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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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Sunday, July 27, 2003


DN's "Backbone" Award: Senator Durbin & Ambassador Wilson

posted by Trammell at Sunday, July 27, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
What a week to try and choose winners of Dean Nation's second "Backbone" Award. See comments in this post for all the nominees, some of whom will no doubt be future recipients. But for this week, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ambassador Joe Wilson rise above the rest. They are telling difficult truths and asking hard questions -- all while enduring scathing and sometimes dangerous smear campaigns -- yet they continue to exhibit an amazing amount of Backbone. Is there any doubt left that Howard Dean is a leader in this welcome trend of fighting the agenda of the Radical Right? Here's Durbin on WsMD and "sixteen words" from ABC News:
"We've been asking the wrong question. We've been asking, why did George Tenet not stop the White House from misleading the American people? The more important question is, who is it in the White House who was hell-bent on misleading the American people and why are they still there?"
And here is Wilson from an interview with Andrea Mitchell discussing the White House's smear campaign against him and his wife -- including blowing Mrs. Wilson's cover as a CIA operative and putting her and her associates in danger's path and her career in jeopardy -- following a Meet The Press appearance in which he discussed the truth regarding Niger-gate and the "uranium" disaster:
"It’s a shot across the bow to those who might step forward. Those unnamed analysts who said they were pressured by the White House, for example, would think twice about having their own families’ names being dragged through this particular mud."
And this from The Hill as Durbin continues the fight for Wilson -- and himself -- against the Rove and McLellan Sewer Diversion Act:
He said that syndicated columnist Robert Novak and Time magazine (A war on Wilson?) both reported that administration officials "told them they believe Mr. Wilson had been chosen [for the mission] through the influence of his wife, whom they identified as a CIA operative."

Speaking to reporters after his Senate remarks, Durbin said, "If a member of the Senate is going to be subject to this kind of effort from the White House to discourage our responsibility … and goes to the point of questioning the integrity of my service on the Intelligence Committee, that is a serious as it gets."

"Sadly, what we have here is a continuing pattern by this White House," he declared. "If any member of this Senate, Democrat or Republican, takes to the floor, questions this White House policy, raises any questions about the gathering of intelligence information or the use of it, be prepared for the worst."
ACTION: Though I've no idea how to contact Ambassador Wilson, please send e-mail and/or please write or call Senator Dick Durbin, tell him you are a Howard Dean supporter, and tell him how much you appreciate leaders like Dean who stand up and fight for what is right and what is true in our country, especially when faced with powerful and vicious foes, and especially when it regards our national security. Finally, tell the Senator how much you respect that he's fighting for Joe Wilson, and ask him to please pass your best wishes to the Ambassador, his wife, and his family. As always, we've a long way to go, keep on fighting!

P.S The Fruitcake Rebellion fruitcake this week should go to White House spokesman Scott McLellan and Dick Cheney. But why waste $25 bucks on these guys when you can give $25 bucks to Howard Dean's campaign by simply clicking here!


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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.