Third Way Wankers Write In Villager Rag Bemoaning the Influence of Dirty Hippies. Alternative Working Title- “Dog Bites Man.”

Brought to you by the department of redundancy department:

A charge implicit in the Moulitsas post is that moderate Democrats lack political courage—that they would do the right thing if only they were brave enough. This just doesn’t withstand scrutiny. We actually sat in meetings with Senate moderates during the darkest days of the ACA deliberations. They knew that voting for the bill could send them to the Valley of the Doomed, and for many it did or still could. They put their careers on the line and took that vote anyway—every single moderate named in the piece who was still in the Senate voted for the ACA. So did those unnamed, like Senators Begich and Hagan. That is political courage.

It was laudable, but hardly courageous, for a Democrat from a blue state to have voted for the ACA. The last time a Democratic Senate incumbent lost in New York was 1899, and in Massachusetts it was 1947. They don’t stare political death in the face on any vote, ever. The moderates do.

Moulitsas might have a stronger case if the moderates he abhors were replaced by more liberal members. But almost every instance saw the opposite result. Of the 10 former Democratic senators that Moulitsas identifies, seven were replaced by Republicans, one by Montanan John Walsh, who is in a fight for his political life this year, and another by Democrat Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who is unlikely to make the DailyKos Pantheon of Progressiveness. Just one, Joe Lieberman, of midnight-blue Connecticut, was succeeded by someone to his left. Meanwhile, the moderate Democrats in tough fights this cycle are running against Tea Party true believers.

Two Third Way hacks writing in the friendliest confines this side of the WaPo editorial page. This faux centrism will be the death of us all unless we beat them down. Markos responds:

But what’s truly funny about their attacks on me is that they have to invent words in my mouth to make a coherent argument. I’ve written over 10 million words the past decade, and yet we get passages like this:

    A charge implicit in the Moulitsas post is that moderate Democrats lack political courage—that they would do the right thing if only they were brave enough. This just doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

You rarely see that blatant an example of a strawman argument. It’s actually a thing of beauty. “He didn’t say this thing, but let’s pretend that he did, and OMG that pretend argument that we invented out of thin air fails scrutiny!”

Note that bullshit arguments are part and parcel of Third Way’s repertoire. As they were attacking Social Security, they completely invented a Colorado ballot initiative that wasn’t (claiming it raised taxes on just the rich, when it raised taxes on everyone). So it’s not as if honesty comes naturally to that crowd. But for now, I’ll make one more observation. This appears to be the nut of their argument:

    Of the 10 former Democratic senators that Moulitsas identifies, seven were replaced by Republicans, one by Montanan John Walsh, who is in a fight for his political life this year, and another by Democrat Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who is unlikely to make the DailyKos Pantheon of Progressiveness.

Donnelly didn’t replace Evan Bayh. He replaced Dick Lugar. But that simple fact check isn’t the point I want to make. The point is this:

Who cares if seven of the 10 were replaced with Republicans? Ten years ago, Democrats had 49 members in the Senate. Today they have 53 plus Bernie Sanders and Angus King. And even if they lose the Senate this year, which they won’t, it won’t be much more than a rental as 2016 is a stellar map for us (up to 10 potential pickups).

So is it better to have Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller in a 49-seat minority, or is it better to replace them with better Democrats in a 55-seat Democratic majority? Only morons would argue for the former, but apparently, that’s what Third Way wants to be.

The Third Way, from what I can tell, used to be called Country Club Republicans with an added modern dash of libertarianism and more new money. Think white elites in a 10k a month apartment in NYC drinking coffee while looking out over the city as they listen to vacuous TED lectures while doing the NYT crossword puzzle. They are ok with the gays and abortion, as long as the details remain at arms length and don’t get brought up over dinner, and the minorities and the underclass don’t bother them so much, because then they can visit “authentic” ethnic restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens on the one day a week they venture out of Manhattan (not counting the helicopter jaunts, or, for the “poors,” the livery service or the rental Mercedes to the Hamptons). But even then they are only ok with that so long as Times Square doesn’t have too many needles and porn sites and stop and frisk is still going on to keep them safe and the Hamptons are still clean and lily white. They basically have the same sense of entitlement as the rest of the upper crust in the GOP, and they know they are better than the rest of us, just the really over the top Jesus stuff bothers them, and they vent their fascism in other ways. See also, Mayor Bloomberg.

