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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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Monday, April 05, 2004


unlink Kerry, save Kos

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 05, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
My position on Kos: He said a dumb thing, then apologized. I think he deserves benefit of the doubt given his history. End of story. Kos most vocal critics are unwilling to grant him that benefit, but they do so from the cover of pseudonymity and thus are immune from being held accountable to the same standard. I, for one, welcome the implicit acknowledgement that the Left is held to a higher moral standard than the Right. We may, as a group, fail to meet it, but it speaks well of the expectations.

Like Kos himself, I can't fault the Kos advertisers for pulling their ads. Running for office is a complex political calculus, which it is pointless to pretend doesn't exist. As Kos keeps saying, don't punish those who withdraw, reward those who stay - such as Jeff Seeman. For the record, Dean Nation is ready to accept any ad from any candidate.

In fact I will make it a policy that Dean Nation will allow free advertising - from Democrats or Republicans alike - who also place a paid ad on Daily Kos AND link to Daily Kos from their blogroll section. (A link to us would also be nice, but not neccessary). I encourage all Dean Nationals to spread the word on the various other liberal blogs about this policy.

As Jerome points out, the Kerry weblog team has burdened themselves with the responsibility of policing every weblog on their blogroll for potential exploitation by the Right. They are welcome to their burden. I however suggest that the proper response is to de-link the Kerry blog from as many liberal blogrolls as possible - a slap on Kerry's wrist, so to speak.

Further I advise all blogs listed on the Kerry blogroll to write to the campaign and request that their link be removed, following Atrios's example.

Finally, I will continue to support Kerry by linking to his contribution page, but I will no longer use my Kerry Team link. The only Contribute link to Kerry's campaign that I will promote on my blogs is via Daily Kos. In my opinion, it would be best if ALL blogsphere donations to Kerry were done solely through the Kos link. I encourage any other liberal bloggers to add the following link to their pages if they agree:

Save Kos! Fund Kerry

UPDATE: a commentator at Daily Kos makes a fair accusation that de-linking Kerry is tit-for-tat. I respond in detail there. The rationale here is - as Atrios has pointed out - the Kerry campaign and many Democratic candidates in general have bought into the GOP attack cycle, legitimizing these tactics. As Kos says, we shouldnt punish the campaigns that withdrew ads (doing so truly would be cutting off our noses to spite our faces). We should reward good behavior instead. That's why i am offering free advertising on Dean Nation (which still gets about 500-1000 hits a day, so we aint dead yet post-Dean).

Also, delinking Kerry is a symbolic gesture of isolation. If Kerry's web team feels that the camdidate should beheld responsible for everything any logger who links to them or linked by them writes - then that's absurd, but it's also their decision. Frankly I think that it hurts Kerry by giving and legitimizing the GOP moralizing crusade. They've opened a can of worms.

By delinking Kerry, we insulate ourselves from having to watch what we say and censor ourselves. Then and only then can we be free to critique the Right without fear of consequence.

And by asking Kerry to delink ourselves, we insulate Kerry from our words and undercut the argument of "fellow-travelerhood" that the Right continously invokes when it comes to ANSWER but conveniently ignores when it comes to courting the white-supremacist vote.


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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.