Nation-Building >> Dean: Kicking Some Serious Butt | 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.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


Dean: Kicking Some Serious Butt

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, January 13, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
I love this article in today's Boston Globe. First of all, it indicates that what Dean is really doing is taking a page out of the GOP's campaign playbook - using 'moral outrage' as a campaign tactic to create stark differences between his positions and those of George W. Bush. What the article also points out, however, is that there is a difference between expressing anger and expressing moral outrage. The first is simply an emotional response. The second is based on moral values, and says not only am I going to express myself on this issue, but I am going to do something about it. An excerpt:

"By campaigning more on values than facts, Dean is running a Republican-style campaign. By some measures, he's skewing the issues. By other measures, he's the most honest candidate.

When, in the '80s, Ronald Reagan spoke of welfare queens driving Cadillacs, voters presumably knew the poor weren't making out that well -- but they understood Reagan's position on welfare perfectly. When George W. Bush spoke of bringing troops home from Haiti, voters were undisturbed to learn that there was not a serious number of troops in Haiti. They knew, or thought they knew, what Bush meant: He wasn't going to waste American lives trying to do good in places where conditions are intractable.

Now, when Dean declares he won't "go to war for Halliburton," voters seem to understand that the Iraq war was about much more than that. But they also know where Dean stands on the war and the awarding of postwar contracts.

The raw meatiness of Dean's rhetoric is, in a large part, the substance of his campaign. It separates him from both the peace-and-love left of the '60s and '70s and the huggy Clinton years. He wants to help, but to do that he needs to take action.

When Dean stares down at a crowd, his chin buried in his neck, his finger punching the air, he's saying to voters: Daddy still wants to take care of you, but first he is going to have to kick some serious butt."


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.