Fuck ’em all.

66 replies
  1. 1
    burnspbesq says:

    And when there is a Republican majority in the Senate next year because the purity trolls refused to support people like Kay Hagan and Jeanne Shaheen, we’ll all know who to blame, right?

  2. 2
    Boudica says:

    You just described my in-laws.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    So is it better to have Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller in a 49-seat minority, or is it better to replace them with better Democrats in a 55-seat Democratic majority?

    Third Choice: A Republican Senate.

  4. 4
    David Koch says:

    Think white elites in a 10k a month apartment in NYC drinking coffee while looking out over the city as they listen to vacuous TED lectures while doing the NYT crossword puzzle. They are ok with the gays and abortion, as long as the details remain at arms length and don’t get brought up over dinner, and the minorities don’t bother them so much, just as long as Times Square doesn’t have so many needles

    Sound like Dude-Bros

  5. 5
    p.a. says:

    Bloomberg/Ford 2016. In your heart you know they’re Reich.

  6. 6
    NobodySpecial says:

    @burnspbesq: We certainly know who YOU’LL blame, that’s for sure. You also did that in 2010, when the poll data clearly showed that liberals showed up in their usual numbers and squishies stayed home, but that wasn’t convenient for your narrative.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NobodySpecial: Links?

  8. 8
    David Koch says:

    Meanwhile, History’s Greatest Monster did this.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Bad link for the Markos reply.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Third Way is a very short, very narrow street terminating at a Dead End sign.

  11. 11
    p.a. says:

    @burnspbesq: no, the purity trolls will vote for them, but voters who aren’t political junkies won’t. If the choice is between a real Repub and a pseudo-Repub, the real thing wins. Voters may not know what a marginal tax rate is, but they can sniff out fraudulence.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’m thinking the most expedient way of dealing with “third way” and “no labels” assholes is putting these motherfuckers up against a wall.

    Yes, it’s shrill. But I said it anyway.

  13. 13
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Third Way is just a zombie reincarnation of the DLC and really is what moderate Northeast Republicanism used to be all about – socially liberal, but pretty fucking fiscally conservative, as much as the next Teabagger.

    That said, pretty harsh view of NYC you have. Although if I am ever in the situation where I have no choice but to pay $10k/month on rent, it will be high time to find somewhere else to live.

    ETA: Nice to have a political post, Cole – this is like a fucking treat; pretty sure 95%+ of your posts these days have zero to do with politics.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PsiFighter37: You are aware that Cole doesn’t do nuance, right?

  15. 15
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: As I noted in my ETA, it can be easy to forget since he hardly posts anything political here anymore.

  16. 16

    So is it better to have Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller in a 49-seat minority, or is it better to replace them with better Democrats in a 55-seat Democratic majority?

    ‘More Democrats and better Democrats’ has been Kos drumbeat since 2006, maybe earlier.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Considered a Subaru Nuance, but it only comes in shades of gray.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BruceFromOhio: More and better means that we accept Ben Nelson over whatever troglodyte the GOP coughs up. At the same time, when DiFi retires or dies, we push like motherfucking hell to get the most liberal person we can into her seat. At least, that is what it means to me. The mileage of others may vary.

  19. 19
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: actually, that first choice is already a Republican Senate, that’s what the whole “49 seat minority” means. And then you have a handful of blue dogs that’ll vote for cloture to stick it to the big city limousine liberal hippies.

