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Welcome, Moderate Democrats

| 30 Comments

Kos (yes, THAT Kos, who still gets over 100,000 visits per day) is working hard to turn centrist Democrats into Republicans. Speaking from the conservative side of the aisle, we're deeply grateful to him and to so many others like him in the American Democratic Party these days.

Hat Tip to Pejman for this one. We wish you luck in your big cross-country move, buddy!

30 Comments

Erm, recommend you RTFA (read the friendly article) over at Kos.

There will always be a place for "moderates" in the NDN agenda, but it is centrism without the DLC's bomb throwing. And we need moderates and real Democrats like Carson and Salazar to take back our government. NDN has moved beyond the petty narrow world of Al From and his DLC, growing wiser with age, changing with the times.  

Kos is calling for a uniting of moderates and liberals in the Democratic party under the ABB slogan, and the removal of the DLC (which has a tendency to devour its young in order to enforce some half-baked notion of ideological purity). In other words, Kos wants to see the Democratic party acheive the kind of unity and common cause that the Republican party has created -- he sees the DLC as an obstacle to that, not because its politics are moderate, but because its ideological crusades are fomenting civil war within the party.

In other words, "once the centrists sign on to our agenda there will be no further problems." Yeah, thanks. Except the Berkeleyite agenda represented by folks like Kos IS the problem for the centrists, and they aren't about to give their party away.

I'm sure it would be convenient for Kos et. al. if they didn't have to fight a lot of these long-time Democrats in order to get what they want. That doesn't make it a good thing, for the party or the country.

The question is, is the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party already over? If so, another mass migration is imminent, a la the late 1970s and early 1980s. If the American Democratic Party loses again with Kerry, however, internal shifts may begin that won't be much to Kos' liking but will keep many long-time Democrats in the party.

We'll see.

Yeah, yeah, Bird Dog at Tacitus did this three days ago, the post at Kos was four days ago. Old news.

Did any of you actually READ Kos' article? Bird Dog is full of sh*t, getting Kos' position almost 180 degrees backwards.

Kos is berating the DLC and simultaneously praising the NDN. Both are almost equivalently centrist, and he makes it quite clear that his issues are not with the politics of either, but rather their strategies and tactics.

He's tired of the DLC aggressively attacking anyone to the left of them, which they generally do with more fervor than they attack the GOP, at least lately. Kos considers this behavior a counterproductive element within the party, and I have to say I agree with him. He's asking, at most, to disolve the DLC structure because of its effect on the party - not demanding that From and Leiberman switch allegiances.

BD quoted a bit of Kos' article and berated him for "the gospel of ABB" being a negative sentiment, which is rather beside the point. The argument both you and BD tried to attribute to Kos is that he wants to eject moderate elements and push the party to the left, which is 1) wrong and 2) has nothing to do with whether any particular unifying principle is negative or not. The point is, it's a unifying principle.

Someone should try quoting a part which clearly states Kos' thesis, like this one:

NDN has also realized that winning requires more than "centrist" positions. We are too diverse a party to win by enforcing any ideological litmus tests. And thus NDN has worked to build bridges to those constituencies that can mean the difference between victory and defeat in a close election.

or this one:

There will always be a place for "moderates" in the NDN agenda, but it is centrism without the DLC's bomb throwing. And we need moderates and real Democrats like Carson and Salazar to take back our government. [emphasis mine]

There you go - Kos clearly praising a centrist party sub-group for working to develop bridges and a broad-based unity, and arguing the need for moderates within the party.

I may not always agree with Kos. And undoubtedly he personally trends to the left, and elements of his personal philosophy pervade the post. But "Working hard to turn centrist Democrats into Republicans" he is not.

Next time, read the freaking article, okay?

Idahoev: I for one am glad Joe posted this (even though it is 'four days old'). I never go to dkos anymore, because hivemind is boring and they instantly delete comments they disagree with through the 'awesome power of scoop'. Thanks, Joe.

I read it. Kos finds it impossible to grasp that the negative (and often fanatical and desperate-sounding) "Anybody But Bush" meme so typically expressed by Al Gore last week may not be such a great idea.

