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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, August 11, 2003


my big fat mea culpa

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, August 11, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
A nice short piece in Salon that shows how the author, still undecided on Dean, has pledged to never call Dean unelectable again, aftfer attending a Meetup. Great reading!

Two weeks ago I whacked the Democratic Leadership Council for bashing Dean as too "far left" to beat George Bush. But I took a shot at Dean, too, saying I thought Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was more electable. As usual, whenever you diminish Dean (or say something nice about another Democrat, especially Kerry), I got spammed by Dean's vast army of netizens. Some were nasty, most were nice. Several invited me to Dean Meetups in their town, so I could see firsthand the way the good doctor was resuscitating democracy. The Meetups are just one component of Dean's famous Internet strategy: Using the for-profit, which helps anyone who registers (Bill O'Reilly fans, cat lovers, Wiccans) locate like-minded local folks and find a place to get together, Dean supporters have put together thousands of these combination house parties and town-hall meetings over the last eight months and registered more than 80,000 people. I became one of them: I registered, I found a local Dean Meetup; I RSVP'd.

(you'll need to sit through a short commercial to read the rest - it's worth it). But I think the most important point here is that the attacks on Dean are doing the real damage, not Dean's candidacy:

With Bush's approval rating at its lowest level ever -- down 20 points from just after the first phase of the Iraq war -- it strikes me as crazier than ever that some Democrats are trying to do Karl Rove's work for him, and dismiss the Dean surge as the angry squawking of the party's loud but tiny throwback base.


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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.