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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 01, 2003


Dean on foreign policy

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 01, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Calpundit (Kevin Drum) is not impressed with Dean's foreign policy speech at the CFR:

A few pro forma words about being responsible and working with our allies, and that's it? Followed by a quick jump to homeland security?

What does he think about military transformation? Relations with Saudi Arabia? The neocon domino theory? Reform of the CIA? Etc. etc.

Fairly or not, Dean more than anyone has to prove that he's not just a squishy peacenik who doesn't really know anything about national security issues. And while I realize that campaign speeches aren't white papers, this was a major address to a serious audience, so I assume he put a good deal of thought into it and consulted with foreign policy experts in its preparation. If he had any major proposals for actively fighting terrorism he would have mentioned them, but I don't see much there, and I don't see any sound bites that he could extract from this speech either.

This kind of thing might sound good on the blogosphere, but if Dean wins the nomination he's going to get pummeled on this stuff starting next summer — and BushCo's phasers are going to be set firmly on obliterate. He'd better have a bit more to say than this, or else we'll be scraping him off the floor come November.

I think that it's premature to look at the CFR speech as evidence that Dean isn't prepared on foreign policy - as Kevin points out, there's still a LOT of time for Dean to make his case. But at the same time, I think that Kevin raisd some excellent bullet points about what specifics areas Dean needs to address directly and explicitly. Dean's next foreign policy address has to cover this kind of ground.


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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.