NDN may be doing a number of positive things... but its acceptance of Dean's agenda and approach as positive for the party is not one of them. The DLC recognizes, correctly in my view, that leaving this unchallenged will change the Democratic Party in ways that will make it unrecognizable to them and highly inhospitable. They see this as bad for their party, and bad for the country - this is the movie we saw in the 70s, they think, and it sucked back then too.

So they fight back. Welcome to politics.

Hint, Kos: the reason that Congress, the Senate, the Presidency and the Governorships all lean Republican these days isn't George Bush - it's the icreasing erosion of a once-dominant New Deal coalition, thanks to the discredited ideas and antics of the McGovernite Democrats Kos favours.

Just because Kos and company think the Kool-Aid tastes good, doesn't mean that other Democrats should let the party drink it.

Joe;

Thanks for your stab at analyzing the Democrat's "problems", but considering the source it can only be viewed as one thing: an attempt to perpetuate an internal policy disagreement within the opposition party that can only help your cause.

Maybe you should worry more about how Bush is fracturing the supposed monolithic Right with his anti-conservative fiscal and foreign policies, and how many long-time Republicans could be so turned off that they might sit the next election out? Or maybe you worry that acknowledging this could work against the Republicans this fall? At least you'll be speaking from within a sphere of reality you have actually experienced.

VT, Typical troll behaviour.

All you have to do is read people like Roger Simon, Michael Totten, Armed Liberal, and the other liberal centrists of the blogosphere to confirm this analysis. It's true to life, and parallels a similar exodus in the late 1970s/early 80s that brought so many "Reagan Democrats" into the fold. I did see that first-hand, and I can recognize the pattern when it shows up again. Unlike you, I can also listen to my liberal friends when they say things very much like this, and take it seriously.

Don't get me wrong - I'm hugely grateful. This pattern got my side some great talent last time, and if the blogosphere is any indication we're on track for another quality set.

The Right does have its contradictions, too, of course - and when the time is right, we'll see open warfare there too. Christian fundamentalists and capitalist libertarians are NOT natural allies. Throw in the country-club establishment types, and it's a bit crowded in the tent to say the least.

Fortunately, the Left continues to be our best friend there, too, by working to pre-empt the option of serious conflict within the Right. As long as the Right sees an existential threat to America and believes the Left is of, shall we say, questionable provenance in said fight... those contradictions will be very, very muted.

Did I mention my thanks to Kos & co. for all this?

IdahoEv:

BD quoted a bit of Kos' article and berated him for "the gospel of ABB" being a negative sentiment, which is rather beside the point. The argument both you and BD tried to attribute to Kos is that he wants to eject moderate elements and push the party to the left, which is 1) wrong and 2) has nothing to do with whether any particular unifying principle is negative or not. The point is, it's a unifying principle.

I'm really uncertain what a loyal Democrat who doesn't agree with "unity above all else" is supposed to do under the Kos program. If a loyal Democrat really believes a platform based on Anything But Bush's will result in a catastrophe for the Dems in the fall, what is that person supposed to do?

(I'm expanding the paradigm to the reflexive attack on anything carrying Bush's fingerprints. Landrieu may have been pointing out that if you want to throw out "No Child Left Behind" you better have an alternative, because otherwise it sounds like you're happy leaving children behind.)

No matter how I read the original Kos post, it sure sounds like a call for the stifling of dissent.

Joe;

Troll my ass, you just don't like being confronted when you're talking out your hairy hole.

You're ignoring the fact that the ABB philosophy can potentially serve to tie all stripes of Dems together as well in a common cause, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. With an approval rating heading toward 40%, I don't think overt disapproval of Bush is a "fringe" or "Lefty" sentiment any longer.

And besides, negative inspiration has worked so well for the Right wing, why shouldn't it for the left? Perhaps this is the real secret to the Republican's recent success?

I think the Right is most afraid of the potential of this GOTV technique, actually, hence the attempts to "help" Democrats sort through our disagreements and turn our attention inward.

The people you cite represent only one view of why Democrats have recently become the minority party in government. For the record, there are many others who disagree with their explanation for how this occurred. I am one of them. But it's no surprise that you and other Republicans would find their positions more agreeable, perhaps not the least of which is that you smell a good wedge.

