June 16, 2006

Ezra Klein, on the meaning of Kos:
When Markos bragged that "popular movements are rarely so practical," it's important to focus in on the word movement because that, it appears, is what Markos is focused on. His pragmatism has mostly been painted as an obsession with winning, and attacks against him tend to focus on his rather poor electoral record. But that's because Markos picks prospects rather than winners, campaigns and candidates who attract little establishment support and whose victory, thus, can be attributed to the netroots. No gambler gains a reputation by betting on 50:1 favorites, but any gambler can make one by putting enough money on a 1:50 longshot.

The "netroots" are, I think, a revolution of tone, not ideology. They've got a few defining characteristics, none of them ideological. A contempt for the establishment is one. An appetite for pugilism is another.
This is in reference to The Kos purportedly rebuffing feelers from the Hillary for President campaign. Considering that he put publicly announced he was putting HRC's e-mails in his spamfilter several months ago, that is no big surprise.

I would add that, as nostagic for the Clinton Presidency as I am, the steady decline of the Democratic Party began under The Big Dog; there is nothing that is quite so deadly to party-building than having your President, and nominal leader of the party, triangulate his way to reelection. Failure to make serious headway against the GOP majority in Congress after 1994 can be laid squarely at his doorstep, as it was Clinton's foibles (his shady fundraising which came up at the end of the '96 campaign, and Monicagate in '98) that thwarted efforts by the party to recapture one or both houses of Congress. Hillary's wishy-washiness on Iraq brings back memories of the Bad Bill Clinton, and someone who has aspirations for building a more durable Democratic majority, like Markos Moulitsas, will understandably wish to shy away from that legacy.

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