Nation-Building >> Dean scream # 001100110 | 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

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Dean scream # 001100110

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, July 26, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
as reported by

He also said the president was partly responsible for a recent Supreme Court decision involving eminent domain.

"The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is "okay" to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is,"

assuming that Dean's words are reported accurately, Townhall does the fact-checking for him:

Dean said, not mentioning that until he nominated John Roberts to the Supreme Court this week, Bush had not appointed anyone to the high court.

Dean’s reference to the "right-wing" court was also erroneous. The four justices who dissented in the Kelo vs. New London case included the three most conservative members of the court – Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the fourth dissenter.

The court’s liberal coalition of Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer combined with Justice Anthony Kennedy to form the majority opinion, allowing the city of New London, Conn., to use eminent domain to seize private properties for commercial development.

"We think that eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. It is for public use only, " Dean said.

unlike with previous Screams, I don't have a reason to doubt the incident in this case. Dean is simply shooting off his mouth, and pulling this out of his arse, which makes sense since he probably has his head up his... oh, nevermind.

Look, there's a legitimate point to be made. That point is that last bit: eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. I support the general principle of eminent domain if and only if (iff) it is excercized in the common trust. The argument that the public will benefit from increased tax revenue is simply too "trickle-down" for my liking.

Dean had an opportunity to score a point by emphasising a principle to which bopth Democrats and Republicans could find common cause. He chose instead to fire possibily the lamest ever partisan attack. That's the first time his rhetorical excess has damaged his broader goals of grassroots renewal rather than simply masking them. This snafu therefore counts more against his record and does a great deal of damage to my esteem of him. Perhaps Dean hasn't emerged fully unscathed from the 2004 election, with principles intact, as when he began. That's a shame, because Howard Dean in 2003 inspired me to move mountains. Howard Dean 2005 is making me angry. And not with him. At him.


I'm sad to see that your inspiration is letting you down because I respect your admiration.

That being said, although I disagreed with Dean on many issues (especially his anti-War stance) I respected him more before he became DNC Chair. You know that I was taken aback at his vitriol, hatred, and intolerance of Republicans. Those comments seemed to mean less to you which makes sense. This is one in a long line of comments that are not becoming of a party leader. I'm somewhat surprised that insiders have not started rumblings of a coup yet.

I gave the man a chance based on several of my reasonable liberal friends, that chance is over. I won't be considering national Dems while he is in charge of the party.

- Adam C



Let's be frank here. You never were going to give the national Dems, irrespective of whether Howard Dean was the head of the party or not. Not least because you're a member of the College Republicans, either.

While Dean is alleged to have said he hates "Republicans" (and from the context, it was blindingly obvious that he really meant "Republicanists"), the architect of President Bush's political career has accused all "liberals" as being essentially traitors. You have not yet condemned this statement, which is far more reaching than Dean's was.

After all, assuming we take your reductionist literaist interpretation of Dea's statements, you can still be a conservative and not be a Republican and thus evade Dean's hate. But being a liberal (or a conservative) is a matter of conviction, not membership. Rove hates me for who I am, not which club I join. Had Dean said he hates all conservatives, you'd have had just cause to be offended. But the Republicans are the party of Tom Tancredo and Karl Rove. I'll take Howard Dean any day.

If and when I see Republicans holding their own accountable, starting with Karl Rove and Tom Tancredo, I will give the national GOP a "chance".

Tancredo BTW intends to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Is there any better validation of his sentiments as mainstream within the GOP?


There's a lot to disentangle here. First off, I agree with you that Dean is wrong on the analysis -- it was the SCOTUS flamethrowers who lost on Kelo, including Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist. O'Connor's joining the losing side was what threw him off I think.

I say "threw him off" because I don't agree with him or with you that Kelo was all that wrongly decided. People are now acting as if this was some seat of the pants, arbitrary thing that happened -- it wasn't. It was a town going through a painstaking process to consider plans and chart its course. The jokey home-to-hotel thing happening against Souter's home in NH will run afoul of the serious requirements that years of precedent have put in place for this kind of legislative action.

I'm quite surprised that you would let this tick you off about Dean so much -- after all, he seems to agree with you about the substantive issue, he merely may have made a mistake in attacking Bush for it. If I weren't so skeptical about the merits, I'd enjoy it -- more righteous than the GOP on an issue apparently near and dear to their hearts.

Finally, I'd like to suggest abandoning the "Dean scream" meme. It perpetuates what I've come to see as a serious misrepresentation of that event -- a microphone isolated from the ambient noise he was trying to shout over, to rally his supporters.

This is weird, actually. At the time, I was still in anyone-but-Dean mode. By now I seem to support him more than you do -- even when he agrees with you and disagrees with me! Maybe I'm not sensitive enough to the perils of partisanship, but I wonder if your long (and admirable) march through "purple land" has made you a little *too* sensitive.


What a wonderful invention it is, this thing we call the Internet!


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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.