The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Kos Calls For Progressive Civil War

Kos is threatening Dennis Kucinich, of all people, with a primary if he doesn’t vote for health care “reform”.

Let me get this straight, Kos wants to primary one of the most reliable and principled progressives in Congress (perhaps the most principled one) because Kucinich doesn’t want to vote for a bill which will force Americans to buy crappy health insurance from private companies?

First they came for Massa, and now, not being able to find any dirt on Kucinich, they’re putting the pressure on, and Kos is going along with it?

Because, lord knows, what progressives should spend their time and money is primarying someone like Kucinich.  What they should do is start an left wing fucking civil war so that Obama, Hoyer and Rahm Emmanuel can sit back and laugh as the left wing tears itself apart over a bill which, whether you want it passed or not, no one who is on the left wing should think is better than mediocre.

Be very clear, if “progressives” like Kos want to primary Kucinich, many other progressives will defend him and fight for him.  So, instead of picking up new seats, we’ll be wasting time and money fighting over a seat already held by a progressive.

Those who want to go after Kucinich are acting as Obama and Rahm’s heavies.  Acting as enforcers for a President who believes in indefinite detention without trial, who has expanded the war in Afghanistan, gutted civil rights and who wants to force every American to buy health insurance from private companies.

It’s time for Kos’s 15 minutes to end.  The man’s stupidity, hubris and willingness to be used by a president who is objectively a conservative means he is now doing more damage to the left than good.

(I am informed that it’s too late to primary Kucinich in 2010.  Thank goodness.  Still a stupid threat in most ways.)


Health care reform bottom line


Worth more dead than alive—why and how credit default swaps need to be insured


  1. Anthony Cooper

    When I saw that bit on DKos, I about swallowed my tongue. The rise to ‘relevance’ has really gone to his head.

  2. SAW

    Kucinich cannot be primaried; the deadline for getting on the ballot in his district has paaaaaaaasssssssssssssed. Read all about it here:

    Markos, he be wiggin.

  3. Z

    I had gone back and forth about kos weighing his counter balance against the radical right against his fealty to party, and this is the tipping point for me: trying to intimidate the one of the most … if not THE most … progressives in congress becoz he’s not supporting a bill that forces us to buy insurance off of private insurance companies and has little or no cost controls … and one in which the majority of the people in the country are against. Basically kos is going after Kucinich for not toeing the party line on a bill that most benefits obama and his big donors in the health care industry. Most disappointing, and nauseating, was hearing him trying to lay 40,000 future deaths a year in the US due to a lack of health insurance on Kucinich when his hero set the parameters to the bill such that it won’t go into effect for 4 years … and another 160,000 lives by kos’ logic.

    Fortunately, it is too late to create a division among progressives on Kucinich’s seat becoz it is too late to primary him.

    kos is coopted by the obama administration, like so many progressive bloggers who are currently trying to redefine their defeat on this bill and on other matters. Fortunately FDL and some bloggers on openleft ain’t lending their happy face to this bill.


  4. zot23

    I like KOS, if for nothing else the dude’s website helped me get through the Bush years with my sanity. KOS and John Stewart, maybe a liberal dash of Colbert.

    Hopefully, he comes to his senses here, if not I think his jihad will go nowhere fast. It can’t happen this election and by 2012 I think Dennis’ opposition to watered-down HCR will look sage-like in retrospect. KOS is a great guerrilla putting the screws to the man in power, he’s not so great as a supporter of the status-quo. If he pursues this path, he’ll just be making himself less and less relevant IMHO.

  5. I’ve never thought of Kos as a progressive. In my book, he’s a Democratic Party partisan. He’s been one of the reasons so many of the people on the Blue America slate were Blue Dogs and DLCers. That he wants to primary Dennis Kucinich surprises me only because the deadline has passed.

  6. Thank you for calling this character out. At one point, DKOS had almost 2.0 million unique visitors a month. Since the elections, his numbers have tanked. The monthly figure (from my for unique visitors shows equaling in 7/2007 at 765,000 each. From then on DU has grown significantly and DKOS has declined. For 1/2010, it’s DU 1.0 million, DKOS 0.5 million. How about those numbers?

    How do you get readers? Create a controversy through that oh-so-special whistle blower or through some other clever ploy like…”Hey, I’ll go after Kucinich in his own district.” That’s was tried to no avail in the 2008. It failed miserably.

    I believe it was LBJ who said, “If you’re going to tell someone in Washington to ‘Go to Hell,’ you better damned well be sure you can send them there.” KOS crossed the transom of doom. There’s no way anybody bests Kucinich in the primary. When that reality sets in, guess who drops another 50% in unique monthly visitors?

    Dennis Kucinich is one of the very few intellectually honest members of Congress and one of the few who thinks of the people first.

    “Say good night KOS.”

  7. The figure above should read “equaling in 7/2009” (2009, not 2007). Sorry.

  8. anonymous

    I read dKos for about a year when it was new, but something in the milk ain’t right about that guy. Just like with Huffington, he used to be a Republican. They may be very smart people, but even very smart people can have shitty judgement. That’s how they got to be Republicans in the first place, and how one of them married a freaking gay man.

