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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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Wednesday, February 26, 2003


Dr. Dean Emerges From The Pack

posted by B at Wednesday, February 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Coming out of the DNC cattle call shute with the momentum, the media is still trying to figure out a way to cast Dean in an "AntiWar'" mold, boxing him in:

Candidates Gephardt, Lieberman Kerry and Edwards are counting on the war to be history by the time next year's Iowa’s caucuses roll around. But as they start out on the trail, it is Dean who not only is in sync with Democratic voters and fundraisers on an issue they care passionately about, but who is coming off as bold and authentic in comparison to the carefully scripted members of Congress.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff put out similar poll numbers last week and gleefully predicted a "Democratic Party meltdown" over the Iraq issue. The conventional wisdom is that the Democratic anti-war message is too far to the left and candidates who articulate it will be badly positioned in a general election.

But Dean isn't holding a "far left" stance, even though the Republicans are portraying it as such. The new Gallup poll out, shows just how centrist Dean's position on invading Iraq remains. The polll also shows how alienated that Bush and the other Democrats (especially) are on their pro-invasion stance. The centrist UN approach that Dean advocates for is quite different from the avid war protesting group that's against invading Iraq even with the UN's approval.

Dean, by advocating for the UN's approval, is positioned with the majority, either way:

These results underscore the pivotal role that a new United Nations vote can have in helping Americans formalize their views on the pending war. As can be seen, about two-thirds of Americans (66%) can be characterized as opposing a war without a new U.N. vote. At the same time, about the same number (70%) can be characterized as supporting the war if the United Nations does in fact authorize it. Right now, it is unclear whether the United States can get enough votes in the U.N. Security Council -- without a veto from France, Russia, or China, -- to get that authorization.

These results are very similar to those reviewed above based on an analysis of the intensity of public opinion. About 3 out of 10 Americans are on either end of the spectrum -- those who generally support war regardless of what the U.N. does and/or are unlikely to change their minds, versus those who generally oppose war regardless of what the U.N. does and/or are also unlikely to change their minds. The remainder have more mixed feelings about the situation, and can be swayed by the specific conditions under which movement toward war may come about.

In otherwords, amongst the partisans, the war is a wash of deep conviction, whereas amongst the 40% in the middle, it's just not an issue they are involved with deeply.


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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.