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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 19, 2003


Is Kucinich a threat?

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, February 19, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The Washington Post has a profile of Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D), who is apparently "exploring" a presidential bid. Kucinich is strongly anti-war, and the conventional wisdom seems to be that this represents a threat to Dean. The TNR blog as usual takes a hard line, calling Kucinich "Howard Dean's worst nightmare" :

The real loser in all of this has to be Howard Dean. As the Post also points out, Kucinich will be making the very same anti-Iraq case to Iowa activists that Dean has been making for months--only without Dean's tortured qualification about supporting war if there were convincing evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or whatever Dean is saying these days. And Kucinich also steps on Dean's unconventional-liberal schtick. Dean supporters spend a lot of time playing up their man's fiscal conservatism and his opposition to gun control. Kucinich, it turns out, opposes abortion and has voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning. The more you think about it, the more it seems like Dennis Kucinich leaves Howard Dean without a constituency.

The TNR blog's implacable hostility to Dean blinds them to the obvious counter-argument - Dean is still running as a progressive. Unconventional on certain issues of principle, but ultimately a progressive. Kucinich's abortion stance waffling and his flag-burning voting record are serious black marks against women's rights and free speech. How can he be taken seriously?

The only issue on which Kucinich is any kind of challenge is the war, and frankly I don't think that a single-issue candidate can survive, and while Kucinich has received some media attention, he is too one-dimensional to represent a real threat, unless annointed by the media.


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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.