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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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Friday, August 29, 2003


Dean is no draft dodger, but Bush is a deserter

posted by annatopia at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Slate covers the draft-dodger allegation today. I think William and Ben did a pretty good job of presenting Dean's side of the case, so I won't go on the attack here. The story in a nutshell is that Dean received a 1-Y deferrment, meaning that he could only be called up as a last resort recruit. Dean's unfused vertebrae prevent him from running long distances, especially while packing a heavy load (military gear can weigh upwards of 50 pounds). Obviously this condition - which is congenital - would prevent him from participating in combat operations. The bottom line is that the US Government gave him that classification. Dean's family didn't pull any strings. It is what it is and it's a non-story as far as I'm concerned. And if this is the "worst of Howard Dean" then I think we're doing pretty good.
But what pundits keep bringing up is the ski trip and Dean's summer job pouring concrete. Let's be frank here. None of that matters. Dean was called in for the physical and received the deferrment. He didn't dodge the draft or use his daddy's connections to get a sweet spot in the National Guard. In addition, he didn't go AWOL or desert his post in Alabama like our current "Commander" in Chief. I find it hypocritical of the So-Called-Liberal-Media to be making such hay out of Dean's government assigned deferrment when they didn't bother to even question Bush. Not only did he desert his unit, but he refused to release an unedited copy of his DD214 (discharge papers) like McCain and Gore did in 2000. So really, if the SCLM wants to go there, I say "bring it on". Dean fulfilled the draft request and was refused. Bush got his daddy to get him a spot in the national guard, then didn't bother to fulfill his obligation.

update: Chris Anderson nails it in the comments section:
I think it is important, when this topic comes up, to point out that Dean got his 1-Y deferrment as the result of an INDUCTION physical. This is the physical that is given to new inductees immediately prior to being sent off to boot camp. In other words, Dean showed up ready and willing to do his duty. It was the army that turned him down.


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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.