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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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Friday, November 14, 2003


Just How Scared Are They?

posted by Dana at Friday, November 14, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The Republican Right is plenty scared of Howard Dean.

In Dean they see someone who won’t play their game. He won’t just campaign on TV. He won’t be stuck in their ideological pigeonhole.

But it’s when an animal is scared, when they’re cornered, that they become most dangerous.

So the slurs keep coming. His is a “kulturkampf” (German words are always scarier). He’s a bigot, “too green,” a liar and we’ll tear him apart on TV.

But sometimes their true feelings, rather than their spin, breaks through.

“Howard Dean: Serious Threat” is the headline the troll-site Newsmax gives to a Christopher Ruddy story.

“Dean is personable and persuasive. He impresses even me. And unlike McGovern, Dean is no dove,” writes Ruddy.

Then he hits his readers between the eyes:

Chuck Noe’s investigative report for NewsMax Magazine, “Dean Unlocked,” gives the best insight into the real Howard Dean.

Many know, for instance, that Dean has won applause from the NRA. But he also took on environmentalists and the ACLU in Vermont and was also a fiscal conservative.
For the first time, NewsMax talked with the folks who know Dean best, the people of Vermont.

What we learned is surprising and worrisome for Republican prospects next year, especially if the economy is not back on track by that time.

None of this should surprise you. But it should energize you. Howard Dean can do more than win an election. He can realign the electorate. Those who have used code words, symbols, raw anger and ideology to yoke Americans into a war they did not want and debts they cannot pay know they face a day of reckoning.

I was wrong about the election. It’s not November 8, but November 2, 2004. That means we have only 354 days to turn this ship around. We need to get 20% of those who voted for Bush last time to vote Dean, while holding every Gore voter, and boosting turn-out on our side.

That’s a huge job. But let the fear on the other side inspire you. It’s a job that can be done.


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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.