Dick Cheney, Nelson Mandela, Howard Dean

"I think Howard Dean's over the top. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything. He ran for president and lost all the primaries. And now the Democrats have seen fit to make him their national chairman. I think he's probably helped us more than he has them. That's not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party."

- Dick Cheney
To me this is about connecting the dots.

Nelson Mandela is compared to the likes of Mahatma Gandhi. But Cheney is not from that school of thought. Apartheid was the most virulent form of racism one could imagine during the modern times. Mandela took a stand against it, and made huge personal sacrifices in the process. Mandela is not a politician, not a statesman, not a freedom fighter, not a hero: he is beyond all that.

Cheney launches an attack on Howard Dean's mother. This is not about policy disagreement, or even a disagreement on leadership style. Howard Dean is a white male. He happens to be a millionaire, and I am happy for him and his family for that. Dean is not exactly my idea of a guy someone of Cheney's ideology might dislike gutterally. But he apparently does.


You have to connect the dots to understand why. It is because Howard Dean dares to represent the wrong kind of people. Dean aspires to represent the poor and the powerless. That is a no-no in Dick Cheney's book. You just don't do that. If you do, you brush Dick the wrong way.

Dean is offensive because he is no vanilla Democrat. He is not going to overlook your dirty tricks. He is not going to let you get away with things. And that is offensive. Dean is not someone running for ceremonial monarch. He never was.

You have to keep connecting the dots. The Cheney crowd fought as hard as they could to make sure the blacks in the country did not have a right to vote. Ever since the blacks earned the right to vote, that crowd has been doing its very best to make sure the blacks do not get to make use of that right.

Voter intimidation was the biggest story of the 2000 and the 2004 elections. And that tendency is going to be fought tooth and nail.

The reason Cheney really dislikes Nelson Mandela is because deep down he knows there is still a need for a Mandela right here in America. Much racism exists.

Dick Cheney is a racist.

Well, the Cheneys of the world are just going to have to take stock of the new progressive tsunami in the making.

There is no white, non-white divide. The divide is progressive, non-progressive. And Cheney and the likes of him are on the wrong side of the fence.

They have the option to offer policy, and competing leadership styles, and compete for the vote. But they do not have the option to wage personal attacks. Dick Cheney and his machine are going to stay away from the families of the progressive candidates. That is the progressive idea of family values which Cheney seems not to have. His ideology does not recognize individuals from other backgrounds, let alone families.

If we did not have an opposition party, we would have to invent one. That is how democracy works. And so the Republicans have a legitimate place. But if they veer off from policy and leadership talk into making personal attacks, they will be asking for tit for tat in 2008.

The new progressive strain speaks from a position of strength and is on its way to near permanent power.

Dick Cheney, usually I charge for this, but here is my free advice to you. Stay away from Howard Dean's mother. That is in your best personal and political interests.