    The third way stuff only works if enough people believe that the main two ideologies preached by the parties have failed. It became the thing in the 90s when Clinton was working his black magicks triangulating the shit out of everyone. Enough people still believed that the old time liberalism wouldn’t work and a recession was suggesting that tax cuts weren’t the answer to everything.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @KG: I disagree. The vote for majority leader matters. People who show up and vote that vote make a difference. Sure, it is on the margins. A Turtle run Senate would be a far worse place than anything that Harry Read (who I think has done about as good a job as someone could with the people he had) ever ran.

  22. 22
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This, times about 50. Progressive > blue dog, so go with the progressive. Blue dog > GOP, so if it comes to that, go with the blue dog. This is not the science of rockets; it’s “politics … the art of the possible.” — Otto von Bismarck (and a ditty in “Evita”)

  23. 23
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: you’re missing the point. 49 seats is a minority no matter how you slice it. If you’re talking about a 50 or 51 seat majority with a Zell Miller asshole member or two, that’s different. But that wasn’t one of the options that were suggested

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Not particularly keen on having every single Dem in the Senate clustered up against the far left end of the spectrum. Those spread out from there do serve a purpose.

    It’s not the center per se that is the problem, it’s where the center is perceived as being that is the problem. The Overton Window is a royal PITA, but it is not immovable.

  25. 25
    Hawes says:

    Markos’ original idea was more and better Democrats. First you have to have more. I agree that Democrats have to fight for the things Democrats believe in. But I’m willing to cut Landrieu some slack because most of her constituents are insane. If she needs a symbolic vote to differentiate herself from Obama, fine.

    Lieberdouche otoh…

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @KG: No, I am not missing the point. The Majority Leader can set agenda and call bills to the floor. If I had the choice od a crappy majority or a great minority, i would take the crappy majority. The crappy majority is what allowed us to get the ACA as opposed to fuck-all. I will take ACA over fuck-all any day. YMMV.

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    Will never vote for a Republican again. I have voted for Republicans before. Never, ever again. I know I’m not the only one. A Democrat majority Senate with blue dogs is better than a Republican majority Senate.

  28. 28
    KG says:

    @KG: to be clear, there are several options:

    1. A dem majority with enough progressives to pass bills (and possibly some blue dogs)
    2. A dem majority with a few blue dogs to maintain control of the agenda (committee assignments and whatnot) but could give republicans an effective majority
    3. A republican majority with blue dogs in the dem minority that effectively give the republicans a bigger majority than they have on paper (and thus a claim to bipartisanship)
    4. A republican minority with no blue dogs in the dem minority which would basically be a mirror opposite of what we have right now

    From the democratic perspective, 1 is better than 2, which is better than 3, which is better than 4

  29. 29
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: see my most recent comment. But again, you are missing the point 49 seats is a minority, it’s not 49 seats plus three assholes. It’s 49 seats including three assholes.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Yes, and shifting it is a one by one precess. Every D is left of every R in the current Senate.. Based on this, any D replacing any R is net leftward move. Even if the D is douchecanoe.

  31. 31
    J.Ty says:

    @KG: And #1 is basically a mathematical impossibility this cycle, so…

  32. 32
    srv says:

    Fuck ‘em all.

    Can you get paper targets of bankers at the gun range?

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @KG: Are you suggesting that the majority leader has no power? A nominal majority is better than a minority. Unless you want to suggest that it differs in public perception (which I do not believe you have done – am I mistaken?)

  34. 34
    Ian says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    As i mention in an earlier thread, I think if the repubs win the senate Turtle won’t be their leader.
    I also do not think Turtle will win in KY.

  35. 35
    Cain says:

    I miss Cole’ political posts, glad to see one out there. More please.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ian: Substitute “less than Turtle lead.” Better? No. Scarier? Oh, fuck yeah.

  37. 37
    J.Ty says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s turtles all the way down.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J.Ty: Don’t start.

  39. 39
    J.Ty says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m afraid that it can’t finish, alas.

