February 2, 2008

Is the "Angry Left" dying?

Dan Gerstein says so:
The Kossacks and their activist allies -- who skew toward the Boomers -- believe that Republicans are venal bordering on evil, and that the way Democrats will win elections and hold power is to one-up Karl Rove's divisive, bare-knuckled tactics. Their opponents within the party -- who skew younger and freer of culture war wounds -- believe that the way to win is offer voters a break from this poisonous tribal warfare and a compelling, inclusive vision for where we want to take the country.
You mean "Kos kids" aren't kids? They are Boomers?

Gerstein worked on Joe Lieberman's last Senate campaign, so he's definitely got a point of view on all this. Kos worked on getting Ned Lamont to beat Lieberman for the Democratic Party nomination. As Gerstein puts it now, the "hope" candidate — Lieberman — won. You can see how this idea applies to the 2008 race for President:
Mr. Edwards, after running as the sunny son of a mill worker in 2004, returned last year as the angry spear carrier of the hard-line left, running on a dark, conspiratorial form of populism and swapping in corporations for Republicans as the villain in his us-versus-them construct. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, has not just been selling possibilities and opportunities, but reconciliation and unity -- and, god forbid, promising to work with Republicans to meet the country's challenges. (Not surprisingly, throughout 2007, Mr. Edwards was the runaway favorite in the regular Kos reader straw poll -- besting Mr. Obama by 21 points as late as Jan. 2, 2008.)

Now that Mr. Edwards has formally dropped out of the race, we can say it's official -- hope and unity crushed resentment and division.
Gerstein is pleased, not just because hope is good, but because his enemy Kos is crushed:
The best evidence that Kos-ism is about kaput, though, comes from Kos's mouth himself. Yes, the most delicious irony of this campaign is that the supposed hatemonger is supporting the hopemonger.
Markos Moulitsas will — after "a process of elimination" — have to vote for Barack Obama.

You know, I missed the part where Gerstein established that Kos is a "hatemonger." I don't like Kos too much, but calling him a "hatemonger" sounds at little... hatemongerish.


Meade said...

I think what he meant to say was the hamburger is now a humdinger. But it came out wrong.

Meade said...

But seriously, I think there is much to this. I watched the debate the other night with a small group of twenty-somethings. Unanimously they: 1. are pro-Obama, 2. prefer McCain over Clintons, 3. opposed military intervention in Iraq but, given that we are there, want to see American success, 4. admire and support Gen. Petraeus and, 5. are tired of Bush but even more sick and tired of Bush-hate.

Meade said...

Oh, and 6. they don't trust anyone between the ages of 43 and 63. (They graciously made an exception for me Thursday evening and invited me over after verifying that I don't really trust anyone in that age range either.)

Bob said...

Markos' "screw them" comment established his hatemonger credentials for many of us long ago. He was talking of civilian contractors in Iraq who were burned and mutilated. Markos characterized them as mercenaries; what they in fact were was military vets, ex-SEAL and Special Forces personnel who wanted to continue serving their country, but at a better wage opportunity than the military gives. The American Dream. To Markos, a bunch of mercenaries: screw them.

Yah, he's a hatemonger.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

I've never understood the thinking - and the Kossacks (generally) epitomize this view - that says that calling al-Qaeda evil is simplistic and cartoonish but labeling Bush and the neocons evil is perfectly acceptable. Indeed, it's applauded.

He who says "A" must say "B". But apparently not.

Unknown said...

KOS claims to be a progressive and to progressives hate is not a family value unless you hate Bush.

KOS is more concerned with his sports blog than his political site. He, personally, may not be a hate monger, but the hatred flows from his site along with the obscenity, vulgarity, and profanity. He enables hatred.

pst314 said...

hatemongerish? Hatred for those to their right has always been a mainstay of "progressives".

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Brings to my mind Henry Adams' description of politics: "The systematic organization of hatreds."

Tribalism manifested in other ways.

Something to that.

Simon said...

Can you use "exit" as a verb that way - SoCal's Democrats "exit[ed] John Edwards out of the race"? What a horrible and redundant way of phrasing it. Did Greenwald ghostwrite this?

Unknown said...

Their opponents within the party -- who skew younger and freer of culture war wounds -- believe that the way to win is offer voters a break from this poisonous tribal warfare and a compelling, inclusive vision for where we want to take the country.

