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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, March 05, 2003


Dean isn't liberal enough?

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, March 05, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

We knew it would happen eventually - Dean would be critiqued for not being hammered enough. In the Media Note this week, Howard Kurtz mentions a criticism of Dean by Craig Crawford, columnist for the Congressional Quarterly :

"Dean likes to call himself the champion of the 'Democratic wing of the Democratic party,' a line rival campaigns insist he stole from the late Sen. Paul Wellstone.

"But Dean fails to mention he flunks a leading question on any liberal's litmus test: gun control. He gets an 'A' rating from the National Rifle Association. He argues that this makes him stronger against Republicans in a general election, especially in the South.

"Even Dean's primary claim for liberal support comes with a caveat. He boasts to Democratic interest groups of his victory as governor of Vermont to allow civil unions for gay couples. But gay rights lobbyists note that Dean refuses to endorse similar changes at the federal level, rendering his support irrelevant to them.

"Dean also irks advocates of drug law reform for successfully opposing a Vermont bill to permit seriously ill and dying patients access to medicinal marijuana."

We are going to see more of this - it's as blatantly misrepresenting of Dean's views as the RNC attack points released earlier, and it's Dean's weakness regarding domestic policy. It's actually somewhat amusing (in a grim sort of way) to read these charges side by side with the RNC's points. Yes, they are actually talking about the same candidate!


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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.