Jay Reding.com

Why Kos Is Boring

Markos “Kos” Moulitsas has his first Newsweek column out today. Kos went with the surprising route, choosing a topic that broadened his reach to moderate voters and demonstrated his command of the issues and his willingness to listen to all sides.

Or not…

Instead, he did what Kos does best. Actually, all that Kos does: he attacked George W. Bush. His advice to Democrats? Run against the guy whose name isn’t going to be on the ballot. The same strategy of negativity and partisan idiocy that failed in 2004. In a climate where people are sick to death of the idiotic partisan in-fighting in Washington, the advice of Kos is to give them some more.

It’s the same old partisan hackery that makes The Daily Kos unreadable for anyone who doesn’t already drink the Kool-Aid. There’s no substance, no unifying theme, no desire beyond the mere desire for political power. The end that matters is winning elections. What’s the theory of government? Kos’ “libertarian progressive” meme was so intellectual inherent that most bong-addled freshman poli-sci students could see right through it.

Kos’ argument: that advocating a smaller government means that you hate government. Of course, his thesis is incoherent: since when has George W. Bush been an anti-government ideologue? Many prominent conservatives dislike him precisely because under his watch government has grown dramatically. His argument is that Democrats love government. Which is a great message, except it goes against the mainstream of American politics. His message of Democrats being the party of Big Government plays right into GOP hands. There’s no reason why competent government must mean more government, and given the incompetence of the Democratic field and the Democratic Congress, what Kos is pushing isn’t selling very well.

Compare Kos’ mount of anti-Bush red meat to Karl Rove’s inaugural column. Rove’s column spends more time talking about how a Republican challenger can define himself against Hillary than merely bashing the Democrats. Rove is also a political flack, to be sure, but at least he’s a political flack who knows that the way to win in politics isn’t just to bash the other side. In contrast, Kos comes off as the petulant kid who thinks he’s a political wunderkind but doesn’t have the skills to prove it.

Kos just comes off as another hyperpartisan hack, an attack dog for hire that’s brilliant at preaching to the choir, but doesn’t know how to be persuasive. He’s emblematic of what’s wrong with the Democratic Party these days: reflexively partisan, ideologically adrift, and increasingly extreme. Markos Moulitsas thinks he’s some kind of left-wing Karl Rove, but in comparison with the real thing, he’s just another shrill amateur.

One response to “Why Kos Is Boring”

  1. Mark says:

    “Instead, he did what Kos does best. Actually, all that Kos does: he attacked George W. Bush. His advice to Democrats? Run against the guy whose name isn’t going to be on the ballot.”

    Only an idiot would advise a nominee from the out-of-power party not to run against the incumbent party, particularly when the incumbent President has an approval rating of less than 30%. George W. Bush ran against Bill Clinton in 2000 when Clinton had an approval rating roughly double that.

    You made up your mind before you read Kos’ column that you hated it….based on a very personal rage against Mr. Moulitsas stemming from the fact that you’ve been so wrong for so long, predicting his imminent demise for the last five years even as you watch his stature continue to escalate to demigod status. Your combination of outrage and jealousy of Kos is eating you up inside, Jay, and I hope you can get a handle on it….

    “There’s no substance, no unifying theme, no desire beyond the mere desire for political power. The end that matters is winning elections.”

    Kos’ emphasis on horse race politics is not uncommon and explains the popularity of his site in the same way that the chattering heads on cable news dissecting every minutia of the horse race generates higher ratings than would 24 hours a day of serious investigative journalism.

    Here’s Kos’ exact quote on the GOP philosophy of government….

    “In his first Inaugural Address, Ronald Reagan remarked that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” While the quip has provided Republicans with a cheap slogan for two decades, the philosophy behind it is beginning to box them in. If they govern effectively, they invalidate their own antigovernment ideology. And when you elect people who believe that government won’t work, you shouldn’t be surprised when government stops working.”

    It’s pretty damn hard to refute that position. Perhaps that’s why you didn’t even try, simply declaring victory for your ideology without even addressing the elephant in the room that Republicans HAVE TO validate their worldview by governing poorly.

    Essentially, Rove’s article is a kissing cousin to Kos’. The only difference is that, in your eyes, Rove’s Hillary-bashing is merely “talking about how a Republican challenger can define himself against Hillary” while Kos’ argument that the Dem nominee should run against the Bush record constitutes a “strategy of negativity and partisan idiocy”. Neither said anything profound, but your own fierce partisanship colored your perception of one as excessively worse than the other.

    “Kos just comes off as another hyperpartisan hack, an attack dog for hire that’s brilliant at preaching to the choir”

    Nothing in his column can even remotely be classified as vicious and Coulter-esque as you implied last week. I asked multiple times last week if you could please provide quotations (preferably ones that aren’t four years old) of Kos at his nastiest….and waited and waited and waited for a response that never came. Now I see that, if it’s written by Kos, even comments as benign as those made in his Newsweek column qualify as rabid. On any given day, I see more spiteful and partisan rhetoric on this site as I’ve ever seen written by Kos. I don’t know why it didn’t hit me until today, but Kos’ refusal to go away is something you take personally, since your reputation is heavily invested in Kos’ imminent departure. After four years of assuring us that the “hyperpartisan hack” is right on the cusp of oblivion, it’s now more clear than ever that your predictions were as wrong about Kos as they were about the war in Iraq. At this point, I would suggest you quit drawing attention to your inability to get anything right in regards to Kos. Face it, Ahab….you’re just not gonna catch this Moby.