The Incredible Howard Dean

What does Howard Dean know about Hillary, if he doesn't know it, why is he on TV to talk about it, and if he does know it, why is he lying about it?

What does Howard Dean know about Hillary, if he doesn’t know it, why is he on TV to talk about it, and if he does know it, why is he lying about it?

I admit it: I watched MSNBC earlier this week. I tuned in “Morning Joe,” because the horrible Howard Dean was going to be a guest, and Dean will always say something that puts him in the running for at least an Ethics Dunce post. As far as I can see, he has no scruples or shame at all; he’s like Donald Trump with an MD. Still, I didn’t expect what transpired.

Co-Host Mika Brzezinski raised Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees, and suggested that that high prices she charges colleges undercuts her credibility when she discussed making higher education affordable.  “These kids… will be strapped with $90,000 in debt or $120,000 in debt and she’s making $225,000 in one hour,” she said.

“She’s not getting $225,000 for speeches in front of colleges,” Dean stated.

Mika’s partner, “Morning Joe” Scarborough objected, insisting that she did indeed.

“No, she’s not!” Dean insisted. “Which colleges?” A few minutes later, the Morning Joe executive producer read to Dean two examples, saying, “UNLV in October of 2014, she got $225,000. Then a month later, UCLA, she got $300,000.”

“I stand corrected,” said Dean. That is hardly sufficient, however. Some questions need to be answered.

How could Howard Dean not know about Clinton’s obscene college speaking fees? They have been a source of criticism and discussion for years. (I wrote about them here, in 2014.) How did he think Bill and Hillary made all that money? Dean was previously the DNC chair, and is still involved in party leadership. Was he just lying, like current chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz does without fail. Was he just assuming that the fellow travelers at MSNBC would let it pass, as they do most Democratic cover stories? Or does this mean that Democratic leadership is that ignorant of Clinton’s flaws and vulnerabilities?

None of these theories are especially credible. I don’t believe an issue as well-publicized as the speaking fees were not known to Dean. I have a hard time believing that Clinton sends out surrogates whose job it is to lie and deny without any more foundation than this.  Nor can I believe that even Howard Dean is bold enough to deny something a google away.

Was MSNBC, given their assumed roles as a Democratic party mouthpeice and ally, trying to  mislead its audience even as it corrected Dean’s attempt to deny the undeniable? Also in 2014, the Washington Post identified 8 universities that it believed has paid at least $200, ooo to have Hillary speak: the University of Connecticut  ($251,250)m  the University at Buffalo, Colgate University and Hamilton College in New York, Simmons College in Boston and the University of Miami in Florida in addition to the two revealed on “Morning Joe.”

Whatever was going on, it is appalling and an insult to the American public. The Democratic Party has an obligation to perform its role in the selection of a President responsibly. This means, in addition to selecting a qualified and trustworthy candidate,  knowing who and what they are nominating, having its leaders be knowledgeable about the candidates and be at least minimally informed on issues relating to them, and requiring them to be transparent, rather than direct them to lie or deny as a reflex.

Dean never did answer the question, by the way.

27 thoughts on “The Incredible Howard Dean

  1. I believe you meant $200,000 not $200. At any rate, Howard Dean’s arrogance has no boundaries. To lie about the hypocrisy Hillary shows in demanding these fat fees is despicable.

  2. ” I stand corrected” was my mother’s favorite phrase when told she was wrong…” I stand corrected” ” You should apologize” ” I SAID I stand corrected!” How frustrating. The phrase drives me nuts.

    • Agreed. It’s like an Alford Plea….like, you have enough evidence to prove me wrong, and I will admit as much, but nothing more. Certainly not that I was wrong to have thought what I did; just that you have enough on me to prove me wrong.

  3. Howard Dean is a sociopath. Sociopaths don’t usually come so well coifed and credentialed and wearing a club tie and a rolled-collared Gant cotton broadcloth shirt. But he’s a sociopath.

    HRC must have done Colgate and Hamilton in a single day. Half a million for wandering around Clinton, New York and it’s environs for a few hours and being idolized, primarily by a bunch of faculty and administrators, I’m guessing.

    Remember Howard’s doppelganger Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live doing his faux H&R Block commercial pointing out how an H&R Block representative would prep you for an audit by giving you effective and definitive answers to the IRS agent’s questions about unreported income, such as: “IIIIII FORGOT!”

  4. “I stand corrected,” said Dean. That is hardly sufficient, however. Some questions need to be answered.

    Wouldn’t it be “Morning Joe’s” responsibility to push it? Or is the answer to that just: oh, MSNBC.

