"We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that's what this election is about." -- Barack Obama, DNC keynote address, July 2004

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Friday, April 30, 2004


SEIU from the inside

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The link goes to a long narrative by someone who applied to work with the SEIU during the Dean campaign. It's a fascinating look at teh counterculture of the union shops, which does a great job of highlighting how the unions are broken without denying the very real neccessity for their existence. It's a thoughtful read.

Thursday, April 29, 2004


Daily Review

posted by barb at Thursday, April 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
A Message from Governor Dean

Taking DFA to the Next Level

Gore gives $6M left from 2000 campaign to Dems

Teachers back Kerry

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


endorsement: Jennifer Brannan

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, April 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Jennifer Brannan for President! Rather, for The American Candidate reality television show:

AMERICAN CANDIDATE will attempt to identify one individual who has the qualifications and qualities to be President of the United States. This summer, AMERICAN CANDIDATE will debut with 12 contestants from all walks of life. Over the course of 10 weeks, those 12 will face-off against each other in a series of challenges designed to test their presidential mettle and to show viewers what really goes on in the making of a presidential candidate. Week-by-week, the original pool of candidates will be winnowed down. The final episode will be a showdown between the remaining two candidates, and one person will emerge victorious -- the "American Candidate."

The winner gets $200,000 and a nationwide media appearance after the show so the "American Candidate" can make his or her address to the nation.

I know Jennifer personally and I can vouch for her personification of the Dean Dream: young newcomers to the political process who trancend mere partisanship and have a platform based on principles, open for dialog, and committed to the interests f the nation as a whole, not just red or blue states therein.

Jennifer's Candidacy page has her position on the issues, which I personally think are wonderfully representative of the moderate and rational mainstream. But the larger picture is that this American Candidate process is exactly the kind of vehicle for re-validating the American political process in the minds of the larger disillusioned group of voters that Dean dreamed of reaching out to. I want to promote Jennifer because I support that larger cause as well.

If you'd like to join me in supporting Jennifer, please click over to her page and click on the "Support Me!" link right next to her photo on the right side.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Arlen Specter

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Atrios jokingly endorsed Republican Pat Toomey for the Senate, mainly because it's obvious that Democrat Joe Hoeffel will have an easier time running in opposition to a far-rightwing nut than against the moderate incumbent Republican like Arlen Specter. I've stated before that I am a non-Democrat liberal, and this race is a good example of how partisanship bias often works against the same principles that we liberals use as the foundation of our critique of the right wing. Explicitly wishing for the fanatics to win on the other side is a very... Republican... tactic, because it justifies and perpetuates the increasing trend towards pure partisanship rather than responsible dialouge and debate.

The reason that Dean's campaign appealed to me was because it sought - explicitly - to bridge those partisan gulfs. This is not as true of his post-campaign DFA v2.0 organization, sadly. But the longer view remains valid - that by fostering respect and moderation on both sides of the aisle, we can achieve lasting change and reform to our political process. Single-mindedly replacing every (R) in Congress with a (D) will not achieve that goal. Adopting the Republican mindview of Us vs Them will not bring new voters to the process and give them a feel that anything has changed, and that there is something worth voting for.

I'm going against the grain here. But I am endorsing Arlen Specter for the Republican primary. I don't live in PA so my endorsement is worth less than the electrons on my screen, but it's a symbolic stand, not a pragmatic one.

Should Specter win against Toomey, then the choice between Hoeffel and Specter becomes a real choice, not a knee-jerk reaction. That is what the citizens of Pennsylvania deserve.

Sunday, April 25, 2004


Americans Believe Lies

posted by Dana at Sunday, April 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The biggest problem we have today, and the biggest reason I think Howard Dean lost, is that Americans believe lies.

Juan Cole parsed this today in recounting testimony by James Schlessinger to the Senate Foreign Relations committee last week.

A new poll shows that as of mid-March, 57% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein had given substantial support to al-Qaeda. Worse, 45% actually say that "clear evidence" has been found in Iraq to support this allegation! As for weapons of mass destruction 45 percent say they believe Saddam had them before the recent war, and 22 percent say that he had a major program for developing them.

There is no documentary or physical evidence for any of these assertions.

One result of this Cole saw firsthand was Schlessinger forcing Rhode Island Republican Lincoln Chaffee into meek obedience on neocon Iraq policy and on the falsehood that CIA director George Tenet had testified to links between Bin Laden and Hussein.

Another result is that neocons like Victor Davis Hanson can get away with their Lady MacBeth acts. Davis blamed the present Iraq crisis on Carter not "taking out" Iran when "he had the chance." Other Republicans are taking Ashcroft's lead in blaming commission member Jamie Gorelick for 9-11.

John Kerry believed the lies back in 2002 and backed the war. Dean believed the lies enough to say we have to "stay the course" in Iraq during the campaign. But if the whole war was based on lies, and if we're now prepared to destroy the city of Fallujah based on lies, how much "better off" are the Iraqis than before, and how much "different" are we than those Ba'athists who followed Saddam Hussein himself?

How many Iraqis have we killed -- including innocents -- and how many more will we kill by November? Based on what?

Based on lies.

I don't absolve myself from this. I agreed 100% with Dean's formulation. We shouldn't have gone in, but we're stuck with it and have to "win." But at this point what can be "won?" The neocons, like Richard Perle, still want to install Ahmad Chalabi. The Administration is giving power back to the Ba'athists. The "democratic alternative" is to hand power to the theocrats, the Shi'ite mullahs of Najaf -- maybe not al-Sadr but the "moderate" mullahs like al-Sistani.

And meanwhile our best and brightest are dieing. Why? Why won't this blood wash off our hands?

It's because we continue to believe in lies, and the lying liars who tell them. It is up to those of us in Dean Nation, I believe, to do everything we can to change this. Before we can go forward, we must look back clearly. If we can't see the truth of today, we can't hope to change tomorrow.

Saturday, April 24, 2004



posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 24, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Personally, I found the story of Pat Tillman deeply moving but unexceptional. By which I mean, that I think of this man as an Army Ranger, and the fact that he gave up a lucrative football contract incidental to the fact that he sacrificed his life for something he believed in.

