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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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Monday, November 24, 2003


Guilt by Association

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, November 24, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Ted Rall drew an offensive cartoon after 9-11, and wrote an offensive editorial. This is because Ted Rall has an extreme leftist perspective (which one could charitably call "Nader-Kucinichian").

Then he praised Howard Dean.

This praise was noted by the Dean campaign's weblogger Matt Gross, who linked to it as he does dozens of articles of week.
Apparently, Matt's note of the praise by Rall on the Dean campaign weblog is tantamount to Howard Dean "cherishing" Rall's endorsement, as far as Volokh is concerned - and Glenn also comments disapprovingly.

If this is the new moral standard by which to judge a politician, then what should we make of the explicit courting of the white supremacist vote by former GOP chairman Haley Barbour? That's the kind of association that should be setting off alarm bells, not this.

The point here is that whatever you think of Ted Rall, it's not an endorsement of his views to accept his praise. I personally find Rall loathsome - but he doesn't set policy any more than does Ann Coulter. And if Coulter's endorsement of Bush was reported in Bush's weblog, it wouldn't be a moral failing on Bush's part either.


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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.