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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, February 13, 2004


Dean Not At A Loss...

posted by Christopher at Friday, February 13, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Terrific article by Walter Shapiro about Dean's candor and refusal to offer up the platitudes of all the other candidates. This column reminds us all of what drew us to Dean in the first place, and why it's important to continue to support him as long as he remains in the race. If only some of his unabashed outspokenness would rub off on the rest of the field - he's already forced all the others back onto Democratic themes, perhaps he can also bring some spirit to the others as well. Keep giving 'em Hell, Howard!

UPDATE: (Aziz) here's a good excerpt:

Near the end of a question-and-answer session Thursday morning with voters at the 19th-century Oshkosh Opera House, a man in the balcony tossed a softball in Dean's direction. Identifying himself as a disgruntled 2000 Bush voter, the questioner lamented the president's failure to lessen partisan enmity in Washington and asked Dean what he would do to end gridlock on Capitol Hill.

The standard political answer would have been to piously vow to recreate the Era of Good Feeling in Washington, despite provocations from the opposition party. But such gooey prattle about fostering bipartisanship simply does not fit Dean's nature.

Squinting at his questioner through the glare of the TV lights, Dean said bluntly, "I haven't promised to go to Washington and unify everybody. And there's a reason for my not making that promise. I think it's important to stand up for what you believe in."

Then Dean uttered a few combative lines that encapsulated the strengths and weaknesses of his boom-or-bust campaign: "I'm not going to Washington to be a nice guy. I'm going to Washington to kick the right wing out."

It's exactly THIS that is why we fight for Dean.


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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.