Misrepresenting the platform is one thing; doing it to gain the support of Pat Robertson is reprehensible. The Howard Dean I supported in 2004 would never have even appeared on this bigot’s network, and yet, two years later, he find himself grovelling there for votes?
Watching McCain debase himself at Liberty University and Dean betray his beliefs on the 700 Club, I am sickeningly reminded of the 1996 election, when both the Democrats and Republicans went, hat in hand, cravenly asking for Ross Perot’s endorsement. Does the extreme right wing really have enough influence to have leaders of both parties fawning over them? Does Dean (or any other Democrat) believe that selling out the LGBT community will lead to more votes from the extreme Christian right?
Can it really be worth winning elections if we are so afraid of the values we believe in as Democrats/progressives/ liberals?