Gerstein, and any Dem who buys this crap, is an idiot.

Right -- reach out to the Republicans.

And get rolled again, as always.

hdhouse said...

I hope the GOP sees that 16 years of divide tactics, with not a shred of "across the aisle" compromise bears the fruits they will harvest in November.

I'm all for Obama or Clinton extending the olive branch but frankly I hope its about 2 years after the election after they thoroughly rub the GOP's nose in it for a bit.

Right now the GOP expects compromise and "working together"...as the shoe will be on the democrat's foot...if the other way around it would still be the Tom DeLay type of I've got mine - go screw off approach.

George M. Spencer said...

Yes, the Angry Left is definitely dead......as in finished....




Warfield Theatre February 4

Grateful Dead Members to Reunite for Barack Obama

(San Francisco) Members of the Grateful Dead will host a get out the vote concert in support of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday, February 4th at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco.

Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir, joined by Jackie Greene, John Molo, and Steve Molitz, will play a show together in support of Barack Obama. The video website Iclips will be producing a live simulcast streamed via the Internet on www.iclips.net at approximately 7:30pm PST.

This will mark the first time that the members of the legendary band have performed together since 2004. They have agreed to reunite for this one-time-only event in order to lend support to Senator Obama leading into the crucial "Super- Tuesday" series of primaries held on Tuesday, February 5th.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Neither did Gerstein establish how Lieberman became "the hope candidate." What he describes as Lieberman's "politics of unity and purpose" just looked to a lot of the rest of us like "bending over."

Steve M. Galbraith said...

If only the left were as uncompromising with our foreign adversaries as they appear to want to be with their domestic ones, we might be in better shape.

E.g., it's okay to negotiate with Iran or North Korea but no such outreach is acceptable it they're Republicans.

I don't think that's a winning ticket, to be honest.

Pat said...

They've never had much real influence; what was Kos before 2006; 0-22 in candidates he endorsed? They're still concentrating their hardest fire on Democrats deemed insufficiently progressive.

And the idea that by accepting Obama rather than Hillary they're turning away from anger is risible. They're taking Obama because they're angry at Hillary. Hillary's still the most likely candidate for the Democrats, and the fact that she's getting voted down by the netkooks at Kos and Moo-On by such huge margins indicates that they're still not being realistic.

bearing said...

Kind of off topic here, but this line made me laugh --

You mean "Kos kids" aren't kids? They are Boomers?

I think the "boomers," and the rest of us to a certain extent, have forgotten that, well, the boomers are getting on in years. The zeitgeist still has them as early middle age.

We saw this last week in comments on this article in praise of the minivan: a commenter wrote, "I feel sorry for you. Keep trying to fool yourself. You're married with 2.5 kids, but you're still cool! Really! F'n boomers." Minivan sales are hardly being inflated by retirees. I'm the person who's married with 3 kids and a minivan. I'm 33. My parents are boomers.

Another example is the comic strip Zits -- I like it, but Scott and Borgman constantly present the parents as cultural Boomers (having listened to the Beatles in high school for instance -- making them about 60 years old) while parenting a 15-year-old. It's getting less plausible and will soon be near-impossible unless they start presenting the son as adopted.

Gahrie said...

Thanks to hdhouse and his ilk for providing an example of the leftwing hate that KOS represents for Althouse.

You'd rather get "revenge" against the Republicans than do what's best for the country.

And as for those 16 years of imagined slights and insults....I suggest you go back and examine the way the Democrats treated the Republicans when they controlled Congress for most of the second half of the twentieth century.

dick said...


You have it exactly. The dems ruled Congress for 40 years and in those 40 years did not reach across the aisle unless forced to. Even in the 80's you had Teddy Kennedy reaching out to the Soviet Union more than he reached out to the republicans. It was only the extreme popularity of Ronald Reagan that got them to reach out at all. What you did have for those 40 years was an opposition party that tried to work for the betterment of the country while all we heard was that the republicans were the fat cats who wanted to oppress the rest of us. Think back to all that talk about oppression that we got fed by the left.

We still get it even now and yet the left is pretty much free to protest anything it wants wherever it wants/ We hear all about the rights that got trampled on but you can still speak as you want unless you run up against the speech code at one of the liberal universities.