It's Tillman's ultimate, not his financial sacrifice, that is the issue. We have a nation founded on the ideal of personal liberty. That liberty comes at cost. During World War II, that liberty was truly at risk, because there was a force of arms and might that - had it succeeded in conquering Europe - would have rivaled our own, and plunged us into eternal conflict.

The war today is about ideas, but we are not at risk in the same way. People speak of how the Islamists want to enslave us all and force us to convert to Shari'a and wear burkas and whatnot, but this is ultimately a fantasists' dream. There is no mechanism by which those who wage war against us as they did on 9-11 can actually implement their deranged fantasies, any more than these guys will ever succeed in liberating the Republic of Texas from the Northern Aggressor.

The only way that these people can ever hope to actually defeat the United States - as opposed to killing US citizens and destroying US property - is to amass the same kind of warfare capability that the Nazis almost achieved. Or to cause us to sacrivfice the ideals by which we define ourselves, but that's a discussion for another day.

The point is that Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan was indeed blood that watered the tree of our liberty, because Afghanistan remains a crucible for Al-Qaeda to pursue it's war against us. Any foothold that Al-Qaeda gains must be eradicated, to keep them marginalized and forever unable to amass the mindshare that could someday lead to the kind of massed-millions taking up arms against us as we saw in World War II.

However, the photos of our soldiers coming home from Iraq - draped in flags - is something else. They died not in the service of our freedom, but in the service of an experiment - an experiment that might, under better leadership, have been worth pursuing. The incompetence of the present Administration has not escaped honest conservative analysts, but convincing Bush's true believers of such is a pointless task.

Just as there's a real problem with hiding these photos, there's a real problem with releasing them. Josh Marshall explains:

For many opponents of the war there is an unmistakable interest in getting these photographs before the public in order to weaken support for the war. There's no getting around that.
But one needn't oppose the war to find something morally unseemly about the strict enforcement of the regulations barring any images of the reality behind these numbers we keep hearing on TV. There is some problem of accountability here.

Also see Phil Carter's thoughts. To some extent, Marshall understates the case - these photos have been eagerly seized upon as mere symbolic fodder to argue that Bush is wrong and the war is wrong without any real attempt to understand what the photos actually mean. They are just ammunition, and the cynical use of them as such is partly why the strict regulations against their publication exist in the first place.

These photos need to be seen NOT because they have any relevance to President Bush, but because they remind we, the People, of the cost of war. They remind us of the high standard which accompanies any claim upon our sons and daughters to once again water the tree of liberty. They demand from us that we hold our government accountable for how they spend this precious currency. Thy require that we be more informed, that we educate ourselves, and ask critical questions about the arguments given for war.

Is it worse to do a thing badly or not at all? The mis-management of Iraq will have outcomes yet unknown, and I pray for success but with little optimism under the auspices of the present Administration. I will vote Kerry, not Bush, not to punish Bush for starting a war but to allow Kerry to win it. But these photos need to be seen in the meantime, because when next a President goes before the People and says, we must again water the tree of liberty, we must remember these draped flags. Not just Republicans or Liberal Hawks or Leftist peaceniks - all of us.

Ultimately, we sent these men to Iraq. That's what these photos tell us.


descent into the Vague

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 24, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I've been compulsively checking Change for America's blog since launch, desperate for any hint of something concrete ever since my Open Letter to the group two months ago. The blog has been mostly links roundups and general topics since, but I always felt that there was something brewing back there, something worth waiting for.

Oh, frail notions disabused! Yesterday, Joe Drymala posted to the CFA blog, an entry vapidly titled "Unite for Change."

Here at Change for America, we're building an organization designed to enact progressive change through grassroots organizing and fundraising -- to fight for those issues that made us all believe in in the progressive movement in the first place.

Is it just me, or does this sound like a car commercial? I'm giving up on hoping CFA can bring anything meaningful to the table. I've been giving them the benefit of the doubt, but it's become soberingly clear that CFA has no ideas - and probably never did.

I think they hoped to channel the netroots and hope that we came up with something amazing for them to harness, and thus replicate the Deanalanche. But what's missing here, unlike with the Dean campaign, is an active leader who can take charge, and actively inspire the grassroots. (memo: repeating the words "change", "unite", and "progessive" in an endless random pattern is not inspiring).

What suggestions do I have, you ask? At the very least, a Scoop-driven site would be a better start. Active posts from Trippi educating people about GOTV and caucus tactics based on his experience drawn from the Carter and Dean campaigns. A book review of the month. An internship program every summer for research using Lexis into building a database of who said what and when (for example: what was Paul Bremer saying about the Bush Administration's approach to terrorism in February 2001?). An archive of political ads and public discussions about what makes them tick. And that's just for starters.

There's a vast pool of skills out there that is untapped. There's a small pool of experience out there - much of it concentrated in places like CFA - that can provide an outlet for those skills by giving gthem direction. There's a lot of hard work and slogging that needs to be done, far more than just telling people "go run for office" or to "unite for change". CFA and Trippi have a frare opportunity to leverage their know-how into something concrete, but it never materialized. And now the window of opportunity is likely gone for good. The worst thing is, that they don't even realize what potential they had to waste.

Friday, April 23, 2004


Pat Tillman

posted by Dana at Friday, April 23, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
How we as a nation deal with the death of former NFL safety Pat Tillman will probably determine who wins this election.

Tillman volunteered for Special Forces after 9-11, turning down a $3.6 million contract to serve his country. He was killed while with his brother on patrol in Afghanistan.

Announcing his death, an ESPN announcer said Tillman died "weeding out remnants of the Taliban in Afghanistan." There are some terrible lies in that sentence fragment. Tillman wasn't gardening. The Taliban consists of far more than remnants -- they control most of the countryside. Had we finished the job in Afghanistan two years ago, instead of getting distracted by Iraq, Tillman might not have been there this week.

