Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 8, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

KOS AND THE "IDEOLOGY OF WINNERISM"....Look, this slam from Jason Zengerle is just unfair. Yes, Ciro Rodriguez, the Kos/Atrios/etc. candidate, lost fairly badly to Henry Cuellar in Texas last night, and yes, this means that liberal blogs continue to have a batting average that makes the '62 Mets look good. But Rome wasn't built in a day. I imagine the Kossacks will learn from their mistakes and figure out how to do better in the future.

But it turns out that Laura Turner actually has a better critique than that. Zengerle thinks that Rodriguez's defeat is also a defeat for Kos's "ideology of winnerism," but she's not so sure:

Doesn't Zengerle posit there might be, like, a reason the blogs launched themselves behind Rodriguez that might have to do with ideology, in the sense that Cueller is (and he really is) a very bad Democrat? If Kos and Atrios just wanted a win for somebody with a D behind his name, they probably would have stayed out of Texas-28, which already gurantees such an outcome given that the GOP doesn't even run candidates in the district (somehow the Republican revolution never took hold there). The blogs took a chance on the underdog Rodriguez. Isn't that the opposite of a blind Democratic "winnerism"?

I suppose there are multiple of ways of looking at this. Laura's way is one, but it's also true that the whole thing was sort of a freebie. It's easy to take a cheap ideological stand when you know there's no danger of losing in November, so this race doesn't really say anything one way or another about the Kossacks' willingness to risk a loss in order to elect a better candidate.

In the end, of course, I suspect this is all a bunch of overanalysis. The ability of Kos to rally his troops depends on the troops themselves, and my guess is that their preferences are fairly unpredictable. Sometimes they'll sacrifice ideology for a better chance of winning, and other times they won't. Just like all of us.

Kevin Drum 11:49 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (90)

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Comments

I think it's slow going to pull the train out of the station of appeasement and least-bad candidates and all of that. It will take a while for the notion that we are actually better off losing with good candidates and a real message than almost winning with meaningless pap.

But it will happen, and it will be the blog ecosystem that started it.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Given TNR's record of facile "contrarianism" for the sake of the same, this was little more than a case of glass houses and ill-aimed stones. Considering that the same blog all but accused Cuellar of accepting "payback" in return for his CAFTA vote, it's a bit odd for them to be using him as a standard-bearer of anti-Kossak sentiment.

Posted by: WatchfulBabbler on March 9, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Ugh, TNR.

Craigie, you're even quicker on the draw than Al-bot tonight. :)

Posted by: Tom DC/VA on March 9, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Craigie, you're even quicker on the draw than Al-bot tonight. :)

It was just luck. I was only passing by, on the way to doing some more work. And with that, and a hearty "Hi-ho Silver, Away!" he was gone...

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Here in New York there's an ad for NYU you sometimes see on the subways that reads "I follow business like most people follow sports." Substitute "politics" for "business" and I think you have the key to the mentality of the Kos/MyDD/people-who-use-the-word-"netroots"-seriously crowd. It's not about ideology, it's not even really about "winnerism". It's about My Team, and Not My Team. Cuellar was/is the guy who starts hanging out with the Yankees while still claiming to be a Mets fan, and as such, is scum.

Posted by: schwa on March 9, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

i think Kos is great. He drains money, energy and care from liberals into failed races that do nothing but make liberalism look more radical

He is the anti-rove - he is the only advocate more effective for the Republican party but he's a Democrat...

Posted by: McA on March 9, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Eeeeesh! The ultimate in insider, navel gazing, blog-hackery. Shame on you Kevin. BOR-ing.

Posted by: Punditbot on March 9, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

I have a lot of respect for Kos is trying to do. His approach, if I understand it correctly, is that he's helping to build a franchise from the farm system up. Zengerle's critique is that the major ballclub lost a game yesterday. Kind of beside the point, really.

Posted by: Mornington Crescent on March 9, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

The ability of Kos to rally his troops depends on the troops themselves,...

Well, given that the great majority of Kos' "troops" are outside of the district in question, I guess a lot depends on the actual candidates in the race, and the candidates' own abilities. Kos and others, from anywhere on the political spectrum, merely focus effort and resources on what is there.

Posted by: Wapiti on March 9, 2006 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm, I had expected more fire-breathing by now...

Anyway, if what you're saying is "whatever," I suppose I agree regarding the strawman that "Kossacks" (like, say, "China") constitute some sort of hive-mind monolith. Of course "you win some, you lose some," and of course there are easy calls and hard calls.

But I think Punditbot is wrong when s/he decries "navel gazing." The political role, and effectiveness, of blogs, and online political activism more generally, is still very much up in the air, and efforts like the pro-Rodriguez campaign are worth studying. Online activists have every chance of becoming what, for example, Christian fundamentalist Republican activists became, from their lowly (and often Democratic) roots of, say, 40 years ago, and things move very much faster on the net.

A lot of proto-Tom-DeLays went hurting back when George Bush was a coke-snorting drunk. But look at 'em now...

Posted by: bleh on March 9, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Really, it's not bad strategy - the seat is guaranteed to stay Democratic, so why not give it a shot? If you win, you get one more progressive Democrat; even with losing, Cuellar's voting record is still better than that of most Republicans.

When considering the blogs' political impact, too many people are expecting too much too soon. Keep in mind that five years ago, political blogs as we know them today were almost non-existant. Also, most people over 40 (i.e., the majority of voters) don't know a blog from a bullfrog. As Kos and the other bloggers learn from their mistakes, and the generation that grew up with the internets continues to mature, the bloggers' political inpact will continue to grow; within 10-20 years time, they will be major players on the political scene.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on March 9, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

It's important to acknowledge the limits of "netroots". The very word makes me nauseous. Ultimately, you need people on the ground. That's what carries elections -- not speed-of-light diary writers.

