August 6, 2007

"But then Ned Lamont kicked Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party."

Biggest applause line -- to my ear -- in Kos's keynote address at YearlyKos. Context:
Just a year ago, we were a freakish curiosity.

I stood before you at the first YearlyKos conference and declared that we “had arrived”.

People snickered and mocked me.
Those reporters at the back of the room.
They were laughing at me.
They were laughing at us.

But then Ned Lamont kicked Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party.
Video at the link. This part is at about 4:20.

The failure of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman is an endless problem for me and -- I hope -- for many other longtime Democratic voters who care about national security. It's one thing to oppose Lieberman in the primary because there's someone else who's more to your liking. It's quite another to jubilate about narrowing the scope of the party and kicking people out of it and especially to exclude a historically important contingency -- liberal hawks -- that you might want to claim credit for some day. Looking at what happened in Congress over the weekend and at the growing support for the surge, I think Democrats may be approaching the time when they'll want to talk about that part of their tradition.

90 comments:

AJD said...

The failure of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman

Failure to include him?! What -- by making the outrageous decision to consider the primary winner as, uh, the winner.

It was the ego-driven, cry-baby Joe who could not handle defeat and then left the party to run against the winner of a primary process he would only respect if he had won.

I can see why such an ego-driven, jerk appeals to you, but please, let's keep the facts straight.

Jim C. said...

I wouldn't say the Democratic Party failed to include Lieberman. Sure, most folks who frequent Kos are happy he's gone. And the Democratic primary voters in Connecticut elected somebody else to run for Senate.

But I don't think Lieberman's decision to leave the party was an ideological protest of any sort. He made a practical decision to leave the party in order retain his senate seat.

He still votes with the Democrats procedurally. And it has to count for something that he was their V.P. nominee.

On another note: Is there polling indicating increased support for "the surge"?

PatCA said...

I would also say that it was ego driven to back Lamont when they knew Lieberman could beat the other party's candidate. Ego driven, and fatal (if you care about the actual results of the election).

The Dems will drop the Kossacks as soon as it becomes convenient: when and if the surge produces good results and the majority of public approval for Congress hits rock bottom. They don't have far to go there.

Ann Althouse said...

You aren't responding to what Kos said. He's bragging about kicking Lieberman out of the party, not saying we got him defeated in the primary. If you want to say, Lieberman LEFT the party, you're contradicting Kos. You need to respond what Kos said.

I'm then talking about the failure of the party to be big enough to include him and saying the narrowly defined party is something unappealing to me. I really don't see how what you're saying addresses that.

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't see how what you are saying is a problem for Kos or for anyone like him.

Look at Lieberman. He no longer is in the Democratic party, but he votes with them for Majority leader and mostly votes with the Democrats, just like before. He occasionally votes against the Democrats, just like before.

It is not like he went and started voting Republican all the time.

It is not like liberal hawks are going to, either.

So what does he care if they don't like it? It hurts him and his party not at all.

Jim C. said...

The narrowly defined party as the audience at Kos -- which just last week you noted was unexpectedly small -- defines it. Sure. That definition doesn't include "liberal hawks."

But the audience at Kos is not the Democratic Party, and for that reason we're not talking about "the failure of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman." We're talking about "the failure of the Kos audience's vision of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman."

Theo Boehm said...

Kos komment:

"WE R HAZ UR DEMOCRATIC PARTY!"

Eric said...

Prof. Althouse made a similar point soon after or around Lamont's win and it was as incorrect then as it is now. You're trying to draw conclusions about what Lieberman was and what the Dems are without him. Lieberman lost because he blindly supported the IRAQ war and openly questioned the patriotism of those who disagreed with him, not because he was a "liberal hawk." Nor is Lieberman the only democrat capable of supporting conflict. Almost no democrat was criticized for supporting the war in Afganistan. It was primarily the few truly misguided dems that continued to believe everything bush and cheney said that (and supported them) had problems with dem voters. You cannot draw the conclusion that Lieberman's loss was some how a vote by dems that there be no conflict or use of military force for national security purposes. To reach that conclusion you'd have to buy that invading Iraq was, and our continued presence is, related to national security. It's not, no matter how many times bush/cheney say it is. All the dem. primary voters were saying was that Lieberman should not continue to support the Iraq war, and for god's sake, stop kissing W.

John Stodder said...

I have to say, I think the attention to Kos is starting to be overdone. Let the guy run for something, or manage a campaign.

Reading about the Kos "movement" is starting to remind me of the Jetsons -- a past idea of what the future was going to be that looks even quainter than the actual past. He peaked in 2006 or maybe earlier. Now it's just nostalgia.

But to your main point -- I fully expect the emergence of a Democratic centrist/hawk wing before the 2008 conventions. Hillary will lead it. Kos will bitch and moan, but he won't have a candidate, so it won't mean a thing. I will also bitch and moan, because I don't really like Hillary, but I will have to accept that she's probably the best choice.

EnigmatiCore said...

"But the audience at Kos is not the Democratic Party, and for that reason we're not talking about "the failure of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman.""

But Kos did not singlehandedly vote Lieberman out of the Democratic party. Democrat primary voters did.

So I think it is very accurate to talk about the failure of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman.

But the fact remains, so what? What's he going to do, start voting against everything he's ever believed in, just to spite them? He won't, just like Ann won't, just like the rest won't.

AJ Lynch said...

THere is something way premature to see these fringe groups and their figureheads pat themselves on the back so frequently.

For example, what is Kos's track records in backing winning candidates and spurring new legislation (that is actually enacted by a legiuslature)?

They remind me of bratty kids and they are satisfied to be eating their meals at the little kids' table.

Justin said...

