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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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Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Michael Cudahy's mea culpa

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 02, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I can't believe what I've just read. Michael Cudahy is one of the leading Republicans in America, and what is unfolding before our eyes is amazing. Cudahy is deep in the party; name a Republican candidate from the past thirty years and Cudahy's worked on their behalf. This is big, folks, real big.
I can't count the number of times I've said how I wish that real republicans (little "r") would take their party back from the extremist ideologues that are currently running the show. And we've also observed that republicans are strangely silent lately as the War in Iraq has turned sour and we've begun losing the peace. I know we've wondered how real republicans (I say "real" because I don't consider the extremists to be real republicans, but rather, power mongers) could stand by while their party mismanaged our economy while forsaking long-held Republican party values. We've said time and again that we welcome our republican friends to the Dean bandwagon because we believe our candidate embodies the best of both parties. Apparently, Michael Cudahy agrees. Visit the link above to read his entire statement, but here's an excerpt:
This country is hungry to put an end to the partisan warfare that has consumed this nation for the last 15 years -- at least.
That hunger, and a deep discontent with the status quo keeps reasserting itself. It raised its head in '96 with the hope that Colin Powell might run. It reemerged with the McCain insurgency, and I believe that it will finally succeed with the candidacy of Howard Dean.
This is not a question of party registration. It is a matter of right and wrong. It is a question of thoughtful policy development that addresses the needs and problems that are facing the majority of people in this country.
I have campaigned all over this country and I have enormous confidence in the basic common sense of the American people. I believe if you speak to them rationally they will listen. I am convinced that one of the reasons that the Dean campaign is gaining such traction is because unlike everyone else they have thrown the rule book away and are beginning to intelligently address the problems that are threatening the nation.
I also believe that they understand that they represent a potential home for millions of disenfranchised traditional Republicans who -- like myself -- are no longer welcome in their own Party.
Governor Dean projects a complete unwillingness to be afraid, and that is the key to taking these people out. From what I am hearing from friends inside the Republican Party, they are deeply concerned by the Dean campaign because they do not know how to deal with it.
I guess I would say to people who have been terrified by President Bush and his administration, "do not be afraid of all Republicans, because there are millions of Republicans who are wonderful caring people. Citizens who embrace the traditions and policies of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower......reach out to them.........and create a radical center where all of us can work together -- even when we disagree."
Please do not tar us all with the same brush. Like all Americans, we love our country, its values and the principles that have made it great. Equally important, we are committed to the vision of the founders of our party who believed, in the words of Abraham Lincoln that, "This country with its institutions belongs to the people who inhabit it."
You should also know that those of us who dare to suggest to Republicans and Independents that there is a better way -- have been threatened and harassed.

Michael, we know that republicans aren't bad people. The people in charge of the Republican party are bad people. We know the difference. We know there are millions of republicans out there who feel disconnected from their party much in the same way that millions of democrats felt disconnected from their party in 2000. The Dean campaign is about uniting all of us - both left and right - and bringing us together under one umbrella group so that we can all work together and build a better, brighter, and safer America. Remember it's not Dean for Texas or Dean for Democrats or Dean for Northeastern Liberals... it's Dean for America. Welcome to the movement, Michael. We are blessed and lucky to have you on board, and we welcome any and all Americans to this movement. Folks, visit the link and send it to all of your republican friends. Include a link to Dean for America so they can sign up and join the grassroots. Invite them to a Meetup, then send the over to BlogforAmerica so they can get a sense of the community we're building. Let's help DFA reach their goal of 450,000 people on their mailing list. I know we can do it. I know that there are real republicans out there just waiting for a candidate who can speak to them and make them feel like they are making a difference. I want all of my republican friends to feel the way I do about this campaign. Together, united, one nation, we will win and we will change the country for the better.
You should also visit Britt Blaser's site and read his take on what Cudahy's defection means. It's very well written and well reasoned. An excerpt:
The highest courage would be to purposely alienate yourself from the peers with whom you have worked hard and won victories and whose respect you have earned. To do so on a matter of principle is the rarest form of courage.... The highest courage would be to purposely alienate yourself from the peers with whom you have worked hard and won victories and whose respect you have earned. To do so on a matter of principle is the rarest form of courage.

Britt provides some helpful advice on how to attract republicans to the campaign. Let's all read it and absorb it, and let's welcome our Independent and Republican friends to the movement.


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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.