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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, September 26, 2003


bring it on

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Chris Suellentrop puts the debate Dean pile-on into perspective:

But the real story of the debate turned out to be the same as the old story: Let's all gang up to try to stop Howard Dean. The former Vermont governor continues to be attacked from the right by his opponents, who are using the same tactics that the GOP would surely use against him in a general election: 1) He's a flip-flopping politician who will say anything to get elected; 2) He's weak and inexperienced on national security; 3) He's going to raise taxes on average Americans.

As a result, Dean is facing several candidates who are serving as the functional equivalents of stand-ins for Bush. Kerry is using the "tax families" that Bush used to great effect in the 2000 election to show how changes in tax rates affect specific American families. Lieberman is at least as hawkish as Bush on terrorism and Iraq, and probably more of a free-trader. And now Clark comes along as the candidate who possesses at least the appearance of an unbeatably impressive aura on defense and national security matters (even if substantively he agrees with Dean). During the debate, Kerry accuses Dean of wanting to raise taxes by $1,000 on 32 million couples, and by $3,000 on one specific firefighting-and-teaching New Hampshire couple. Lieberman accuses Dean of abandoning "the Clinton-Gore record" on middle-class tax cuts and trade. And Clark doesn't say anything about Dean, but when you're a general, even an antiwar one, you don't have to.

Democratic partisans are probably dismayed by all the criticism, but the truth is that if Dean wins the nomination, he'll have been made stronger by the gantlet he's being forced to run. And if he can't beat what he calls "Bush Lite," how can he expect to beat the real thing?


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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.