Posted by: tenn on March 9, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

One thing the Kossacks never really got was that most of Cuellar's supporters liked him because he was a Laredoan and he delivered the goods to his district. Most of the people who voted for him were well to the left of him, but they didn't care because they were very familiar with him. They wouldn't vote for a Republican because a Republicans wouldn't have the institutional backing in that district. But a conservative Democrat, especially in the re-drawn 28th, is not that outrageous considering how well he was liked in and around Laredo. Locality, not ideology, won it for Cuellar. Hopefully, Cuellar will get the message that he doesn't get a free ride and he'll start to distance himself from Bush.

Posted by: Elrod on March 9, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK
It's important to acknowledge the limits of "netroots". The very word makes me nauseous. Ultimately, you need people on the ground. That's what carries elections -- not speed-of-light diary writers.

What you need is people communicating to other voters in ways they hear; now, a lot of that is "ground troops", still (though, I think, over the next few decades, online communities are going to continue being a bigger and bigger part of that.)

But those ground troops need "air support" (of the broadcast type) and logistical backing, just like any army, and that means, in politics, money and some other forms of support. A nationwide online community can make that easier.

Kos efforts regarding minor candidates, I think, has the kind of effect that is very hard to measure; its not about winning it all now, though that's the immediate-if-unlikely goal of each individual effort. Its the ability to connect resources from widely geographically separated parts of the liberal/progressive community to push the dialogue by focussing effort and attention in areas of opportunity or interest that would otherwise go largely unnoticed.

Kos, of course, does a whole lot more than that effort, too.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

I wasn't under the impression that Kos, Atrios, and other Non-Wingnutty Blogs were, you, RUNNING CAMPAIGNS. I thought they were just trying to encourage gobs and gobs of people who otherwise wouldn't have to contribute to their candidate. Which -- gee -- happened.

The liberal blogosphere isn't a political machine. It's a PART of politics.

Posted by: Chris in Boston on March 9, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

The effort by Kos and others to focus attention on Cuellar's mimicry of Republicans was worthwhile in and of itself, and the support of Rodriguez was a gamble that had no risks if it didn't work out, but fairly high rewards if it did: Dems everywhere (including CT) would see that there was power in moving to the left, danger in cozying up to the GOP. Smart play, I think. Though the effort could have been promoted with w/ less hyperbole--and I think I could say that for just about everything at I read (daily) at DailyKos--it was a good idea, nonetheless.

Posted by: ambivalentmaybe on March 9, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

Many active Texas dems are really pissed at Cuellar, but I don't know of any from Laredo. I think Elrod nails it on the localism factor, yet the last sentence of the post seems like a non-sequitur, "Hopefully, Cuellar will get the message that he doesn't get a free ride and he'll start to distance himself from Bush."

Based on the assumptions laid out, Laredo supported Cuellar before and they supported Cuellar this time. He faced a tough opponent who was well-backed, but much of the support came from outside the district. The message here is that it doesn't matter if Cuellar pisses off the Texas Dems and the Kossacks as long as he has the support of Laredoans.

Posted by: uberman on March 9, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

All most need know about Politics.
In three words.

Order from Chaos

[Crisis Management/Synthesis]

Once people understand that and how they have
been used... well you get the Idea.

Posted by: Yellow Sycophants on March 9, 2006 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with Kos is he alternates between the perspective of a high school sophomore and, on his good days, an junior in college. And he still stands more mature than virtually all the other posters and commenters on his blog.

Another oddity is that the "ideology of winnerism" without regard to poitical philosophy is advocated by a fellow who never wins and almost always argues philosophy.

Anyway, Kos is a very interesting phenamena that probably hurts the democrats. An interesting question is when will the Kos crowd burn out. My guess is after a republican trounces hillary in 08.

Posted by: brian on March 9, 2006 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

Good points Brian. LOSERS like Howard Dean and Kos will never win unless they back Bush in his war on the terrorists and radical liberal agenda of promoting homosexuality and abortions. The American people are tired of hearing Democrats appease the enemies of America by bashing Bush for partisan purposes. Henry Cuellar won because he knows how much the American people hate the liberals and their Democratic party. It is only when more Democrats become like Henry Cuellar will Democrats finally regain the trust of the American people.

Posted by: Al on March 9, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

If anything, the Kossacks will do all they can to keep Hillary from getting the Democratic presidential nomination in '08. At this point, the only people assuming Hillary will be the Dem nominee are Republicans.

FWIW, I don't think Hillary is going to run for President. With Ted Kennedy's retirement on the horizon, I suspect she figures she can do more good for the Democrats' cause if she takes over Kennedy's role as the nominal leader of Congressional liberals. Or at least she would if she's as smart as everyone says she is.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on March 9, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

dr sardonicus: "I suspect she figures she can do more good for the Democrats' cause if she takes over Kennedy's role as the nominal leader of Congressional liberals."

And that's why she's sponsoring anti-flag-burning legislation:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/12/5/205257/190

Posted by: Michael Robinson on March 9, 2006 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

One wonders if the anti-Kos folks here have done anything recently themselves to improve Democratic party effectiveness. Contributed to promising campaigns? Participated in phone banks? Walked the precincts getting out the vote? Sproken out in local media?

As for The New Republic: some good writers, and some really consistently fucked up analysis. Just who have they influenced anytime in the last 10 years? They bring disgrace to a proud former voice of enlightened liberalism.

Posted by: JimPortandOR on March 9, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

Kos and Atrios need to stay out of local races anyway. The last thing we need is a bunch of out-of-town, out-of-state special interest blog readers donating a bunch of money and corrupting local political elections.

It's one thing to raise awareness, and I'm all for that, but Kos and Atrios should limit themselves to awareness in these cases, and not inviting a flood of money from outside the jurisdiction, county, and state to affect a local race.

Posted by: Jimm on March 9, 2006 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

That said, I think very highly of both Kos and Atrios, and their work, and would definitely buy them both rounds should the occasion arise...