  40. 40
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: if you only have 49 seats, you have a minority, you don’t have a majority. so, again, a 51 seat majority with two asshole members is better than a minority. but the original two options were a 49 seat minority that included three assholes or a 55 seat majority that didn’t. you get to 51 however you can, we agree on that. i don’t understand how this is so hard to understand.

    @J.Ty: actually, it’s not. in order for Republicans to win the majority, they have to hold every competitive seat they have (and they are actually in trouble in a couple of them) and pick up six seats. That is no small task. Looking at recent history, we can probably count on the Tea Party to nominate at least one terrible candidate that will cost the Republicans an otherwise winnable seat.

  41. 41
    J.Ty says:

    @KG: I was basing #1 on the fact that we don’t actually have that right now and would have to gain progressive seats to get there. See: recent nominees.

  42. 42
    KG says:

    @J.Ty: fair enough

  43. 43
    joel hanes says:

    The fundamental disagreement is over the likely electoral consequences of running conservadems in not-very-blue districts.

    The Third Way guys think that the way to win these districts is to run a conservadem.

    (Didn’t work out very well four years ago; Steve Israel’s win/loss record for contested districts is not very damned good)

    Markos thinks that the way to win these districts is to run an unapologetic progressive, to force the Republicans to explain and defend their policies, and to win in enough of the districts.

    This tactic is founded on Truman’s astute observation :

    I’ve seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn’t believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat

    Being “phony Democrats” themselves, the Third Way folks don’t find this observation compelling, and simply pretend it was never made, or that it is incorrect.

    A better alternative than either is Dr. Dean’s 50-State-Strategy, which was to construct and grow a self-propelling local Democratic organization in every state, and for those organizations to field a Democratic candidate in every contest, every election, even against Republicans in safe seats, even against Republican leadership. ALWAYS make the Rs explain and defend their policies. (Steve Israel and company have chosen not to field opponents to even vulnerable Republican leaders – almost as if they valued preserving the status quo over a Democratic majority. DWS will not countenance a D challenger to her R friend Ros-Lehtinen. Buck McKeon’s challenger gets no national money. Paul Ryan never has to campaign for re-election, because he runs unopposed).

    As should be obvious from my word choice, I think that the Third Way is a short path to defeat.

  44. 44
    MomSense says:

    Isn’t a 49 seat minority a Republican controlled Senate? Why would we want that? Wouldn’t it be preferable to keep the Senate in 2014 and expand our numbers in 2016?

    Even though I haven’t had any alcohol, I will put on my feelers a la Peggy Noonan and say that I am concerned about the prospect of 2 more years of gridlock and what that will mean for 2016. Non political junkies are not paying attention to which party is responsible so I’m quite skeptical about the wait for 2016 when polling (meaningless this far out) says we are going to have massive electoral gains. It seems like we just have to dig in and do Whatever. It. Fucking. Takes. to do well this year.

    Third Way is pretty much just people in denial that the Republican party is now completely lost to the Bircher/Birther/Christianist/Gunnutz. They enabled this bullshit.

  45. 45

    You could shorten it to third waynkers

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller

    From your original comment. If they make a majority, gaia bless them. Don’t fuck about, you know what a majority means.

  47. 47
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: actually that’s from Kos, not me. And what he said is:

    have Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller in a 49-seat minority

    That’s 49 including three assholes, not 49 plus three assholes. Again, the two original choices were: a 49 seat MINORITY that INCLUDES two or three blue dogs or a 55 seat MAJORITY that DOES NOT INCLUDE those blue dog assholes. If the choice is a 49 seat minority that does not include the blue dogs or a 51ish majority that includes the blue dogs, obviously the majority is better. Kos presented the two extremes and said the bigger majority with better Democrats is better than the actual minority with bad Democrats. To use a football metaphor, he’s arguing field position – being on the other team’s 20 yard line is better than being on your own 20 yard line. You are saying being on your own 40 yard line is better than being on your own 20 yard line. This is true, but it’s still not as good as being on their 40 yard line or their 20 yard line. Does that make sense?

