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Cheney on Dean

Howard Dean is “over the top,” Vice President Dick Cheney says, calling the Democrats’ chairman “not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party.”

“I’ve never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I’ve never met anybody who does. He’s never won anything, as best I can tell,” Mr. Cheney said in an interview to be aired tonight on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes.”

Mr. Dean was elected governor of Vermont five times between 1992 and 2000. He ran for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, but closed down his campaign after poor showings in early primaries.

In recent weeks, Mr. Dean has described the GOP as “pretty much a white, Christian party” and said many Republicans have “never made an honest living.” Republican leaders have called on him to apologize, and even some Democrats have distanced themselves from his remarks.

“So far, I think he’s probably helped us more than he has them,” Mr. Cheney said in the interview, which was taped Friday. “That’s not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party.”

The vice president added: “I really think Howard Dean’s over the top. And more important … I think many of his fellow Democrats feel the same way.”

History lesson

“During a discussion with minority leaders and journalists [last] Monday, Howard Dean declared that Republicans are ‘a pretty monolithic party. They all believe the same. They all look the same. It’s pretty much a white Christian party,’” Peter Kirsanow notes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“He further stated that ‘the Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people’ and Democrats are ‘more welcoming to different folks, because that’s the type of people we are.’ Dean continued to defend his remarks as recently as Thursday,” said Mr. Kirsanow, a lawyer and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

“Dean’s comments clearly suggest that the GOP is, if not hostile to a demographic broader than white Christians, at least cool toward including non-whites and non-Christians in the party. If Dean truly believes these statements, then he needs to both review his history texts and spend some time on current events.

“In terms of sheer historical hostility toward minorities, the Republican Party fares a bit better than the competition. For example, it wasn’t the GOP that opposed the Emancipation Proclamation. Nor was it the GOP that opposed the 13th Amendment prohibiting slavery, the 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal protection, or the 15th Amendment guaranteeing voting rights. …

“Republicans didn’t institutionalize Jim Crow, implement school segregation, or establish poll taxes and literacy tests to keep non-whites from voting. Bull Connor, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Orval Faubus weren’t Republicans. …

“Dean may honestly believe that his party is ‘more welcoming to different folks,’ but tell that to Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada, or Janice Rogers Brown, each of whom was vilified in explicitly racial terms during their respective confirmation processes by members of Dean’s party.”

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