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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Sunday, January 05, 2003

 

Sunday Afternoon at the Three Tomatoes With Howard Dean http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.01.03/oped3.html

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, January 05, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

This is a standard first-person perspective piece from a correspondent who heard Dean speak and came away impressed. It's reminiscent of the West Wing episode where Josh decides to work for Bartlett instead of whats-his-name. This analogy will probably please the Dean campaign :) but hey, if life imitates art, grab on. Excerpt:


The smallish room is packed. Then Dean starts to speak. I've heard my share of forgettable stump speeches with lots of rhetoric, feel-good lines, winks and little substance. But Dean, as he gets going, has a lot to say. Renewable energy is a national security issue. We need to free ourselves from Middle Eastern oil. "If we had a renewable energy policy we would not be sending our kids to Iraq." A prerequisite for peace in the Middle East is for the United States to seriously pressure the Saudis, Syrians and Iranians to stop support for terrorism.

Dean evokes Harry Truman. "We have to have a party that believes in our message." Dean says what he thinks. He wouldn't have permitted the delivery of the North Korean missiles to Yemen. He would have paid for them and kept them. Dean hasn't seen a smoking gun that would justify war with Iraq. He's much more concerned about how federal money is spent and balancing the budget than about tax cuts for the rich.

And, of course, as a doctor, he has an effective outline for bringing heath insurance to all Americans, modeled after an expansion of Vermont's success. On his controversial support for gay civil unions, Dean says, "Never deny human rights because it is politically inconvenient." A standup guy.

Suddenly there's a warm feeling in the room. He's saying things of real substance that make sense. Not just what people want to hear. Dean's obviously a very smart man. That couldn't hurt. It feels like this guy has a real chance.
...
Howard Dean is talking common sense in an age of willful delusion and imperial nightmares. My friend Jan, who's been known to shake things up, is organizing a house party for Howard in my town of Warner. There's a buzz: "Have you heard about Howard Dean?"


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.