First, the headline:
How We Won the Mainstream
The headline suggests a knowledge that deep down in Kos’ subconcious he knows that “we” – meaning the far left – had to work at “winning the mainstream” – the mainstream being your average voter. In other, words, the far left message was out there, they just had to tone it down so that the “mainstream” voter couldn’t see it. In other words, the Democrats couldn’t get elected on an openly far left platform, they just engaged in the politics of deception to get elected.
Grass-roots Democratic activists had seen the future of our politics in Howard Dean — plain-spoken and unapologetic. His presidential candidacy had come up short, but its fresh, optimistic approach — predicated on offering clear contrasts between the two parties — was poised to redefine the party.
That Howard Dean didn’t win the nomination, let alone the presidency, should be an indicator to Kos that the far left is not the “center” because Howard Dean was a far lefty, and lefties didn’t even pick him as their nominee, choosing instead someone who “appeared” to be more mainstream: Senator John Kerry.
Dean was elected chairman of the Democratic Party despite predictions of electoral doom by the usual suspects in Washington, including the Democratic Leadership Council.
Er, it’s well known that House Democrats the first year of Dean’s leadership were very unhappy with him. It was only after the 2006 elections, elections which saw Democrats win partly because Americans were unsatisfied with the corruption scandals coming out of Washington and partly because of a shrewd planning by Dean, House Democrats like DLCr Rahm Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi to recruit “conservative Democrats” (like Heath Shuler) in districts where they felt they had a strong chance of beating the conservative Republican incumbent, that the praise started rolling in for HoDean.
In the House, Democrats chose Nancy Pelosi to lead them over current DLC Chairman Harold Ford, who warned of disaster if Pelosi won. Calling her a “throwback” who practiced a “destructive and obstructive” style of politics, Ford proclaimed, “I don’t think Nancy Pelosi’s kind of politics is what’s needed right now.” Today, Nancy Pelosi is the first female speaker of the House.
Um, the House under Nancy Pelosi’s leadership has been a disaster. Same same with Harry Reid leading the Senate. Has Kos taken a look at Congress’ ratings lately? Hello? I guess with him, though, ratings only count when we’re talking about Bush’s ratings. And the “job” Congress is doing isn’t as important as the Democrats’ becoming a majority. Whether or not it’s a disaster now, hey, they got elected. COOL! Also, wasn’t it the DLC’s Harold Ford who was the lone Democrat running for Senate who didn’t actually win, thanks to Republican Bob Corker? That would be “yes.” Apparently, not even the “centrist” Harold Ford was centrist enough for TN.
Ford, like his fellow Washington insiders, grossly misunderstood the American electorate. He and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley continue to do so [” Our Chance to Capture the Center,” op-ed, Aug. 7]. Convinced that this is fundamentally a conservative nation, Ford demanded that Democrats unceasingly inch toward the right or risk electoral irrelevance. As then-DLC official Ed Kilgore put it in 2005, “If we put a gun to everybody’s head in the country and make them pick sides, we’re not likely to win.” But we who live outside the D.C. bubble — in all 50 states, in counties blue and red — were hearing voices at odds with the Washington consensus. People wanted real choices at the ballot box. And given the disastrous rule of the Bush administration, they wanted a Democratic Party that stood tall and pushed back like a true opposition.
BS. Again, Democrats won last year not because Americans had suddenly changed their minds and wanted Congress to govern like a bunch of far leftists. They were elected for the reasons I stated above: Because Americans were tired of the corruption in Washington and because the DLC that Kos clearly can’t stand helped come up with a master plan to recruit conservative Democrats in key districts they thought were vulnerable. And let’s not forget about the deception involved.
Also, does Kos even remember why Republicans snagged control on a wave of support in 1994? Primarly because Americans were showing their unhappiness with the Clinton administration. Americans don’t like corruption in DC and they make it apparent at the polls when they’ve had it. They did it back then, and they did it last year.
Months later we championed Ned Lamont’s victorious primary challenge to Sen. Joe Lieberman in Connecticut. Beltway insiders predicted that our success would cost Democrats the U.S. Senate, and consultants allied with the DLC fretted that activists were “pushing the party to the left.”
But, like Howard Dean, Ned Lamont did not win the seat he was after, either. Ignorance is bliss, eh Kos?
In fact, we pushed the party so far left that we positioned it squarely in the American mainstream and last year won a historic, sweeping congressional victory, something the “centrist” groups had been unable to accomplish for decades — not even in the DLC’s glory days of the 1990s.
And absolutely none of that had to do with the fact that Americans weren’t fed up with the corruption in DC, nothing to do with the fact that the DLC helped draw up that plan to run conservative Democrats, nothing to do with hoodwinking the American people into believing that liberal Dems were ‘centrists,’ I’m sure.
By early 2006, so-called centrism had offered up Iraq, a tax regime that puts the burden on the middle class, bankruptcy reform that gave away the farm to irresponsible credit card companies, an outdated physical infrastructure, legalized torture and a crippled disaster-response effort in New Orleans. The American people, infinitely smarter than Washington insiders, had had enough. Unapologetic, muscular Democrats swept into office in dramatic numbers in state and local races nationwide.
