OxBlog

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

# Posted 7:19 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

KEVIN DRUM BESIEGED BY THE LEFT?!?! The usually cheerful Kevin seems to be feeling a bit oppressed lately, and not just by the conservative propaganda machine. In the preface to a brief post on immigration, Kevin writes that
My commenters frequently delight in reminding me that I'm practically a Republican compared to their pure and unsullied leftiness.
In another recent post, Kevin has some harsh words for the party activists who keep insisting that "Heads need to roll. ROLL.":
The activist case against Alito...failed miserably. Maybe heads do need to roll, but we'd better have some better ones at hand before we haul out the guillotine and commence our knitting...

What's your preference: ringing calls for impeachment or an actual electoral strategy?
To put all of this context, I think it's worth reading an in-depth profile of Markos "Kos" Moulitsas Zuniga that I only noticed because of a link on Kevin's website.

Actually, it's more of a hatchet job than a profile. It's an expression of regret by decent, thoughtful liberals like Kevin at the rise of crude, vicious and intellectually unserious operatives like Kos. In other words, it's political porn for every conservative who knows where to find it.

I certainly enjoyed the article, but my main concern wasn't the schadenfreude. Growing up in a NY Times-as-gospel household, I came to believe that liberals so often lost because they paid a price for taking the high road, both morally and intellectually.

Even though I have drifted quite a bit from the gospel since then, I still have a sense that introspection and self-criticism are far more prevalent among Democrats than among Republican. It's the difference between Kerry and Bush writ large. Kerry can think of four reasons he might be wrong while Bush struggles to cite an example of even one of his own mistakes. Which one would make the better president is hard to say...

Yet with the growing influence of Kos & Co., I have to wonder whether the character traits (as opposed to policy positions) that make the Democratic Party attractive as a friend really still exist. With Kos matching Hannity and Rush blow-for-blow, I may not feel that my own commitment to introspection and self-criticism leads me at all in the direction of the Democrats.
(14) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
What Goldberg says doesn't square with the preference given Cubans over Haitians. If a border is a border is a border, then fair would be fair. But if a Right Wing minority group has political muscle in a Red State, then a border is a wet foot dry foot policy with asylum and appeals and look the other way and ....

As for impeachment versus electoral strategy I would recommend both. Impeachment (not conviction) is quite doable, 50%, especially with a Democratic majority. Impeachment AS an electoral strategy works. It would definitely mobilize the Democratic base. Dean would go for it, but Pelosi would have to be dragged into it.

Lastly, Kos is not influential. Dowd is influential. Krugman is influential.
 
If Dowd is influential, then I certainly don't have to worry about Democrats being the party of the high road!

But Kos does get 400,000 hits a day...
 
link to the Kos "hatchet job" profile isn't working... could you fix it? I'd like to read it.
 
Kos is so much MORE vitriolic and hateful than Limbaugh and Hannity. His blog is laced with profanity, calls for violence and the basest sort of anti-intellectualism. I am no fan of Limbaugh, but his show seems like romper room compared with the anger and name calling eminating fromKos/Air America/Atrios, etc. By the way, did you catch the Kos post in which he "confessed" that he "doesn't read books?"
 
The link to the Kos profile is fixed.
 
"Even though I have drifted quite a bit from the gospel since then, I still have a sense that introspection and self-criticism are far more prevalent among Democrats than among Republican."

You obviously know different Democrats and Republicans then I do.

There's plenty of "Kosism" and "Limbaughism" on both sides, but if you're talking only about thoughtful, reflective people who're interested in what's right and what makes sense regardless of where the inquiry leads, you're mostly talking about the right side of the isle.
 
but if you're talking only about thoughtful, reflective people who're interested in what's right and what makes sense regardless of where the inquiry leads, you're mostly talking about the right side of the isle.

Must be Gilligan's Isle you're talking about. For every thoughtful right-leaning blogger (i.e. Dan Drezner), I can show you plenty of left-leaning ones that are just as thoughtful (the Crooked Timber crew comes to mind).

The further out you get regardless of whatever side you're on, the kookier you get.
 
IMO, Bush's failing to come up with mistakes on his part is as much consciously not wanting to give his opposition any more ammo. That is what I have learned from the MSM.
 
And who pray tell are these reflective people on the right side of the aisle who're interested in what's right and what makes sense regardless of where the inquiry leads? We are breathless in anticipation.
 
Well, there's Andrew Sullivan, the afore-mentioned Drezner, Tacitus and the Belgravia Dispatch. And that's off the top of my head.
 
I prefer to read both Kos and the more intellectual blogs like Yglesias and Drum. In some ways they feed off one another - even when in opposition. In many ways I like Atrios more because he offers Kos' competitiveness with a lot more humor. I also like Americablog because of his commitment to regular updates.

My big beef with Kos is that neither he nor the front pagers post enough anymore. The diaries are uneven. Some are great and some are awful. I don't have time to sift through all of them. I don't mind the sports-competitiveness aspect of it - in fact, I'm drawn to that.

The most thoughtful bloggers on the right are Drezner, Djerejian, Sullivan, Jon Henke, Volokh, and Smash. One of the best is Ramesh Ponnuru of NRO. I used to love Tacitus.

Most of the right-wing blogosphere, however, is either the web-version of Hannity (Powerline, Hewitt), un-intellectual, self-referential conservatarians like Glenn Reynolds, or borderline racist drivel like LGF, Free Republic and that ilk. Red State had a lot of potential early on but seems to have imploded after Alex Trevino (Tacitus) left.
 
So we can assume that this is the re-invention of the Centrist because Djerejian, Sullivan, ... never struck me as Right Wing.

It seemed that when Wingers were feeling their oats, anyone who disagreed with them was a Liberal. Yet now with the scandals in Washington and the quagmire in Iraq, they would like to reclaim the middle reasonable ground as theirs.
 
Regarding Democrats: "introspection and self-criticism" of tactics might be more common, but certainly not of beliefs or philosophies. I don't see much "introspection and self-criticism" over things like abortion or affirmative action, to name just two issues.
 
I always admire Republicans for their core beliefs and values, but I'm always struggling to keep track of what they are as they change.

Case in point: Abortion.

In 1967, California Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act into law.
(Note: signing into law is not vetoing.) But he also wrote an anti-abortion tract, "Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation."

Exactly what is it that you people believe other than elections?
 
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