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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, January 27, 2004


Henry Cabot Lodge

posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink View blog reactions

Before you look at the last polls (which show Kerry pulling away), and before we see any real results (which may be quite different) a little historical perspective for y'all.

Back in 1964 the Republican Party faced a choice between fighting or accomodating. Democrats had been in power most of the previous 32 years. The only exception, Dwight Eisenhower, had come from the accomodationist or "Dewey" wing of the party, and his vice president, Richard Nixon, failed election in 1960.

But there was a new voice in the world, a Republican telling his fellow party members that they needed to stand up for themselves, unafraid, that they must have Republican principles. He even had a book, "The Conscience of a Conservative."

The man, of course, was Barry Goldwater.

Now I know I'm going to be roundly criticized for this post, because, in the end, Goldwater lost the election. But Goldwater also changed history. Goldwater took over the Republican Party for conservatism, which was the first step toward taking over the country. He was a very important figure.

Anyway, you may be interested in knowing how Goldwater did in New Hampshire.

He got stomped.

Goldwater finished in a near-tie for second with Nelson Rockefeller, at about 20% of the vote, and the winner was a "favorite son," Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. Lodge, who had been Nixon's running mate in 1960, was an accomodationist, which we'd now call a "liberal" Republican. He was cagey, had made a career of working at the feet of rampant Democracy, and he represented the fear that a full-throated roar on behalf of principle would not work.

In the end, remember, Lodge was wrong. In the end, Goldwater won the nomination. Yes, he failed at the election, but he turned his party, and he turned history.

I said this six months ago. If that's the worst you can say of Howard Dean, and I think it is, then he is a major, vital, important figure in our time, and his cause is worth fighting for.


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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.