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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 17, 2003


Now We're Talkin' Honor and Dignity!

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Via the O-blog, this from Robert J. McCarthy of The Buffalo News regarding Dean's recent appearance in front of the Young Democrats:
If Howard Dean really is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, he showed the Young Democrats of America national convention, held in Buffalo on Saturday, what all the fuss is about....

"I will never hesitate to send American troops to any corner of the globe as commander in chief to defend our country and to defend our freedoms," he said. "But I will never send our brothers and our sisters, our sons and our daughters, to die in a foreign country without telling the truth."

He said that America's image throughout the world was badly damaged by the war and occupation of Iraq, and that countries that had always wanted to imitate America no longer do.

"This president has destroyed that," he said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find people who want to be like America anymore. If you elect me president of the United States, I will restore the honor and dignity of America in the world."
Wowsa! Umm, am I wrong, or is that the first time he's used that exact quote? I couldn't find it on Google other than in this one article. Echoing Bush's promise to "restore honor and dignity to the White House" -- which of course, was only true if we're talking about marital fidelity nothing more -- Dean has considerably raised the bar. He's defining his candidacy more and more as against Bush and mostly ignoring the other Dems. He also is quite cleverly and effectively using Bush's quote against him while reminding Americans that 1). Bush broke that promise, and 2). Bush actually made things worse for us around the globe. It implies that folks don't dislike America or Americans so much as that they detest Bush, and that the best way to restore our standing in the world community is to boot his butt out of office. And of course, put Dean in. There has been surprisingly little coverage of the quote, but not to worry, I'm sure we'll be hearing it quite often from now on.

Though Sen. Hillary Clinton appeared before the group, the others either took a pass or sent a video. This report from Marc Humbert of the Associated Press, also with surprisingly few pickups so far...
"Borrow and spend, borrow and spend," Dean told about 700 enthusiastic young party members. "He would like to run the United States the way Argentina was run." [...]

The former Vermont governor was the only one of the nine active candidates who appeared in person at the biennial convention of the 43,000-member Young Democrats of America being held in Buffalo. Asked about that after his speech, Dean said: "I think they missed a great opportunity. This group of people are the people who are putting us over the top." He told the crowd that it was his third, straight YDA convention.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich aired videotaped message to the convention on Saturday, as Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina had done earlier in the week. Kerry's well-received video, using an often shaky, hand-held camera and quick-cut editing, showed him sailboarding, playing hockey, riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and talking to lots and lots of young people. If the message was lost on any of the young Democrats, Kerry, 59, told them: "Hopefully this gives a feel for the young people driving my campaign every day ... Without young people I couldn't have a campaign."

At a news conference after his speech, Dean said, among other things:

* That "the straw that broke the camel's back" when it came to his concerns over radio and television monopolies was when one radio group refused to air Dixie Chicks records after one of them complained about President Bush taking the country to war in Iraq. Dean is also opposed to the war. [...]

* That while some of his aides are "chomping at the bit" for him to give up public campaign financing given his fund-raising success, "I would prefer to take matching funds." Dean said there would be "no serious discussion about that certainly until after Sept. 30 and maybe not until after Dec. 30." Those are the next two financial filing deadlines for candidates.

Dean aides provided all those attending the convention with pledge cards they could sign, promising to get at least 10 young people each to register to vote. And, Dean was promoting his own special Web site for young voters:
So, we have a brand new catchphrase that doubles as a Bush attack line, a significant example of Dean's dedication to the next generation of Americans, and not one of the other candidates bothered to show up, instead sending "X-game" videos or "personal messages” or whatever. Further, Dean clarified his refusal to "unilaterally disarm" on federal matching funds from a few days back. Sounds like quite a convention with lots of hard news. Maybe Monday will bring more coverage? Onward and upward with honor and dignity!


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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.