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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, January 24, 2005


Why Dean Should Take Charge

posted by Christopher at Monday, January 24, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
Writer Mark Hertsgaard ("Earth Odyssey," among other titles - a wonderful book, btw), pens a column for on why Dean is precisely the right choice to lead the Democrats at the DNC.

Well worth reading. An excerpt:

"... in the wake of the Democrats' loss to President Bush in November, Dean's political message, and especially the way he delivers it, looks better and better.

Dean, after all, was right about the central issue of the 2004 election -- the Iraq war. Nowadays, a majority of the American public believes that attacking Iraq was a bad idea. Dean was saying this -- and being criticized for it -- in the fall of 2003.

Dean was also right when he said Democrats should be the party not only of urban liberals but of "guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks," another comment he was derided for. But in view of how many centrist voters chose President Bush over John Kerry, even though Kerry's economic policies would have benefited them more, Dean's call to reach out to culturally conservative voters was prescient.

Above all, Dean was right that Democrats would win only if they told voters exactly what they stood for and why. Kerry never did that, especially on Iraq, where his reluctance to call the war (and not just its prosecution) a mistake let the president off the hook on his most vulnerable issue."


Since the election, everyone has been asking "what is wrong with the Democratic party". After seeing the confirmation hearings, it is clear that we need someone with the courage and conviction of Howard Dean to lead and unify the DNC. He has squarely faced the issues, spoken truth against untruths, even when politically unpopular.

Today Condoleeza Rice was confirmed, 85 to 13. Not surprisingly ALL 53 Republicans voted yes. More troubling, 32 Democrats also voted yes, despite blistering questions from Boxer, Dayton, Kennedy and Byrd about overwhelming facts showing proof of lies, half-truths, and failed policies.

What is wrong with the Democratic party?
1) The Republicans are united
2) Over 2/3 of the Democrats are also in their camp.

If the Democrats had united, the vote would have been 53 to 44. This would have sent a strong message to the Republicans AND the American people. When will Democrats stand up and hold this administration accountable?? It is clear the Bush administration will not.

We need Howard Dean's voice and vision.


Arguably, the greater threat is Gonzales - and today's show of unity should give you some cause for cheer. Opposing Rice more vehemently would dilute the resistance to the far worse threat: a pro-torture attorney general.


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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.