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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


Speaking of winning the South...

posted by annatopia at Friday, August 01, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Via the O-Blog comes the news that Dean is launching ads deep in the heart of Bush country. It's a bold move and as a Texan, naturally I have a few thoughts on this. I posted this in the comments section of that thread, but wanted to share it with everyone here. I've edited it a bit for clarity and spelling, but it's otherwise intact.
wow, I have real mixed feelings about this. I'm both anxious and excited. if you'll bear with me for a moment, I’ll explain why.
some background: I live just outside of fort worth, Texas and have followed Texas politics since I moved here in 1991. we have a slogan here: Texas politics are not for the squeamish. I’ll tie that in momentarily. here goes.
Dean drew 3200 people in liberal Austin and 2200 here in conservative Dallas-fort worth. d/fw is more indicative of how the state trends in general elections. our goal, as Texas volunteers, is and always has been to deliver our 249 delegates to the good doctor at the national convention. we've always believed this is possible; we have great leadership down here and we're busting our butts to get the job done. 249 would go a long way towards securing the nomination. anyway, we are confident that we will be able to get a majority in the primary, but I hesitate at this point to predict a win in the general. I can envision it coming down the pipe, however. here's why.
lately I’ve noticed a trend in my local daily paper. The readers’ letters have been getting more and more critical of bush's policies. usually the editorial page is filled with angry ring-wing missives, but that's getting more rare. also, the columnists have begun taking a different tone in their coverage, and our paper has begun running a wider range of articles. so what i'm sensing here is a subtle sea change in opinion of bush and his policies. what does this mean?
well, you've also got to look at what's going on with this redistricting crap. the power structure that ushered bush into office in Texas and Washington is making a power play. now, we don't take to kindly to people getting up in our kool-aide if you know what I mean. we're independent-minded people for the most part and we like to make our own decisions. tom delay's power grab was just too much for the Texas democrats and they've finally drawn the line. our democrats are fired up and ready to fight and our elected officials are not backing down. call it the fact that their self-preservation instincts kicked in, but the bottom line is they've finally found their spines. democratic voters down here are fired up as well, so this bold action is really going to resonate. democrats are looking for someone - anyone - to take on the Washington power structure and Dean fits that bill. so this is a brilliant move on that account.
aside from that, you've also got to look at the climate that this power play is being made in. you guys have only been dealing with Bush's policies for 2 1/2 years - we've been going through this crap for almost a decade now. the power structure that made Bush installed our dear governor goodhair, Rick Perry. he is nothing but a tool for those guys and now he's proved in. in the midst of our worst budget crisis ever, he's called a second special session. meanwhile, we can't insure our kids, upgrade our schools, fix our roads, or clean up our land. people are getting pissed. and what I see happening is that true conservatives (not the right wing nut bags who have taken control of the republican party) are beginning to see these lying, power hungry jerks for what they are. the republican leadership has proven to conservatives that they don't care about properly managing our state. even they might be persuaded to look at a centrist like Dean, and heck, they might even vote for him.
keep this in mind, too: like New Hampshire, we have open primaries in Texas. I took advantage of that and crossed over to vote McCain over bush in our primary in 2000. don't think there aren't many true conservatives out there who might be tempted to vote for Howard dean because dean really IS a fiscal conservative and a social centrist (even though he's definitely got a few bold left of center stances on his resume). those people are not so mind-numbingly blind that they'll automatically pull the lever for bush. as a poster wrote earlier, people still elect democrats to represent us in the house even though the state appears to be trending republican.
in fact, I think it's quite the opposite. as long as the Republican Party leadership in this state continues to show themselves for the heartless incompetents that they are, then we might just have a chance down here.
bravo, Trippi and co. - money well spent!


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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.