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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 17, 2003


You Know You're Doing Something Right...

posted by Joe at Thursday, July 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
... when hyper-conservative crazies like Paul Weyrich are worried about your appeal to the Republican base.

Weyrich is concerned:
So far, [Dean] appears to be more a scandal-less Bill Clinton than Harry Truman when it comes to offering the voters straight talk on issues. My wager is that, should Dean obtain his party's presidential nomination, conservative groups will need to be aggressive and accurate in exposing his record to the harsh, unrelenting glare of the truth.
I'll let my colleagues at the DDF handle the specifics of Weyrich's claims because frankly, this guy is a caricature of right-wingers ("...national gun registration is being ushered in through the backdoor,") and I can't stop giggling long enough to take his arguments seriously.

This article from one of the leaders of the "movement" could signal a shift in the conservative conventional wisdom. Until now, Dean has been cast as the ultra-liberal they'd just love to go up against.

But as we at Dean Nation have known all along, Dean represents the greatest threat to Republicans because he fires up the Democratic base with his passion, but retains significant crossover appeal based on his record and decidedly moderate positions.

If Weyrich's interpretation gains traction in conservative circles, it may give them more time to prepare to take on Dean. But from the tone of this piece, it seems that Howard Dean has managed to do something we're not used to seeing Democrats do: put the other side on the defensive. Good for him, good for Democrats, and good for America.


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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.