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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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Saturday, April 05, 2003


the high ground

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 05, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I would like to thank Joe Trippi for his continued participation on this blog. Every time he posts, it focuses my energy and enthusiasm - I don't know if he truly understands what a celebrity he is around here! Unfortunately, I've received a fair amount of hostile email from readers about this post, accusing me of "pandering to Kerry" and advocating "unilateral disarmament" - and most of them are twisting Joe's words in this comment thread to make their point. Joe ably defended his own comments, which I also think were a fair critique of Kerry's incoherence. But we aren't talking about critique so much as we are talking about support.

Let's be clear - Dean has every right to set himself apart from the other Democrats in the field. If that requires some hard criticism, so be it, as long as that criticism is well founded and true (and Dean has already shown that he accepts responsibility for his mistakes in that regard, with his apology to Edwards).

But regardless of the Kerry campaigns's silence when Dean has faced withering attack by GOP propaganda outlets, there is a high ground that we are all striving for. What I hope to see is Dean actively take the leadership role in defending all Democrats from GOP chickenhawk rhetoric. Dean faced that barrage alone well before the war on Iraq started. But the other candidates' rubber stamp of Bush's policies didn't immunize them - and by taking a public stand in their defense, Dean can both float all the boats with a rising defensive tide (including his own, of course) as well as yet again illustrate what makes him different - what makes him the real leader of the pack.

The GOP will attempt to divide and conquer. Some candidates are already falling for it - but that simply proves the degree of institutionalized rot that exists in the Democratic Party. Dr. Dean will be both antibiotic and vaccine. But to beat Bush in 2004 we need to take the right path - the moral high ground.

UPDATE: Joshua Marshall puts it all in perspective.


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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.