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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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Saturday, January 17, 2004


The Expectations Game

posted by Dana at Saturday, January 17, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
In all the excitement (and let's face it gang, FUN) of the Perfect Storm in Iowa, it's easy to lose sight of reality.

Those on the ground are in the position of soldiers in a war, in that none of them can really see how the battle is going, just their own little corner of it.

That's true for the press, too.

So, the media has gone with its favorite election-eve meme. The polls are tightening. Anything can happen.

What I think is that, in the current lingo, "It's all good."

If anything can happen, then any win is a good win. We're still "expected" to win, but if we win by 3-5 points now, it's a big win.

It has become pretty obvious that the press doesn't even believe its own story. I'm seeing a lot of hedging of bets. A CNN panel spent an entire show talking about how close it's getting, how Kerry and Edwards are surging, then they all predicted a Dean win.

And right now the trolls don't even know Kerry and Edwards exist. I haven't read silly lies about "Frenchie" Kerry or "Phony" Edwards on a right-wing site like Newsmax or Michnews or CNSNews in weeks. Instead I'm seeing nonstop (often amazingly-transparent) lies about the Good Goctor. That's the best way to know how they really feel. They're scared of us (with reason).

In fact some of the "second day" stories on what happens Monday are already being written.

The fact is this. We have already changed politics. We have already changed the political dynamic. All our opponents are copying us. We've gone from "Bush-lite" to "Dean-lite," and while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, why (as we said about Bush-lite) would anyone accept an imitation when the Real Thing is right at hand?

So just remember the task at hand, Perfect Stormers. It is to get out all of those "1s" at 6:30 Central on Monday, every single one, and hope your hard work has turned some 2s and 3s our way as well. Do your job and we'll have 40,000, 50,000, maybe 60,000 Deaniacs to party with. Then, whatever our number, let's see if our opponents can beat it.

Personally, I don't think they can. But what I think, what anyone thinks, doesn't matter at all. The only thing that matters is what you can do in the next 48 hours.


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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.