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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 20, 2004



posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 20, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Have you ever wanted something so bad you went overboard?

Maybe it was a girl (or a boy). Maybe it was a game. Maybe it was a company policy.

So you went after him, her or it with everything you had. You refused to hear "no."

Trouble is, you didn't hear "yes" either.

That's what happened in Iowa. And it wasn't just Dean. It was us. All of us.

We canvassed and called, we wrote and we cheered, until our wrists were sore and our throats ached. Just like some men will give women jewels, trips and a bouquet, then lose her to some schlub who offered merely a single flower and his heart.

We tried too hard. All of us. Howard Dean failed? Maybe. But so did we.

We stopped trusting the clarity, the simplicity, the all-American rightness of our message. We tried to force the issue. And Iowans, figuring we could always find other voters, decided to save other souls, specifically those of John Kerry and John Edwards.

We got crunched. Maybe we even deserved it.

But frankly I am sick and tired of the moaning-and-groaning among some Dean supporters. I'm sick and tired of how some of the weak-kneed now want to jump ship. I'm sick and tired of the trolls, and their sidekicks in the media.

We're behind. I guarantee you polls tomorrow in New Hampshire will show we're behind. I guarantee they're going to say that "Howard Dean has to knock his opponents on their backsides in that debate, or he's through." Some will say he's through anyway.

He's only through when we say he's through. Despite what Edwards and Kerry did to us yesterday, they are not going to be taking near the heat we are this week. It's going to be written that we have to win or we're dead.

But we'll decide when and if we're dead. We still have the power.

We just have to trust the people more, walk more humbly, take yes for an answer, and fight the 50-state fight.

Bill Clinton won neither Iowa nor New Hampshire. George W. Bush lost Iowa in 1988, and Ronald Reagan lost it to Bush in 1980. Carter lost Iowa to undecided.

The fight has barely begun. It's what we here like to call Common Sense.

The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Enough with the moaning-and-groaning. Get back to work.


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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.