But we know what the neocons will do with this. They will use Tillman's death to tie Afghanistan and Iraq together. They will use him as a piece of propaganda. They are already doing that. Some comments from the far-right Little Green Footballs:

I wonder what Kos and Indymedia will spew about Tillman's death?

If only the usual suspects on the Left loved American a hundredth as much as he did...

if (when) the DUmmies and/or indymedia designate this MAN as a "merc", may I suggest we pay them a visit en masse?

Pat sacrificed his life so the likes of Michael Moore can have the freedom to chortle about what kind of a chump Pat must have been.

There is a "rally round the flag" instinct when your side takes casualties, no matter the cause. Pat Tillman was a great man fighting in a just war. We can't forget that, even as we mourn other, equally-great, less-famous men (and women) dieing in a needless war of choice that denied Tillman, and those he served with, the reinforcements and material needed to get their job done.

Let's just remember the game here. We have a strategy for winning this war. It involves de-Americanizing Iraq, getting back together with our allies, fighting the war of ideas, living up to our creed again, and using water (not fire) to fight fire.

Why are we still in Afghanistan? Because Bush didn't finish the job. That's why Pat Tillman is dead. That's why his brother is still in the line of fire. That's more nuanced than the right's answer, "kill them all," but focusing on that truth is our nation's only hope of winning the War on Terror.

Thursday, April 22, 2004


Dean Campaign's Cash

posted by Brian Ulrich at Thursday, April 22, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
According to the AP, Howard Dean's Presidential campaign made over $600,000 last month. About $200,000 went to his polling firm, $150,000 to Joe Trippi's ad firm, $28,000 to the "Dean Team," and $140,000 to a firm that helps campaigns with financial reports and contributions. Almost $60,000 was returned to contributors.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


"I request duty in Vietnam."

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, April 21, 2004 permalink 0 comments 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.


The Iraq Generation

posted by Dana at Wednesday, April 21, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
If you want to know what's happening in Iraq the best source is probably Juan Cole.

Cole, a professor at the University of Michigan specializing in South Asia, is a columnist, a "go-to guy" for talk shows when they cover the subject, and a very good blogger.

Today I especially want to point you to one paragraph in a recent post, almost a throwaway line. But if it doesn't chill you to the bone, you can't be chilled:

One aspect of the bad news at this and another hearing was covered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (i.e. it is on the ball)-- which is the wide agreement that the US is stuck in Iraq militarily for at least 5 years, and can't expect really substantial help from allies. I personally thing it is even worse than that. I have said I think this generation of young Americans will be the Iraq generation.

I boldfaced that last because it's so important. If we are stuck in Iraq for a generation, I don't think we can win. I think we'll be bled to death, and the future will belong to China or India. A generation in Iraq will be the end of America as a great power.

Howard Dean said repeatedly during the campaign that we can't bug out. We broke it, we have to fix it. But if it can't be fixed (and it can't) is there an alternative policy available? Like, handing the whole issue to the UN, presenting Bush and Cheney before the War Crimes Court at the Hague, apologizing profusely to the world, and getting the heck out of there?

I'm expecting some firm disagreements with that last paragraph, folks. Please don't disappoint me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Rove: Go, Dean, go.. please

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 20, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
excerpt from Bob Woodward's new book, courtesy of the Washington Post:

Previously, Rove had claimed he was salivating that the Democrats would nominate former Vermont governor Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential race. But Dean had imploded and Sen. John F. Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, had won 12 of the first 14 Democratic primary contests and appeared to be headed for the nomination. Politics is a game of recovery, adaptability and optimism. So Rove had a new line.

"The good news for us is that Dean is not the nominee," Rove now argued to an associate in his second-floor West Wing office. Dean's unconditional opposition to the Iraq war could have been potent in a face-off with Bush. "One of Dean's strengths, though, was he could say, I'm not part of that crowd down there." But Kerry was very much a part of the Washington crowd, and he had voted in favor of the resolution for war.


what is the Great American concensus?

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 20, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Generational Storm left a great question in an earlier thread: What are the things we can agree on across the Great Divide? Or rather, what exactly are the shared values of a Great American Concensus?

an open thread to think outside the box. And an invitation to others who may have some insights and help define context...

Monday, April 19, 2004


Bridging the Great Divide

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 19, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Have you noticed the multi-blog conversation about the future of the Great Divide in American politics? Mark Schmitt wonders whether Kerry will get a honeymoon after inauguration - from the left. Given that continued Republican control of one, possibly both houses of Congress is almost certain after November, Kerry will have to reach across the aisle and try to build moderate bridges in order for progress. Doing so will ensure that he gets vilified from the extremists at the furthest Left. Ezra argues that Kerry would be less beholden to the left than, say Dean (who I've noted made explicit attempts to speak across the Great Divide). Mark proposes a "1/21 Project" for discussing what comes after Inauguration in terms of restoring political dialouge and debate to the public sphere. However, as Matthew notes, there is no representative entity on the Right that can provide the needed, truly conservative counterpoint. Rather, the present-day GOP is an alliance of social theocrats and corporatist lobbies, which uses ideology cynically. Mark Kleiman prints an email from a friend who argues that the Right is held together by the glue of common hatred of Liberalism, which serves as their unifying force. Certainly hatred of Bush has a unifying effect on the Left, but Mark Schmitt's main point is that the Left's unity is ephemeral compared to the long, sustained unity-of-enmity on the Right. Kevin Drum is correct that it's highly unlikely for any attempt to bridge the Great Divide to originate from the Right, less unlikely but still improbable that it will originate from the Left. What is needed is a new American Centrism, but that means an explicit rejection of the function of political parties themselves.


The remaking of an American conscensus

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 19, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Time was, that agreement between DailyKos and Tacitus wasn't a noteworthy event. However, their combined praise for the book, Before the Storm by Rick Perlstein is significant for its relevance to the Dean movement. Kos writes:

It's a brilliant look at how Goldwater founded the modern conservative movement.