  5. Dean is not ignorant of facts, no way, no how, won’t believe it for a nano-second; I believe that Dean intentionally lied with full confidence that MSNBC’s Morning Joe team would tow the political line and not dare to challenge him on it. I’ve gotta give credit where credit is due, MSNBC Morning Joe team did the right thing; but you gotta remember that no good deed goes unpunished, somehow the Morning Joe team will pay for this deviation from a party line talking point, they’ll probably will loose a few prominent Liberal/Progressive guests as a result.

    Which do you think will be used by the political left, Dean’s statement “she’s not getting $225,000 for speeches in front of colleges” or Dean’s statement “I stand corrected”, which was clearly one of those it can’t be unsaid retractions buried on page 347¼.

    Dean is a revolting win by any means piece of shit; Debbie Wasserman Schultz is of the same ilk.


      “Tow the line” is an eggcorn, a term I didn’t know existed until reading this wiki article. I called them “butchered expressions” because I knew they weren’t proper malapropisms. One of my all time favorites is “it’s a mute point.” They’re so entertaining because they always have their own fairly sound logic. Another favorite is “I wouldn’t trade that for all the tea and China.” Must have been particularly nice dishware. I used to keep a list. They are rampant on talk radio, particularly the sports talk shows. And they tend to originate from both the hosts and the callers. Sorry to go off on a tangent.

      Cheers, Z.

    • That pretty well sums up my thoughts, Zoltar. Dean probably went on that show with a high expectation that his misrepresentations would not be challenged, although he had to have known that Scarborough has been known to show something resembling a spinal column on occasion. So, when this occurred, he simply used a phrase that sounded conciliatory and “moved on” without hashing out the topic. Smooth, but deceptive in its intent. My God, is truth and honor even given lip service as a virtue by the Democrats anymore?

  6. I think that Dean might have a willful ignorance here, because any stories critical of Clinton can be skipped over as fruits of the poisonous right-wing tree, and anyway even if true it was all in a good cause so why bother covering or discussing the story? I don’t think MSNBC was doing anything sly by omitting the other schools – they probably asked the question based on some Sanders talking points and then had to scramble to find sufficient facts to back up the question.

  7. No substantive comment here, except to say that I continue to be aghast that Hillary is even in the race. She showed her true colors years ago — well before she ran against Obama and lost, well before her Secretary of State peccadilloes — yet there she is, shouting at us and lying to us and being about as unlikable and slimy as anyone could be. (Favorite quote from yesterday that proves she believes we all are morons… paraphrasing: she is not a “mainstream” candidate because she is “the first woman running for president.” !!! And uh, was she not a woman when she ran against Obama?)

    This is the best the Democrats have to offer? In despair again, and it’s not noon yet.

  8. I am an alumni of four different schools and get begging calls all the time. I usually respond with the (insert name) decides to pay a reasonable rate on PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes), ties tuition increases to COLA, and stops paying outrageous sums of money to speakers I would rather be waterboarded than listen to I will make a donation. Otherwise, my generosity will remain local.

  9. In fairness, you only quoted part of what Dean said. He said, “She’s not getting $225,000 for speeches in front of colleges…. She’s making $225,000 for speeches in front of businesses.”

    There is an innocent explanation for what he said, which doesn’t seem terribly implausible to me: He knew she was making enormous amounts of money from speaking fees, and he freely acknowledged that, but he assumed she was charging lower fees to colleges than to businesses.

    • You left out “No she’s not!” and “Which colleges?” from your Dean quotes. I don’t think Jack’s summary is misleading.

      Plus, Hillary’s getting a really big check from UCLA was all over the news when the story broke. Dean couldn’t have missed that.

      Her statement “that’s what they offered” is also a lie. She’s represented by a speaking agency. They negotiate her price off a price list that is evidently available upon request. The seller usually sets the price and begins the negotiations, at least in the world I live in. Ironically, her “that’s what they offered” is clearly a calculated misrepresentation the Clinton camp probably worked up in a prep session. She’s worse than Dean or Wasserman Schulz. Hillary’s the wellspring. They just do her bidding.

    • How is that mitigating? The question was about the hypocrisy of using the high price of colleges as an issue, when her own conduct was brutally unconcerned with what college costs? he still denied a fact, as if he knew it was false. He didn’t say, “Really? I’ve never heard that she charged anyone but businesses that.” He said “She’s not getting $225,000 for speeches in front of colleges.” He’s an official of the party: the public will believe him. He was lying, or asserting a fact the he didn’t know was true.

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