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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, September 12, 2007


Allow me to introduce myself

posted by Thomas Nephew at Wednesday, September 12, 2007 permalink View blog reactions
Hi, I'm Thomas Nephew. Earlier this summer, Aziz was kind enough to invite me to join this blog as an occasional contributor. It's an honor; I've admired Aziz's writing at "unmedia," "City of Brass" and here for a long time; I find my own first mention of him back in September, 2002 at my blog, "newsrack," with many more thereafter.

Not that we necessarily agree on everything. For one thing, I favor impeachment of Bush and Cheney on a number of grounds, including principally the fraudulent case for the Iraq war (which I reluctantly came to support once upon a time), torture, and the warrantless electronic surveillance. I also favor a rapid timetable for withdrawal from Iraq -- I think our presence is doing Iraqis no good, and harms our soldiers , our society, and our interests.

I make no claims to particular wisdom ("that's obvious enough," many will snort) or deep political consistency over the years. I'm a lifelong Democrat, but one who's increasingly disenchanted with that party of late. I'm a sometime peace and nuclear freeze activist, but one who supported the first Gulf War, Bosnia/Kosovo, and (to my everlasting regret) this Iraq war at one time. Issues that motivate me include concerns about genocide, nuclear proliferation, the proper balance between public and private spheres, and climate change -- but more and more it's simply the adherence to the rule of law, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights (admittedly, as I see them) that is my deepest concern.

I know Aziz shares those concerns, and I know that we agree on the fundamentals: a commitment to reasoned, fair discourse, to tolerance, and to the ideals of the Constitution. I think we both share a faith that the United States is a vibrant, strong culture where the best ideas can prevail -- including, principally, the idea of freedom itself. Sometimes we have to work at that harder than I wish we did.

The following item is a crosspost from my own blog, "newsrack blog." I think it bears on Aziz's 9/11 comments a little, at least I hope it does -- it's kind of about the next 9/12, if there is one. Please excuse its length, I tend to be a long form writer, but I'll try not to overdo that. Also please excuse the crosspost; I'll try to add original material here, too, as I learn how to write stuff that fits this blog.


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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.