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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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Tuesday, December 09, 2003


Brooks Attacks Dean for Being Politician

posted by Brian Ulrich at Tuesday, December 09, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
No, seriously, that's what the accusation boils down to. Except it's not particularly effective. If I've got the context to all these alleged flip-flops right, they really don't contradict each other. We can't pull out of Iraq responsibly, and we do need to eventually. Brooks neglects to mention the part where Dean tries to repair Bush's diplomatic blunders so we can reduce our commitments there.

I suppose the "Us rural folks" quote was supposed to show that Dean is patronizing toward Midwesterners. Well, I hail from downstate Illinois, not so different from Iowa, and it doesn't bother me. Assuming he got away with it, I think it actually shows Dean's not so full of himself he always has to speak with prefect grammar while looking down on those who don't. And as Josh Marshall points out, Vermont is a rural state anyway, so the "rural folks" part is simply true.

Of course what really takes the cake is Brooks's problems with the fact Dean doesn't talk about his biography enough. True Dean doesn't go into his biography as much as some other candidates. Instead, he talks about the country, and his vision for it, and encourages people to help fulfill it. This is called "leading." Presidents do that sort of thing sometimes. Successful candidates often start early.

Watch and learn, Mr. Brooks. Watch and learn.


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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.