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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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Thursday, May 15, 2003


Be Careful, Be Smart

posted by Ezra at Thursday, May 15, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I was going to put this in the comments but I think it's important enough to post. It is crucial that, despite the anger and ill-will aroused by the DLC, we do not turn to bitter and oppositional rhetoric. If you step back from the situation for a moment, it seems clear that the DLC's strategy in releasing this memo publicly, a truly extraordinary step by any measure, is aimed at drawing Dean into yet another acrimonious battle. If they can just keep him wallowing in negativity, first with Kerry, then with the DLC (and remember, the DLC can fire shots forever, they're not running for anything), they will paint him as an aggressive bulldog and doom his primary chances in a sea of bad press. Dean will only come out from this on top if he and his supporters focus their response on their deep sadness that their party is turning to infighting and sniping at this early stage. We need to publicly hope for an understanding between Dean and the DLC because, in the end, both are working towards the same goals. Specifically, defeating George Bush in 2004, and generally, a better life for all Americans.

It is important to realize that after the fight with Kerry, Dean's greatest weakness (in the eyes of other campaigns/groups) is that he can be drawn away from his message and into battle. And they know, as do we, that when Dean, or any candidate, is focusing his fire on Democrats, he looks smaller, weaker, and less attractive to the general populace. He ceases being a potential president and becomes just another politician. Just keep that in mind as the hits come in, they are only coming because Dean is a danger to more established candidates, and they will only have power if we give it to them.


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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.