And BTW, for every Kos there's a Tom DeLay or James Inhofe or Mitch McConnell to serve as counterbalance.

How many times have I heard this phrase: "If you're making liberals mad, you must be doing something right."

Glad to see that Joe is so angry.

Wouldn't "counterbalancing" be interpreted as 'fighting against unity' under Kos' plan?

DeLay, Inhofe and McConnell (I'll throw Santorum in here jusf for fun) are among the most Right wing, and vocal, Republicans out there. Their rhetoric is as likely (or more, since they reach a much larger audience) to alienate the moderate elements of their party, and with potentially the same predicted negative effect, as Kos'.

This is just a further episode in a fracturing of politics predicted here on May 16, 2003.

1. Socialism is dead - the more redistributionist the economy the less wealth it produces. The people who still believe that stuff are now in their 80s and dying off. Kids coming out of college know why the Soviet Union collapsed. They know the Chinese are chaging the basis of their economy.

2. The War is won - that is the American people demand victory. Not only that so does our enemy. If we slack off we will get another attack.

This is a seismic shift and Joe is correct. The right will fracture but not until the left as we now know it is in utter ruins. That may be just a matter of months.

The feeling I am starting to get - and it goes in the face of the polls - is that a lot of former liberals are going to vote near straight Republican to teach the anti-war left a lesson. And it will come as a a big surprise to almost every one.

This election may be as seismic as 1932.

Well, the feeling I'm getting, M. Simon, is that Americans are fed up with Bush and the Republicans and are eagerly anticipating the first opportunity to jettison him and his cronies as soon as possible. For the good of the country.

But congratulations for what has to be one of the top contenders for the "Most Blinkered Post" prize on this blog.

Is it too late to vote for Lieberman? :-(

Its for the American Left to get rid, expunge, or otherwise distance themselves, permanently, from the Communist Clintons, Communist-centricism or the Communist-Socialist agenda, and the Clintons' cabal of dedicated anti-American Americans and Aligns. There's no law which prevents these or any other American politician or activist from telling the truth to his constituents or to himself! TRUE MORAL, PROFESSIONAL, OR IDEOLOGICAL LEADERSHIP IS YOUR FOLLOWERS OR POTENTIAL SUPPORTERS NOT HAVING TO "GUESS" AT WHAT YOU STAND FOR, OR WHAT IS THE AGENDA OR MERITS/DEMERITS! Its already a given that, whether with AL GORE in 2008, or NANCY PELOSI after 2014, the Left and Leftmedias will portray any Hillary Clinton tenure as SUPER-SUCCESSUL regardless of the true merits, just as Kerry will end up being another "well=meaning but FAILED" CARTER-STYLE DEMOCRAT AND LIBERAL, just as Amerika will be glad pre-HILLARY/"TATU" First Lady JUDY DEAN is around to calm down her [Leftmedia-verified]"MANIACAL","PSYCHOLOGICALLY
OBSESSED/DEFECTIVE", RIGHT-LEANING CENTRIST/FASCIST/ "LIBERAL CONSERVATIVE", ANOTHER "FAILED" AND CONTROVERSIAL POTUS HUBBY "MADMAN" HOWIE DEAN! Right now in pre-Communist, pre-Global Government America, the Communists, like the Clintons, are the only GOOD GUYS/WHITE HATS mainstream America can trust and rely on, ala the ACLU = Barry Goldwater, Norman Rockwell, EVEN OL' RONNIE REAGAN! SADDAM AND ADOLF HITLER ARE VERIFIABLE GOOD GUYS, WHILE WW2 AND WAR-WINNING AMERICA WAS JUST LUCKY, OR IN THE ALT CONSPIRATORIALLY/DELIBERATELY MALICIOUS, ALL THE "REAL FIGHTING" WAS OVER BY THE TIME THE USA,, PATTON, AND JOHN WAYNE/USMC WENT TO WAR - on the History Channel, the Commies and VC are #1, Nazis #2 [#1 iff only the USA is being depicted], French and EuroSocialists #3 - the USA is at the bottom!

Is he one of your's, guys ;-?

...and he was doing so well, too. I saw one of JosephMendiola's posts a couple weeks ago, and it had only 3 or 4 words in all-caps! I suggested before that we take up a collection to buy him a keyboard with no Shift or CapsLock keys, but nobody else seemed interested. Pity.

