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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, December 02, 2003


Democratic civil war

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Fasicnating article in today's BusinessWeek about the factional infighting in the Democratic Party - and how some of the antagonism towards Dean might date to Carter:

Still, much more is behind the Stop-Dean Democrats than heat-of-battle hard feelings. The unofficial board of directors of Democrats Inc. -- the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Democratic Leadership Council chief Al From, and katzenjammer consultant James Carville -- is probably almost as eager to see Dean defeated as the Bushies. For if, over the next 11 grueling months, Dean manages to win the nomination and convince America that he should be President, the Clinton mafia will lose control of the party and possibly the election of 2008.

The war within the party, a Democratic national operative mused recently, runs even deeper than that. The bad feelings toward Dean, he suggested, stem from a 23-year rift that has never healed. In the 1980 campaign, Senator Teddy Kennedy challenged a badly damaged President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. Dean was a Carter guy. Kerry and Bill Clinton, who as President made no bones about his contempt for Carter, were Kennedy men. Neither side has gotten over the bruising fight that ended in Carter's nomination, the landslide election of Ronald Reagan, and 12 long years of Republican Presidencies.

Now the Stop-Dean forces of the Clinton/Kennedy wing of the Democratic Party have two horses in the race -- Kerry and Wesley Clark. To bolster Kerry's faltering campaign and bring order to its internecine bickering, Kennedy has dispatched his chief of staff, Mary Beth Cahill, to take charge. Clark, the general from Arkansas, is surrounded by shop-worn Clintonistas.

Puts Carter's recent supportive statements in perspective, eh? Note that Al Gore is not a Clintonista - and I stand by my prediction that we will get a Gore endorsement soon.


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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.