The parallels to today are startling, a sort of Dean bizarro world stuck on opposite day -- a Republican Party that was trying to be "Democrat-lite" and an establishment hostile to "outsider" forces. With Goldwater railing against his party's establishment and the special interests that controlled it. Throw in innovative use of tactics and technology (Goldwater pioneered the use of direct mail) and a crushing defeat, and you've got the Dean phenomenon.

The big question is whether the Dean movement can survive Dean's demise. The conservative movement not only survived Goldwater, but used his defeat to fuel their current dominance.

As Kos notes, we want the parallel to continue beyond "crushing defeat" :) However, there is a different dynamic at play. Dean explicitly wanted to work across the party and cultural lines that have been drawn since Goldwater. Those fault lines were in fact part of Goldwater's strategy - where the conservative movement today is all about Us vs Them, and the Left slavishly tries to copy that divisive approach, Dean articulated a genuinely inclusive message founded on shared values. The single most important thing Dean said during the campaign was his comment about pickup trucks and confederate flags - the underlying message got lost in the target practice on an upstart front-runner, and the intrinsic distrust between people on opposite sides of the Divide, but the core ethos remains applicable.

What is our challenge? I believe it is to reject labales such as conservative, liberal, and progressive. Litmus tests on fringe issues need to be disavowed. We need to reach outwards.

The Right is too disciplined to ever achieve this unity. It has to start with us. I want Dean Nation to be a place that can happen. Rather than Goldwater's vision of eternal Us vs Them, we need to re-make the American concensus. Dean gave us the raw material but the power, as always, remains with us.


How Much Backbone, Dean Nation?

posted by Dana at Monday, April 19, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
One reason I think we lost the primary was Dr. Dean’s comparing his own “straight talk” campaign with that of his idol, Harry Truman.

Truman was an accidental President, rising to power on Franklin Roosevelt’s death in 1945. Truman’s 1948 win over Thomas E. Dewey was a big upset. More important, Truman lost both Congressional elections held under his watch. And in 1952 we got Eisenhower.

Fact is, Truman was exhausting, and McCarthyism, a paler form of Stalinist repression, best fit the national mood. In our time we have what I call “religious McCarthyism,” with a zealot in the White House. Would Truman have beaten “Tail Gunner Joe” if Joe McCarthy were the President in 1948? Would Democrats have run him?

I strongly doubt it. I don’t know whether we’re running Tom Dewey or Alger Hiss for President. Like Dewey, Kerry’s the experienced hand with the respectable record, the guy who does well in the polls. John Kerry is also everything Hiss was – tall, patrician, connected, and careful. Democrats think his war record immunizes him from attack, but Hiss wasn’t immunized. And we all know what happened to Dewey.

So the question I have today is, how much backbone is required, not just for victory, but for governance? Democrats have said we have too much. I say Kerry has too little. Must we modulate in fear of criticism, or are we better off telling it like it is no matter the consequences?

I think this is an open question even here. After all our April endorsement went to Martin Frost, a careful, incumbent Texas Democrat, rather than to, say, Richard Morrison, who is taking on Tom DeLay frontally and even has a fine blog.

I’m conflicted on this myself. I approved the Frost endorsement. Let’s not attack each other here. Let’s ask the more basic question, what do we want to be from here on out? Do we want to be the margin of victory? Do we want to be the liberal vanguard? Or do we want to highlight profiles in courage?

Saturday, April 17, 2004


weekend open thread: draft Trippi?

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 17, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Lavoisier1794 in comments posed this interesting question:

Democratic congressional candidate Ann Tamlyn has announced she is dropping out of the race for Maryland's 1st Congressional District, citing a serious illness.
The Democratic Central Committees for the district's 12 counties will accept applications for Tamlyn's replacement, said Josh White, executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Joe Trippi lives in this district. He could instanly raise enough money online to make a credible run against Gilchrest. He doesn't seem to be doing much these days and CFA is a bit overshadowed by DFA v. 2.0. It would still be an uphill battle, but with enough money this seat could be competitive (One analyst predicted a Dem would need $900k to run competively here).
Such a campaign could also prove to be a validation of the whole concept on grassroots
Would anyone be willing to start a Draft Trippi campaign? Would massive emails to CFA do the trick? Would visits from local party leaders do it?

Read Lavoisier's diary at dKos for more details. I don't know if Trippi would want to get back in the game. He was pretty seriously done after the Dean campaign with all the crap. Hes probably burned out on political campaigns for the next decade or two.

And, what would Trippi's qualifications be? What does he bring to the table?

Friday, April 16, 2004


Support Martin Frost for TX-CD32

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 16, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Bill Scher (who will be on Air America Radio tonight) points out another example of Dean's legacy on politics - and Kerry's campaign

Earlier this week, the NY Times reported that a major Silicon Valley businessman, a Dem donor, is turning his back on Kerry and the Dems this year.

Why? Because the Dem position to minimize the outsourcing of American jobs would hurt his bottom line.

What you don't hear right now is the giant sucking sound of Dems kissing this guy's ass.

Because Kerry is raising so much money from the grassroots, he doesn't have to kow-tow to this rich guy's concerns.

That means the $100 Revolution is working.

I am genuinely conflicted about this. The only way to blunt the influence of the special interests is to keep the $100 Revolution alive. But I also feel that there isn't enough transparency - nor influence - over the way the money is spent for me to be as comfortable giving money to an establishment Democrat.

I think that the best way to proceed is to continue donating money - the only currency which the grassroots have, since our vote is essentially a given - to Democratic candidates. In the oipen thread earlier this week, several names were suggested but no consensus, as to whom we should support. I've somewhat arbitrarily chosen Martin Frost, who seeks re-election in TX-CD32 despite the redistricting obscenity of Tom Delay. I'll let Anna fill us in on more about Frost (note: Frost is not a Blogads contributor to Dean Nation).

Click the link above to donate to Frost's campaign - and add $.44 to your donation so his campaign knows it is from Dean Nation! And let's start to rebuild our influence and keep Dean's legacy alive.


UPDATE: The Frost campaign responds immediately!


Thank you for contacting us and for your support. I eagerly anticipate the $0.44 mark coming across my monitor.