On topic, though...I think it's safe to say that this November can't be predicted with any certainty at this point. Too much could happen between now and the election.

That said, I do not think Kerry is a strong candidate for the Democrats. From the perspective of the electoral map, he's just not likely to pull anything outside of the Pacific Coast, the Northeast, and some of the Midwest. (Granted, he could win, in theory, with states from only those three regions, but he'd have to pretty much sweep the Midwest.) The South, the Plains, and the Rockies are essentially a lock for Bush.

Also, Bush's base is not going to desert him. There are going to be some libertarians that get pissy about some peripheral topic du jour, but no matter how much libertarians dominate the Right side of the Internet, in the meat world they are a tiny minority. Bush's record is more moderate than his conservative base would like, but the Republican primaries this year are gold-plated evidence that he's not going to see fractures any time soon.

"1. Socialism is dead - the more redistributionist the economy the less wealth it produces. The people who still believe that stuff are now in their 80s and dying off. Kids coming out of college know why the Soviet Union collapsed. They know the Chinese are chaging the basis of their economy.

2. The War is won - that is the American people demand victory. Not only that so does our enemy. If we slack off we will get another attack.

This is a seismic shift and Joe is correct. The right will fracture but not until the left as we now know it is in utter ruins. That may be just a matter of months.

LOL!!!

Based on the polls (where, I might remind you, Bush is down,) EVERYONE whom I know both in the U.S. and overseas, says you are DEAD WRONG!

I have not heard from one single person in the real world of tax payers, working people and those who need insurance but cant get it—who want this administration to get elected dog catcher.

Americans, including members of Congress, think the Bushies are wrong, wrong, wrong. They are spending like "drunken sailors" as one repug put it and not getting anything accomplished except running up the deficit and giving the U.S. a black eye. Smart people are all are working on defeating them.

It is time for the U.S. to begin working with the rest of the world to defeat Islamofascism. That cannot happen with Bush et al. in power.

Americans are sick and tired of paying for a war we cannot win. They are SICK and TIRED of not having good, affordable healthcare or child care, of jobs going overseas, of people not having affordable housing, of being made the laughing stock of the world with a buffoon as president and so on.

Don't you people watch C -Span? Don't you read the polls? Don't you read anything but these blogs in never-never-land of terror hysteria?

There are more important things than Islamic terrorism in this world.

". . . By embracing the 'gospel of ABB', the main message coming from the left is fundamentally negative. . . "

Oh, I'm splitting a gut here. :-D

The things that are NEGATIVE are what this administration is doing—and Americans (as well as the rest of the world) are noticing those doings. You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear and you can't make a Muslim democratic!

And then there is this comment about the Bushies ". . . they acted like grown-ups."

GW wouldn't know grown-up if it bit him in the ass. The guy doesn't even have a "grown-up" suit. And the only thing "grown-up" about Cheney is that he looks as if he has hemorrhoids.

As a life-time Democrat who always voted for "the man" and was fiscally conservative and socially liberal (but, less so these days due to mad, mad, mad republican spending) Joe, thanks for the chuckle of the day. :-D

VT,

It is possible you are correct.

Just a point of clarification though - why is California in play for Bush? And how about New Jersey? I thought that was a solid Dem state. There are several others.

The only R state in play for Kerry is Ohio.

There are a lot of liberals who don't trust Kerry re: the war. My bet is that they do not show up in the polls. It has happened before.

My lament is the same as that of another poster. I'm no Bush lover. Why isn't Lieberman on the ballot?

Uh, partisans one and all:

The anti-Bush craziness plays no better to the center than the anti-Clinton craziness. Remember what Americans did in the face of that? They supported Clinton.

My guess is that the irrational attacks will gain similar sympathy for Bush. It is called overplaying your hand. Such a common fault we have a name for it.

Joe: I also was struck by the Kos statement:
"This was a vintage Democratic Leadership Council approach to intra-party disagreements -- turn the guns inward, attack internally. Without a doubt, the DLC is the most fundamentalist organization within the caucus, the most ideologically rigid, and the most destructive to the progressive cause."
With all due respect, It seems to me that Kos and the Deaniacs are the fundamentalists here. In any coalition with a will to power, a common guerilla tactic is the destruction of the middle ground-- essentially forcing at least some of the centrists into the fundamentalist camp. Usually the most progressive and least radical movements are the ones targetted, because they present the biggest threat to the authority of the coalition.

