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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, August 09, 2006


Joe blow... *shrug*

posted by Razib Khan at Wednesday, August 09, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
Below Aziz exhorts Joe Lieberman not to run as an independent. Why? There seem to be two general points. First, Lieberman is clearly out to "get his." This isn't a man of pragmatic principle, as his refusal to stop running for the Senate in 2000 when he was on the ticket as VP with Al Gore showed. But there is a stronger point, so I'll quote Aziz:

There is no dishonor in submission to the will of the people. That is the essence of democracy. I hope that Joe realizes that public service is about the public, not the servant. I hope that he realizes that he should follow the example of Al Gore.

Democrats have reason to be angry with Joe, but "the people"? I'm not a Democrat, so I look at this with relative disinterest. The key, for me, is that political parties do not have automatic legitimacy, what I render to the republic I will never render to a party. In fact, this republic was not founded with political parties in mind, the rise of the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans took many such as George Washington by surprise. I believe political parties have a large role to play in our democratic system, but they are neither necessary nor sufficient for the republic in and of themselves. They emerge out of the dirty aspects of social coalitions and organized mobs. Joe Lieberman is an opportunist, but he is a product of the party system. This is the nature of the beast. When the scorpion stings the frog which carries it upon its back across the river one shouldn't be surprised.


i strongly agree that parties are a means to an end - the end being, an internal balance between opposing poles of politcal power concentration. I am also not a democrat for precisely this reason.


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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.