Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review June 27, 2003 / 27 Sivan, 5763

Diana West

Diana West
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

A Dean's list of questions

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | THETFORD, Vermont If former Vermont governor Howard Dean continues to bubble up to the higher reaches of the pre-, pre-presidential Democratic primary polls, we'll be hearing a lot of the following phrase: "Well, here's what we did in Vermont ...." That line prefaced one of Gov. Dean's less contested statements on NBC's "Meet the Press," where the buzz-of-the-day Democrat recently suffered a journalistic grilling at the hands of a pleasantly rigorous Tim Russert -- rigorous, that is, until it came to discussing Howard Dean's 11 years in the Vermont statehouse. Along with the rest of the national media, Russert has so far given the physician-turned-politician a gubernatorial pass, as if there's no political point to examining what anyone did in such a tiny state.

Sound familiar? After looking the other way on the "Massachusetts Miracle" during the Dukakis presidential run, and driving blind through Arkansas during the Clinton campaigns, big media should do a little digging now that another ex-governor has put his small state on a pedestal to use as a national launch pad. And I mentioned this idea to Vermonter Ruth Dwyer, a savvy Republican veteran of the Vermont state legislature who ran two tough gubernatorial campaigns against Dean in 1998 and 2000.

Problem is, the media don't know (or, in the case of the Dean-devoted Vermont media, don't really want to know) the questions to ask.

Where should they begin their background research? On leaving office this year, Howard Dean sealed his gubernatorial papers for 10 years -- almost twice as long as his two predecessors, but considerably less than the 20-year-lock he sought -- determining himself, with his lawyers, what was covered by executive privilege. And so, on a hot, bright June morning, before Dwyer went back to her fields to bring in the hay --among other things, she is also a farmer -- we sat on her screened porch and cobbled together a list of questions the national media doesn't seem to have ever asked presidential candidate Howard Dean.

First, how come Gov. Dean, who is campaigning on his state record, sealed his own archive? "Well, there are future political considerations," the former governor told Vermont Public Radio. "We didn't want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a critical time in any future endeavor."

Donate to JWR

Well, at least he's up-front about things -- or is he? Having supported Vermont's divisive civil union law, which confers the legal rights of husbands and wives onto homosexual couples -- "in many ways," he said, "the most important event in my political life" -- he signed the controversial legislation behind closed doors. Why?

And speaking of controversial issues, is the Democratic Party ready to unite behind a leader who, as a med student, performed his OB-GYN rotation at a Planned Parenthood clinic? Vermont magazine reported on this in 1998, adding: "While he has never performed an abortion himself, he is strongly pro-choice and certainly understands the medical procedures involved." Which must rate as the medical equivalent of not inhaling.

The question is why didn't Dr. Dean, at one time on the board of Planned Parenthood, ever perform an abortion as a Planned Parenthood medical resident? And how does Dr. Dean, who is also an opponent of parental notification, explain Vermont's status as one of a handful of states in which abortions may be performed by non-doctors? In 1998 -- the last year the state released data -- 183 girls under the age of 18 had abortions, more than half of them performed by non-doctors: Morality aside, is this even a healthy option?

Dean's loudest claim to gubernatorial fame is to have provided "free" health care to some large swath of Vermont's 600,000 citizens while simultaneously balancing the state budget. Is this for real? As of 1998, Vermont had the third highest percentage of Medicaid recipients in the Union (while next-door New Hampshire ranked 50). This indicates that Vermont's state-provided health care comes, in large part, courtesy Washington, D.C. How can Dean take credit for state-provided health care when, in fact, the lion's share is funded by federal taxpayers in other states? And how does such a scheme work on the national level?

As governor, Dean raided special funds to even out budget shortfalls: Is that balancing the budget? And how can Dean blame President Bush's recent tax cuts for rising property taxes when, for the past decade-plus, he governed a state with one of the highest state and local tax burdens in the nation? Corporations have left Vermont; farm revenues are down; logging and manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Maybe the only sector to thrive in the Dean years is the public sector: why? Indeed, what exactly does the Vermont economy consist of minus federal funds and pork? How well does such a record bode for the national economy?

With lower-than-average incomes, a heavier-than-average tax burden, and some of the highest health insurance premiums in the country, Vermont is hardly paradise for working people. Howard Dean has some explaining to do -- if someone will just ask a few questions.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