Posted by: Jimm on March 9, 2006 at 4:29 AM | PERMALINK

It is important to realize that every primary fight and every race against an incumbent is an uphill battle. What Kos is doing is no different than what the thousands of candidates and campaign staffers do every 2 years in state legislature races and town council races around the country-- run and lose. Then you move on to the next campaign and lose that one, too. Then, eventually, you'll win one or two somewhere along the line.

As someone at, I believe, mydd.com pointed out, the Republicans do this all the time and were happy to win 1 primary challenge out of more than 100 over the past several years (Sununu vs. Bob Smith in NH).

My advice for anyone interested in getting politically involved is, "learn how to get used to losing." You're always going to lose a lot more races than you win. Kos understands this. People who come from countries with little experience in democracy and people who've never worked "on the ground" on a political campaign don't.

Posted by: Constantine on March 9, 2006 at 4:57 AM | PERMALINK

Did no one here find it odd that the vote counting was delayed several hours because of software problems? Or that two years ago hundreds of uncounted ballots turned up late in the vote count to give Cuellar the victory?

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/14041526.htm

The problem may not be bad candidates at all...

Posted by: Mike on March 9, 2006 at 5:47 AM | PERMALINK

worried about what the New Republican says?

Look, the idea, as many others have said above, is to start pushing back by raising money. If it is a sin to pressure or replace Democrats who support
Bush, what's the point of being a Democrat? and why should any of us vote for them?

Posted by: Lee Hartmann on March 9, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

I realize everybody's shying away from saying anything negative about Ciro, but you have to admit his campaign was "walking dead" until the bloggers breathed some life into it. Would earlier attention from the online community have influenced EV? I very much doubt that more than a tiny fraction of LVs are influenced by the blogs, but why did the CR campaign have basically no EV game? Was it lack of funds at the time (which the online community could have helped with)?

You could almost see the whole thing as a microcosm for the national Democratic party. A party of the walking dead, and an online community desperately trying to breathe some life into it.

And yeah, why are we taking anything that Marty Peretz' rag says seriously, anyway?

Posted by: Taylor on March 9, 2006 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

What the hell are you talking about, Drum?
How was backing Ciro sacrificing ideology for a better chance of winning or vice versa?
When has Kos's ideology been anything but pragmatic?
I don't think Ciro lost so badly at all, considering this was an open primary with no Republican (besides Cuellar) running. There is no way Delay and friends were't quietly getting out the vote for their friend and enabler in Laredo.

Posted by: jussumbody on March 9, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes (the Daily Kos folks will) sacrifice ideology for a better chance of winning, and other times they won't.

The Daily Kos folks will *always* sacrifice ideology for a better chance of winning. Or, put more accurately, the Daily Kos folks will *always* sacrifice ideology for a Democratic victory.

The last several times I've been on that blog and have urged this or that electoral reform (say, IRV or proportional representation), and my own voter registration status is revealed (I happen to belong to the Green Party), I've been roundly hooted out of the place. Not because they disagree with what I'm saying, but because, "This is not a liberal blog, it's a Democratic blog, dedicated to electing Democratic candidates."

I've been told, by more than one commenter, that if I'm not a Democrat, to get the hell out and go get my own blog. And I've been told, by more than one commenter, that if I'm not a Democrat, then they have no interest in working with me to effect positive change in the world.

And then they link to previous posts by Markos saying all of that.

It's kinda disheartening, but it's certainly Markos's prerogative. It doesn't make him (or them) evil, it just makes them partisan shills.

But it's something to bear in mind if you're ever expecting Markos (or those who agree with his stated philosophy) to stand up for his principles at the risk of a candidate with a (D) after his/her name losing. It ain't gonna happen. The Democratic Party means more to him than his principles. He's made that very clear, himself.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on March 9, 2006 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

KOS is much farther left than the electorate.

As a result, the candidates he supports are extreme left.

His record of getting his candidates is perfect: 0.

As a Republican, it warms my heart to have KOS pushing the Democratic party way to the left.

Posted by: MountainDan on March 9, 2006 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'll take Kos's "winnerism" over TNR's loserism (which sounds like it could've been written by Al, who obliges by writing a TNR-esque "Democrats have to reject Democrats to win" post above).

Posted by: Chris on March 9, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see any problem with pragmatism or ideology here. If Cuellar is going to remain in the Democratic Party (something that is not at all guaranteed, given his recent behavior), then it was important to give him a scare in the primary to let him know he's crossed a line (Lieberman has too, in a less extreme way, and deserves a good primary challenge likewise). If Cuellar is going to switch parties after November, then it was important to do what we could to defeat him in the primary.

Posted by: KCinDC on March 9, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Markos' skill is in building a great blog -- pure and simple. He has pieced it together very well at DailyKos.

His skill at politics, however, is (as many here have said) sophomoric. Kos, himself, admits that he is not much of a writer -- and that's fine. But the atmosphere created when he allows people like "Armando" to lurk in the wings is corrosive.

His problems is not that he has backed some losing efforts -- on the contrary, those are his best moments -- his problem lies in his political philosophy: believe in nothing too strongly except vote and support Democrats.

His support of Ciro Rodriguez is a case in point. It resonated within his community because they saw Ciro as a better candidate, more in tune with their beliefs. Kos saw him simply as a more loyal Democrat.

DailyKos is a dead end. It serves its purpose of a gathering place for ditto-heads of a different stripe, but its founder neither promotes a progressive agenda, nor proposes an alternative strategy to the failed efforts of the current crop of Democratic leaders. Kos will tell you that is not his mission -- but if so, then all he has is a nicely designed site.

Posted by: Dicksknee on March 9, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

What if the Kos/Atrios 'netroots' had jumped in earlier? They steered a considerable amount of cash to Ciro in the last few weeks of the campaign. What if that cash had arrived 2 months earlier, with the time to plan for effectively deploying it? I don't know - I'm asking.

What does seem obvious is that lefty blogs are influencing the dynamics of the left's politics. It would be every bit the same mistake to dismiss it outright as to herald it as a revolution. Something is evolving, but we won't know what it is for a few more election cycles.