Then we all hear all about the 16 years of the republicans who would not compromise. Funny that all the wonders of the Clinton years were the result of the republican initiatives that Clinton co-opted.

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

Why is it that a hatemonger is a spreader of hate? After all, a fishmonger is a seller of fish, not a spreader.

On the other hand, DailyKos is a presumably profitable venture. To the extent that it profits from spreading hate, this may be the moral equivalent of selling hate.

Doug said...

Most movements based upon anger seem to flame out after a while. The egos get involved, they try to outbid each other on who is angriest, and the purity tests make them turn on their own. Not too dissimilar to all these third party movements where they might gel around a leader for a short time, but then the infighting begins.

Doug (not the Doug who posted above)

somefeller said...

"You'd rather get "revenge" against the Republicans than do what's best for the country."

The two aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, doing the latter may by necessity involve doing the former. And why not do both, if the opportunity presents itself?

somefeller said...

Also, as Ann stated, Dan Gerstein has a unique perspective on all this, and it's in his interest to pile onto the Kos crowd.

In any case, obviously the Kos crowd is going to be happier. The Democrats won back the House and Senate, and if they win the Presidency, a lot of the reasons for the anger (such as it is, that word is often used to dismiss an argument rather than engage it) that the Kos crowd has will disappear. And it will migrate over to Redstate.com, to the extent it hasn't already done so.

Ralph L said...

Or more likely, feller, they'll get even madder when the Dems win everything and not much really changes. The Repubs won 1994 mostly because the Dems stayed home.

Sissy Willis said...

What's with these persons of the left wanting to "take" the country? How about winning an election and leading?

Nahanni said...

Neither Obama nor Clinton will be President. Sorry, but both of them are carrying so much baggage that neither the best efforts of the MSM, millions of dollars from the likes of Soros, Heinz and their ilk no the "glamour" or Hollywood and Oprah will be able to bury it.

All it will take is one well placed ad campaign about mid September and they will be done.

let us not forget the continuing fratricide within what passes for the Democratic party nowdays. This is where they learn that they can only pander to some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. They are already learning that if you have too many tossing their "cards" the party comes crashing down like a house of cards.

Patm said...

The angry left is dying because they've aborted themselves out of relevency. Now the Angry Right is the party running on fury and emotion.

When they deliver us Romney, and he collapses the first time the Dems breathe on him, that's going to be fun. Good job, angry mob! That's just what conservatives are supposed to be!

Anonymous said...

The complaint about the '16 year's is strange.

First, it was 12 years: 1994-2006 that Republicans controlled the House. They didn't control the Senate that entire time, nor the White House.

Second, when the Republicans controlled the Congress, they did so by narrow margins. Repub leaders concentrated on keeping their membership in line to vote for the bills they thought important rather than 'reach out' to the Democrats.

In turn, they got things done. They passed bills. And while they didn't reach out to the Dems very often, the Dems returned the favor by demonizing the Repubs at every turn.

Now the Dems have control of the Congress. But they've been less successful in controlling their membership (the 'Blue Dogs', and the current source of much indigestion and bile at the Kos Kookhouse), and combined with not reaching out to Repubs, that means they aren't getting much done.

So the political lesson here: the Repubs, when given a narrow majority in Congress, get things done. Whereas the Dems can't. I suppose it's too much to hope that the average citizen will see that.

Dave said...

There's a certain wilful suspension of disbelief over there. They have to believe socialism hasn't been amply demonstrated as a failed paradigm and that war is wrong no matter how nobly intended; those are their core beliefs, and facts to the contrary simply aren't relevant. That mindset is what allowes them to also believe that John Kerry was sunk by Swift Boat lies rather than their exposure of his own lies, that Bush "lied us into war," that Iraq is better off divided between Shia militias and Al Qaeda.

This is why they lose so many Presidential elections. Their failed ideas don't hold up to any scrutiny. Once the pacifist socialist views are actually discussed rather than filtered through the MSM, they lose their attractiveness.

dave in boca said...

The dems ruled Congress for 40 years and in those 40 years did not reach across the aisle unless forced to. Even in the 80's you had Teddy Kennedy reaching out to the Soviet Union more than he reached out to the republicans. It was only the extreme popularity of Ronald Reagan that got them to reach out at all.