Thanks again for your support. Together we will win!

Jess Fassler, Campaign Manager
Martin Frost Campaign


Dean Was Right

posted by Christopher at Friday, April 16, 2004 permalink 0 comments 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.

Thursday, April 15, 2004


Multiple PDBs warned the President

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 15, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Washington Post has a must-read piece that reveals the Aug. 6th PDB, which preceded Bush's month-long Crawford vacaction, was just one in a series of warnings.

By the time a CIA briefer gave President Bush the Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief headlined "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US," the president had seen a stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda's intentions. So had Vice President Cheney and Bush's top national security team, according to newly declassified information released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In April and May 2001, for example, the intelligence community headlined some of those reports "Bin Laden planning multiple operations," "Bin Laden network's plans advancing" and "Bin Laden threats are real."

The intelligence included reports of a hostage plot against Americans. It noted that operatives might choose to hijack an aircraft or storm a U.S. embassy. Without knowing when, where or how the terrorists would strike, the CIA "consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil," according to one of two staff reports released by the panel yesterday.

"Reports similar to these were made available to President Bush in the morning meetings with [Director of Central Intelligence George J.] Tenet," the commission staff said.

Remember that for an intelligence warning to make it all teh way upstream to a Presidential Daily Briefing, it must have already passed rigorous veting. They are designed to bring action items to the President's attention, not provide briefing filler.


Dean at Dartmouth

posted by Conan at Thursday, April 15, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Sounds like Dean really left them laughing in New Hampshire today:

"If you give me anymore receptions like that, I'm putting my hat back into the ring -- joke! Only kidding!" laughs Howard Dean after being greeted with applause.

...It's Dean's first day of school in his new role; distinguished visiting fellow at Dartmouth...

"The stakes for 2004 are enormous because we now have a foreign policy based on false information given to American people, which has resulted in death of 600 brave American soldiers," Dean tells a crowd of about 300.

..."He really does care, it's not like it's just about getting the power, it was really about making the changes he was hoping for," says Dartmouth senior Melana Yanos...

Dean says his campaign is about changing the country, not about one race. And he insists he doesn't dwell on the race he lost.

"That's all woulda, coulda, shoulda, it's all speculation. Could we have been more organized, sure. Could we have done this, that? Of course we would have. In medicine we called that the retrospectroscope," laughs Dean. "It's the most accurate instrument ever seen."


Like I said: Lucky Dartmouth. Dean's talk was titled "The Long-term Implications of the 2004 Presidential Election." Oh and has anybody else noticed the DFA website has kept its link to Kos intact and starts off tonight's "Around the Blogs" feature with a link to a Kos story on recent state polls? Apparently somebody still has a backbone.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Bush Speaks, We Listen

posted by Brian Ulrich at Tuesday, April 13, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
And then we comment in this open thread.

Monday, April 12, 2004


The Trippi Thing

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 12, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Washington Monthly's pseudo-blog "Tilting at Windmills" (written by founding editor Charles Peters) has an entry on the old Trippi-payment controversy. Joe posted to the CFA blog in his own defense, but Peters argues that the real problem was the conflict of interest, not neccessarily the actual sum. The solution that Peters proposes is not paying consultants a percentage of the media buy, but rather a flat fee, which I think is wise advice. Heaven knows ow muc money Kerry is burning through for precisely the same conflict-of-interest motivations on the part of his media people.


Close races breaking the Democrats' way?

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 12, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
There's a lot of buzz about the Democratic candidates in close races this year. This Boston Globe article talsk extensively about some of the races to watch:

Control of the Senate could be critical for the next president. If Democrat John F. Kerry wins but faces a GOP-controlled Congress, it is unlikely he will be able to pass major domestic initiatives. If Bush wins reelection but is hamstrung by a Democratic-controlled Senate, he will have a more difficult time getting his judicial nominations approved.

In Oklahoma, Democrat Brad Carson's strong showing in early opinion polls could mean a gain for the Democrats and a new Native American senator. In Colorado's race to replace Republican Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Democrat Ken Salazar, leading in polls, could become the first Latino in the Senate in a quarter-century. Alaska, once a guaranteed Republican stronghold, now appears in play, with incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski -- who replaced her father, Frank, when he became governor -- trailing slightly in the polls.

And a contentious Republican primary in Pennsylvania could offer Democrats an opportunity there if challenger Pat Toomey upsets veteran moderate Republican Senator Arlen Specter April 27.

Barack Obama in Illinois is not mentioned in the article because his race, as of the latest polls - isn't even close. In the good way :)

What I think we need to do is focus on a single candidate each month and show them our Dean Nation love. Arguably, the Senate is more in play than the House, but we can support candidates for either house. Who should Dean Nation support for April? Leave your suggestions in the open thread (and I've linked the nomination thread at left so it won't scroll away). We will choose our candidate for April at the end of the week based on the feedback. Let's flex our muscle again!


For Ralph Nader, but Not for President

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 12, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean's op-ed in the New York Times argues the case against Nader's presidential run:

Everyone expects this year's presidential election to be decided by razor-thin margins in a few battleground states. Everyone also expects the candidacy of Ralph Nader to make the race between John Kerry and George Bush even closer. As I know from experience, however, voters have a way of proving everyone wrong.
But I don't believe that the best way to do justice to Ralph Nader's legacy is to vote for him for president. Re-electing George Bush would undo everything Ralph Nader has worked for through his entire career and, in fact, could lead to the dismantling of many of his accomplishments.

Voting for Ralph Nader, or for any third-party candidate for president, means a vote for a candidate who has no realistic shot of winning the White House. To underscore the danger of voting for any third-party candidate in elections this close, a statistic from the 2000 campaign may prove useful: a total of eight third-party candidates won more votes than the difference between Al Gore and George Bush nationwide.
Ralph Nader once said that your best teacher is your last mistake. Too many of us learned the consequences of not standing together four years ago.