Posted by: JoeW on March 9, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

I'm certain that Kos and the kids will do better when they can find some candidates to back that are even farther left than the loonies they back now.

Ya, that's the ticket.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Saying that Kos backs "loonies" is ridiculous. No one points to anything showing that Ciro was loony. What about Paul Hackett? Nope. What about, say, Stephanie Herseth (who won)? Nope. No loonies. Kos is just backing Democrats in districts that are marginal for Democrats (like, say, South Dakota or southern Ohio, or against a Bush-supporting incumbent). Of course he's losing now, just like conservatives always did before about 1980, and still mostly until 1994. And then, if you do a good job, you win.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

And, yes, if that 'little' business of TNR backing (cough) Liberman (cough) was a shining example of the purity of their principles then I'd say their principles have become compromised beyond recognition.

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Hopefully, Cuellar will get the message that he doesn't get a free ride and he'll start to distance himself from Bush.

Spot on. Also, what ambivalentmaybe said.

Posted by: Gregory on March 9, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with Kos is he alternates between the perspective of a high school sophomore and, on his good days, an junior in college.

Which means he beats hell out of the trolls here, who sound like high school sophomores on their good days.

Posted by: Gregory on March 9, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Kos and company are definitely having trouble getting their sea legs. But to write them off as liberal hysterics is ridiculous.

What Kos, Atrois, Josh Marshall and a few others are is some of the best liberal writers around. There sharp, insightful and funny. The writer they most remind me of actually is Isaac Asimov (non sci-fi stuff).

TNR used to have them 20 years ago before Sullivan, Kelly and others trashed the place.

Clearly they're not perfect, but heh, they're 0 batting average is the same as the Democratic establishment recently - so it does basically boil down to the question:

Who's philosophy do you think makes more sense?

Lastly, I've got to say that defining Duncan Black or Kos as a wild eyed lefty is just nuts. That's what they're labled by people attacking them, but they're centrists in a lot of positions. They're just vehement about them.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on March 9, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Kos is just backing Democrats in districts that are marginal for Democrats
This was a Democratic primary. Now it might be a marginal district for Democrats, but still, it was a Democratic primary.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Lastly, I've got to say that defining Duncan Black or Kos as a wild eyed lefty is just nuts.
Well certainly you don't see it that way. To a wild-eyed lefty, other wild eyed lefties look pretty normal.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kos and Atrios need to stay out of local races anyway. The last thing we need is a bunch of out-of-town, out-of-state special interest blog readers donating a bunch of money and corrupting local political elections.

Yeah, because, instead, we should just let the national party campaign committees do that, because they are so much more pure and untainted by corruption than individual donors trying to change the world for the better.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Daily Kos is teeming with newbies to politics, all of whom think they invented elections yesterday. No one at that site, including its operators, has any real idea what they're talking about when it comes to elections and inside politics.

The Paul Hackett thing was really eye-opening. All the Kos Kidz drooling over the big tough Marine with the NRA endorsement.

They insisted throughout that Hackett is a "progressive." I posted about a dozen times the question "can anyone tell me what's progressive about Hackett?" and not a single person even acknowledged the question much less answered it.


Posted by: Jim J on March 9, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

FWIW, I don't think Hillary is going to run for President. With Ted Kennedy's retirement on the horizon, I suspect she figures she can do more good for the Democrats' cause if she takes over Kennedy's role as the nominal leader of Congressional liberals. Or at least she would if she's as smart as everyone says she is.

In order to take over Kennedy's role a leader of the Congressional liberal Democrats, she'd have to stop being a mushy-middle Democrat and start being a liberal Democrat. There's little sign that's ever going to happen.

As much as I wish she wouldn't even try to run for President, I see that as a lot more likely than her taking Kennedy's place.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Well certainly you don't see it that way. To a wild-eyed lefty, other wild eyed lefties look pretty normal. Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 10:36 AM

CN, you've proven over and over again that you cannot distinguish anyone to the left of Bismark as anything other than a "wild-eye leftie".

I'm a socialist, I know far left politics, and Kos and Atrios and especially Kevin Drum are centralists, moderates.

Why don't you go and take this little quiz here and find out for yourself where your views fall. I bet you'll find they are a hell of a lot further to the right than you admit.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on March 9, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

The main problem with Kos is that his main readers, as you can see from the comments, are, with no hyperbole, nuts.

Wait, who am I telling this too...

Anyway, if the average American saw what is actually said on DailyKos and associated that language with a Democratic candidate, that candidate would be dead man walking. A great Republican strategy would be to get more people to read Kos, read the commenters, and mention what Democrats seem to support him.

Posted by: Frank J. on March 9, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Eeeeesh! The ultimate in insider, navel gazing, blog-hackery. Shame on you Kevin. BOR-ing. Posted by: Punditbot

Political blogs - preaching to the choir in an echo chamber. They have absolutely zero influence. If the influence of the Internet(s) was strong as many would have us believe (and this can't be true - remember AOL is still the nation's leading ISP), then Howard Dean would be president.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, conspiracy nut, it was a primary. So what?

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a socialist, I know far left politics, and Kos and Atrios and especially Kevin Drum are centralists, moderates.
Sure, I'm an anarcho-capitalist and Cato is composed of centralists, moderates.

When you're so far left you're about to fall off the edge of the Earth, that next person in line waiting to grab your hand looks solidly grounded. But that person's still pretty close to the edge.

