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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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Sunday, April 04, 2004


Blog Battles

posted by Brian Ulrich at Sunday, April 04, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
I've been reluctant to post on this, because not being a political professional, I'm not sure how to handle it without getting into the "line of fire" so to speak.

But let's review.

Kos, a centerpiece of the Democratic netroots, said something stupid, and something with which I strongly disagree. He is offering explanations rather than the apology that seems to be called for. (Of course, his life has involved a lot more than mine has, so who knows what kind of legitimate emotional issues that leaves involving different types of military personnel.)

As a result, many on the right are waging a campaign to get campaigns to pull their ads from Daily Kos and stop accepting donations from his readers.

From his readers, you say? Yes, from his readers. And the reason for that, I suspect, is very simple. They fear the Democrats' Internet fund-raising. They know Daily Kos is more than a personal site. They know it is the de facto center of on-line Democratic party activism. And it is that aspect which they are attacking.

Another thing. John Kerry's campaign has delinked Kos. Now this is all coming, not over a full-fledged post, but over a comment made in the heat of an on-line comment discussion. We've seen this before, in the continual harvesting of Blog for America comments by some on the right to attack the Dean campaign. The Daily Kos situation is a little different, in that Kos is actually the host of the site in question. But I still think this is a point we need to examine. What is the nature of on-line discussion? What "ground rules" should we establish for how we interpret and use comments?

Until we figure this out, we might as well side with Abu Aardvark.

UPDATE: See also Atrios. I don't agree with his actions, but the issues he talks about are the same ones I'm drawing from all this.


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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.