And don't forget that KGB archives also have the nasty dwarf Gee-Mah Carter slouching into the Kremlin in '83 seeking Soviet help & promising favors if the USSR could help their natural allies, the Democrats, win the '84 election. Both Teddy & Gee-mah went to their Soviet masters for help---if this had been the Republicans, cries of treason would have immediately erupted when this story came out a couple of years ago.

Instead, thundering silence from the Dem-pandering MSM.

M. Simon said...

What he describes as Lieberman's "politics of unity and purpose" just looked to a lot of the rest of us like "bending over."

So Lamont won the election? Who knew?

buddy larsen said...

Wretchard over @ Belmont just posted a comment (in re the Marines/Code Pink affair) so fitting here among the above several examples of myth that I have to paste it:

One of the ironies of the Civil Rights movement is that it has become its myth rather than its reality. How many remember that George Wallace was a Democrat who blocked the admission of two black students? Wikipedia notes that even that may have been a form of pandering. "However, there is evidence that the entire encounter was partially or wholly coordinated with the Kennedy administration to allow Wallace to save face with Alabama voters".

It's also forgotten that that the Civil Rights Act was hardly a partisan affair. The vote totals of the Civil Rights Act are as follows:

The original House version:

* Democratic Party: 164-96 (64%-39%)
* Republican Party: 138-34 (80%-20%)

The Senate version:

* Democratic Party: 46-22 (68%-32%)
* Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)

The Senate version, voted on by the House:

* Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
* Republican Party: 186-35 (80%-20%)

Lastly and most to the point, the US military was desegregated much earlier than general civilian society and was used in the 1950s and 1960s to enforce landmark decisions. For example, Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne to escort 9 black students, known as the "Little Rock
High" past crowds which blocked them in 1954.

One institution in US society in which minorities have excelled is the military. In fact, the Left routinely sneers that the military has so many non-whites because "it's all they can recruit" and that they want to use non-whites as cannon-fodder. But consider who the sneering often comes from the irony is even greater. The Marine Corps may be more "rainbow" than Code Pink.

And it may be pertinent to recall that Abraham Lincoln founded the Republican Party.

Many hands have built the edifice of human freedom, each picking up the thread from earlier generation. The three hundred at the Gates of Fire; the men on Bunker Hill; the 54th Massachusetts; Gandhi fasting in India; Martin Luther King; the 101st at Little Rock and men today in Anbar. And I wonder where in that parade in the history of freedom Code Pink would fit? If they chain themselves to the Marine Recruiting station it might perhaps be to catch, by some shifting of the airs, a reflection of the glory to which they themselves can never attain.

2/02/2008 03:00:00 PM

Jim C. said...

It's just that hate is no longer the strategy. Bush is a lame duck (so they think), and there's no advantage to whipping people into a frenzy of hate and despair him.

Now is the advent of Obamessiah, and he shall redeem the chosen people from hate and despair, bringing love and hope.

Even mad chihuahua Keith Olberman has been spanked for not supporting Obama and has seen the error of his ways and renounced the heresy of the false prophet Hillary and returned to the True Faith.

Kirk Parker said...


"I hope the GOP sees that 16 years of divide tactics, with not a shred of 'across the aisle' compromise bears the fruits they will harvest in November."

Indeed. Remember how the No Child Left Behind bill, which was sailing to an easy passage in Congress, was scuttled when it was revealed that Bush was attempting to work with Ted Kennedy on the bill?

Oh, wait--me neither.

BarryD said...

I read the whole piece in the WSJ this morning, and it was pure, unadulterated "talking points" BS.

Hardly even worth commenting on, Ann.

"Divisive" has become a meaningless word. Actually, it was never meaningful. What does "divisive" mean?

"Hope?" What is "hope"? What, exactly, is "hopeful" about Barak Obama's campaign message? It's an empty slogan. He sounds like any politician promising to make everyone happily agree with each other, provide fun, high-paying jobs for people with no real skills, and solve problems like "poverty" with which humanity has always been saddled, while simultaneously squelching the engines of wealth creation.

What's "hopeful" about yet another campaign of empty promises, aimed at those who want something for nothing? And how would his plans (such as they are) fail to be "divisive", especially if people who actually ARE involved in wealth creation pay attention? Finally, what exactly does a Chicago Machine politician and ex "community organizer" whatever that is, know about making a better world anyway?