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    They basically have the same sense of entitlement as the rest of the upper crust in the GOP, and they know they are better than the rest of us, just the really over the top Jesus stuff bothers them, and they vent their fascism in other ways.

    This nails these vile creatures perfectly. The Jeebus stuff makes them squirm, they’re embarrassed that the hicks are dominating the GOP, and they don’t want to be identified with that aspect of it, but the low taxes thing keeps sucking their greedhead asses back into the fray.

  49. 49
    PurpleGirl says:


    …Brooklyn and Queen on…

    The name of the borough is QUEENS, with an ending S.

  50. 50
    ruemara says:

    1. You know fuck-all about NYC, so step.

    2. I may not like 3rd way whatever, but they’re not completely wrong. You get the Dem that can win, not the most progressive. I live in boldly blue Ca and I swear my hippier than thou town simply adores finding the most neocon in granola local candidates. En masse, the mean is not tea party conservative, but it is fairly conservative.

    3. You’re willing to lose the Senate in 2014, along with the House? Or, at least, Markos is? Fine. Which one of you are going to take in people like me? My only hope is in an improved economy. If the ACA is repealed, I won’t have my necessary medicines or the testing to make sure nothing bad comes from these pills. They’re doing their damnedest to make sure food stamp cuts have no alliteration and most agencies are crushed under the weight of all the newly poor.

    I may not like it, but more and better Democrats is never going to happen all at once. First is the more and if we can keep the seat a few rounds, then it will be better. Tossing around the idea that we’ll just hold out for a presidential year no biggie when some of us are not even sure if we’ll have a right to vote…I can’t even.

  51. 51
    Fred Fnord says:

    Ever since the 90s when we lost Congress, first has always been ‘more’. As a result, we have moved so far to the right that the Democratic Party of the 70s wouldn’t even recognize us today. We move, they move, the center moves, and we realize that to get those ‘more Democrats’ we will have to move a little more still.

    Periodically a new set of proud warriors realizes that this is what is going on and loses all hint of gruntility, and gets kicked out so he doesn’t infect the other troops with defeatism.

    The obvious experiment has been tried occasionally: run a really good progressive in a very conservative area. Do it three or four times, until even with the vitriol they voters learn something about him that is real. The results of this are, for a certain segment of the population, very distressing. To wit: they tend to win. And that is something the ‘centrist coalition in the democrats’ is highly allergic to. Witness their efforts to save Lieberman. Their destruction, in at least one case, of the better candidate by persuasion that was close enough to blackmail for my taste.

    The Democrats are mostly people who would have been moderate Republicans thirty years ago. And their prime enemies seem to be people who would have been a Democrat back then.

    In a real sense, more is constantly at war with good. The idea goes, the more you compromise your ideals, the more people you can recruit with a straight face. And you recruit them and some win and hey, look, the Democratic Party has moved further right.

    Further right you are, the less likely you can get even modestly liberal appointments through, and the more difficult it is to persuade liberals to run, because they know they will get less support than the blue dogs, and many of them will be destroyed by their own party, merely for being ‘too liberal’.

    More is the enemy of good. And more always wins. And so we have not yet finished our great rightward move. I wonder, when we finally do, what the landscape will look like.

  52. 52
    liberal says:

    @Violet: clearly you didn’t grow up with a dad who said repeatedly, “a good Republican is a dead Republican.”

  53. 53
    Ivan X says:

    I’ve lived in Manhattan for 15 years and have never once been to the Hamptons, I’m proud to say. I worry that I might not be able to withstand the critical mass of insufferability, especially since I’m from CA originally and know what a beach is supposed to look like.

    Also too, I’m an incredible snob about being here, and wouldn’t dream of going to Brooklyn or Queens as frequently as once a week, regardless of their merits.

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    Both the Third Way and kos excerpts are cringeworthy.

  55. 55
    Rob in CT says:

    Markos is mostly, but not entirely, right.