I still don't understand why they're so happy to have beaten Lieberman. Maybe if Lamont had won in the general, they'd have something to brag about. But he lost. How is the party better off without Lieberman if he's still in the Senate? Do they recognize it as a symbolic victory? That's the best case scenario I can see.

I think they would be better off bragging about their candidates that actually won: Webb, Tester, etc. (If they can actually claim them as "their candidates".)

Roost on the Moon said...

It could be that the democrats do care about national security, right? That they do take terrorism seriously, and just think that the administration's "fight 'em over there" rhetoric is a bad ad hoc justification for the Iraq war.

Caring about national security and opposing the Iraq invasion aren't mutually exclusive. Insisting on due process and humane treatment of prisoners doesn't mean you don't give a damn about America's safety.

Whether our invasion of Iraq made the world safer or less safe is still a wide open question. To me, it seems as if we've gone from being despised by a small fringe movement to being despised by a large portion of the world. Widespread antipathy for our country is not something you write off as wussy liberal hand-wringing if you truly care about terrorism and national security.

The Emperor said...

There are plenty of liberal hawks in the Democratic Party. Obama seems to be one. But supporting the invasion of Iraq does not make you a hawk or strong on national security. It just makes you mis-guided.

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...

The failure of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman is an endless problem for me

All he did was call them weak, cowardly traitors for correctly opposing a disastrous war. I don't know why they got so bent out of shape!

EnigmatiCore said...

"Obama seems to be one"

Threatening to invade one ally does not a hawk make.

This is one problem with Obama's candidacy. What is the record he has which would tell us if he is a hawk or a dove?

We know what Hillary is. Not quite a hawk, but not a dove either. Closer to the hawk side.

David53 said...

Kos states,

I joined the United States Army in 1989.
I served my nation, during the gulf war...


Like Kos I also served my nation during the gulf war. Neither of us got closer to the gulf than Germany. Why the need to include "during the gulf war" when you weren't in country? I never do unless asked.

Interesting.

Jim C. said...

But Kos did not singlehandedly vote Lieberman out of the Democratic party. Democrat primary voters did.

This claim seems to falsely rely on three points:

First, it assumes that the identity of a party can be adequately located in the outcome of a primary vote in one state.

Second, it rewrites history to say that the voters voted him out of the party. They did no such thing. They chose another person for their candidate.

Third, even if the first two weren't there, it assumes that Lieberman lost because of his support for the Iraq War. I think Eric is at least in part right that other factors, albeit factors related to the war, were more important -- a seeming unwillingness to reflect on possible errors in his own judgment or in the conduct of the war, a deeply undemocratic depiction of dissent as unpatriotic, and finally, a poorly organized and managed campaign.

Palladian said...

"There are plenty of liberal hawks in the Democratic Party. Obama seems to be one."

Yes, nothing establishes better hawk credentials than threatening ILLEGAL (a favorite word of the anti-war crowd) invasion of a ally who has both nuclear weapons and a potential fighting force of around 40 million people.

Roost on the Moon said...

In case it's unclear, my post was a response to this sentence in the original post:

The failure of the Democratic Party to include Joe Lieberman is an endless problem for me and -- I hope -- for many other longtime Democratic voters who care about national security.

Y.G. Brown said...

1. The loudest applause, without question, was for the members of the Dkos community who had passed away over the past year.

2. Joe Lieberman was not run out of the party because he is a "hawk," and it is silly to even put forward such a canard. There are many members of the Democratic Party who are "hawks," and there are a number of currently sitting Democratic Senators who are "hawks." Ben Nelson. Mark Pryor. Tom Carper. That's just off the top of my head. If hawks weren't welcome in the Democratic Party, the vote to go into Iraq would not have been 77-23. Markos (of Daily Kos fame) has addressed your spin job directly during an interview with Tim Russert back in 2006.

Here's a link to both the video and a transcript.

Joe Lieberman was primaried for two main reasons. First, he consistently undermines the Democratic Party by kowtowing to rightwing blowhards and publicly spouting off GOP talking points. Second, he is a moderate in a very liberal state. He does not represent the views of the Democratic party in Connecticut.

That's why he lost in the primary, and that's why Lamont took 65% of the Democratic vote in the general election. Lieberman was re-elected because he took 70% of the Republican vote.

EnigmatiCore said...

"First, it assumes that the identity of a party can be adequately located in the outcome of a primary vote in one state."

Throw in the refusal of many, if not most, of his colleagues to back him against Lamont, and the rhetoric from the grassroots most well identified with the party.

I am pretty sure that there just is not a huge groundswell of Democratic support nationwide for Joe Lieberman. There is antipathy.

"Second, it rewrites history to say that the voters voted him out of the party. They did no such thing. They chose another person for their candidate."

And in doing voted him out of the party, effectively. They made it clear that, to them, he is not one of them, and does not represent their ideals.

Cedarford said...

The Republicans tend to lose power when they return to being the "Party of the Rich, the religious zealots" and NOT the party of the middle class. When they shun representing average Americans and their need for good jobs, health care, and a coherent approach to war fighting THEIR Kids, not Wall Streets, are fighting and giving blood for, and church-state matters.

The Democrats lose power when they begin "expelling" people the Hard Left despises. Like anti-communists. Like southern whites. Then religious Catholics and others who wished to have Roe decided by The People, not an activist Court. Now attacks on Centrist Democrats, demonizing the likes of Lieberman, Harman, Zell Miller, the DLC.

Right now, both Parties appear at low ebb.
Republicans in full corrupt, Porkmeistering whores to the wealthy, enemies of the middle class, mode. With incoherence on war and foreign policy except "back Bush, keep the tax cuts for the wealthy going."

Democrats in full Lefty venom mode towards apostates, full defense mode of the "rights" of criminals and terrorists.

