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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, January 06, 2004


Sullivan pseudo-endorses Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, January 06, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
well, it's not exactly an endorsement, but hey it is a start!

A CASE FOR DEAN: On the issues - going soft on terror, raising taxes, neo-protectionism, paleo-liberalism on race - I have a hard time even considering Howard Dean as a potential president. On character, I think it's pretty clear he's an unpleasant person - prickly, angry, self-important, know-it-all. So why do I find myself rooting for Dean to win the nomination? In part, of course, it's the lack of a credible alternative. I like Lieberman on substance but he's unelectable and his religious grandstanding gives me the heeby-jeebies; Edwards has run the classiest campaign, but these are not the '90s; Gephardt is too left on economics and healthcare; Kerry is about the worst candidate I've observed since Al Gore. Clark - well, I have a visceral aversion to his megalomania and to the cynicism with which the Clintonites have rallied around him. A campaign based entirely on regaining power, by using a candidate as a cipher, is a dangerous thing. Besides, I think Clark is a crackpot. My hankering for Dean is therefore a little like Bill Kristol's. I think it would be refreshing for this country to have a real choice and debate this year, not an echo or yet another focus group.

Still the litany of evils that he invokes betray a massive ignorance of the issues. Portraying Dean as soft on terror and wanting to raise taxes is essentially asinine. It's obvious he hasn't bothered to actually listen to Dean at all. Sullivan has much more on the topic of Dean on that post, where he argues that maybe a super-lefty version of Bush deserves an equal shot at the ideological wheel of the ship. Separating out Sullivan's ignorance from the rest, you can see that his basic point about offerring the people of America a choice is actually not that different from what Dean himself has said.

Except that we know whose vision wins on the merits. It ain't Tom Delay's.


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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.