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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


Saying What We Meme

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 03, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dean bloggers have taken a few hits lately. Kurtz slammed DDF and others continue to dismiss us as "obscure bloggers." Sometimes, I think we even question if we are preaching to the choir! But it's not just about us -- the media reads this blog, and DDF, and the O-blog and a host of other blogs they had never even heard of four months ago. Case in point, this article in Vermont's Rutland Herald that compares and contrasts the styles and policies of Dean and Kerry. But wow, this section jumped out at me, and it's something we have been saying here at Dean Nation for a couple of months:
The entire political world is in a Howard Dean tizzy. Barely known outside Vermont six months ago, the former governor is not the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race only because there is no front-runner. His encroachment into the political inner circle has flummoxed “experts” who once dismissed him, inspired elaborate debates in political journals and evoked apoplectic attacks from some Democratic strategists.

Even the Republicans are puzzled, and though they claim to be delighted, they also seem concerned. Not long ago, Bush political mastermind Karl Rove saw a band of Dean supporters march in a parade in Washington and said, “Yeah, that’s the one we want. Come on, everybody! Go, Howard Dean!” When a political strategist says, “This is the guy we want to run against,” he often means, “This is the guy we’re worried about.”
It's awful darn gratifying, isn't it? We are undoubtedly the only campaign with the sort of depth and breadth of rapid response mechanisms to counter the likes of Rove and Co. in their pathetic attempts to shift the conventional wisdom. Like I've said before, if Rove really thought Dean was the guy they wanted to run against, they would be quiet, right? After all we are doing so well, they should be darn giddy and chuckling quietly over their cereal about those crazy, suicidal Democrats instead of acting like haughty blowhards who have it all figured out.

Even when it takes some time, and we get frustrated and believe our views are being ignored, our messages seep into the popular culture and the media and up pops a meme like this that we could have written ourselves. The opinion makers are watching us, and frankly Dean Nationals, that just kicks ass!


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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.