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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, January 25, 2003


"We're not going to beat Bush with Bush lite"

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, January 25, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

The Christian Science Monitor has a report from a Dean interview with the press in Concord. Excellent story, with great soundbites of Dean in full I-am-different mode. It reveals that Dean has taken to referring to his primary opponents as "the four guys from Congress" which is a brilliant catchphrase. Excerpts follow:

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean accused his Democratic presidential primary opponents yesterday of trying to run against the very Republican policies they'd supported in Congress.

"I think our party is suffering because we keep nominating people who will say anything they have to say to get elected," he said.
"Our candidates think the best way to get elected is to talk to everybody about voting for things like the leave-every-school board-behind education bill, which is going to cost the New Hampshire taxpayers $109 million," he said. ". . . . I can't wait for those four guys from Congress to come up here and explain to us why they wanted to raise your property taxes after they supported a tax cut for the wealthiest people in America," he said.

Dean also criticized his opponents for voting to give Bush a "blank check" on military intervention in Iraq - and, now, changing their tune on the issue.

"Today, they're running around telling you folks they're all anti-war," he said. (Later, he acknowledged that Lieberman's vote was consistent with the senator's comparatively "hawkish" position on Iraq.) "We're never going to elect a president that does those things. If I voted for the Iraq resolution, I'd be standing in favor, supporting it right now in front of you."
Al Qaida is a far greater menace than Saddam at the moment, Dean said, and Bush has not done enough to deprive such fundamentalist terrorist networks of the American oil money that helps fund their organizations.

"We can do better, but it requires a renewable energy policy and an oil conservation policy that makes sense," Dean said. "We are not going to change that unless we change presidents."

So Democrats, he concluded, must nominate a candidate who can win.

"Remember," he said, "we're not going to beat Bush with Bush lite."

Dean didn't spare Bush in thesed remarks, but it's good to note that he is spending equal time bashing Bush and differentiating himself from his opponents - in the context of bashing Bush!


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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.