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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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Thursday, April 01, 2004


So What Happens Now

posted by Dana at Thursday, April 01, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Sorry I've been away. I've gone back to my career as a tech analyst. I'll never make a living in politics.

But I wanted to return for a moment and suggest something that the Democracy in America site is ignoring.

Howard Dean is no longer running.

I wish he were. He'd have a much better chance against Bush than John Kerry does. But Kerry beat the bloggers, he beat the grassroots, he's the nominee, and that's it.

So what happens now?

What happens now, according to Howard Dean, is we in the grassroots start running for stuff. What happens now is that we elect councilmembers, mayors, legislators, Congress critters.

What upsets me today is that the "regular Democratic blogs" like Daily Kos Atrios, Hoffmania et al (go to the blogrolls of these find products for names and links) are doing a much better job of this than DFA.

And they're making money at it.

They're doing it with Blogads, linked to the sites of specific candidates. They're doing it with calls, inside the copy, for contributions of time and money to specific candidates.

Exhibit A: Stephanie Herseth. Herseth nearly beat ex-governor Bill Janklow in 2002. Then Janklow killed someone with his car and quit his seat. So there's a special election there in June.

The bloggers have already been so effective that the GOP went directly after her Blogad, calling it a "secret Web page" aimed at getting out-of-state donations.

Only in a GOP imagination can a public clickable contribution page become a "secret." Imagine if such an attack had been launched against Dean. We would have laughed it out of the park.

But in Herseth's case, the Blogads are gone.

This is the kind of stuff DFA can do, now, to help win for the progressive cause, now. Howard Dean says this is bigger than Howard Dean, and it is.

Make it so.


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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.