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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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Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Moe's Rule

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, February 02, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
Hilzoy writes at Obsidian Wings:

when people talk about "the Left", who, exactly, do they have in mind? I have no idea. And I suspect that the idea that there is something called 'the Left' which is large enough to be worth talking about is often simply a figment of the various writers' imaginations, and that they can only believe this 'Left' to be a real, significant group because they do not force themselves to identify who they are talking about more precisely. If they were precise, they would (I think) have to conclude either that 'the Left' is a tiny group of people, or that much of what they say about it is not true. But because they are not, they can say all sorts of things about it without ever running the risk of being proved wrong.

I think it's time I enforced Moe's Rule upon myself. It's no9 secret that I've been angry for a few days, and here's why:

the reason I've been agry since the Iraqi elections is because of the way that the Left has been characterized in reaction to it.

Look, I am a liberal. I am a classical liberal and a progressive., I am not a Democrat, but social issues are my priority and on that scale the Democrats are much closer to my own (heavily religiously-inspired) views.

In other words, I am on the Left.

Moe's Rule, in effect at ObWi, is "no generalizations about Left or Right". I think we shoud extend that to "conservatives" and "liberals". Since my goal here is to create a new "purple" identity, this is a responsibility I must accept willingly.

I hope my fellow posters here at Dean Nation follow my lead, but this is really a personal thing. I am angry this week because of how I have been treated, by people whose opinion I respect at Red State and elsewhere. I can't let myself mete the same injustice. From this post onwards, it's Moe's Rule for me. I hope the rest of you call me on it if I transgress!


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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.