For Kos Politics is a Game of Inches

Friday, May 19, 2006

Originally published: Friday, January 27, 2006

Earlier this month, Washington Monthly, published an article on Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, proprietor of the "Daily Kos." It highlighted Kos's affection for sports and his lack of interest in actual policy. This is something that becomes rapidly apparent in his blog entries. Kos doesn't care about issues and he said so to the Washington Monthly .

"They want to make me into the latest Jesse Jackson, but I'm not ideological at all," Moulitsas told me, "I'm just all about winning."

Case in point, his latest, and possibly most preposterous post yet on yesterday's Daily Kos. According to Kos, the fact that the Dems can't muster a filibuster in the face of the deeply frightening Alito nomination, is not call to abandon the party, says Kos.

As many of you freak out at the Democrats, you need to keep some things in mind.

We only have 44 Democrats. 44. Jeffords was a Republican and remains one of the two most conservative member of our caucus. We lose Nebraska's Ben Nelson more often than we get him because of local political factors. So we're down to 43.


Not much of a margin for error, is it?

And, of course, he couldn't resist a sports analogy.

That remains to be seen, but if [Reid] pulled it off, it would be the political equivalent of pitching a no-hitter (as opposed to a perfect game).

But what Kos is doing is more akin to scolding fans for not sticking with their losing team, than carving a winning strategy for Democrats. Yes there is a difference between the civic responsibility of voters and the dollar votes of season ticket holders. One is about recreation. The other, the future of the free world. That is precisely why Kos's bloviating is so misplaced. The problem is the party, not the people, as my esteemed colleague, the Blogging Curmudgeon, points out in the thread on Daily Kos.

Here's the essence of Kos' plan:

We abandon our deeply-held principles, hold our noses, and vote for Democrats whose policies and principles make them DINOs (Democrats In Name Only).

Those DINOS then allow the Democratic Party to control committees, liberals are elected to the leadership, hurrah, all is well.

EXCEPT things don't work that way.

Here's what REALLY happens:

The DINOS get into office--then, with the power of incumbency, they stay there for election after election. The DINOS vote with the big corporations because that's their financial backers. The DINOs feel free to tell the Democratic Senate Majority leader to go fuck himself because they're not dependent on him for ANYTHING--they can line up plenty of endorsements and money from their corporate financiers.

Principles matter. Ideology matters. They are NOT irrelevant nor inconsequential. Supporting fake Republicans so "we" get the majority doesn't work because what we get are a lot of traitors in the party who fuck us over on important votes--like the Alito nomination.

As the Blogging Curmudgeon has said repeatedly, Dems will continue to lose if they keep quibbling over a few percentage points, rather than returning to their progressive, populist roots and giving even disgruntled voters a reason to hope on election day.

Football is indeed a game of inches, as Al Pacino says in "Any Given Sunday," in the kind of pep talk that could only be created by Hollywood script writers. But Republicans are playing for keeps and our pathetic defensive linemen in the Democratic Party are not losing a game. They're losing the Republic.