    More and better Democrats sometimes must mean accepting a “blue dog” or conservadem or whatever you want to call them candidate who can win in a red state over a progressive purity pony who will lose by 10 points. The key to this, it seems to me, is really understanding the electorate in each election. A good example from upthread: no need to tolerate a Lieberman in CT, when CT is solid blue. But in Louisiana? That’s another story.

    The thing is, when you’re dealing with marginal seats (Dems winning in Red States, Reps winning in Blue States), they are going to be tenuous. This will lead to the moderate/conservative Dems looking terrible when they try to hang on. Progressives will hate on them for being squishes and losing anyway, and Conservatives will hate them because they’re liberalfascistcommies, etc, etc. But their losses are usually baked into the cake, since their original victories were often unlikely. Again, this only applies for politicians who win elections in areas where the electorate leans notably in the other direction (say, +5 GOP area electing a Dem).

    This is why I think that new site that compares voting record to the electorate’s partisan lean in district/state is on the right track. There are blue dog Dems who should be primaried. There are also blue dog dems who deserve a pat on the head (or at least shouldn’t be kicked).

  56. 56
    J R in WV says:

    I’m proud to say that I have never voted for a Republican for any office.

    Will never vote for a Republican for state level or federal level offices, never, never ever! Including Joe Manchin, a conservative Catholic Republican pretending to be a Democrat to get elected in a very Red rural state that pretends to be Democratic.

    Once upon a time there were Rockefeller Republicans who could be voted for in some states. Not the religious nut-cakes we have today.

    I still never voted for them.

  57. 57
    Samuel Knight says:

    Few added notes:
    1) “Third Way” gives away their game with their name. They are a 3rd way, not Dems or GOP. Fine then, don’t preternd to be Dems.
    2) There’s a basic disagreement on strategy. Does it help Dems to run for the Hills and give in to GOP demands? Did it help to vote for the Iraq War? Did it help to cut infrastructure spending from the Recovery Act? Did it help to take out the Public Option from Obamacare? Does it help to give in when your party is constantly attacked for being weak?
    3) And given that mid terms are always base elections – should a campaign be aimed at the middle OR at getting your base out?

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    Democrats are running “third way” right now and I personally think it’s a disaster.

    I’ll be sure and blame these people when we get killed in the midterms.

    The “opportunity ladders” “opportunity gap” theme sucks. It’s meaningless to anyone outside their bubble, and it’s identical to the GOP theme, which is ALSO “opportunity”

    I hope state-level Democrats can limit the damage and still win some governor’s races on practical issues people might understand and care about.

    Who decided crowing about “opportunity” to people who are financially insecure and scared to death was a good idea? People who are NOT financially insecure? Comfortable people must have planned this theme. No one is scared wants to hear about “opportunity ladders”.

    Whoever decided that parroting Tom Fucking Friedman is the way to win the middle class is a moron. If that came from the Third Way people (and I think it did!) we have them to blame for losing the midterms, not Kos.

  59. 59
    Turgidson says:

    @Samuel Knight:

    Usually kos makes that argument. One of his beefs with centrist douchebags is that in their efforts to look moderate, they often end up pissing off everybody rather than being minimally acceptable to everybody. Look at the ACA and someone like Blanche Lincoln. She and her ilk watered down the ACA repeatedly and threatened to filibuster the damn thing if they didn’t get their way. We ended up with the ACA, which she then voted for. I’m glad it passed, and it is a good bill. But it could have been better, and the changes these people made to it did not help them electorally, nor did their piss poor defense of it when they were running for reelection.

    Lincoln pissed off liberal Democrats by making the ACA a less liberal bill. In a sane world, this might have made sense. She can have it both ways – not allowing the bill to have a sockulist public option or Medicare buy-in in it, but doing the right thing and reforming health care. Liberals are satisfied she voted for something, conservatives are satisfied that she didn’t allow a commie take over of the health care industry. Harold Ford is applauding.