Why don't you go and take this little quiz here
About midway between center and right, libertarian leaning. About where I usually score on stuff like that.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

The criticism of Kos in this thread is totally incoherent. It lurches from claiming he backs "loonies" (see conspiracy nut) to claiming he backs candidates who are not progressive, like Paul Hackett (see Jim J). A pragmatic politician who wants the Democrates to be in power on the theory that they are uniformly more progressive than the Republican troglodytes and who, in addition, would like the Democrats to be more progressive (mostly less enabling of corporate theft) than they are, would do just this. Not a bad overall strategy, even if it is suffering tactical defeats as it begins.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, conspiracy nut, it was a primary. So what?
So what. You guys can ask the weirdest questions. But I'm happy to help out. The so what is: The Kos candidate was too far left for lefties! The righties weren't even involved in that election.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

The problem Kos, Soros, Springsteen, and MoveOn have is that they rely on the Democratic Party to provide them with a turn key political organization solution. Unfortunately, they are being used like the Republicans use the religious right. These politically active liberals need to start their own party or embrace another third party like the Green, if they are going to succeed changing American politics.

Posted by: Hostile on March 9, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Hopefully, Cuellar will get the message that he doesn't get a free ride and he'll start to distance himself from Bush."

Why would he? Now that the primary is over, Kos's "Democrats first, last, and only" philosophy ensures that Cuellar can drift as close to Bush as he pleases, without any ramifications whatsoever. As long as he has that (D) after his name, he has nothing to fear from Markos, or anyone who shares Markos's political philosophy.

To me, that's one of the fundamental weaknesses of founding an electronic community based 100% on the interests of a single political party, and on electing candidates from that single political party. You're telling that party, in so many words, that you will support it, no matter what. So what incentive does that political party have to then actively represent your interests? None. If it's got your votes in the bag, it can go woo *other* constituencies by actively representing *their* interests, which can be (and often will be) at cross purposes to your own.

To me, it's a foolish choice on Markos's part. But he, evidently, disagrees, and it *is* his sandbox, so...

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on March 9, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Anyway, if the average American saw what is actually said on DailyKos and associated that language with a Democratic candidate, that candidate would be dead man walking.

Kos embarrasses the left much less than his counterparts at LGF and Free Republic do to the right...

Posted by: Preston on March 9, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Kos embarrasses the left much less than his counterparts at LGF and Free Republic do to the right... Posted by: Preston

Hardly. Kos and Atrios have an inflated sense of self and what blogs can do. But the people behind both are intelligent. LGF, however, never lets the fact or reason get in the way of a good screed, and that doesn't matter to its veracity-challenged "audience."

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

this slam from Jason Zengerle is just unfair.


He's writing for TNR. Even if he had a good point, he's still writing for TNR, which a just universe would have destroyed.

Posted by: luci on March 9, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

which a just universe would have destroyed.
That's right, we don't need that freedom of speech shit. The only viewpoint that has any right to be expressed is the moonbat viewpoint.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I hope that Hillary sees the wisdom in this sentiment: she should aim at becoming Senate Majority Leader. And she should look at Ted Kennedy's example.

Like Hillary now, in 1980, Ted Kennedy was the big name Democrat, the savior. But he had sky high negatives from a lot of people. And Carter's folks used that to beat him in the primaries. And after that Ted Kennedy never really attained the same stature in the Senate again. He was a "loser", the worse of all tags in politics.

My guess is that the same thing would play out in the 2008 democratic primaries. Hillary would run, but would get beat by one of the other Democrats. Who's knows which one? But the anti-Hillary vote would coalecse around one of them.

And she would face the dreaded "loser" tag.

So, I agree with this guess:

FWIW, I don't think Hillary is going to run for President. With Ted Kennedy's retirement on the horizon, I suspect she figures she can do more good for the Democrats' cause if she takes over Kennedy's role as the nominal leader of Congressional liberals. Or at least she would if she's as smart as everyone says she is."

But I don't think that she has to shed the "liberal" monikor:

"In order to take over Kennedy's role a leader of the Congressional liberal Democrats, she'd have to stop being a mushy-middle Democrat and start being a liberal Democrat. There's little sign that's ever going to happen.

As much as I wish she wouldn't even try to run for President, I see that as a lot more likely than her taking Kennedy's place."


Of course none of us really knows....

Posted by: Samuel Knight on March 9, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

So, conspiracy nut, Kos should run someone to the "right" of Cuellar? As if such a Democrat existed? Of course he supported someone to Cuellar's left, you silly person. That's what he'll do in a primary. And that proves what exactly? That Ciro was a loony -- in your dreams, only. More likely that it's really hard to beat an incumbent who's done his constituent service homework; on that score, Ciro didn't do so badly at all. And if he put a scare into Cuellar about next time, so much the better. (I just hope Cuellar decides to run as a Republican; that would be fun.)

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Lemme throw in my 2 cents on Hillary! I think she's running, and I think she's crazy for doing so. I like her in Kennedy's role.

The reasons I think she's running. She answers questions about it like someone that is running. She's raising money nationwide like mad. And she's a hard core liberal (look at her history, look at her 95 rating from ADA, look at HillaryCare) but she's been acting moderate.

I think she's crazy because no sane person would want to hear about the Travel Office, the 1000 FBI files, the Rose Law Firm billing records, and Vince Foster again. But we all know it'll happen. The wingnuts will froth at the mouth (they'll look much like you moonbats with Bush).

As for filling Kennedy's role, I suppose from y'all's standpoint, she's liberal and a big name; but I look at it differently. I like her in Kennedy's position because she's a big enough name and liberal enough to poke fun at; and while her baggage isn't as big a target as Chappaquiddick, it's big enough for the occasional pot shot.

If she runs, I can't see her losing the primary; and I can't see her winning the general. But even if that tags her as a loser, she'll just be that much more like Kennedy. On the other hand, if she wins, we get First Lady Bill Clinton. And that'll be worth something.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

So, conspiracy nut, Kos should run someone to the "right" of Cuellar?
I wouldn't think that would be necessary, but running someone who's position was visible from the center without the use of a telescope would be a start.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

All politics are local? How many of the Kossacks could put Laredo on a map?

Posted by: Dawson on March 9, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK
The reasons I think she's running. She answers questions about it like someone that is running. She's raising money nationwide like mad. And she's a hard core liberal (look at her history, look at her 95 rating from ADA, look at HillaryCare) but she's been acting moderate.

