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Chelsea Green Blog

MyDD vs. Kos?

Crashing the Gate authors Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong this week both took on the report that Barack Obama asserted that the GOP has been the “party of ideas” over the past 10 to 15 years. And, each had slightly different takes on how it applies to they described the rise of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy in the US. Jerome’s diary is here, which is, in part, a response to Kos’ original post here along with a post by another top blogger, Digby. Kos followed up with this post. Interesting reading, from two blogosphere titans interpreting their own work, a book that still holds relevance as we are in the midst of another presidential campaign cycle—and the use of language to telegraph certain “ideas” to voters. Here is a relevant snippet from Jerome:
“But lets all admit that for Obama, while running to be the Democratic nominee, his calling the Republican Party “the party of ideas” was really dumb. Heck, I would never write that without some sort of qualification that the ideas sucked (as CTG did). But obviously, Obama couldn’t say that in this context, as he was pandering for a few Republican votes. So he skipped over that messy part to keep the wingnuts happy. He got the endorsement, but he gave a lot of ammo up in doing so—not a smart move at this point in path of the DEMOCRATIC nomination for President.”
Kos’ second post is largely a cut-and-paste from Crashing the Gate, but his first post included this observation:
“I didn’t see the part where Obama said the GOP’s ideas were ‘all the good’ ones. In fact, Obama isn’t saying anything that couldn’t come straight out of Crashing the Gate—that the GOP build a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that used its think tanks to create ideas, a media machine to sell those ideas, and a modernized campaign operation to win elections on those ideas. Yes, the GOP was the party of ideas. They were crappy ideas. But they were ‘ideas’. That’s not controversial, so I’m not sure why the Clinton campaign is making such a big deal out of it. Especially “welfare reform” Bill Clinton.”
When it comes down to it you have two candidates—Obama and Clinton (Hillary, not Bill)—who are essentially centrists, i.e. moderates (although Clinton’s domestic stances appear slightly to the left of Obama’s and perhaps more ambitious in terms of health care reform), getting called on the carpet for being, well, centrists and appealing to other centrists. *UPDATE* After posting this, I began my usual stroll around the blogosphere and found this interesting post over at OpenLeft by Paul Rosenberg on this subject, and he takes it much further than my little graf above. Worth the read. Here it is. Here’s a preview:
“Regardless of his intentions, Obama has been doing a pretty good job of splitting the left for some time now. Secular humanists, peace activists, Boomers, gays, all have had their turns feeling particularly spurned, while his version of triangulation has many even more nervous than the Clinton version made them. Many think he’s got the perscription exactly backwards-Democrats don’t suffer from being too much like the always-combatative Republicans, but from being too wimpy, too reluctant to stand up and fight for what they belive. And many think that now’s not the time to reach out with a hand of friendship, just when they’re sinking like a stone.”


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