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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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Wednesday, October 29, 2003


It's About Leadership, Stupid

posted by Dana at Wednesday, October 29, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I have argued for a long time that the appeal of Howard Dean is a combination of message, medium and man.

The message, that we can't be Bush-lite resonated with Democrats. The medium, the one you're using right now, allows a level of interaction that was not possible before.

Then there is the man himself.

Dennis Myers of the Pahrump Valley Times in Nevada managed to nail it down today. "Dean's strongest asset is not liberal views but his willingness to lead at a time when the Democratic Party is starved for leadership."

Myers illustrates this, not by talking about the Civil Unions bill, but how Dean took on the surround of the issue, the cultural conservatives who invaded the state of Vermont with money, and whose hate-filled campaign forced Dean himself to wear a bullet-proof vest, in 1999 and 2000.

Writes Myers:

Dean responded by standing up to them, campaigning against what he called the "cultural right." He won reelection, the gay unions and progressive property tax were retained, and the new social conservatives in the state lost influence.

Imagine if political leaders in other states had stood up to their cultural conservatives. Here in Nevada the small band of right wingers who used a minority vote to hold the legislature hostage might never have gained office if state leaders had taken them on instead of cowering before them.

America is sick of being bullied by far-right goon squads. Americans want a leader who will take on bigotry of all kinds.

Howard Dean has done that, not just in this campaign, but throughout his political career. It's a unique record, one that is not dimmed by nit-picking or buzzwords from any side.

Howard Dean is a leader. That's what we need in our President.


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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.