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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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Saturday, August 09, 2008

 

I'd rather be wrong than right

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, August 09, 2008 permalink View blog reactions
John Edwards admitted to an extramarital affair in 2006 yesterday.

John Edwards was, and remains (in a fantasy, never-gonna-happen now, daydream sorta way) the best candidate for Vice president to Barack Obama. The fact that he was caught by the National Enquirer cheating on his (sick) wife - a political tradition of sorts, just ask John McCain - has ended his political career, even though none of the political media or leftwing blogger elite will admit yet that this is so (though notably, Edwards' name did mysteriously vanish from all left-sphere Veep speculation.)

Now, the LA Times (media) and The Moderate Voice (blog) are weighing in on the scandal, lambasting the rest of the media/blogsphere for failing to cover the issue. I must note that I was one of the few political bloggers - and the sole lefty political blogger, who favored Edwards for Veep - to take the story seriously. I also diaried it at DailyKos and was predictably flamed into oblivion.

Did the media and the blogsphere drop the ball? I actually don't think so. Yes it is a story, but on the scale of importance, does it really matter? You can argue that its of relevance since Edwards might have been tapped for Veep, but Edwards was out of the running for Veep as soon as the Enquirer broke the story, and no media/blog pile-on was required. I don't see any actual harm done and I disagree with the contention that "nothing will ever be the same". After all, the media has been dropping stories about President Bush - as a candidate, and as a President - routinely, and the political blogsphere(s) will always have an ingrained blindspot towards critique of its own political side. What is important that there remain some bloggers who aren't afraid of arguing against the grain. I am not ashamed of my earlier post on Edwards and yet, I am also not happy that I wasn't proven wrong.

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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.