Already, one conservative apologists is whoring for an Instapundit link, making hay out ofthe fact that Dean mentions Bush X times and Nader Y times, but Kerry only once. Given that the entire essay is about Nader's potential for re-spoiling 2004 the way he did in 2000, it's not clear to me why this is so damning. However, the part that the Bush apologists won't quote is the following:

"Our agenda is rooted in hope and real American values — opportunity, integrity, honesty. This is the way to defeat George Bush."


Daily Review

posted by barb at Monday, April 12, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean: For Ralph Nader, but Not for President

Young activists hope their presence makes a difference in races of '04


Sunday, April 11, 2004


Building Dean Nation

posted by Dana at Sunday, April 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Aziz' recent posts (and Sacco's cartoon) point to a malaise in Dean Nation that needs to be addressed.

And there's a way we can address it.

Rather, there's a way in which you can address it. After all, you have the power.

Here's a good way to start. Look around your city, your state, your county. Find a great Deaniac candidate. And talk about them here. Give us your reports. We need you to be the reporters. You're empowered, and that's a good way to use that power.

Second, I'd like to hear some ideas for building our traffic as Dean Nation (as opposed to Howard Dean 2004). One idea I've had is that we do a poll on pulling out of Iraq, then fan out among other blogs and encourage people there go come here and vote.

And when they do, we need to get their input. Whose campaign do they like? What is turning them on? What are they doing to take our country back?

Go from there.


Presidential Daily Briefing open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, April 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
On Aug 6th, Bush received a memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside United States." (read it here, PDF)
On Aug 7th, Bush went on a month-long vacation in Crawford, and spoke about stem cells and missile defense.

How does this make you feel?


Meanwhile in America...

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, April 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
sometimes, political cartoons tell the truth that hurts...


Funding Kerry

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, April 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I've added a Kerry donation button at the left, but in the interest of disclosure I have decided that I will not be donating money to the Kerry campaign for the immediate future. I see my donations to Dean as an investment that has paid off, in that Kerry's platform has noticeably shifted to incorporate Dean in many ways. Others argue that Kerry has stolen Dean's message - I see it as a successful infiltration of our values and consider the money well-spent.

At this stage, however, I am still waiting for Kerry to start making a real case. Until now it's been a largely reactive campaign, and given the Iraq war chaos, numerous scandals, the 9-11 commission and Clarke, and the economic volatility, there has been no shortage of material with which Kerry could construct a narrative that conveys the message of Bush's fundamental incompetence to the vast American middle. Kerry is behind Bush in fund-rasing but is not short of funds by any means - and I don't believe that my dollar buys the same influence that it did under Dean.

But that may change. If Kerry catches fire soon I may indeed feel a need to help keep that momentum alive. And I am adding a Kerry donation button at left because I don't want there to be any doubt that we are united in our resolve. The link goes to Kos's donation page, not my own, because I think that if we in the blogsphere are going to make ourselves heard, we need to do so as a unified voice, that collectively is as large as any deep-pocketed special interest that may also fill Kerry's coffers. Part of leveraging our influence is doing so with one voice when the situation calls for it - that time is now. But I will wait, until it feels right.


Dean's legacy

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, April 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As this article notes, Dean ran for President for three reasons: 1. to change the Democratic Party, 2. to change America, and 3. to change the President. While goal 3 will need to be pursued via proxy, the first two are the direct objectives of Democracy for America. This interesting piece in the Exeter News Letter (NH) gives an example of how the infrastructure that the Dean Phenomenon left in its wake is being put to use:

The group is aiming at politicians at all levels. Moyer studied the votes of the eight state representatives and senators for his district and found five of the eight habitually disagreed with him. He cited their recent votes in favor of school vouchers, which would provide public money to families to send their children to private school, as just one area where he differs.

Moyer said he is not a hard-line partisan and offered Sen. Carl Robertson as a Republican with whom he often agrees.

Proulx has made it his "pet project" to evict Republican state Sen. Russell Prescott from his seat. A frequent op-ed contributor to local and state newspapers, Proulx is keen to expose what he believes to be Prescott’s extreme right-wing views, citing the senator’s opposition to gay marriage and his attempts to "gut rational gun laws."

"We need significant numbers of progressive people running for state representative and winning," Moyer said.

The group is beginning the process of actively soliciting prospects. The Alliance will use its network and database of names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses to support candidates and inform and rally voters on issues they care about.

"We have built an infrastructure," Proulx said. "Now we want to use it."

They will also actively register voters.

"Bad politicians are elected by people who do not vote," Moyer said.

The question is, is this an isolated case or truly representative? Many Dean supporters are in a state of fugue. As things deterioriate in Iraq and at home and Kerry stays too far above the fray, there seems to be a large deficit in enthusiasm. But here we have an example of former Dean supporters moving forward, taking advantage of the head start that Dean gave them. The o-blog has been compiling commitments by Deaniacs to run for local office as well.

I suspect that there is a lot of activity out there below the surface (after all, ask yourself what our own Anna has been up to since Wisconsin :) ...

Saturday, April 10, 2004


The Possibility of The Unthinkable

posted by Dana at Saturday, April 10, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Someone needs the backbone to think the unthinkable.

We may actually lose Iraq.

The assault on Fallujah seems to have been a turning point in Iraqi public opinion. Former General (and drug czar) Barry McCaffrey was on CNN last week saying we don't have Baghdad, that we don't control our supply lines, and we "have to win" Fallujah.

The horror of what is happening came to me, finally, in "A View From A Broad," a diary written by "Ginmar" launched in 2002. When it started, she was much like you or I, as in this entry from December 2, 2002:

You know, I never thought I'd be happy it's Monday, but I'm home and I just got some sleep curled up on featherbeds under fat quilts and cats.

But she was career military. She was called up. And this week she was in a very long drawn-out ambush somewhere near Baghdad. (She didn't say where -- she's a patriot.) She didn't explain how she got out, but the horror went on-and-on.

And this is the scary part. A day after I read that post, she locked it up. You can't read it. And she wrote this:

I had to lock that post. It's just getting too freaky now, and frankly, I have enough on my mind, you know? But I'll be friending everybody, and so on...And that's it for today.

