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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


marshalling resolve

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, October 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dan Conley poses an important hypothetical:

Suppose Dean wins Iowa and New Hampshire and wraps up the nomination early. And then suppose that the economy starts to recover and the unemployment rate starts coming down. Saddam Hussein is captured, giving a shot in the arm to our forces on the ground and the Iraqi opposition starts to die down.

Bush uses his massive financial advantage to skew the Dean record beyond recognition. The political press -- who don't like Dean anyway -- do little to defend him. It's September 11, 2004 and Dean is trailing by 20 points.

What happens then to everyone energized this fall? Do you still go out and organize as if you're on the road to victory? I don't want to be a downer, but take it from someone who has been active in politics for about 20 years ... moments of euphoria are rare and fleeting. Politics is mostly trench warfare fighting over the fickle 10% that doesn't really know which party it distrusts less. Fighting for what you believe sometimes means canvassing for a candidate doomed in a landslide.

It's a sober question and the only real answer is that if the economy does turn around, and the Iraq situation stabilizes, then Dean still needs to make a case for how he can bring positive change. What do you think?


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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.