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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, January 23, 2004


transcript: New Hampshire Presidential Debate

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, January 23, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
There's quite a lot of ground covered here, but what caught my attention was at the beginning, where Peter Jennings asks Kerry and then Dean about how they would respond to the inevitable GOP portrayal of them as tax-raising liberal fanatics. After Kerry answered, it was Dean's turn:

I'm going to take a different position than everybody. I think we ought to get rid of the whole Bush tax cut, and here's why: There was no middle-class tax cut.

Sixty percent of us got $304. Has your property tax gone up more than $304 because the president cut cops on the beat, refused to fund special education, refused to fund No Child Left Behind? How about your college tuition? Has that gone up more that $304 because the president cut 84,000 kids off Pell Grants in order to pay for the tax cuts for people like Ken Lay?

DEAN: Your health care, has that gone up because the president cut 500,000 kids off health care?

There was no middle-class tax cut in this country. Somebody has to stand up and say, we cannot have everything. We can't have tax cuts, pay for health care, pay for No Child Left Behind and pay for an adequate defense.

I believe we ought to have balanced budgets. I've done it 12 times. That is the real issue in this campaign. The future health of this country depends on a balanced budget. And we've got to start telling the truth and stop making promises.

Since Gephardt is out of the race, Dean is the only one left to make this argument, and he's absolutely right. He didn't mention any payroll tax cut issue in his response, but that's likely because he is waiting for the President's budget so the Dean plan can have solid numbers to compare against.

The other part that drew my interest was (of course) Sen. Edwards' response to the question about Islam. I frankly didn't have a problem with it - it's discussed in more detail over at UNMEDIA and I invite anyone who is interested to visit to discuss.


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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.