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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, July 03, 2003


candidacy takes 'Wing',0,816464.column?coll=ny-ny-columnists

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, July 03, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
With the influx of media attention, the inevitable West Wing comparisons are springing up again - but this one from Newsday is particularly insightful:

The most striking thing about Bartlet and his "West Wing" crew, however, is that they are principled. Sure, they get worked up over what to do about a presidential aide who's dating a call girl. But what they agonize over most is how not to compromise their principles for the sake of politics. As Toby, the angst-ridden director of communications would say, "We have to remember why we're here. And if we don't use this office to do some of the things we came here for, then what's the point?"

Democrats have forgotten this, which is why it's refreshing to have Dean remind us that he belongs to "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." In a profile that appeared on the Web site "TheStranger.Com," the words used to describe him apply equally to President Bartlet: "a muscular Democrat"; "pugnacious and a little prickly"; "doesn't back down from a fight"; "willing to play political hardball if that's what it takes to get what he wants."
Like Jed Bartlet, Howard Dean is complicated and pragmatic but principled. And with a Republican administration filled with cowboys, zealots and religious fundamentalists lacking in empathy, Dean is appealing.

"One of the things I like about Bartlet is that he combines the better qualities of four or five presidents - JFK's hair, Reagan's affability, Truman's directness, Carter and Clinton's genteel intelligence," says my TV-watching colleague. I'd like to have Bartlet as president. But if I can't, why not a Democrat who's not afraid to be a Democrat and who has some idea of what that means? Howard Dean gets more interesting by the day.

Dean-Bartlett in '04!


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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.