The winner? The Democrats because they have fallen less far into their rut (being out of power) than the Corrupticans/Christian Taliban have.

Both Parties could use some climbing efforts out of their fetid pits.

Palladian said...

"Why the need to include "during the gulf war" when you weren't in country?"

Because people believe that having served in the armed forces in any capacity grants them ABSOLUTE MORAL AUTHORITY to peddle any outrageous shit they want. I'm happy that Mr Zuniga served, and his country thanks him for it, as they should thank anyone else who honorably served in the military. But it doesn't protect him from criticism, nor should it necessarily give his ideas any more credence than any other citizen's ideas.

Sort of like that Disearnest Hemingway that joined up so that he could publish his little lifestyle pieces in The New Republic. He has ABSOLUTE MORAL AUTHORITY too, don't ya know?

Y.G. Brown said...

Two more quick points. First, in your comment you write, "He's bragging about kicking Lieberman out of the party, not saying we got him defeated in the primary. If you want to say, Lieberman LEFT the party, you're contradicting Kos. You need to respond what Kos said."

When you are accusing folks of not responding to what Kos said it is pretty damn important to quote him accurately. He accurately credited Ned Lamont for "kick(ing) Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party." While you quote him accurately in your post, your odd spin in the comment is dead wrong.

He never bragged about kicking anyone out of the party himself, as you know.

Second, here is the key graf from the MTP appearance that I reference above:

"People try to paint it as--well, Joe Lieberman, the reason we're attacking him, the reason we're, we're helping generate excitement for Ned Lamont is because of the Iraq war. It's one issue out of many. Hillary Clinton doesn't undermine the Democratic Party. Neither--neither does John Kerry or Edwards or any of these people.

"They do not undermine the Democratic Party. That's the litmus test. It's a very easy litmus test for most Democrats to, to follow, because if they had that D next to their name, usually they're working for the benefit of the Democratic Party because they believe in the strong, progressive principles that drive Democrats like, like myself and Kerry and Hillary Clinton.

"Joe Lieberman does not share those values, hence he's suffering a primary challenge. And you know what's interesting, too, is he's angry. He feels as though--Joe Lieberman is angry. He feels as though he has the God-given right to this seat when this is what democracy is all about. He needs to make his case to the American--to the people of Connecticut, and they will decide, ultimately, whether he deserves another six years."

Y.G. Brown said...

palladian, any evidence to back up your notion that Kos feels that he is either above criticism or has moral authority greater than your own? Any at all?

EnigmatiCore said...

Republicans tend to win power when they run as the party of small government.

The GOP got their butts handed to them because they stopped being about small government, and remembering that voters know that government is often the problem. The naive in the party thought that, with them in control, they could make government be the solution. The cynical in the party thought that, with them in control, they could make the government work to keep them in control. The corrupt in the party thought that, with them in control, they could enrich themselves.

I'm not sure that there were too many left beyond that.

Revenant said...

I am pretty sure that there just is not a huge groundswell of Democratic support nationwide for Joe Lieberman. There is antipathy.

Does that even matter? Most Republicans loathe Specter, but he still keeps getting reelected because he, like Lieberman, appeals to centrists.

Liam said...

So, let me get this straight. All those stealth Republican voters suddenly de-cloaked and voted in an independent candidate in a historically Democratic state?

So, really, what had they been doing all this time? Trying to figure out punch card voting?

Sheesh.

Bill Connelly said...

Am I the only one who thinks that Lieberman is a hawk because of his messianic religious sympathies. Did anyone see Max Blumenthal's video about the Christians United for Israel conference.

EnigmatiCore said...

"He accurately credited Ned Lamont for "kick(ing) Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party." While you quote him accurately in your post, your odd spin in the comment is dead wrong.

He never bragged about kicking anyone out of the party himself, as you know."

Do you remember how, on tests like the SATs, they would have questions where one had to read between the lines, or draw inferences?

"People snickered and mocked me.
Those reporters at the back of the room.
They were laughing at me.
They were laughing at us.

But then Ned Lamont kicked Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party."

They snickered and mocked [Kos].
They were laughing at [Kos].
They were laughing at [Kos and those to whom he was speaking].

But what changed that? "But then Ned Lamont kicked Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party."

That stopped them from snickering at and mocking Kos. From laughing at Kos. From laughing at Kos and his attendees.

Now, if he was not claiming that he and his attendees were responsible for Lamont 'kicking Lieberman out of the party', then his whole speech is nothing but a non-sequitor, correct?

It would be like me saying:

"People snickered and mocked me.
They were laughing at me.
They were laughing at us.

But then Apple released the iPhone."

If I said that, one would have to infer that I was claiming some connection to the release of the iPhone.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Does that even matter?"

That's the point I made above. It doesn't matter that the Democrats threw him out. He is still there, voting just like he always has.

And voters who might identify with him are pretty much going to vote the way they always have, like Ann. It doesn't matter if Kos and luckyoldson and downtownlad berate her or if cedarford tries to woo her. She's going to vote for who she thinks will promote the positions she holds most dearly.

Y.G. Brown said...

eCore,

My point is that is we are going to rationally discuss Kos' comment then there will be interpretation and parsing of his words.

Obviously, as jim pointed out, no one literally "kicked" Lieberman out of the Democratic Party. He lost in the primary and ran as an independent. Ann took Jim to task for "contradicting" Kos when he was simply stating the obvious factual basis for Kos' statements. Lieberman was "kicked out" by an effective primary challenge... that isn't a contradiction.

Y.G. Brown said...

Justin,

The very next lines in the speech after the selection quoted by Ann are:

"And how about people-powered Jon Tester and Jim Webb?

"We helped recruit them into the race, helped them win tough primary races, and pushed them over the finish line.

"It was fitting that their early morning razor-thin victories – those victories that the netroots fueled -- gave Democrats control of the Senate."