Obama's promises fill me with dread (I am old enough to remember the real 70s, not the TV version), not hope. I suppose I can't blame someone who's barely old enough to buy a beer, but are others' memories so short?

al fin said...

Obama is a very smooth talker. If he were running for "Talker in Chief" I would have not problem voting for him. But he is running for something else.

The problem is that I am familiar with Obama's mentor and advisor, Jeremiah Wright. And I don't want to see a US Presidential Cabinet where most of the cabinet members all have the same last name, "X."

I'm Full of Soup said...

Is the angry left dying? No such luck IMHO. See this website for a prime example:


The blogger there is a concierge of bad news and her comments make it clear she relishes in saying "see she told you so".

hdhouse said...

Gahrie said...
"Thanks to hdhouse and his ilk for providing an example of the leftwing hate that KOS represents for Althouse.You'd rather get "revenge" against the Republicans than do what's best for the country."

Ahh Gahrie, that is a fairly vapid set of remarks but I'll humor you...

I like Althouse very very much. I do not hate Althouse and am not KOSian although i do or did post frequently in that regard. I consider participation on Althouse both a pleasure and an honor.

What you fail to understand Gahrie is that there must be some measure of "revenge" as you call it against the GOP precisely for the good of the country. This schoolchild has been caught red handed and his simple confession and "get me off the hook" plea of 'shucks, lets all work together now that you are in charge' is both lame and worthy of being made an example for the future.

Further, the utter harm that the GOP has unleashed on this country in the past 7 years needs a terrible swift sword to undo. The left now has a chance to save what is left of the republic and to smot the GOP so hard that when they wish to come back they will do so chastened and ever mindful.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a beheading is in order. I wonder where we could find an expert on the subject.

SMSgt Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMSgt Mac said...

Yes. They are dying off.

Unfortunately, I expect them to get even more shrill as they come to grips with their irrelevance. (One sign: I seem to be getting to reference this link more and more often as time goes on.)

Ilmellas said...

How could anyone, at this point, question the designation of Markos Moulitsas as a hatemonger. Whether it be the anti-Israel rants and the exultation of Palestinian terrorists, the disgusting anti-troop tirades, the cheering of the death of American citizens in Iraq, the shouting down of people who disagree with him, etc. etc. Hatemonger is the only way to describe that disgusting individual. A cursory examination of the comments indicates many people realize what a hateful troll he is, as do businesses such as Jet Blue, who pulled their funding for his annual nut-case, tin-foil-hat hatefest.

Ilmellas said...

"Further, the utter harm that the GOP has unleashed on this country in the past 7 years needs a terrible swift sword to undo. The left now has a chance to save what is left of the republic and to smot the GOP so hard that when they wish to come back they will do so chastened and ever mindful"

Use ridiculous hyperbole much?

Gahrie said...


buddy larsen said...

Shucks, i think undoing what the Dems have done needs TWO terrible--no THREE terrible--even MORE terrible--and sharper, and longer--swift swords to undo.

HipsterVacuum said...

"The left now has a chance to save what is left of the republic..."
Haha possibly the funniest thing ever typed. The concept of the people who fancy themselves "of the left" saving anything is utterly hysterical.

The Gaunt Man said...

I hate to say it, but a lot of the posts in this thread reflect exactly the sort of culture-warfare, hate-mongering politics that Obama is (quite creatively) positioning himself as running against.

Every time someone, on either side of the aisle, spouts vitriolic rhetoric in response to the "same to you!" coming from the other side, the vast majority of Americans caught in the middle get a little more frustrated, disillusioned, and disenchanted.

Obama is selling the easiest cure: hope, illusion, and enchantment. He makes people believe, with a winning smile and uplifting rhetoric, that he represents another way. Unfortunately, political campaigns have been reduced to sound bites and thirty second answers that lend themselves to such things, so there is no time to question substance and determine if there's any there, there.

BTW, I also am 33. My parents were among the first of the boomers. My father fought in Vietnam, and came back, years before I was even born. The fact that the media acts like Iraq is just the next battle in the Culture War that started back then shows how out of touch they are, and why the political discourse (such as it is) doesn't reflect the reality of American voters today.