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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, June 15, 2006


Purple pols painted Blue

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, June 15, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
Glenn Greenwald, in a post noting how the conventional wisdom promulgated by the Right suggested that Jim Webb's victory was an anathema to the netroots when in fact he actually was endorsed by Kos, makes an important tangential point:

this same fiction is repeated over and over in all corners and, despite its glaring falsity, has the status of conventional wisdom among the national media. Anti-Bush bloggers are leftist ideologues. Their goal is to force the Democratic Party to adopt ideologically leftist positions and therefore will ensure its defeat. Mainstream political figures like Howard Dean and John Kerry -- whose views on most issues are supported by the majority of Americans -- are fringe, extremist leftists whom the anti-Bush bloggers love because of their leftist extremism. And all of them are radioactive losers whose influence and even mere existence are fatal to Democrats.

This is the same intellectual sloth and dishonesty which enables the Instapundit's of the world, to this day, to continue to depict Howard Dean as being some sort of leftist extremist when Dean is one of the least ideological political figures on the national scene and, to the extent he can be ideologically characterized at all, is to the right of most national Democrats on most issues and has been for his entire career. What specific views does Dean hold, or Kos for that matter, which can be characterized by any honest person as "extremist"? While this conventional wisdom is spewed, that question is never answered. But Republicans have pounded that smear drum for so long, and the media has passively ingested and then disseminated it so thoroughly, that the Instapundit's of the world have had that "point" engrained in their head and can never do anything but repeat it endlessly despite its complete separation from what is real.

(emphasis mine - I've been arguing since 2002 that Howard Dean is a centrist/conservative Democrat on most issues).

Glenn (G) is pretty hard on Glenn (R) but it should be noted that Glenn (R) updated his post in question. Still, the larger point stands - the Reds know that if Purple politicians are recognized for their true color, those pols will win against Red, so they try to paint them Blue. And the Democrats consistently field Purple candidates (like Howard Dean and Brian Schweitzer) more often than the Republicans do.


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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.