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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, December 05, 2003


Dean supports the steel tarrifs

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I have to say, I think Dean is on the wrong side of this issue:

"Despite what President Bush may claim, the steel industry needs additional breathing room to get back on its feet. But the tariffs are a short term solution to a larger problem - this Administration's broken trade policy. Our trade agreements need to benefit workers, not just big multinational corporations.

"The President's decision to lift the steel tariffs early is just another example of this Administration playing politics with peoples' lives. When he imposed the tariffs, the President's rhetoric suggested that he actually cared about American steelworkers, their families, and the communities in which they live. If that were the case, he would not be lifting them today," said Governor Dean.

the right thing to do would have been to do nothing at all. Bush has backed down and incurs political damage, despite the spin (see Kos for details). But the tarrifs should never have been applied in the first place, and caused significant economic damage in steel-consuming states like Tennessee and Michigan. Dean's commitment to free trade is clearly not that strong, and oddly enough on this issue the unions pull him in both directions, since either way an American industry gets hurt (be it steel suppliers or consumers).

All things considered, no tarrifs are better. Dean should have attacked Bush for introducing them and letting teh EU "determine US economic policy". But not for repealing them.

UPDATE: This policy paper on the campaign website seems to contradict his rhetoric about the tarrifs. IMO had Dean focused more on the trade critique and less on these specific tarrifs, he would have had a stronger argument. I'm not interested in pandering, I'm interested in good policy.


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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.