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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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Thursday, July 28, 2005



posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, July 28, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
The link goes to a discussion thread at DailyKos where I posted a diary indicating why Dean's comments were boneheaded. Unfortunately, the responses to the diary increased my suspicion that the polarization of our politics has produced all too many people on the left who simply want to replace the GOP, not defeat the underlying dynamic of poisoned politics.

Defeating GOP extremism is indeed the paramount concern. In that respect, I fully understand Matt's and Jeremy's prioritizing. But Republicanism is today's problem; Democratism is potentially tomorrow's. I will be looking in 2008 for a leader who will eschew the path that leads to Democratism rather than the one who is saddled with its baggage.

Howard Dean spoke during the campaign of a unified politics, based on principles and honesty, and promised that such a course would lead to electoral success. It is deeply ironic that Dean's defenders today are the ones who explicitly disavow those principles - and don't even appreciate the irony.


Aziz, I still disagree with you here. Democratism is not the problem of tomorrow because Republicanism is not the problem of today. John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Lindsey Graham are not the problem. The Radical Right is the problem.

If you see a sign that the Radical Left (people like Ralph Nader et al.) are taking over the Democratic Party, then I will begin to worry about Democratism. But I don't think Hillary Clinton and Evan Bayh are nearly so scary as Rick Santorum -- simply because they are respectable people espousing a respectable ideology. There are Republicans like that too, but they are marginalized at the moment.


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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.