Revenant said...

I think that's what Ann's getting at, though. Kos is basically bragging that they shrunk the Democratic Party and reduced its total Senate seats by one.

It would make sense for Karl Rove to be bragging about that -- but for a Democrat to brag about it is a little weird. That's what Ann is getting at, as I see it. Maybe lots of Democrats DO dislike Lieberman, but any political party attempting to appeal to over half of the people in America -- which is what both of the major parties try to do -- is going to have people in it that a lot of the other members can't stand. The only way to have a political party composed of people who all think alike is to shrink yourself to minor-party size.

Revenant said...

The previous comment was a reply to EnigmatiCore, by the way.

EnigmatiCore said...

"no one literally "kicked" Lieberman out of the Democratic Party"

I don't think that anyone was saying hit 'literally' kicked him out of anything.

However, I think that Kos was saying that he figuratively did, and I think that as far as 'he' represents the netroots who were at YearlyKos, he is right.

EnigmatiCore said...

"The only way to have a political party composed of people who all think alike is to shrink yourself to minor-party size. "

I think that they have figured out that it does not matter how big the party is, so long as the party can attract enough votes from those not in the party.

As I pointed out, Democrats have not lost Lieberman's votes significantly more than before kicking him out. While Ann voted against Kerry, she mostly leans towards Democratic candidates. The fact that the Democrats are becoming the party of downtownlad and luckyoldson matters not at all, so long as people not like them continue to pull the lever for the Democrats.

Y.G. Brown said...

"Kos is basically bragging that they shrunk the Democratic Party and reduced its total Senate seats by one."

Balderdash, reverant. The electoral approach taken by the community at Daily Kos and many other blogs has been extremely effective and it helped lead to the current Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate.

The Democratic Party is more popular today than it has been in the last seven years, and it has more nationally elected representatives that it has in over a decade.

Look at the House in particular if you need further proof that "hawks" are welcome in today's Democratic Party.

Last, your choice of Arlen Specter as an example above is an interesting one. Do you remember Pat Toomey?

Revenant said...

The electoral approach taken by the community at Daily Kos and many other blogs has been extremely effective and it helped lead to the current Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate.

That's obviously nonsense, since the overall result of the 2006 elections was that the Democratic caucus became slightly more conservative -- the same old liberals got relected, sure, but the new seats they picked up tended to be filled by more centrist Democrats. That's hardly surprising, of course, since disputed seats tend to be from areas where voters are willing to consider candidates from both parties.

The Democrats gained in 2006 not because of the Kossacks, but in spite of them.

The Democratic Party is more popular today than it has been in the last seven years, and it has more nationally elected representatives that it has in over a decade.

I'm not sure what polls you've been looking at, but I think you're confused. The Democrats are doing better compared to the Republicans than they have in a decade, but the party itself is actually LESS popular. They just haven't lost as much popularity, recently, as the Republicans have.

We have a two-party system. When one party does a bad job, the other party rises in popularity relative to it and gains seats. That doesn't mean that the other party is doing anything right, nor does it mean that the party that rises in the polls can expect its good fortune to continue.

For example, George Bush not only did better in 2004 than in 2008 -- he did better than Clinton had in 1996 or 1992! Were the Republican partisans who saw visions of an eternal Republican majority right in their thinking? Of course not. Bush won because he was lucky enough to be running against a complete loser, not because people thought HE was so great.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Ann Althouse,

Would you care to comment on the failure of the Republican Party to include Jim Jeffords? Unlike Joe Lieberman, Jeffords did not leave his party for electoral reasons. Was the unwillingness of the GOP to include Jim Jeffords an endless problem for you too?

Y.G. Brown said...

That's obviously nonsense, since the overall result of the 2006 elections was that the Democratic caucus became slightly more conservative -- the same old liberals got relected, sure, but the new seats they picked up tended to be filled by more centrist Democrats. That's hardly surprising, of course, since disputed seats tend to be from areas where voters are willing to consider candidates from both parties.

Reverant? If not sure if you noticed, but those Kossacks that you're attacking supported alllllllllllll of those centrist who were elected. They even supported a lot of them in primaries. The even helped to convince some of them to run.

Jim Webb and John Tester are the highest profile examples of this, but across the House delegation are centrist Dems who were elected with the full-throated support of the blogs. Heath Shuler, all of the newly elected Dems from Indiana, Nancy Boyda... and on and on and on. All supported by the blogs. All supported by the DKos community.

E.J. Dionne wrote recently, "Daily Kos is often described as liberal, but it is, more than anything, partisan. Its core assumption is that ideological conservatives made the Republican Party their vehicle and rallied in lock step against Democrats. The party of FDR and JFK needed to find the same discipline. The key litmus tests for Kos and his many allies in the blogosphere involve not long lists of issues developed by the American Civil Liberties Union or the AFL-CIO, but loyalty in standing up against Bush and doing what's necessary to build a Democratic majority."

Daily Kos exists to elect Democrats of every stripe... not just the liberal ones.

dave™© said...

Dear Blithering Misogynist Drunk,

Lieberwhore is a "Democrat" the same way you are.

Which is, he isn't. He's a bought-and-paid-for right wing whore.

Like you.

Clear enough?

B said...

From: Democrat National Committee Headquarters
------- 430 S. Capitol St. SE
------- Washington, DC 20003

Dept: Marketing Spin / Issue Framing

Re: Rough Draft Tryout of Mottos for 2008


First entries considered:

-- The Democrat Vow: Wait, there's a harder way!


-- Iraq - this time, we mean it! (Vote Democrat 2008)


-- Terrorism, Scmerroirism. Let's Get Real! (Democrat National Committee)


-- We'll get the government into everywhere, just like you know you want! (Vote Democrat 2008)


and the Spin Committee's recommendation from the first batch:


-- First 100 days? Who ever said that was really important? (Send money)

Revenant said...

