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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, April 16, 2004


Dean Was Right

posted by Christopher at Friday, April 16, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Mark Shields wrote a great Opinion/Analysis on a few days ago. He notes that last December when Dean said that America was no safer for having captured Saddam Hussein he was widely criticized. As the death toll mounts and we face more heightened alerts - and the called evacuation of American personnel from Saudia Arabia - Dean once again looks prescient and like the only guy out there telling the truth. How come a former Governor from a tiny state can figure this stuff out, but national leaders with whole teams dedicated to foreign and domestic policies cannot seem to grasp it?!

Makes you proud to be a Dean supporter.

An excerpt: "Time for Apologies" by Mark Shields

Do you remember when Saddam Hussein -- who at the time was dividing his time between a hole in the ground and a shed piled with dirty clothes and was obviously not commanding any organized opposition -- was captured last December 14?

Former Vermont Governor and then-Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean actually dared to spread the ugly truth that, while a very good thing, "the capture of Saddam has not made America safer."

Such candor brought down the wrath of Dean opponent Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, who fumed, "Howard Dean has climbed into his own spider hole if he believes the capture of Saddam has not made America safer."

Lieberman looks like the soul of restraint compared to Wall Street Journal opinion columnist James Taranto, who wrote: "It's not easy to cram so much idiocy, mendacity and arrogance into nine words. ... Dean's assertion is impossible to support rationally."

As more young Americans daily make their last, long trip home from Iraq -- in body bags -- how many of their families and neighbors feel safer because Saddam Hussein is today in custody?

Do you think any one of the 40,000 or so foreign policy-national security gurus who ridiculed and condemned Howard Dean, last December, has for so much as a microsecond thought about apologizing or had even a flash of self-doubt?

Everyone, of course, is entitled to her own opinion, but not to his own facts. In a democracy, the informed consent of the governed depends upon their free access to the truth.

Americans were urged and encouraged by the nation's leaders to make the most serious of all judgments -- the awesome decision to go to war -- because of the weapons of mass destruction the despot controlled and would not hesitate to use against the United States.

None of that was true.


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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.