The stonewall of denial doesn't stop at Condi Rice. It's in our media and (worse) it's in our souls. No one in America is willing to face the unthinkable, that we may have transformed ourselves, in one year, from the liberators of Iraq into its oppressors.

But those blinders don't exist elsewhere. They don't exist in the Middle East, or in Europe, or in Asia. Right now a delegation from the Iraq Governing Council is apparently in Fallujah, trying to get peace talks started.

We will not enter them from a position of strength. McCaffrey said "we have to win." We haven't won.

So who has the backbone to think the unthinkable?

Friday, April 09, 2004


The Prophet

posted by Dana at Friday, April 09, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The press and public are finally waking up to what Howard Dean said in his first major speech.

The issue of our time is Iraq.

It's not about the War on Terrorism. It's not about 9/11. It's about how the necessary war was hijacked in the name of an unnecessary one.

We can shout "Remember the Alamo" all we want. Iraqis may well say, "Remember Fallujah."

Republicans can say all they want, "Would you rather have Saddam Hussein in power?" We can now reply, "We would much rather have Bin Laden dead, Al Qaeda destroyed and radical Islam in retreat," knowing the vast majority of our countrymen will nod in agreement.

John Kerry has not yet figured out how to use that opening in opinion to "close the deal" and win this election.

Here's a suggestion. Just start your acceptance speech with four little words...What I wanna know.


open thread: Iraq

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 09, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's been an intense week in Iraq. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 08, 2004


We Have A Winner (Wish We Didn't)

posted by Dana at Thursday, April 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For Condoleeza Rice, this one's for you.

You take responsibility for nothing. You stonewall, you filibuster, you contradict yourself at times...even Rosemary Woods was enough of a stand-up secretary to take the fall for the 18 1/2 minute gap.

So this is for you, with our compliments. We'll even give you the recipe... You'll have plenty of time to work on it, certainly after next January.

I can't go on anymore. It's too sad to laugh about, really. But if I didn't laugh, I'd cry.


MSNBC poll: did Condi make her case?

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
go forth...


Dean says Kerry is gay

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
well, he said that Kerry is pro-Gay, at least compared to Bush. This is so stunningly obvious that I wonder why it needed to be made explicit (unlike the Nader thing, which is equally obvious but seems to be more difficult to grasp). This link is really more an excuse to write the headline above. Though, I have to point out that f you were trrying to convince Log Cabin Republicans (the Pink Elepant Lobby), you could still make a better case for Kerry (having absorbed much of Dean's platform) over Bush based on both Gay Lobby goals and conservative philosophy. Kerry just proposed a spending cap on all federal spending except defense and education, after all...


Elections are not soda

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean's explicit advice to his supporters not to vote for Nader is rubbing the usual utopians the wrong way. It's not clear to me why the concept of Anybody But Bush is so difficult to understand for the fringe left. The simple factc that elections have consequences seems to escape these types - a far better and more effective protest vote would be to focus on congressional candidates, and use vote-swapping to coordinate the effort in swing counties. The Presidency, however, is too important to risk when the current occupant is incompetent on the order of George Bush.

Link above goes to an overwrought analogy of soda at the grocery. Woe is RC.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


First New Backbone

posted by Dana at Wednesday, April 07, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The "votes" (or comments) are in.

So let's be bi-partisan and give our first "backbone award" of the new Dean Nation to Richard Clarke. He's not someone I would have ever guessed we might honor -- rock-ribbed Republican he is -- but when you know you're going to be hammered and you stand up anyway that's backbone.

That's what we all need to do.

Obviously an honorable mention here must go to Karen Kwiatkowski, not just because this history buff wanted to link to something by Pete McCloskey (who had the backbone to run against Nixon in the 1972 Republican primaries). I strongly suspect she'll be in public again so we can get one to her.

There have been so many jellyroll nominees in the last week's news I'm going to hold this embarrassment of riches who stands out?


Big News: Exley To Kerry

posted by Dana at Wednesday, April 07, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I was frankly ready to give Sen. Kerry's online staff our first Jellyroll as Dean Nation. The way Kos was treated, the ignorance of the blogosphere...we've talked about it enough.

Move On. As they say. And Moveon, as in, someone has. Atrios says Kerry has hired Moveon's Zack Exley as his new head of online organizing.

From Jellyroll to backbone in one day? Stay tuned...


Daily Review

posted by barb at Wednesday, April 07, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean urges voters not to vote for Ralph Nader

Kerry Questions Transfer of Power Plans in Iraq

Interview With Howard Dean

3 Radio Shows Tomorrow

Howard Dean talks to Sirius OutQ

Monday, April 05, 2004


Who's Got Backbone?

posted by Dana at Monday, April 05, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I think it's time for another backbone award. Who's with me? Nominations?

Let's not drop it this time. Let's stop being discouraged, and work hard to give this party back the backbone it seems to have lost in the weeks since Kerry won.

The only way Democrats will win is with backbone. We know that. But backbones need support.

So who gets the first one? And can anyone here volunteer to contribute something we can give AS the award. A backbone plaque or statue. Something memorable. From Dean Nation.

Not too expensive, of course...


farewell Zephyr

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 05, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Zephyr is leaving DFA, and has posted her last farewell message to the o-blog. She will be working with a nonprofit group calling America Coming Together, a voter mobilization drive. I wish her luck and I am glad to know she is out there fighting the good fight :)


unlink Kerry, save Kos

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 05, 2004 permalink 0 comments 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.

Sunday, April 04, 2004


Our Opportunity

posted by Dana at Sunday, April 04, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I read Brian Ulrich's latest (below) on the Daily Kos controversy and I feel very strongly this is the opportunity Dean Nation has been looking for to become relevant again.

I'm sorry to call us irrelevant but the fact is since the Good Doctor backed out we've been wondering what our purpose is. (The image, believe it or not, comes from Bangalore.)

Now we have one.

We exist to guarantee the Democratic Party a backbone.

The Right attacked Kos to deny our candidates a link to the blogosphere, and (since Kerry, not Dean, is the nominee) it worked. Because of one comment Kos made in the comments section of his blog, Democrats across-the-board have run for cover.