Reverant? If not sure if you noticed, but those Kossacks that you're attacking supported alllllllllllll of those centrist who were elected.

Duh. They support the most left-wing candidate in ANY election, so naturally they backed the Democrats over the Republicans. The point is, they back leftist Democrats over centrist Democrats, even when the centrist Democrat obviously has the best chance of winning. And that's what makes this claim, reprinted by you, nonsense:

Daily Kos exists to elect Democrats of every stripe... not just the liberal ones.

That claim would be a lot more believable if the owner of DailyKos hadn't just gotten finished bragging about how untrue it is. A person who concerned himself with electing Democrats would have supported Lieberman over Lamont. The former was more electable.

B said...

Democrat National Committee Headquarters
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003


From: Ann Lewis

Re: addendums to Motto 2008 tryouts


Sorry boys and girls, the committee forgot these.

Annie


-- We've already got the schools. It's only a matter of time before we get the rest!


-- No fat chicks (if they're evangelical and white) Vote Democrat 2008!


-- Not Bush! (Democrats 2008!)


-- It's Okay To Hate Bush and Still Preach Against Hate! (Democrat National Committee)


-- Get Bush, not Al Queda! (Democrat National Committee)


-- Relive the Clinton Years! For Real!

B said...

y.g. brown said:
Daily Kos exists to elect Democrats of every stripe... not just the liberal ones.

revenant responded:
That claim would be a lot more believable if the owner of DailyKos hadn't just gotten finished bragging about how untrue it is. A person who concerned himself with electing Democrats would have supported Lieberman over Lamont. The former was more electable.


Ouch!


Round goes to revenant

EnigmatiCore said...

The former was more electable in a neutral or balanced state.

Connecticut is neither. Either was electable in Connecticut, and which was 'more so' mattered not a whit.

People like Ann are in the same boat as people like me. Neither party really gives a crap about if we are part of them. All they care about is if they attract our votes.

PatCA said...

"Reading about the Kos "movement" is starting to remind me of the Jetsons -- a past idea of what the future was going to be that looks even quainter than the actual past."

So true. Maybe they should have their next meeting here: http://www.iflylax.com/lax_encounter.html

Ann Althouse said...

Enigmaticore's analysis of the "kicking" issue is very nicely put. The way I see it, Kos is trying not to sound incredibly arrogant, but the claim is in there. Think of Lamont as being, essentially, the foot. The Kos community is the body connected to that foot. Kicking happened.

Seven Machos said...

Bill: Yes. You are the only one who thinks that. Most people do not automatically assume that Jewish people who support an aggressive foreign policy are "messianic."

Far lefties: Has a Kos-supported candidate won any general election ever? Face it, kids. In a left-liberal state ripe for the taking (and in a terrible, terrible year for Republicans), your hand-picked guy got walloped by a hawk.

Those are the facts on the ground. Bragging about it is a bit like asking out a super-hot woman and getting rejected (in an especially gnarly way). Your non-feat is not particularly impressive.

Y.G.: No one is saying that hawks aren't welcome in the Democratic party. In Althouse and Stodder, we have two of the leading Democratic hawks in the country right here as far I'm concerned. What Althouse is saying, and what is true, is that the Kos faction wants hawks to be unwelcome in the party. This is stupid politics for Kos, the Democrats, and the country.

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't consider myself a far-lefty, but to answer this question, "Has a Kos-supported candidate won any general election ever?"

Senators Webb and Tester and Klobuchar are all sending along their regards from Washington.

Methadras said...

cyrus pinkerton said...

Ann Althouse,

Would you care to comment on the failure of the Republican Party to include Jim Jeffords? Unlike Joe Lieberman, Jeffords did not leave his party for electoral reasons. Was the unwillingness of the GOP to include Jim Jeffords an endless problem for you too?


I wondered when someone would mention Jim Jeffords in the same breath as Kos taking kredit for kicking out Joe Liebermann. First of all, Jeffords is a progressive green republican from Vermont. That's not saying much more than he is a republican in name only. Jeffords sympathized with the progressive (regressive) movement and by doing so was wooed by the Democrats by being promised choice committee seats that he never got Republican table. Therefore, considering the insignificant pandering political animal that Jeffords proved to be, he jumped for all the wrong reasons.

In any event, he simply saw opportunism like Liebermann, but you never saw anyone in the RNC or the Republican party hold a convention and celebrate to the fact that they booted one of their own to the other side... apples and oranges, but hey, I would expect you to mix up comparisons just like your fruit anyway.

Seven Machos said...

Enigmatic -- Not a candidate who was supported by Kos. Webb is no Kossack.

What I should have said was: someone, like Ned, who Kos absolutely promoted from Day One and otherwise made. Bill Clinton was a DLC candidate. Just because he was supported by other factions doesn't make them their candidate. I'm not talking about jumping on an existing bandwagon; I'm talking about being there from the get-go and making it all happen.

Palladian said...

Does anyone else hate the word "movement" when it's self-applied to politics? Kos Movement? Not only is it tiresome in that earnest let's-form-a-revolutionary-committee 'Sixties sort of way, but it also sounds like something that you would have after eating a plateful of prune pie.

Now excuse me, it's time for my Daily Kos movement. I have a nasty Lieberman clogging up my caucus that I just have to flush out.

EnigmatiCore said...

If Webb is a Kossack is not relevant.

You asked if there were any that Kos supported. He was behind the three I named from day 1. I believe, but could be remembering wrong, that he supported all three even when two of them were facing competitive primaries.

Seven Machos said...

Enigmatic -- Then I asked the wrong question because that's not what I meant.

