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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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Thursday, October 16, 2003


getting nasty

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, October 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Taegan Goddard reports on a story in Roll Call that Dean's "cockroaches" comment has ruffled a few feathers:

Comments made earlier this week by Howard Dean "comparing Members of Congress to insects have caused reverberations on Capitol Hill even as his campaign sought to downplay the situation," Roll Call reports.

"Although the Dean campaign largely dismissed any potential impact that his comments could have on future Congressional endorsements or his ability to effectively work with Democratic leaders if elected, Dean did reach out to his House and Senate backers in a conference call Wednesday morning."

However, the campaign "emphasized that the call was not an attempt to smooth ruffled feathers but rather a regularly scheduled check-in with supporters."

(note that Roll Call is subscription only) Several commentators have predicted that Dean will go negative, and certainly Dean has been more negative than usual in recent appearances. This article in the NYT detailing his Iowa campaigning has some examples:

Dr. Dean was not shy about criticizing his opponents, particularly Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, who has emerged as his chief rival in Iowa, which holds the first caucuses in the Democratic contest. "Many of the people who are running for president left their constituencies a long time ago," he told reporters.

Specifically mentioning Mr. Gephardt's appearance with President Bush in the Rose Garden last fall in support of the Congressional resolution authorizing force in Iraq, Dr. Dean said, "He hung his own people out to dry."

Dr. Dean also took a slap at Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who is retired from the Army. Asked by a voter about General Clark's appeal, he began, "General Clark has not attacked me, and I'm not going to start by attacking him." He then proceeded to point out that the general had advised a Congressional candidate to support the resolution on Iraq and had praised the Bush administration at a Republican fund-raiser.

Gephardt deserves the slap, but the comment on Clark was a bit disingenous, especially since part of Dean's appeal is founded on his willingness to be independent from the party line. He has to stop slamming Clark for the same 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.