Actually, her most rating in the most recent ADA listing is 100 -- but ADA ratings are a poor tool for distinguishing left-right among Democrats, as there are a grand total of 3 Democrats -- Lieberman, Corzine, and Nelson -- rating lower than 85, and Corzine only down makrs were due to missed votes. ADA ratings are simply based on votes on a very small number (20) of key (as seen by ADA) votes during the year, treating missed votes as equivalent to "wrong" votes when the ADA position is "vote yes", but not when the position is "vote no". (Which, tangentially, is a bad methodology; from impact, a missed vote should be equal to half a wrong vote, no matter what the right vote is, at least, on any vote where a majority of those present and voting is required to pass.)

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, because, instead, we should just let the national party campaign committees do that, because they are so much more pure and untainted by corruption than individual donors trying to change the world for the better.

I'm not saying anything about national political campaign committees, which I oppose in principle being able to raise money and spend it on particular candidates' races rather than party building, but it's just a mockery of electoral representation and accountability for huge reams of money to be coming from ideological and partisan outsiders to the district, to the county, and most even to the state.

Let's say that the blog offensive had allowed Ciro to spend enough money more than Cuellar that he wins the election. Who does he represent? Who gave him all that money? What do they want in return?

I never intended to really talk about practical politics, because you have to play the game the way the rules are currently laid out, because you know the other competitors will. But I'd like to see some models for doing things in a different way, and Kos has talked about promoting local blogs that speak to local people, which is a cool thing, and that's the better progressive focus in my opinion.

Posted by: Jimm on March 9, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm:

If your position is that no one other than natural persons eligible to vote for the office or measure in question should be able to donate to campaigns, I might tend to agree that that's a desirable rule -- it certainly has much to recommend it. I can't agree with most more selective versions of it in isolation, though, like "Kos and Atrios should stay out of local races".

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
Brownback hangs low in single digits, Chaffee and Nelson hang about the same score, and Kennedy scores high. I don't think you can point to a consistent error in ranking (the no vote may throw any one comparison off). Now it's true that there is a pack of Democrats at 95 and above, but there is no indication of that being anything but accurate.

When I averaged Democratic and Republican scores once upon a time, I was surprised how low the Repubs averaged; turns out there are a lot of them down in single digits. So you can't claim that their scoring is skewed, or Repubs would have averaged more moderate.

Further, the discussion today has included Kennedy as a liberal flag bearer, but even he doesn't score 100 (lifetime, some years he's made it). This indicates to me is that their scale does not top out too soon.

Taken together, we find that the results are not skewed and their range is sufficient. This seems to indicate that the reason there is that pack of Dems at 95 and above is because there is a pack of Dems at 95 and above.

I agree that 20 votes per year, and their other problems, makes their methodology look lax; but their results look to be solid. One of these days I ought to dig into their statistical design.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut -- like our other trolls, lack of evidence is no object; ad hominem attacks will always do instead. Despite my invitation, only an aspersion that Ciro is far from the center; dispenses entirely with any facts to support that view.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, you wanted proof Ciro is loony left? Sorry, I missed that request. But here you go: We know Ciro is loony left because Kos backed him.

Had the DLC backed him, we would conclude he was moderate left; had the Cato Institute backed him we would conclude he was right.

But Kos backed him.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

David
I'd have included this earlier, but I just stumbled across it:

Earlier this week 84% of us agreed we should challenge some right-wing incumbent Democrats in primary elections. Now, we're announcing our first MoveOn-member endorsement in a primary.
Ciro Rodriguez...
Hmmm, how would MoveOn challenge a right wing Democrat? With a righter wing Democrat? I guess we can add support by MoveOn as proof that Ciro is loony left.
source

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
On that pack of Dems scoring 95 and up. On that blog I linked for David I also found this. Now I'm not familiar with all he was talking about, but I'll be checking it out.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), a direct spin-off of the Democratic Socialists of America, has achieved critical mass. At this writing 62 members of Congress -- fully one-third of Democratic members -- have joined the CPC. Among the members are David Bonior and Jim McDermott who, at the height of pre-war tensions with Baghdad, flew to Iraq and declared Saddam Hussein more trustworthy than George W. Bush.
My claim that Democrats aren't liberal, but rather they're leftists, may be truer than I thought.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK
Brownback hangs low in single digits, Chaffee and Nelson hang about the same score, and Kennedy scores high.

Brownback (R-KS) 10%
Chafee (R-RI) 75%
Nelson, Bill* (D-FL) 80%
Nelson, Ben* (D-NE) 55%

I'm not sure how you think those numbers are "low single digits".

*Yeah, they are both below 85% and I only counted one before, because skimming through the list I just wrote down Nelson; sloppy, I know.

I don't think you can point to a consistent error in ranking (the no vote may throw any one comparison off).

Since "liberal" isn't an objective qualification, but subjective, its impossible for there to be an "error" in the ranking. OTOH, the combination of the small number of votes and the fact that over 90% of the Democrats in the Senate cluster in a range distinguished by a difference of +/- 1 quantum in the measurements means that it is useless for making distinctions among Democrats.

When I averaged Democratic and Republican scores once upon a time, I was surprised how low the Repubs averaged; turns out there are a lot of them down in single digits.

Since apparently you describe 75% "low in single digits", its hard to take that statement as meaningful.

Further, the discussion today has included Kennedy as a liberal flag bearer, but even he doesn't score 100 (lifetime, some years he's made it). This indicates to me is that their scale does not top out too soon.

Never said it topped out too soon, I've said that it doesn't provide meaningful distinctions.

Taken together, we find that the results are not skewed and their range is sufficient.

Who is "we"? And neither of those related to the objection made, which was neither "insufficient range" nor "skewed results", at least not systematically skewed, which is the only thing your earlier discussion even addressed.

I agree that 20 votes per year, and their other problems, makes their methodology look lax; but their results look to be solid. One of these days I ought to dig into their statistical design.

