Friday, February 25, 2005

Liberal Democrats Handing out Golden Spine Awards

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A year ago, an activist group from the Seattle area gave Howard Dean a thin, golden statue of a backbone.

The Oscar-like award honored the former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont governor for standing up against the Iraq war and other Bush administration policies.

Now, as Dean settles into his new role as head of the Democratic Party, that golden spine has come to represent, for many liberal Democrats, Dean's potential to develop a tougher, take-no-prisoners attitude among the party faithful.

The latest recipient of the golden backbone was Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, who challenged Ohio's electoral college results from last November's election in Congress, forcing a rare debate in the House and Senate.

Tubbs Jones said having a backbone, for Dean, may mean bringing liberal Democrats to the table with the rest of the party.

Another golden spine recipient, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, said the Democratic Party's problem is that it needs to stop talking in generalities and start articulating its message: "I don't know why the Democratic Party even exists if it can't advocate for universal health care and ending the war in Iraq."

Dean, Tubbs Jones and Kucinich-- Whatta fearsome group. Can't wait to see who's next.

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