A Majority in a Minority Party
Kos fires back at TNR
.People talk about the need for the left to work together and have a unified message in the face of a unified conservative noise machine. So a google group was created called "Townhouse", and it included many bloggers and other representatives of the netroots as well as a large number of partisan journalists and grassroots groups. It allowed us to discuss policy, issues, tactics and coordinate as much as you can ever get a bunch of liberals to coordinate.
There was one big rule for this list, an important cog in the growing Vast Left Wing Conspiracy -- everything discussed was off the record.
That was obviously violated today as the New Republic betrayed, once again, that it seeks to destroy the new people-powered movement for the sake of its Lieberman-worshipping neocon owners; that it stands with the National Review and wingnutoshpere in their opposition to grassroots Democrats.
True enough, I suppose, but could it be that TNR opposes the netkooks because they want the Democrats to actually, you know, win elections? Whereas Kos seems to be happy driving out moderate Democrats like Joe Lieberman.
This is an argument that the Democrats have been having for about 20 years now, and it shows no signs of being resolved. The left wing of the party claims that the Democrats have to move to the left, to offer a real choice. The centrist wing claims that the Democrats have to move right to attract the middle.
To a certain degree Bill Clinton proved the centrists (as represented by the DLC and TNR) right. Clinton ran as a "third way" candidate and became only the second Democrat elected to the presidency since 1964. But a new generation of activists has come along which declines to learn the lessons its elders were taught the hard way. And the elders on the Left are happy to encourage them, hoping that this time around they'll be proved right.
If you looked at the transformation in American politics that took place coming out of the 1960s, what would you suggest that the Democrats did wrong?
1. They allowed a cadre of antiwar activists to take over the party.
2. They moved significantly to the left on economic issues.
3. They abandoned the anticommunism of JFK and Truman.
Any of those three might have been problematic, but combined they were a disaster. No Democrat since those days has gotten over 51% of the general election vote; only Carter (1976) has even gotten 50%.
In 1992, Clinton tried to tug the party to the right on economic issues and the anticommunism issue largely went away. And so lefties allowed themselves to dream that they didn't really have to accept the rightward movement on economic issues.
Kos, of course, wasn't political during those years and so he has no idea that all the stuff he suggests has been tried in the past.
Update: The Leather Penguin catches the "It's the Joooos"
part of Kos' rant. Good call!