What "statistical design"? They assign 20 votes per year, not based on a statistical sample but on what they perceive as distinguish left from right, often procedural votes. They assign a "right" way to vote on each. Anyone who votes with them gets 5% for each vote. Anyone who votes against them doesn't.

The lifetime numbers are simple linear averages of the annual numbers for given politicians.


Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
Couple of things. First, I was unclear; Chaffee and Nelson (Ben, NE) were about the same as each other, not about the same as Brownback. Second, I was operating from memory on the 2004 report. They apparently have new numbers up. (My memory ain't that bad, God knows I looked those numbers up enough) For your interest, it looks like Chaffee got more liberal and Nelson more conservative, they were each at 65.

What "statistical design"?
You can't get results as good as theirs by accident. There was some thought put into it. They are, at the heart of it, doing statistical sampling; using a sample results to extrapolate to a population. You may not have recognized it.

But with all that, Never said it topped out too soon is a main point. If they are not skewed, and if they are correctly scaled, then 2 of the most likely causes of incorrect grouping at the top are eliminated. I crunch a lot of data, I know what to look for; and it ain't there on the ADA rankings. I'm not guaranteeing they are correct, but there is nothing superficially wrong.

Now if you agree that all those Dems deserve those ratings, and you just need more data to stratify them; then the ADA site is no help. It would take more than 20 votes to do that. What they are doing is looking to categorize all lawmakers, a broader task.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I am, however, going to have to check those new numbers. How'd my man Sam get out of single digits?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK
You can't get results as good as theirs by accident.

"As good" by what indepedent measure?

They are, at the heart of it, doing statistical sampling; using a sample results to extrapolate to a population.

What population? The universe of all votes? It certainly is not tested against those votes.


But with all that, Never said it topped out too soon is a main point. If they are not skewed, and if they are correctly scaled, then 2 of the most likely causes of incorrect grouping at the top are eliminated. I crunch a lot of data, I know what to look for; and it ain't there on the ADA rankings. I'm not guaranteeing they are correct, but there is nothing superficially wrong.

Er, yeah, there is, for the any kind of distinction among how liberal Democrats are; with the overwhelming majority of Democrats within one quantum, and a microscopic universe of data, its unreliable to rank within the group "Democrats".

Now if you agree that all those Dems deserve those ratings, and you just need more data to stratify them.

Well, no, I don't do that, either, if its taken as a measure of "liberalism" rather than "consistence with the voting preferences of the ADA", which I do not agree is the touchstone of liberalism.

What they are doing is looking to categorize all lawmakers, a broader task.

Yeah, and I don't think they do good, there, either, because they focus exclusively on votes; they get the right idea by recognizing the procedural votes are often more vital than votes on final passage, since they shape the universe of what there will be final passage votes on, but they fail to recognize that public advocacy is often more important than any kind of voting, since it can shape the universe of what there will be any kind of votes on.

Which is why ADA "80% liberal" Lieberman has higher support in his home state among Republicans than Democrats; the voters understand, intuitively, what the ADA ratings ignore.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ha, and it was Snowe that scored 65 in 2004, not Chaffee. I like to make a mistake every now and again, proves I'm human.

On the 2005 stuff, 24 Senators scored 0 or 5. That's nearly half of the Repubs. The Repub average will still be low. Like I said, indication that they aren't skewed.

You may rely on the fact that I'll be looking these numbers over. I love that site.

That is still the first year Brownback scored in double digits; curious, must be getting soft in his old age.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

cn: "Oh, you wanted proof Ciro is loony left? Sorry, I missed that request. But here you go: We know Ciro is loony left because Kos backed him."

This is called an ad hominem. Do you have any actual evidence, or just logical fallacies?

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on March 9, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

It certainly is not tested against those votes.
Statistical sampling never is. If it were practical to test the population, you wouldn't do sampling.

if its taken as a measure of "liberalism" rather than "consistence with the voting preferences of the ADA", which I do not agree is the touchstone of liberalism.
Here we probably have the larger problem. You don't agree with the ADA. I submit they've been liberal longer than you have, and their idea of liberal is more likely correct.

On a related note, I've been doing some fascinating reading following up on that earlier stuff connecting large portions of Democratic lawmakers to the Democratic Socialists of America.

Which is why ADA "80% liberal" Lieberman has higher support in his home state among Republicans than Democrats; the voters understand, intuitively, what the ADA ratings ignore.
Come on, the Democrats are looking for someone farther left; whereas you're talking about NE Republicans. Someone was saying that Bush was in for a surprise after his election in '00 because he was used to working with Texas Democrats, who were just "Republicans with a coat of paint". Well, NE Republicans are just Democrats with a coat of paint.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick
This is called an ad hominem.

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin, literally "argument against the person") or attacking the messenger, is a logical fallacy that involves replying to an argument or assertion by attacking the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself.
But thanks for playing. What I did was more correctly called "guilt by association".

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK
Statistical sampling never is.

Yeah, actually, it is. For a sample done because, while the entire universe of data is practically measurable, it is impractical to repeat the tests over time as frequently as measurements are desired, this can actually be a comparison of the sample results at one point (or a small number of points) in time against the corresponding universe of data; once validated that way, in the future only the sampling is done, with perhaps occasional revalidation from time to time to make sure that the mechanism remains reliable.

For cases where it is impractical to measure the entire universe, multiple simultaneous samples using the same general methodology can be done; if they are distributed around the common mean as expected, the methodology is validated.

Here we probably have the larger problem. You don't agree with the ADA. I submit they've been liberal longer than you have, and their idea of liberal is more likely correct.

Er, first, there is no "correct". Second, I don't claim to disagree with them on what liberal is in terms of policy preference, I disagree that voting records are an adequate measure of liberalism in the current environment.

And, frankly, given as how, in the current environment, there one of the leaders in the failing effort to advance liberal causes, I would suggest that it is not at all clear that they understand what works to advance those causes in the present context.

