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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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Tuesday, May 13, 2003


How To Moralize in Politics

posted by Joe at Tuesday, May 13, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Joe Lieberman, take note: Howard Dean is doing the right kind of moralizing when he calls providing access to affordable health care "a moral imperative". He realizes that there are more important moral issues -- poverty, poor education, sick children -- for government to concern itself with than the puritanical revival tent sex-police priorities of the Republican Party.

Whining about Hollywood and calling yourself "pro-family" -- what does that mean, anyway? that you don't want to be single? -- are cop-out moral stands for Republicans, and Democrats aren't going to get elected by imitating them. Phony outrage against rap music and bare butts on TV take the place of what should be real outrage over the fact that in the wealthiest, most powerful country in history millions of people still live in poverty, still can't see a doctor when they need to, and still aren't provided a decent education.

This is exactly what Republicans want. They want government in your bedroom when you're having sex, but not when you're home sick in bed. They would rather pay for you to be in jail for having a certain type of sex than pay for you to be in the hospital for a broken leg.

Howard Dean is right. Health care for everyone is a moral imperative. And he's out there telling Republicans that they should be ashamed of themselves for not supporting it. That's a real moral stand -- and a winning message for Democrats, too.


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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.