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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, November 11, 2003


Doing Dean A World Of Good

posted by Editor at Tuesday, November 11, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Richard Cohen, a columnist with the Washington Post, writes today on what has been observed here at Dean Nation for months: the more the establishment attacks Gov. Howard Dean, the more his supporters rally around him and the better he does. Cohen writes, "The more Dean's opponents attack him, the more he is adored by his supporters and the more it enhances his anti-Washington credentials. Every time they give him the kiss of death, it amounts to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He revives and comes out fighting." We saw it with the DLC, and as Cohen points out, we saw it again recently with the Confederate Flag issue.
This happened just recently when Dean's opponents cuffed him around for saying he wanted to broaden the appeal of his campaign to encompass "guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks." It was not the most felicitous of political statements, and Dean, after insisting he would not apologize, did so. That supposed debacle was quickly followed by two critical union endorsements, the raising of another $5 million and Dean's decision, applauded by his followers, to reject federal matching funds and finance his own campaign. Another "bad" week like this and he'll be choosing his running mate.

Cohen also writes on the possibility that the attacks on Dean will not help Kerry, Lieberman, Edwards & Associates; rather, it may be Cheney, Rove & Bush who claim the spoils of war.
The conventional wisdom is that Dean is George McGovern all over again. I do not quibble. But if that's the case, the trick for the anti-Dean candidates is to stop beating up on him in the hope that the pounding will take a toll in the later rounds of primaries. The trouble with that strategy is there may be no later rounds, and the seeds that Dean's opponents are sowing now may well be reaped by Karl Rove in the spring.

Dean stands on the verge of a knockout -- a winner not only by virtue of his own prowess but by his opponents' swinging hard at him, missing each time and hitting themselves hard on their own glass jaws. They are the supposed heavyweights, but Dean, more and more, is looking like Rocky.


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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.