A new day is dawning for the progressive movement. The distrust between Net-roots activists and more traditional progressive players in the party establishment and issue groups has given way to respectful cooperation as we all adjust to new technologies and the promise they hold for institutional change.
“Respectful cooperation”? LOL!! Tell that to Representative Ellen O. Tauscher, co-chair of the 47-member New Democrat Coalition, who has been targeted by the Nutroots for her ‘disloyalty’ to far left causes. How, from the WaPo piece written about her:
The Democratic majority was only three weeks old, but by Jan. 26, the grass-roots and Net-roots activists of the party’s left wing had already settled on their new enemy: Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.), the outspoken chair of the centrist New Democrat Coalition.
Progressive blogs — including two new ones, Ellen Tauscher Weekly and Dump Ellen Tauscher — were bashing her as a traitor to her party. A new liberal political action committee had just named her its “Worst Offender.” And in Tauscher’s East Bay district office that day in January, eight MoveOn.org activists were accusing her of helping President Bush send more troops to Iraq.
Helping? Jennifer Barton, the lawmaker’s district director, played them a DVD of Tauscher blasting the increase as an awful idea in a floor speech eight days earlier.
“The words are fine and good, but we are looking for leadership” scoffed Susan Schaller, one of the activists.
Leadership? Barton showed them the eight golden shovels Tauscher had received for bringing transportation projects to her suburban district, along with numerous awards she had won for her work protecting children, wetlands, affordable housing and abortion rights.
“That’s fine and good” Schaller repeated, “but this is about Iraq.”
The anti-Tauscher backlash illustrates how the Democratic takeover has energized and emboldened the party’s liberal base, ratcheting up the pressure on the party’s moderates. That pressure is also reaching House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a San Francisco liberal who recognizes that moderate voters helped sweep Democrats into the majority.
So you see, even far lefties like Nancy Pelosi are targeted by the likes of the so called “center” (aka the Nutroots) if she strays from the party line. I mean, my goodness, the ultra-liberal Senator from Washington Patty Murray at one time was the focus of the Nutroot’s fury, because she balked at the idea of impeaching the President. This is what Kos labels “respectful cooperation”? Riiight.
The DLC had two decades to make its case, to build an audience and community, to elect leaders the American people wanted. It failed.
But, but, the DLC actually helped win back Congress last year for Democrats. How in the world could he possibly try to spin that into a “failure,” especially considering how he touted the fact that Nancy Pelosi was now the Speaker of the House -something that would not have happened without the help of those conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats?
Well, because he’s Kos, and whatever Kos says is lapped up by other equally delusional far lefties who wrongly translated last year’s victory as a “mandate for progressive policies” and not what it really was about: wanting a change in leadership due to the corruption in DC, also being impressed with Democrat candidates who seemed almost as conservative as the incumbent Republicans they were running against.
This is really so easy to figure out that even Kos should be able to: If Americans were really in favor of those “progressive” policies, by now we’d have already seen the following happen with a veto-proof majority in Congress, on issues that are of paramount importance to the far left: the Partial Birth Abortion act: modified, authorization for gay marriage: passed, withdrawal from Iraq: completed, revocation of the President’s “warrantless wiretap” program (in fact, Congress expanded the President’s powers on that front earlier this month): done, the Patriot Act: history, the Kyoto Treaty: Congress would pass a resolution in ‘support’ of it, and of course the President would already be impeached, they’d be starting in on Cheney and Rice, and on and on and on.
True, the minimum wage has been raised, along with a few other Dem policies that got passed after being tacked on to other bills, but that, coupled with the fact that so many of the ‘progressive’ ideas the Nutroots want to see become reality haven’t and won’t see the light of day, just shows that “center” America as represented by Congress is more in line with a mixture of ideas from both parties, not just one.
Whatever Kos is smokin’, my guess is that he’s passing it around, because in order for anyone to believe that ‘progressive’ ideas were behind the Dem win last year, you’ve gotta be flyin’ high …
Update I: Liberal David Sirota thinks Kos’ opinion piece is “fantastic” – well, yeah, it is, if you’re talking in terms of “fantasy-like.”
Update II: Jeff Goldstein thinks Kos’ declaration is a sign of the apocalypse.
Update III: I just might have to tune in for this debate. Would be the first time I ever found myself rooting for Harold Ford, Jr.
- Kos to murdered contractors in Iraq:
Every death should be on the front page (2.70 / 40)
Let the people see what war is like. This isn’t an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush’s folly.
That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries [sic]. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.
by kos on Thu Apr 1st, 2004 at 12:08:56 PDT
- Hillary, in full Socialist mode, coddles the Daily Kos (somebody better tell DLC leadership team member Hillary what Kos thinks of the DLC)
- Attention-seeking (Kos) moonbats at it again
- Oppose impeachment? You’re guilty of treason (according to the Daily Kos blog)
- Kos to moonbat diarists: Stop – we keep getting caught!
- How the Daily Kos “supports the troops”