06/20/03: Fanning the wrong flames
05/16/03: Speaking of terror
05/30/03: Facing reality at the DMV
05/27/03: Lost in The Matrix
05/19/03: A dubious diversity
05/09/03: Recalling the man who 'Banned in Boston'
05/02/03: Fellowships and flagellation
04/28/03: What Americans have to learn about cultural education
04/21/03: In Iraq, is democracy is in the eye of the beholder?
04/14/03: The greatest generation gap
03/31/03: The great gap between the West and the Middle East
03/21/03: They just wouldn't shut up!
03/10/03: Sorry apologies for speaking the truth
03/03/03: The Eurabian alliance
02/24/03: Searching for good news
02/18/03: Love and honor -- lost, found and murdered
02/03/03: A calm that causes concern
01/27/03: Playing politics with a T-shirt mentality
01/21/03: When understanding the East means losing the West
01/13/03: Is a war on Jews a war on democracy?
01/06/03: Bush must take a stand on affirmative action
12/30/02: Questions for reflection on 2002
12/16/02: The pre-emptive war goes Hollywood
12/09/02: Protest Augusta? Why not Sudan?
11/25/02: Something to contemplate this Ramadan
11/08/02: Does Eminem now fit in?
11/04/02: No time for gloating
11/04/02: What's in a name when the name is Muhammad?
10/28/02: Jihad as a First Amendment right
10/21/02: When speaking out isn't allowed
10/14/02: Terrorism in Maryland and abroad
09/30/02: So long urgency, hello indulgence
09/24/02: That one, sturdy, missing word
09/17/02: Fingerprinting, finally
09/09/02: When 'healing' overshadows reality
09/04/02: Tales from the Techno Valley and Forest
08/16/02: Elvis shall rise again
08/14/02: War with Iraq won't harm war on terror
08/06/02: Clinton snaps over Somalia
08/01/02: 9-11 anniversary shouldn't come with apology
07/27/02: An unstable common ground
07/25/02: Hillary fights hard for soft money
07/12/02: Goretheus unbound
07/10/02: Rosie takes a shine to Republicans
07/08/02: Are you still shocked, Sami?
07/02/02: Can Britney win hearts of the Middle East?
06/28/02: A war on terror or Islamists?
06/25/02: Blame the murderer, and the messenger
06/21/02: Up front and personal with Atta
06/18/02: Terrorism at the United Nations
06/11/02: Who's policing the INS?
06/07/02: Spa Gitmo
06/04/02: Can rock gods save the queen?
05/31/02: Hillary's war
05/29/02: Have you forgotten we're at war?
05/24/02: An antiquated luxury of the past
05/21/02: From terrorists to tourists
05/19/02: Hate U.
05/07/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
05/03/02: Pioneering television
05/01/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
04/29/02: It's the misconduct, stupid
04/24/02: Medal of diss-honor
04/17/02: Holy sanctuary or terrorist shield?
04/12/02: Egyptian clerics solicit martyrs for murder
04/09/02: Defining terrorism down
04/05/02: The Wilder life
04/02/02: Acting, equality and the Academy
03/31/02: Speeding to conclusions
03/25/02: Hard to remove blood (libel) stains
03/21/02: The tale of Nixon's tapes --- again
03/19/02: The Big Lie lives on
03/15/02: The tunnel vision of '9/11'
03/13/02: The American Auschwitz?
03/08/02: Hating the indoctrination of hate
03/05/02: Clinton and Enron: Old friends
03/01/02: Pickering doesn't polarize, the process does
02/26/02: Destiny's prefabricated child
02/22/02: The White House heist
02/20/02: Making the grade
02/11/02: Studying student visas
02/06/02: Understanding arrogance
02/04/02: The professor's war
01/29/02: Disconnected dialogue
01/23/02: Anti-Indiscrimination
01/18/02: How much is enough?
01/15/02: Oh brothers, where art thou?
01/10/02: Air on the side of caution
01/04/02: Blacks seeing red at Harvard
01/02/02: Clinton's campaign continues
12/26/01: A tale of two exhibitions
12/24/01: Taliban Idyll
12/19/01: Right is right
12/17/01: Hillary strikes out
12/13/01: Lost files, lost presidency
12/10/01: Revolutionaries never grow up
12/05/01: Immigration reform talk is not just for 'haters' anymore
12/03/01: A new symbol of justice
11/30/01: Beyond morality
11/26/01: Can't keep a good man down
11/20/01: Tough talk at the United Nations
11/19/01: Hollywood's other battle
11/14/01: What's the matter with Sara Jane?
11/09/01: A beef with bin Laden's Beef Noodles
11/07/01: Facing up to the FBI's past mistakes
11/02/01: A school that teaches patriots to shutup
10/30/01: The gap between Islam and peace
10/26/01: The ties that bind (and gag)
10/24/01: This war is more than Afghanistan
10/22/01: The fatuous fatwa
10/19/01: Left out
10/16/01: Whose definition of terrorism?
10/11/01: Post-stress disorder
10/08/01: How the West has won
10/01/01: Good, bad or ... diplomacy
09/28/01: Drawing a line in stone
09/21/01: Prejudice or prudence?
09/14/01: When our dead will finally rest in hallowed ground
09/07/01: We want our #$%^&*() audience back!
08/24/01: The transformation from Green Mountain State to Green Activist State is all but complete
08/17/01: Enlightenment at Yale
08/10/01: From oppressors to victims, a metamorphosis
08/03/01: Opening the dormitory door: College romance in the New Century
08/01/01: How-To Hackdom: The dubious art of writing books about writing books
07/20/01: Hemming about Hemmings
07/13/01: Justice has not been served in the Loiuma police brutality case
06/22/01: When PC parades are too 'mainstream'
06/22/01: When "viewpoint discrimination" in our schools was not nearly so gnarly a notion
06/15/01: Lieberman flaunts mantle of perpetual aggrievement
06/07/01: Is graciousness the culprit?
06/01/01: The bright side of the Jeffords defection
05/29/01: Campus liberals should be more careful
05/18/01: 'Honest Bill' Clinton and other Ratheresian Logic
05/11/01: Dodging balls, Bugs, and 'brilliance'
05/04/01: Foot in mouth disease and little lost Tories
04/20/01:The last classic Clinton cover-up
04/20/01: D-Day, Schmee-Day
04/06/01: For heaven's sake, a little decency!
03/30/01: The sweet sound of slamming doors and clucking feminists
03/23/01: America's magazines and the 'ick-factor'
03/09/01: Felony neglect
03/02/01: Who's sorry now?
02/23/01: 'Ecumenical niceness' and other latter-day American gifts to the world
02/16/01: Elton and Eminem: Royal dirge-icist meets violent fantasist
02/12/01: If only ...

© 2001, Diana West