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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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Monday, May 16, 2005


Dean scream #45,765

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, May 16, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
One of Dean's endearing qualities during the election was his refusal to silence his dissent from the orthodoxy of the political discourse. That orthodoxy was an artificial one, cemented in place by 9-11 and which Dean deserves due credit for cracking open - today, the political dscourse is back on both thrusters, left and right. Granted it is far more partisan and acerbic, but it is also at least balanced (though the Right maintains certain structural advantages, which are unlikely to evaporate anytime until 2006 at the earliest).

Why, then, does Dean continue to act as if that orthodoxy remains? From the boston Globe:


(full story from the Globe below)

At a Democratic convention in Massachusetts, Dean made yet another intemperate remark, this time about Delay. There are some uttterances of Dean that I have defended him for - his remark about voters with confederate flags on their pickups being a notable example - but this one, along with his alleged statement that he hates Republicans, are just not defensible.

Dean's problem is that he get's caught up in the rhetoric of the moment. I supported him for DNC Chair because of the infrastructural changes he will (and has been) bringing to that organization. However, it does have the secondary effect of giving his attack dog side freer rein. That's regrettable, but given that his excellent 11-year record of policy centrism and pragmatism was dismissed during the 2004 race by both sides, and he was cast as a granola liberal, I guess there's not much benefit in his giving policy speeches anymore.

If Dean is a media monster, it is a monster of the media's creation. In the meantime, he will transform the DNC, and that is the real goal here. After all, to quote Douglas Adams:

"His role was not to excercize power, but to drawn attanetion away from it"

And while Dean's critics continue to take shots at him, as they have done for the past three years irrespective of whether he says something dumb (as present) or intelligent (as many many times previous), the DNC will evolve under his guidance into something new, which will be a true force to be reckoned with. A force whose threat to the established order will not be recognized until it is far too late.

Dean rips DeLay at convention

May 15, 2005

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Party, said yesterday that the US House majority leader, Tom DeLay, ''ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence," referring to allegations of unethical conduct against the Republican leader.

Dean's remark, in a speech to Massachusetts Democrats at their party convention, drew an immediate rebuke from US Representative Barney Frank, the Newton Democrat and one of DeLay's harshest critics. ''That's just wrong," Frank said in an interview on the convention floor. ''I think Howard Dean was out of line talking about DeLay. The man has not been indicted. I don't like him, I disagree with some of what he does, but I don't think you, in a political speech, talk about a man as a criminal or his jail sentence."

DeLay faces accusations he may have violated House rules by taking foreign trips paid for by lobbyists. In a separate case, a Texas grand jury indicted three fund-raisers with ties to DeLay on accusations of campaign-finance irregularities.

Dean, the former Vermont governor, lost his bid for the Democratic nomination to Senator John F. Kerry.



Thanks for calling it as you see it.


I appreciate honesty. I appreciate Howard Dean because he is an honest man. Howard Dean says what he honestly thinks and honestly expresses how he feels about what he thinks. I think Howard Dean probably scares a lot of people, Democrats included. I think he scares them because he is the first man in a long time that really is honest and, having lived without it in politics for so long, honesty scares them.
I want to see everyone have health care regardless of their social or economic status, I want to see my grandchildren get a public education that "every child left behind" will never give them, I want to see the infrastructure of our country uplifted and not held back by some sectarian hypocrites who think they are God's chosen, I want to see a military that is able to defend our country in time of need, but not in "invented" time of need, I want to see American products actually made in America by Americans and not outsourced to cheap labor in some foreign sweatshop, I want to see America appreciated for using it's vast power and wealth to bring the rest of the world up to it's standards. That will never happen by marching in, uninvited, and applying destructive doses of shock and awe. In short, I want to see us doing what we ought to be doing instead of what we are doing instead. I think Howard Dean is the man who can provide the leadership to start us down that road. I think it is time to crawl out from behind our politically correct veneer and give Howard Dean the support he needs to do what he has to do.
And, gee, if all of that happens, maybe I can finally afford to leave this terrorist infested paradise and come back home.


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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.