    But we don’t live in that fucking world. As we’ve had the pleasure of watching for the past 4 years now, ANY bill the Democrats passed was going to be condemned as the most heinous government takeover in the history of mankind. It didn’t matter what was in it. So then Blanche Lincoln and other blue dogs who stuck us with a suboptimal bill due to their nutpicking spent 2010 running away from their vote anyway. And they got blown the fuck out and Ms. Lincoln is now an ex-senator. This all started with Third Way-esque thinking that being the reasonable person in the middle was the best way to win, and to be that person, you had to make legislation less liberal in some way. But in this case, it was just making the bill worse – there was no sensible trade-off, the bill just got worse. I agree with kos and others who think that strategy is bullshit and has been for at least the last 6-8 years.

    These brave moderates were always going to have to beat back the charges that they were Obama’s dupes and voted for the commie abomination ACA. The Third Way got one thing semi-right. At least they voted for the thing in the end. But their complicity in obstructing and weakening the bill beforehand was pointless and self-destructive, and their refusal to mount a vigorous defense of the bill once passed was ridiculously stupid. They didn’t end up winning over any center-right folks with that dance – they just looked like idiots. They should have just kept their heads down, passed (or allowed to pass by voting for cloture, even) a bill with a public option or Medicare buy-in, and unapologetically talked about all the things in the bill that were going to help their constituents. THAT would have been brave. They might have lost anyway, but at least they would have left it all on the field, so to speak. Instead they weakened the bill, demoralized their base, then refused to defend the bill, and were campaigned against as librul fascists anyway, and lost big.

    I am not saying Democrats in red states should always vote party line. On local or cultural issues, yeah, red state Dems will not be voting for tight gun control (although the defections on the background check bill were ridiculous), Dems from coal or oil states will not be voting for strict regulations on those industries, and so on. Those votes may suck, but they need to be accepted. But the kind of shit that happened on the ACA was not a good example of that. The ACA dance was exactly the kind of thing that happens when these people have Third Way dipshits whispering in their ear.

  60. 60
    Paul in KY says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Being in the Majority is a big, big deal. Even if you do have scum like Lieberman (as an example) in there with you.

  61. 61
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ian: I still think that POS will win, maybe in a squeaker.

    He has never lost an election. I’m sending money to stop that streak, but I am a realistic man.

  62. 62
    Paul in KY says:

    @joel hanes: A great quote from a great President.

  63. 63
    Paul in KY says:

    @liberal: My dad hates Republicans with a passion.

    Good ole dad!

  64. 64
    dollared says:

    JC, it ain’t the assholes in New York that are the 3rd Way problem. It’s the regional elites all over the country. The lawyers and doctors and MBAs in Minnesota that know the Iraq War was stupid, but don’t get why Wal-Mart is literally destroying our country. They don’t remember how cheap the University of Minnesota was, way back when, so why are the kids complaining?

    And they like to vote the person, not the party, blah blah blah.

    If you’re talking 3rd Way, you’re really talking about the 10%, not the 1%.

  65. 65
    Archon says:

    I don’t like the 3rd way bullshit but Markos has his own political sins to tend to like supporting a primary for Blanche Lincoln AFTER she voted for Obamacare in blood-red Arkansas with the President polling in the low 30’s. All for not supporting card check which had about as much chance as becoming law as single payer did.

    He also “advised” the President to commit the political version of seppaku by punting on Obamacare at the 1 yard line back in 09.

  66. 66
    jefft452 says:

    @Archon: “supporting a primary for Blanche Lincoln”


    Lincoln lost the general, 60/40!
    And no, she didn’t lose because she was primaried
    If anything, being someone who was “attacked by hippies and union thugs” was just the image she wanted to project

    If somebody like Lincoln is the only Dem who can win in Ark, then no Dem, even somebody like Lincoln, can win in Ark. Halter would have lost too, but without trashing the Dem brand

    Try telling swing state voters that the highest priority of the Democratic Party is to protect blue dogs in very red states at all costs and I guarantee you that you will have a Republican Senate

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