Have you noticed the multi-blog conversation about the future of the Great Divide in American politics? Mark Schmitt wonders whether Kerry will get a honeymoon
after inauguration - from the left. Given that continued Republican control of one, possibly both houses of Congress is almost certain after November, Kerry will have to reach across the aisle and try to build moderate bridges in order for progress. Doing so will ensure that he gets vilified from the extremists at the furthest Left. Ezra argues that Kerry would be less beholden to the left
than, say Dean (who I've noted made explicit attempts
to speak across the Great Divide). Mark proposes a "1/21 Project" for discussing what comes after Inauguration in terms of restoring political dialouge and debate to the public sphere. However, as Matthew notes, there is no representative entity on the Right
that can provide the needed, truly conservative counterpoint. Rather, the present-day GOP is an alliance of social theocrats and corporatist lobbies, which uses ideology cynically. Mark Kleiman prints an email from a friend who argues that the Right is held together by the glue of common hatred of Liberalism
, which serves as their unifying force. Certainly hatred of Bush has a unifying effect on the Left, but Mark Schmitt's main point is that the Left's unity is ephemeral compared to the long, sustained unity-of-enmity on the Right. Kevin Drum is correct
that it's highly unlikely for any attempt to bridge the Great Divide to originate from the Right, less unlikely but still improbable that it will originate from the Left. What is needed is a new American Centrism, but that means an explicit rejection of the function of political parties themselves.
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.