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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 03, 2003


TNR Primary

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, June 03, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Jonathon Cohn, in a pair of somwhat-schizophrenic posts on TNR Primary, praises and slams Dean. The slam deals with the attacks Dean made toward Kerry in New York, but the praise, well, the praise is great:

First, Dean endorses a number of important, but highly underappreciated, policy ideas here, including so-called "card check" registration for unions.


The second, more important thing to note about the interview is the broader message about domestic policy that Dean sends. In These Times is a magazine of The Left. But in the interview, Dean actually passes on a few opportunities to pander. He reiterates his commitment to balanced budgets and opposition to single-payer health care reform--two stances that are highly unpopular with liberal Democrats. And when pressed about corporate greed, he offers this: "I think it's less productive to worry about how much rich people have than to worry about how much middle-class and working people have ... Rather than attacking executive salaries, which I do agree are a real problem, I want to build a middle-class safety net, so that people in the middle class in this country can be sure they'll have health insurance, can be sure they'll have opportunities for their kids to go to college." This is exactly the kind of uplifting, middle class populism that Bill Clinton deployed successfully in 1992--the kind that just might work in 2004. Dean has always had the policy pieces to wage this kind of campaign; now it looks like he may have the vision, too.

Dean is currently in second over at TNR's Primary, only 0.3 behind Lieberman (2.7 to 3.0). Gephart and Edwards haven't done anything gradeworthy this month, yet, apparently. Bob Graham is floating a D average and John Kerry's one grade is an F.


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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.