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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 31, 2003


WaPo's 'Talking Points' on Dean

posted by Christopher at Thursday, July 31, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Terry Neal's headline 'Will the Real Howard Dean Please Stand Up?' is a bit misleading. This column isn't (as the headline implies) that Dean has contradictory positions, rather it demonstrates the unconventional, principled positions that Dean has taken on a range of issues. The result is that Dean becomes difficult to pigeonhole as 'liberal, moderate, or even conservative Democrat' as some would like.

It's interesting that Bush ran as a 'compassionate conservative' and everyone took him at his word that he was a more moderate type of Republican. Meanwhile nothing he had done as governor (or more recently as president) has supported that view. Meanwhile Dean defies expectations and labels and the pros get worked up because he won't fit into that nice "liberal box" that the mainstream press, his primary foes, and the Bushies would like.

I hope that he continues to confound the pundits since it will only broaden his appeal to Americans. Besides, we know that Karl Rove wants Dean to win, right? Be careful what you wish for, Karl, in the end Dean may be tougher to label than your boss.


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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.