Nevertheless, if Kos supported these folks in contested primaries, then I am wrong and stand corrected. (Why he'd avidly support Webb is a mystery.)

Seven Machos said...

On a related note, and I wish Althouse would find this interesting, how about that bloggers' union? That's a movement for sure. They can all pay dues out of their "wages" and schizophrenically strike against "management" and the "owners of the blogs" if they don't get raises and health insurance.

The strike will be hilarious. Oh man. No lefty bloggers blogging today until the owners of their blogs meet their demands.

We'll miss you guys when you are out picketing.

Justin said...

Y.G.Brown said...

The very next lines in the speech after the selection quoted by Ann are:

Oops. That's what I get for not watching the video.

But still, he's bragging about a candidate that ultimately lost.

The Democratic Party is more popular today than it has been in the last seven years, and it has more nationally elected representatives that it has in over a decade.

I credit the Republicans for that.

The Exalted said...

For example, George Bush not only did better in 2004 than in 2008 -- he did better than Clinton had in 1996 or 1992!

only here would a 3% victory be considered "better" than a 9% victory.

Nevertheless, if Kos supported these folks in contested primaries, then I am wrong and stand corrected. (Why he'd avidly support Webb is a mystery.)

he supported webb from day one. he was a big reason webb broke onto the national scene in my opinion. why did he support him? because he wants to win and because webb's evident integrity and stance on the "important issues."

lieberman was a unique situation. it was not just that his positions were counter to what kos et al believed in. if that was the case, there would have been a movement to unseat ben nelson and other conservative dems. it was that lieberman routinely and loudly attacked other democrats and their positions. arlen spector, to the best of my knowledge, has never intimated that his fellow republicans were traitors or fools. lieberman is within his rights to do that, but there is no reason why democrats should continue to support such an individual to be their representative.

removing lieberman was addition by subtraction.

The point is, they back leftist Democrats over centrist Democrats, even when the centrist Democrat obviously has the best chance of winning.

just completely wrong. kos supported bob casey in the PA primary despite his conservatism. and kos supported sherrod brown over paul hackett. why? he wanted to win.

Seven Machos said...

removing lieberman was addition by subtraction

Yeah. You must be so happy that he is no longer in the Senate now.

Delusional.

The Exalted said...

Seven Machos said...
removing lieberman was addition by subtraction

Yeah. You must be so happy that he is no longer in the Senate now.

Delusional.

6:55 PM


how unsurprising you failed to address, or likely, understand, the text that preceded that comment.

downtownlad said...

"the growing support for the surge".

Ann has a habit of cherry picking her polls and highlighting an uptick as support for the policy she favors.

See, just look at this graph and you'll see the uptick in Bush's approval!!!

http://www.pollster.com/blogs/bush_approval_newsweek_29_tren.php

Of course, to an unbiased person, the real trendline is clear.

The latest polls also show the Democrats with a 10 point advantage in the generic congressional polls. But will Republicans will ignore that and keep talking about 3% approval ratings for Congress. At their peril I might add.

Seven Machos said...

Oh, I read it, Exalted. I could write a short thesis on its shortcomings.

How about this gem: lieberman routinely and loudly attacked other democrats and their positions...there is no reason why democrats should continue to support such an individual

Did Kos criticize Democrats before 2006? I bet you all the money you have in the bank and your bicycle that he did. Routinely and loudly.

Why, then, must Lieberman refrain from criticism of Kossite policies while Kos gets to routinely and loudly attack other Democrats, and to send up candidates against them in the primaries?

downtownlad said...

How come nobody mentioned the movement to get rid of Arlen Specter.

There is also talk of a primary challenge to Chuck Hagel in Nebraska.

http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/chuck_hagels_facing_a_strong_primary_challenge/

Cedarford said...

On a related note, and I wish Althouse would find this interesting, how about that bloggers' union? That's a movement for sure. They can all pay dues out of their "wages" and schizophrenically strike against "management" and the "owners of the blogs" if they don't get raises and health insurance.

The strike will be hilarious. Oh man. No lefty bloggers blogging today until the owners of their blogs meet their demands.

We'll miss you guys when you are out picketing.


Great idea. And you could have Eric Alterman as union boss/gatekeeper of your tidy little world.

Revenant said...

A few corrections for some clueless posters:

exalted,

only here would a 3% victory be considered "better" than a 9% victory.

Winning 51% of the vote is obviously better than winning 48% (2000), 49% (1996), or 43%. The 2004 election was the first election since 1988 where the majority of voters had actually wanted the winner to win. That sounds like improvement to me.

But if you want to go by margin of victory my point still holds -- Bush's popular and electoral margins grew from 2000 to 2004, but predicting a long-term trend from that would have been a mistake. He won in 2000 because his opponent was a schmuck, and by a larger margin in 2004 because his opponent was an even bigger schmuck than the first guy. Many people, including Bush himself, mistakenly took his win as proof that the American people were in his corner, rather than as proof that the 2004 Democrats had their heads up their backsides.

A lot of Democrats are now drawing a similarly incorrect lesson from the '06 elections.

DTL,

How come nobody mentioned the movement to get rid of Arlen Specter.

Y.G. Brown mentioned it hours ago, and I'd brought up Specter as an example of a Republican disliked by Republicans shortly before that.

Revenant said...

Ann has a habit of cherry picking her polls and highlighting an uptick as support for the policy she favors.

Kind of like how you attack her claim of "support for the surge" by citing the unrelated statistic of George Bush's approval rating?

Of course, to an unbiased person, the real trendline is clear.

