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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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Wednesday, April 21, 2004


"I request duty in Vietnam."

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, April 21, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Remember how they smeared Howard Dean. Never forget how they smeared Howard Dean. Well, it's Kerry's turn, and regardless of how you feel about the man, there's a duty here that we shall not let this stand. It shall not stand.

The right-wing media is making hay of the Boston Globe's assertion (based on Kerry's former CO, who is a registered Republican now) that one of Kerry's three Purple Hearts was for a "minor wound". No word on whether they consider his Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat V to be worthy of derision.

The fact that George W. Bush escaped Vietnam by assignment to a Champagne unit at Ellignton field - which he took time off for to run a campaign in Alabama - puts the sudden interest in the details of Kerry's medals by the GOP partisans in a self-mocking light.

Despite trottting out the occassional sock puppet, Kerry's military record is an example of true honor, something the President has never really risen to the challenge of. I wonder if Kerry's initial refusal to release the records amounted to a sucker-punch to the Bush campaign - after all, it virtually guaranteed that Kerry's service would get finely analyzed in the full public sphere.

And already we have calls by RNC Chair Gillespie that Kerry hasn't released "all" his records. Beautiful - shall we also point out that Bush has not released "all" his National Guard records as well? The service records issue is a tar pit for the Bush team. And Kerry comes out shining in comparison to his opponent - entirely without having to explicitly make the comparison himself.

The first line in Kerry's service records is "I request duty in Vietnam." Bush checked the box "Do Not Volunteer" for overseas duty on his application to join the Texas Air National Guard. Enough said.


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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.