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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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Saturday, December 13, 2003


With Matt Gross As George Stephanopoulos

posted by Dana at Saturday, December 13, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
A Joe Trippi profile in The New York Times today noted:

Though his young aides endlessly mock Mr. Trippi's bulging eyes and glum monotone, and chafe at his midnight rule — which requires one member of each department to be at their desks until the clock strikes 12 in case he calls — they also wonder, constantly as they make tactical decisions, What would Trippi do?

Well, give Matt Gross an A. Better yet, a Diet Pepsi and some cherry cough drops. (Skoal is bad for you.)

Last night, Matt found out that some previously-unknown, shadowy group calling itself Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values has launched a televised smear against Governor Dean in early primary states, an ad featuring the face of Osama Bin Laden.

By 12:01 AM Matt Gross had responded, with a detailed and eloquent denunciation on the O-Blog and (better yet) a new bat, looking for $400,000 with which to knock this ad, and the people behind it, out of our politics for good.

Gross also did some investigation on who these people are:

Who are the Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values? Their press secretary is Robert Gibbs—who, until recently, worked on John Kerry’s campaign. Their Treasurer is David Jones, who used to raise money for Dick Gephardt. The president of the organization, Former Congressman Edward Feighan, was one of the earliest $2,000 contributors to Dick Gephardt’s presidential campaign.

We can't prove it (yet) but this looks like a Kerry-Gephardt smear, a nasty ketchup stain on the soul of American politics, a union-organized bash at the kneecaps with a tire iron.

It wasn't just aimed at Governor Howard Dean, M.D. These people were aiming at you, at us.

They don't want the grassroots involved in politics. They want us to stay silent, afraid that if we speak up, we'll be hurt.

So, Dean Nation. Will they get away with it? And what else can we do besides run the ads? I was thinking that, for starters, some concerned Ohioans might want to knock on Mr. Feighan's doorbell and ask to his face what their former public servant is up to. But that's just me. How do you think the grassroots should respond?


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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.