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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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Monday, April 28, 2003


Dean Defense Forces: Eroding the Military?

posted by Matt Singer at Monday, April 28, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Chris Lehane, Kerry Communiations Director, turned on Dean once again yesterday (via the Note):

"Howard Dean's stated belief that the United States 'won't always have the strongest military,' raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as Commander-in-Chief. No serious candidate for the Presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy. A President Kerry, who will bring the perspective of having served on the frontlines to the job of Commander-In-Chief, will guarantee that America has the strongest, best trained, most well equipped military in history," Lehane wrote in a statement.

Is Lehane slow, a liar, or an asshole? The statement that the US "wont't always have the strongest military" seems to me to be an entirely defensible claim. And it seems to me that keeping that in mind is the best way to keep it supreme the longest. A notion that the U.S.'s superiority is inevitable is in fact very threatening to that superiority. On top of that, Kerry's camp is raising doubts about whether a governor has the foreign policy credentials to win the Presidency. From what I've seen, Dean is doing pretty well at flexing his foreign policy muscles. I have a lot of concerns over foreign policy and he's taking care of them, which is amazing even me.

Well, the Dean camp responds:

You see where this goes, Chris? Tit for tat? Never mind that our first instinct was to send you a few history books for your edification. The US will continue to have the strongest military in the world under President Dean. The difference between President Dean or President Bush or Kerry, apparently, is how that military will be used, and in what context, and to what end. Get back to us when Senator Kerry decides where he stands on that issue.


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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.