Stephanie Herseth has pulled her blogads, and pulled away from accepting our contributions, in fear of a phony scandal that she runs a "secret Web page" where "far Left organizations" are funneling contributions to her. Martin Frost has pulled his Web ads. The Kerry campaign has de-linked from the blogosphere.

We must do something about this now, or it is 2002 all over again. As soon as we walked away, the Democrats lost the backbone we spent a year building for them.

It's our job to bring it back.

So here's my proposal:

In just a few short weeks we have forgotten the key lesson of this campaign.

We Have The Power.

It's time we got serious about using it.

Are you with me, Dean Nation? Aziz? Anna? Brian? Anyone else?


Blog Battles

posted by Brian Ulrich at Sunday, April 04, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I've been reluctant to post on this, because not being a political professional, I'm not sure how to handle it without getting into the "line of fire" so to speak.

But let's review.

Kos, a centerpiece of the Democratic netroots, said something stupid, and something with which I strongly disagree. He is offering explanations rather than the apology that seems to be called for. (Of course, his life has involved a lot more than mine has, so who knows what kind of legitimate emotional issues that leaves involving different types of military personnel.)

As a result, many on the right are waging a campaign to get campaigns to pull their ads from Daily Kos and stop accepting donations from his readers.

From his readers, you say? Yes, from his readers. And the reason for that, I suspect, is very simple. They fear the Democrats' Internet fund-raising. They know Daily Kos is more than a personal site. They know it is the de facto center of on-line Democratic party activism. And it is that aspect which they are attacking.

Another thing. John Kerry's campaign has delinked Kos. Now this is all coming, not over a full-fledged post, but over a comment made in the heat of an on-line comment discussion. We've seen this before, in the continual harvesting of Blog for America comments by some on the right to attack the Dean campaign. The Daily Kos situation is a little different, in that Kos is actually the host of the site in question. But I still think this is a point we need to examine. What is the nature of on-line discussion? What "ground rules" should we establish for how we interpret and use comments?

Until we figure this out, we might as well side with Abu Aardvark.

UPDATE: See also Atrios. I don't agree with his actions, but the issues he talks about are the same ones I'm drawing from all this.


Dean at Dartmouth this Summer

posted by Conan at Sunday, April 04, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Since it's a short piece and the Providence Journal is by subscription only, here it is:

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) - Dartmouth College will see a lot of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean this summer.
Dean will be a "distinguished visiting fellow" at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. He'll give a speech there in two weeks and another after the November elections.

The former frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination also will spend six days on campus during the summer, meeting with students and perhaps spending some time writing, according to Linda Fowler, director of the Rockefeller Center.

She said Dartmouth is interested in having Dean talk about the Democracy for America organization he formed to encourage more participation in politics.

"We saw him plenty as a candidate but we are interested in this larger social and political phenomenon and its implications for political participation in the future," she said.


Lucky Dartmouth. We never got him to come and speak at Stanford at any time during the campaign. We got John Kerry, naturally. That didn't help my organizational efforts any. Now Dartmouth gets Dean for the summer, too. Maybe I'll go to NH for the summer. My Stanford ID should get me into events at Dartmouth. I wonder what are the chances we can get the ultra-conservative Hoover Institution (spiritual home of Condoleeza Rice) to make him a fellow? Aww, who am I kidding? He'll go to Berkeley, if anywhere.

Still, Dartmouth doesn't exactly have a liberal reputation. Anything could happen. Apparently, however, Dean won big in all the towns of New Hampshire's Upper Valley in the January 27 primary, according to America's oldest college newspaper, The Dartmouth (online edition):

Remember Dean will be on Wolf Blitzer's show on CNN starting a half hour from now (12:00 pm ET, 9:00 am PT).

Friday, April 02, 2004


open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 02, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
where relevance is relative.

Thursday, April 01, 2004


Dean on Majority Report tomorrow evening

posted by annatopia at Thursday, April 01, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Majority Report airs from 8pm-11pm EST on Air America radio. According to host Janeane Garafalo, Dean will join them on the air tomorrow night. The link above goes to the shiny new Air America website, which has literally transformed in the past twenty four hours. I hope you've been tuning in. I've been thoroughly enjoying it, and I'm sure that as the bugs are worked out, AA will become a great station. Majority Report is pretty hip. They've set up a blog and have promised to find a way to integrate the blog taffic into the on-air show. And according to the people hosting the Majority Report blog, the early ratings for Air America have literally broken records:

It's Brian from I Stand For, we're doing the AAR website.
We're so sorry things have been buggy, nobody could have anticipated the response we have received.
We've broken records people... We are Real Audio's #1 stream. We were at 50,000 streams during Al's show around 2:00 EST. We got 350,000 unique visitors from 8:00 last night to 2 this afternoon. That puts us on pace to be a top 50 site...on the entire web. We're talking Bank of America, Dell Computers numbers.
You guys are awesome, this is amazing and we're so proud to be a part of it.

Dean's name has come up on every single show on Air America. Randi Rhodes (who I'd say is the left's equivalent of Howard Stern - funny and aggressive) praised him today and tore up the mass media for pulling a character assassination job on us after Iowa. She also has a slips in a clip of the scream, and it's not mean-spirited at all. She's taking back the scream and making sure everyone knows exactly what happened to us. Majority Report and the OFranken Factor have both waxed nostalgic for the candidacy and praised Howard for kicking in the door so John Kerry could walk through it.

Thanks again, Air America. You're truly a breath of fresh air.


Phil Hendrie for Air America

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 01, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The new liberal talk radio network, Air America, needs to recruit Phil Hendrie. If you haven't heard of Hendrie, you need to hear him now. He's a moderate liberal with possibly the most hysterical, original, and innovative show on all of radio. I don't want to apoil the surprise for you - so just head over to his website and listen to this week's free selection ("The Jesus Clone").


So What Happens Now

posted by Dana at Thursday, April 01, 2004 permalink 0 comments 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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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.