Nation-Building >> Gotta Love It | return to front page

"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

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add to netvibes

website stats

Previous Posts
Netflix, Inc.
ThinkGeek T-Shirts will make you cool!
illy coffee - 2 cans, 2 mugs for just $26.

Saturday, November 01, 2003


Gotta Love It

posted by Dana at Saturday, November 01, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
My admiration for Howard Dean as a practical politician rises every week.

Before this year no one knew he had the speaking chops – he’s got ‘em. No one knew he had the personality for the grind – he’s got it. But, the press all figured (and the trolls still assume) he’s the LIBERAL – he doesn’t stand a chance.

Or is he?

Look at some of these stories. He’s a gun nut, says the Brady campaign. He’s “anti-black,” says Al Sharpton. He’s squidgy on Medicare, charges Gephardt. And look what Wesley Clark is now saying on Iraq. While Dean says Bush has been captured by ideologues, the General has to go one-better, and now says Bush is responsible for 9/11.

Do you see the pattern? On issue-after-issue, Dean’s opponents are now running to his left, thus pushing Dean (by contrast) to the right. More precisely, to the center, where elections are won.

And that’s the game. It’s not the nomination. The election is the game. Beating Bush is the game.

And here’s my favorite. "I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks." Dean said this in Des Moines. It appears to have sent Kerr-hardt into paroxysms of apoplexy. They’re practically calling Dean a Bubba.

And he is. As in “Bubba” Clinton. Only without the bimbo eruptions, or the money-grubbing, or the whole collection of public-and-private faces that made Democrats defending the former President feel like the therapist in “Three Faces of Eve.”

At some point, and very soon, my guess is Joe Lieberman is going to take a swipe at Dean from his left, or perceived left, and the transformation will be complete. Or, rather, the triangulation will be complete.

What the Dean wannabes don’t get is that not being “Bush-Lite” isn’t defined by a set of position papers. It’s defined by an attitude. You might call it a kind of Iowa stubborn since that caucus comes first. But perhaps Bush himself said it best. . Fool me once, shame me twice, I won't get fooled again.


Post a Comment


View blog top tags
The Assault on Reason

Obama 2008 - I want my country back

I want my country back - Obama 2008

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.