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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, May 31, 2003


Electability: Those Who Forget History...

posted by yoni cohen :: at Saturday, May 31, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Are Doomed To Repeat It.

The more we in Dean Nation read - and ask our friends to read - much of the political commentary that followed the 2002 elections, the better off we'll be. Rick Perlstein had a gem in Mother Jones. John Nichols had another in The Nation. (I'd provide links to similar commentaries in major newspapers were those pieces not today in costly web-based archives).

The New York Times' Matt Bai quotes members of the Democratic Leadership Council because he and many members of the national media [wrongly, see below] credit the organization with Bill Clinton's electoral victory in November of 1992. Strangely, however, Bai and others fail to fault the DLC with the Democrats' numerous losses in November of 2002 -- "the worst midterm performance by a party outside the White House since the Republicans in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1934."

Democrats can justly criticize the DLC for lack of a backbone. Or we can go after the DLC where it hurts - and where the media will take notice: for lack of electability.

[Note: James Carville, Clinton's top campaign strategist and a liberal Democrat, steered the then-Arkansas Governor towards a focus on the economy and health care, the two issues that later won him the presidency. Historians also remind us that during Clinton's first year in office, he distanced himself from the DLC, prompting a backlash from none other than Joe Lieberman.]


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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.