On a related note, I've been doing some fascinating reading following up on that earlier stuff connecting large portions of Democratic lawmakers to the Democratic Socialists of America.

Uh, so? Aside from revealing your previous ignorance, why do you expect this is important?

Neither the existence of the Progressive Caucus, nor its membership, nor its connection to the DSA is secret.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK
What I did was more correctly called "guilt by association".

Actually, its called "begging the question", as you've used the fact that Kos backed Ciro to justify the claim that Ciro was a loony leftist after using the claim that Ciro was a loony leftist to justify the claim that Kos backs loony leftists.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

I disagree that voting records are an adequate measure of liberalism in the current environment
Well, you're obviously free to do that. But when noticable conservatives score as conservatives, and noticable liberals score as liberals, and noticable moderates score as moderates, it's not too bad. It has it's weaknesses, but I find it stands up pretty good.

You are correct that definitions of liberal and conservative vary, I found earlier that your definition of conservative is very close to my definition of totalitarian. (earlier thread, discussion about fascism and such, I have a last comment up) But I believe the ADA rankings are somewhat good for determining relative position along a liberal-conservative axis. I would freely agree that there is no indication that a score of 50 on the ADA corresponds to the center of the voting public.

Neither the existence of the Progressive Caucus, nor its membership, nor its connection to the DSA is secret.
If I had ever seen that before, I dismissed it as mouth breathing wingnut drivel. And I find during my searches I bring up a lot of wingnut sites. But it was actually news to me. I don't believe I'll be easing up on the Marx comparisons any time soon. In fact, this looks to provide me with a whole new set of things to use. It ought to be fun.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

as you've used the fact that Kos backed Ciro to justify the claim that Ciro was a loony leftist after using the claim that Ciro was a loony leftist to justify the claim that Kos backs loony leftists
You know, Excel yells me every time I use circular logic, too.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK
Well, you're obviously free to do that. But when noticable conservatives score as conservatives, and noticable liberals score as liberals, and noticable moderates score as moderates, it's not too bad. It has it's weaknesses, but I find it stands up pretty good.

Its good for some obvious comparisons of large groups, or individuals to large groups; i.e., most Democrats are more liberal than most Republicans, Chafee is less conservative than most other Republicans; but these are also things no one with even a casual attachment to politics really needs a set of ratings for.

OTOH, its not good for making fine distinctions, not merely because it lacks resolution, but also because it lacks reliability at any but the broadest level; its precision far exceeds its accuracy. With most Republicans clustered tightly at one extreme, and most Democrats clustered tightly at the other, that makes it mostly useless for making any interesting distinctions.


If I had ever seen that before, I dismissed it as mouth breathing wingnut drivel. And I find during my searches I bring up a lot of wingnut sites. But it was actually news to me.

Well, no one ever accused you of being a well-informed wingnut.

I don't believe I'll be easing up on the Marx comparisons any time soon.

Which illustrates that, despite having gained a quantum of knowledge, you remain an ill-informed wingnut.

In fact, this looks to provide me with a whole new set of things to use. It ought to be fun.

At least we have advance warning of what kind of blithering idiocy to expect from you next.


Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios pretty much nails it here. We supported Rodriguez (and I am constantly disappointed that Kevin never helps out in these things) because Cueller was a very bad democrat. Worse than Leiberman, except without a soapbox. There was no downside. Even if we lost, the seat still remains Dem unless Cueller switches and I don't think that would go over well.

So it's not like we move a step farther from the ultimate goal articulated by Kos and others: Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid.

Posted by: MNPundit on March 9, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

How are your troops doin', Drum?

Oh, yeah, you don't have any.

Posted by: lettuce on March 9, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Its good for some obvious comparisons of large groups, or individuals to large groups; i.e., most Democrats are more liberal than most Republicans, Chafee is less conservative than most other Republicans; but these are also things no one with even a casual attachment to politics really needs a set of ratings for.
I agree with this. I believe we started this discussion because you did not particularly like my reliance on ADA numbers. But it seems to me that someone with even a casual attachment to politics would realize that Lieberman is pretty liberal, and Kerry is damn liberal. But that doesn't seem to be the case around here, so I use the ADA numbers.

With most Republicans clustered tightly at one extreme, and most Democrats clustered tightly at the other That's real true in the Senate, and I haven't looked at the House numbers for 2005, but in 2004 the House was splattered from hell to breakfast. There were even moderate Democrats in the House. More indication that the extremism shown in the Senate is accurate.

Which illustrates that, despite having gained a quantum of knowledge, you remain an ill-informed wingnut.
Well, I'll be checking out the DSA site (and others) so I can learn about the various sub-strains of socialism currently in vogue. And I have found that much information is available, and it'll take a while to sort through it.

Yes sir, this is gonna be a hoot.

BTW, I have no qualms about socialists, everybody is entitled to an opinion. I do find it funny that the socialists have to hide behind the name of the Democratic Party instead of being up-front about it. Makes me think they have something to hide. At least Bernie calls himself an Independent.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 10, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Yes sir, this is genuinely going to be a hoot. I've been reading Where We Stand, and they dropped the words proletariat and bourgeois, but not the idea. The evil "bourgeois" is simply replaced with the evil "trans-national corporation", and the downtrodden "proletariat" with the downtrodden "workers, minorities, and women". Class warfare all the way, baby.

A few nods to democracy (but clearly not democracy as we know it), and the old wording is gone; but the old ideas remain. Hell, they even bemoaned the loss of Marxism. And check this:

Social need will outrank narrow profitability as the measure of success for our economic life.
Lenin and Stalin said this, didn't they? Who determines what "social need" is? This is nothing but thinly veiled totalitarianism.

You know, as big of a failure as Marxism was, you'd think they'd have least spent a little time acknowledging it's flaws instead of moaning about being victims of the evil capitalists. I'm pretty sure Lenin and Stalin weren't victims.

I'll be comparing and contrasting this document with The Manifesto.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 10, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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