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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, October 26, 2003


Solving Dean's Iraq Problem (Oh, Canada)

posted by Dana at Sunday, October 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
As events in Iraq continue to spin out of control, is Howard Dean developing an Iraq problem?

The latest Newsweek poll shows a sharp rise in the number of Americans who want the troops home now, especially among Democrats, women and young people.

Dean's position here is clear. He was against getting in. But now that we're in we can't bug out. Dean wants to internatoinalize the effort, but that grows harder as the task gets larger.

How do we keep anti-war Democrats from deserting the anti-war Democrat? Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich are both encouraging it.

Bushies, meanwhile, are waiting to see Dean go hat-in-hand to France, to beg terms of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder. That fantasy will be spun regardless -- truth is no object in Republican politics.

But there is a piece of jiu jitsu I think Dean might use to turn the whole issue around.

Go to Canada. Speak about American-Canadian friendship in Toronto. Get an audience to talk trade and Iraq with the Canadian Prime Minister. The dialogue would be healthy. Canada's position on Iraq is also closer to France' than to our own government's. A trip up north would help point that out.

Sure, rank-and-file Republicans will point to Canada's drug laws, its embrace of gay marriage, and its health care system to discredit the whole idea. Let them. Canada can defend itself, and most Canadians will enjoy the attention. Dean will also get an opportunity to prove that, on the Canadian political spectrum, he is pretty conservative.

The way out of the Iraq problem may lie through Ottawa.


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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.