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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, June 17, 2003


Crossfire Monday

posted by G at Tuesday, June 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
What's remarkable about this exchange is its Tucker Carlson, the Republican, who comes across as the guy who's impressed by Dean (although he does absurdly call him an "unrepentant leftist"):
CARLSON: The Democratic Party's collective nervous breakdown continues. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, an unrepentant leftist, will unveil the first of the television ads of campaign 2004 this week in Iowa. Dean is spending more than 10 percent of his entire Iowa budget on the spots, a sign that Dean believes he can generate the momentum necessary to win his party's nomination.

And he could be right. Sober Democrats shiver at the thought. The Democratic Leadership Council describes Dean's politics as, "defined principally by weakness abroad and elitist interest group liberalism here at home." That's a perfect description and apparently precisely what many Democratic primary voters are looking for in a candidate. I can't wait to find out.

BEGALA: This is a very risky tactic. We are seven months from the Iowa caucuses. Most candidates are putting out position papers, putting out their issues. He's beginning with advertising seven months before the caucuses. I'm very doubtful that that's going to do him long-term good.

CARLSON: Particularly in Iowa, where it's not clear how much television advertising helps you in the first place. But it says something about Dean's support. I think he probably has the most committed, the most active, the most aggressive supporters of any candidate, apart, of course, from Al Sharpton. And it tells you something that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) candidates, like Dean and Sharpton, are the ones getting the most grassroots support. So it's something (ph) about the Democratic Party, I think.

BEGALA: They get grassroots support, but they don't get mainstream support. I don't know. Howard Dean should come on this show and debate you as to whether he's mainstream or far left, because I think you'd be surprised.
That sounds like an invitation!


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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.