"The anti-Bush craziness plays no better to the center than the anti-Clinton craziness. Remember what Americans did in the face of that? They supported Clinton. "

What about the anti-left craziness—This constant accusing anyone who isn't in the Bush camp of being a leftists, a socialist or even commie, etc.?

I like this bumper sticker: "When Clinton lied, nobody died."

We have the highest deficit in the history of this country. Bush is at an all time low in the polls. People are noticing that we are spending billions of dollars on an un-winable war while we have SERIOUS domestic problems, many of which were caused by this administration's march to war. Most of all people are beginning to recognize that Muslims cannot be forced to become democratic.

Islam is fundamentally incompatible with democracy as Amir Taheri and millions of Muslims recognize.

". . .In democracy there is a constitution that can be amended or changed. The Koran, however, is the immutable word of God, beyond amendment or change. . . . There are 57 nations in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Not one is yet a democracy. . . "

ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY: THE IMPOSSIBLE UNION http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/4585

I continue to maitain (as do Muslim scholars) that Islamic-democracy is an oxymoron! If the Bushies had studied anything about Islam they would know that.

And that is why, this will be a very close election. Bush is not a shoe-in.

"Americans are sick and tired of paying for a war we cannot win. They are SICK and TIRED of not having good, affordable healthcare or child care, of jobs going overseas, of people not having affordable housing, of being made the laughing stock of the world with a buffoon as president and so on.
[...]
There are more important things than Islamic terrorism in this world."

None of the things you mention are fundamental challenges to our continued growth and existance as a civilization. I believe that a growing Islamist movement on the verge of acquiring WMDs is the most pressing danger we currently face, and the combination of the two makes the likelihood of losing one or more American cities much, much higher than it currently is. When you're dealing with folks who have enough fanaticism to dive airliners into buildings, I doubt they'll stop at using WMDs.

And our reaction when a good part of Baltimore or San Diego (much less NYC or DC) is reduced to radiactive ash could well make the firebombings of Dresden or Tokyo pale by comparision. And it's that that we're trying to head off. As a nation, we have the capability to wipe out all major Middle Eastern cities, killing millions, and in the blinding rage that would follow a couple of such strikes on the USA, who can say what the national will would demand in retaliation?

Things like child care and the deficit rather pale in comparison when genocide is on the table, I think.

". . . Things like child care and the deficit rather pale in comparison when genocide is on the table, I think.. . "

I too believe that Islam is a grave threat to civilization—greater even than the Nazis were. However, the public perceives that Bush et al. have made a mess of things. That the current policies have made things much worse and created MORE terrorists. And of course, the people want guns and butter.

"Dirty bombs" can't cause that much damage. They can cause havoc of course. I am more concerned about bio-attacks. It's easy to poison the salad bar.

Nukes cost money. These certainly must be state sponsored.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Official Threatens Suicide Operations: 'Our Missiles Are Ready to Strike at Anglo-Saxon Culture… There Are 29 Sensitive Sites in the U.S. and the West…' http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP72304

". . . 29 sites."

OK, we may have to see them try. . . Any state who sponsors these and uses them must know they will be toast.

Lurker, M. Simon: Since the advent of televised political advertising, the probability that a "short, jewish guy with MPB (Male Pattern Baldness)" could be elected approaches negative infinity. Two memes extant in our population-- (height==leadership) and (hair==virility and youth). I'm sorry, because Joe Lieberman is a decent and honorable man. Which is probably why he is so unpopular with the current Democratic Party leadership.

" I'm sorry, because Joe Lieberman is a decent and honorable man. Which is probably why he is so unpopular with the current Democratic Party leadership."

Actually, it's the whiny, nasal voice that annoys everyone—repugs included.

Baldness is a sign of virility. ;-) And "little" Bush's lack of stature did not stop his having been appointed to the presidency.

calibar is back

"Capt. Joe" - care to clarify, or do I ban this IP as a spammer's test?

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