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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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Saturday, August 16, 2003


Bush's Three Weaknesses,1,2253902.story?coll=la-headlines-sunop-manual

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, August 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Just to revisit the LA Timea article from last Sunday about Dean being the "anti-Bush" - Lambert at Eschaton has identified three major (and entrenched) political weaknesses of Bush that Dean is uniquely positioned to capitalize on:

[1] Dean is correct about the administration's 9/11 and war-related vulnerabilities. After four decades of Bush ties to the Persian Gulf, the family is so interlocked with the local royal families, banks and big-money crowd that duplicity and conflicts of interest abound. The result is White House secrecy and deceit. ... The younger Bush, in turn, may find that by 2004, the 2003 advance on Baghdad has been superseded by two emerging scandals — the cover-up of Saudi participation in 9/11 and the false representations made about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

[2] The Bush tax cuts of 2001-03, flagrant in their tilt toward investors and the top 1% of income earners, echo, albeit far more dangerously and at far greater cost, the elder Bush's insistence on cutting capital gains taxes for investors. The result of this favoritism, in 1991-92 and again today, is a jobless recovery. Investors get some gains, but ordinary folk lose their jobs. ... And this isn't lefty stuff; it's capital-C "Centrism" that would cut like a scythe from Long Island to La Mirada.

[3] The younger Bush's vulnerability for pandering to the religious right is a lot different — bigger, but tougher to nail — than his father's. ... What the younger Bush has done instead is to give the religious right so much patronage and critical policy influence — to say nothing of coded biblical references in key speeches — as to have built them into the system.

The degree is little less than stunning. In late 2001, religious right leaders sampled by the press said Bush had replaced Robertson as the leader of the religious right, becoming the first president to hold both positions simultaneously.

But in the meantime, the chance for Dean to educate a lie-weary electorate and doctor its spirit with candor is clearly at hand. And he can do worse than heed the 1968 achievement of another man from a small Northern state who is still remembered for crystallizing national disenchantment with the first Texas president to fib America into a bungled war.


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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.