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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, September 21, 2003


open thread: the loyalty of the grassroots

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, September 21, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
A lengthy report from the road with Dean by the LA Weekly has the usual breathless comentary and bemused fascination with the Dean campaign on tour that we have seen in most such pieces. But near the end is a major stunner of a quote by Dean:

When I ask Dean about Clark, his response is characteristically two-fold. He praises him with sincere fervor: “I know Wes Clark, he’s a very good human being, and he’s got an enormous amount of integrity.” At the same time, on the subject of Clark entering the race, he shows more than a glint of steel. “It’s going to be very hard to start late,” he says, “and think you’re going to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s going to be incredibly hard. I mean, we’ve already got 39,000 people working for us all around the country . . . I really do believe — and I think about this — I want to get this nomination, and if I don’t . . . these kids are not transferrable. I can’t just go out and say, ‘Okay, so I didn’t win the nomination, so go ahead and vote for the Democrats.’ They’re not going to suddenly just go away. That’s not gonna happen.”

This is almost alarming, but there's a disctinction between Dean supporting a Democratic nominee and the grassroots doing so. Dean has publicly stated in the past that he will only run as a Democrat and he will support the eventual nominee. But what do you think? Should Dean lose the nomination, and declare his support, do you think he should encourage us to also lend our support?

Speaking for myself, were the nominee to be Lieberman or Kucinich, I'd have a very hard time voting in their favor. Not to say I definitively wouldn't, but they would have to convince me, I'm not going to blindly pull any levers in that voting booth. And to be honest I'd find an effort by Dean to tell me who I should support to be presumptous. What's the point of being independent if you don't intend to think for yourself? I'm a DEAN supporter - and if Gephardt thinks he can inherit my vote if he just takes Dean out, he'd better rethink.

What do you think about this quote? where do you stand on supporting another (non-dean) nominee should Dean not triumph in the primary?


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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.