Oh, please. Nobody, biased or unbiased, denies that the long term trend for Bush's approval rating from 1/05 to 7/07 has been downward. The current short-term trend, however, is positive, as your URL notes. So long as Bush stays away from the immigration issue he'll probably climb back into the mid-30s by regaining Republican support again.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Methadras wrote:

Therefore, considering the insignificant pandering political animal that Jeffords proved to be, he jumped for all the wrong reasons.

Huh? If he was a "pandering political animal" why didn't he become a Democrat instead of an Independent? Also, what do you consider the "right reasons" for leaving the GOP?

In any event, he simply saw opportunism like Liebermann...

Okay, this is pure stupidity. Lieberman became an Independent as the only way to try to save his Senate seat. That's hardly analogous to the situation Jeffords faced.

... but you never saw anyone in the RNC or the Republican party hold a convention and celebrate to the fact that they booted one of their own to the other side... apples and oranges, but hey, I would expect you to mix up comparisons just like your fruit anyway.

Well obviously you didn't understand my question, Methadras, but then I suppose that's to be expected. If you reread my question, you'll see it has nothing whatsoever to do with the "celebration" aspect of Althouse's blog post. So in the future, if you are going to respond to a comment of mine, please try to stay on topic. On the other hand, if you must babble about whatever drifts into your mind, include it in a separate post, please.

BTW, it's interesting to see how accurately Jeffords identified the direction of the GOP under Bush at the time of his defection. He described the abandonment by the GOP of "moderation, tolerance, fiscal responsibility" under Team Bush. That sums up the current GOP nicely.

Revenant said...

He described the abandonment by the GOP of "moderation, tolerance, fiscal responsibility" under Team Bush.

Oh, come on. Jeffords had been a Republican politician since 1966. He stuck with them through Nixon's embrace of southern racists, through the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition -- and then abandons it over Bush's lack of "moderation" and "tolerance"?

What Jeffords meant we he complained about Bush being intolerant, immoderate, and fiscally irresponsible was exactly this and nothing more: Bush and the Republican leadership were intolerant of Jim Jeffords himself. He wasn't getting what he saw as his fair share of pork and political power. He didn't leave because of any long-term party trend.

Now, why didn't Jeffords become a Democrat? Because the deal he cut with the Democratic leadership gave him all the benefits of being a Democrat (e.g., his committee leadership positions, awarded as if he'd been a Democrat with full seniority) without obligating to actually vote with the Democrats on anything but procedural matters. In other words, they gave him power without requiring loyalty in return. Why WOULD he become a Democrat, with a deal like that? Hell, Ted Kennedy would leave the Democratic Party if he could get a deal like that.

dave in boca said...

There's a delusionary streak in the chest-thumping dwarves residing in the fever-swamps that qualifies as a psychosis. The midgets actually think they are giants and giant-killers! Does the diminuitive legal alien actually think he is going to last if the Dems start sliding down the left side of their Big Rock Candy Mountain?

Lieberman is one of the few reasons the Dems have some respect among many people in the middle. If the Surge keeps working, the psychos are going to have to invent a whole new Global Warming hoax equivalent to mau-mau the flak-catchers.

Henry said...

Okay, this is pure stupidity. Lieberman became an Independent as the only way to try to save his Senate seat. That's hardly analogous to the situation Jeffords faced.

I'm not so sure, Cyrus (and Rev). Jeffords is a opportunistic lightweight, but he had to know the electoral prognosis for New England country club Republicans was not good. By switching parties he avoided Lincoln Chaffee's fate.

I also think Jeffords stated concern for environmental issues was sincere. New England has already had its industrial revolution and aspires only to a Northern European somnolence.

Jeff said...

"How come nobody mentioned the movement to get rid of Arlen Specter.

There is also talk of a primary challenge to Chuck Hagel in Nebraska."

Because no one defeated either on in the primary and neither ran as a independent to keep his seat. If I was in Pennsylvania I would have been sorely tempted to vote against him. Same this for Hagel when I lived in Nebraska. Probably wouldnt have knowing how close the split in the Senate would be.

Jeffords ran as a Republican, won his seat and bailed out of the party. But he got to keep the milk subsidies.

Naked Lunch said...

Lieberman is a senile old fool who doesn't know his ass from his elbow when it comes to foreign policy. I always wondered what I was missing, what was it with "experts" that are almost 100% wrong, 100% of the time, and yet they're still considered "experts" whom we should call upon. People would never put up with sportwriters that reported on a completely different game, or weatherman predicting blizzards in Florida, or stock analysts constantly reporting Microsoft's collapse. So why we put up with these imbeciles and make them rich in the process is a true mystery.

Seven Machos said...

Lunch -- Maybe you should put together a grassroots effort to beat Lieberman in the Democratic Primary, thereby ensuring that such a bad judge of foreign policy won't be in the Senator any more.

Y.G. Brown said...

The point is, (the folks at Daily Kos) back leftist Democrats over centrist Democrats, even when the centrist Democrat obviously has the best chance of winning.

Other have beaten me to the punch a bit, but this is simply untrue. Bob Casey is the best example, but there are many others.

To hold up Lieberman as your evidence to support this idea is to wholly misunderstand why he was targeted. Connecticut is a dark blue state. Lieberman is a pale blue senator. Lieberman was targeted because he constantly undermines other Democrats while also being far more conservative than a Democrat needs to be to win in CT.

Lieberman was clearly not more electable in the exclusively Democratic primary... he lost. He won the general election only because the GOP almost literally ceded the field and backed Lieberman over their own candidate. The people at Daily Kos (and the many local Connecticut blogs like CT Bob and My Left Nutmeg) changed the options in the general election from "liberal" Lieberman and the GOP candidate to "conservative" Lieberman and "liberal" Lamont.

