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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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Sunday, August 03, 2003


Dean: No Liberal, No Liar

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 03, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
And yet more CW shifts! Nothing in this article will surprise folks here at Dean Nation, but ain't it nice to see it in The Washington Post? Speaking of, I think the New York Times article from this week was much better for us than some orginally considered, and that, overall, we are exactly where we need to be -- these reports are taking weapons away from our chief critics, Karl Rove and the DLC.
When he left office in 2002, Vermont had a fairly balanced budget, while states across the nation bled fiscal red ink.

"He made us very disciplined about spending, even if we didn't really like it," said former state Senate president Dick McCormack, who sat in that caucus room in 1992. "I was a liberal Democrat, and I fought him a lot, but he made the Democrats very hard to beat." [...]

That gubernatorial record could turn off some liberal true believers. Or it could allow Dean to execute a political pivot in next year's presidential primaries. A New England governor with a budget-balancing reputation might prove useful as the primaries move south of the Mason-Dixon line. "The national role reversal is that Democrats have become the party of the balanced budget," said Eric Davis, a Middlebury College political scientist. "Howard Dean can lay claim to that." [...]

"I'm a fiscal conservative, and I believe in social justice," Dean said in a recent interview. "I'm most proud of our fiscal stability -- I left the state in better shape than I found it." [...] "Capitalism is a great system, and to make it work you must have social justice," Dean said. "But it's all in the balancing. Government is the mediator." [...]

So the question arises: If Dean was so effective leading [the civil unions] fight, why didn't he risk more battles on the sort of issues that are dear to the liberals? Ready, the state auditor, laughs when asked the question.

"Because Howard Dean's neither a phony nor a liar," Ready said. "He's just not a liberal."
The whole article is worth a read, and there is a very amusing quote about Dean's apologies. Thanks to James from the ZonkBoard for the link!


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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.