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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, July 19, 2004


Dean Hits Nader Where It Hurts

posted by Christopher at Monday, July 19, 2004 permalink View blog reactions

Great article in Salon about the Dean-Nader Debate. On balance, the reporter concedes that Dean won this debate hands down. The story concludes with this line:

"Since losing the Democratic nomination, Dean has campaigned as a stalwart for Kerry and created his own activist organization, Democracy for America. He has taken on the mission of protecting from Nader the flock he has shepherded. Unable to offer cogent responses to Dean's charges, Nader frantically roams the countryside demanding his relevance."

An excerpt:

But the most entertaining -- and revealing -- moments came during Dean's repeated hammering of Nader for the perceived compromises he was making to maintain his precarious candidacy. Again, he returned to the issue of Nader's support in Oregon from Republican-leaning religious conservative groups.

"It is true," said Dean, "that the Oregon Family Council, which is a virulently antigay right-wing group, called up all their folks and tried to get them to go to the Oregon convention to sign your petition. I don't think that's the way to change the party ... The way to change this country is not to get into bed with right-wing antigay groups to try to get yourself on the ballot. That can't work."

Nader's response was to smear Dean as guilty of smearing. "You know what a legitimate smear is, Howard? It's a smear, premeditated and known. We don't even know this group. Don't try and tar us with this." Dean urged Nader to simply renounce the Oregon group.

"Dean parried effectively, with the directness that helped win him a fervent following during the primaries, before he crumpled after his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. "I'd grant you that there is significant corporate influence that we don't like," he said, and pointed out that Nader should not let the "perfect be the enemy of the good."

Dean continued: "I'm not running for president right now, not just because I lost in Iowa, but [because] I made the calculation that if I did, I would take away votes that would otherwise go to John Kerry and result in the reelection of George Bush. That is a national emergency, and we cannot have it. My argument simply is, When the house is on fire, it's not the time to fix the furniture."


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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.