For every Lieberman there's an Arlen Specter or a Lincoln Chafee on the GOP side of the aisle who is dealing with an incredibly tight primary challenge. The difference is that the left blogs were able to translate their thoughts into action on the ground, while the righty blogs engaged in navel gazing while cheering for Toomey and Laffey rather than actually getting out there and organizing.

downtownlad said...

The fact that the Democrats are becoming the party of downtownlad and luckyoldson matters not at all, so long as people not like them continue to pull the lever for the Democrats -enigmaticbore


So enigmaticbore continues to prove himself a complete moron. Please tell me when I've pulled the lever for a Democrat?

I actually have. But I'm sure he couldn't name the time, since it was for a rather minor election.

When the Democratic Party finally realizes that we should let the poor wallow in their own misery and be left to Darwinian whims, and if that means death so be it - then I'll finally vote for the Democrats.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown's political program:

1. Let the poor people die.

2. Stop the government from spying on gay people, which, of course, Bush and his cronies are devoting trillions of dollars toward.

Revenant said...

this is simply untrue. Bob Casey is the best example, but there are many others.

Oh, please. Google Bob Casey and his Democratic primary opponents on the dailykos site and the inescapable truth emerges -- by a large margin, the Kossacks supported the left-wing Pennacchio over the more centrist Casey until it was obvious that the former had no chance of winning the nomination (Casey got over 80% of the vote). They bashed him for his positions on stem cell research, abortion, gay marriage, the Iraq war, et al. They had nothing to do with Casey getting the nomination (quite the opposite -- they opposed it while all the party insiders backed it) and little to do with his eventual defeat of Santorum.

reader_iam said...

DTL: For whom do you vote?

I mean that seriously, not as snark.

EnigmatiCore said...

"So enigmaticbore continues to prove himself a complete moron. Please tell me when I've pulled the lever for a Democrat?"

True, I did make an assumption which might not be correct. Hell, with your eloquence, English might not even be your native tongue.

Roger said...

Why do I think that Kos is going to get himself and his progressive community "souljahed" in the general election. They are far to left of the mainstream and while they might, as they did in CT, appeal to the democratic progressive base, they wont find much mainstream approach. I can see Hillary, for example, coming down hard on them when it is time for her to move to the center.

And what options do the "progressives" have? Nader? Bloomberg? They will only hurt the democratic party if they back a third party progressive candidate in the general. This country is closer to the right of center than it is to the far left.
Good luck, Kos.

And, as a post script: the progressive folks were quite turned off by Lieberman's religiosity (Holy Joe as they refer to him when they are being nice).

Y.G. Brown said...

rev,

While many individuals at DKos were indeed supporters of Pennacchio, Kos himself along with many of the front page posters were strong supporter of Casey. The quote from Kos that got the most publicity during the primary was directed at the Pennacchio supports on the site, namely:

"Like it or not, Casey has the clearest path to victory of any Dem Senate challenger this cycle. We need this seat."

All things being equal, of course a more progressive candidate would get the support of the DKos comunity over a more conservative one. However, things are never equal like that. You seem to believe that DKos only supports liberal candidates and that they will support liberal losers over conservative winners. The only example that you've given is Ned Lamont. Looking at the huge number of conservative house candidates and the more centrist Senate candidates drafted, pushed through primaries, and/or supported in the general election by the left blogs, your theory does not stand up to close inspection.

knoxwhirled said...

Please tell me when I've pulled the lever for a Democrat?....

I actually have.

...

When the Democratic Party finally realizes that we should let the poor wallow in their own misery and be left to Darwinian whims, and if that means death so be it - then I'll finally vote for the Democrats.



funniest--unintentionally--Althouse comment ever. Truly schizo! You've outdone yourself, DTL.

tjl said...

"You've outdone yourself, DTL."

That's not easy to do, Knoxgirl, with a posting history like DTL's.
Who else but DTL has wilfully set out to alienate every possible demographic, especially his own?

Revenant said...

Y.G. Brown,

You are correct that Kos himself reluctantly supported Casey. But we haven't been talking about the one man himself. We've been talking about the DailyKos community as a whole -- the "Kossacks". Google reveals (and there are some online DailyKos polls in there, too) that a supermajority supported the so-called "progressive" candidates. Kos was the minority opinion on his own blog.

Y.G. Brown said...

Rev, we've both made our points. You have a simplistic view of the netroots and of DKos if you truly think that their analysis of political races is to always support the most liberal candidate without looking at any other factors.

John Kindley said...

"When the Democratic Party finally realizes that we should let the poor wallow in their own misery and be left to Darwinian whims, and if that means death so be it - then I'll finally vote for the Democrats."

The poor would be a lot better off if the government "let" them and everybody else do their thing. That includes not taxing them (which in their case is always a tax on the necessities of life, broadly construed a la Adam Smith), not prohibiting their freedom to practice certain occupations (such as law if they haven't paid for three years of law school) or to pay less for health care provided by someone who doesn't have to charge based on the cost of a medical degree, not recognizing the purported right of a dead guy to bequeath vast sums giving his progeny great opportunity advantages over the poor in the competitive marketplace, and not interfering with their equal right to the earth and its natural resources by enforcing the claims of those who have appropriated the earth to the exclusion of others. Or rather, with regard to the latter, compensation is owed to those excluded by those making those claims. As Thomas Paine suggested in Agrarian Justice, this compensation for the loss of their natural inheritance could take the form of a nice chunk of change given to everyone on their 21st birthday, not as a matter of charity, but of justice. No need to get all wonky about devising "policies" to alleviate poverty. A simple recognition of natural justice would go very far in this direction.

As things stand, government is the greatest contributor to poverty and its miseries.

Revenant said...

You have a simplistic view of the netroots and of DKos if you truly think that their analysis of political races is to always support the most liberal candidate without looking at any other factors.

Maybe, but you've yet to provide any examples of them doing otherwise.