    And getting in line behind Obama was shitty judgement from the get go. All those assholes like Kos, Huffington and Drum claim there was no daylight between the positions of Hillary and Obama so we should shut up about the primaries. Not that I think Hillary would have been especially liberal (but she couldn’t possibly have been worse than Obama). But if you watched them, Hillary improved in reaction to criticism from the left; Obama got worse, and his people just got ugly with his critics. And you just knew he was going to give a wet kiss to the asswarts of the BushCheney regime. Or you did if you weren’t Kos, Huffington or their ilk.

  9. Ian Welsh

    I didn’t realize his traffic had crashed out that much. Most interesting.

  10. Indeed. Nice to see Kos’s business model failing. May he lose his health insurance, like the rest of us proles.

  11. Incidentally, DU is even more a party line blog than Kos.

  12. Every time I think Kos might be worth paying attention to after all, he goes and does something like this.

  13. bayville

    They’re so transparent.
    On one hand the Obamaoids, are charming the usual DC hacks to regurgitate the Rahm myths or as The New Yorker and The Atlantic dutifully did – on the same day no less – write a pair of puff pieces re-emphasizing Geithner’s brilliance.

    And then on the other hand, round up the usual A-listers from the internet to help in their marginalization efforts of alleged “enemies on the left.” In other words, enemies of the banksters, insurance giants and the financial district. Spitzer has been kicked to the curb. Massa’s gone and is “crazy”. Kucinich won’t play ball let’s get him. Get gossip about muckrakers like Taibbi. Greenwald is shrill. And throw the Progs a bone about the fictitional “Public Option” still being in play.

    And if all else fails, Yell NADER!

  14. oakland

    Daily Kos is the “new” DNC website. I’ll say one thing for Kos. He sure taught this dfh to zip up my wallet.

  15. Markos is the face of the officially approved ‘left’ (which, in fact, isn’t left at all).

    He should be ashamed.

  16. Marsha

    Kos is so stupid – he’s banging his tiny drum for a punishment (a primary) that can’t be done. Oh, but nobody bothers to check that fact and call him on it. But he gets to keep yelling his false fact and gather his minions at this feet.

    Is his contract on the TeeVee due for renewal or something?

  17. par4

    @ anon; I didn’t know Kos had married a gay man.

  18. Are not all the “Obamanations” -Rachel Madow, Keith Obermann, and Daily Kos hemmoraging viewers? None of them have the moral courage to challenge the “Gangs of New York” domestically, nor our Likud-nut/War Everlasting World View. Ian, I’m just sick at heart over the unalloyed violence, corruption and dishonesty that progessives are supposed to tolerate in order to thwart moral imbeciles like Ms. Palin.

    Talk about Phony Paradigms!!

  19. DupinTM

    Michael Collins, ty for the info on viewership for the Big Orange. It explains much, though not as much as the post Robert Reich did on ‘the enthusiasm gap’. Or the sad fact of how the Confederate types – Stirling’s term but easy to explain with ‘lemon socialism’ – rule our talk shows.

    The talk is about this controversy is so strange. I thought Kos had clearly been established as a new-model Democratic consultant for years, just as Jane Hamsher’s blackout of Medicare-for-all advocates had told people where the money lies. But Collins’ link has been super-informative for me and I hope others about what’s up, what’s possible, and hell, why not link to Glenn Greenwald?

  20. John

    Arianna married a very wealthy closeted Republican politician. How do you think HuffPost got the startup costs covered? The guy was obviously decent in the divorce settlement. How do you think she negotiated the DC access game? How did she get in the door? Follow the money. It’s always about that first.
    Never a lot of money in pure progressive principles.
    KOS is more of a Stockholm Syndrome case. Or terrorist hostage. After the Chicago boyz kick your teeth into the kerb with “enemy on the left” enough…you start to worry about the wife and children…and say what they want you to say.
    You get up and you make the video.
    I’ve started to think that the whole health care thing will not be relevant after the next “leg down” in the economy. Or the next few legs down. The main health care issue could be reduced to simply getting food on the table.
    Of course, no one thinks it could come to that here in the land of plenty.

  21. Eureka Springs

    How dare Kucinich, a single presidential candidate (back in 2004) think about dating women! How dare Nader so much as breathe oxygen!

    Kos turned into a fact free foaming at the mouth two-headed RoveBeckion monster right before the nations eyes.

    Because it’s the only way these people can justify their advocacy of passing this health insurance pharma looting spree.

  22. Barry

    When you buy into the Two Party System meme, then you have to choose a party, and Kos openly did. Once you choose a party in the Two Party System meme, then it follows that the needs of your party are paramount. And the Party needs a “win”.

    Someone who doesn’t toe the party line is a threat to the party. Not just because he might fail to provide a crucial vote on something; because he might present a viable-looking alternative to the party line, which could split the party.

    Since the Party is pursuing the logic of The Lesser of Two Evils, trying to win over all independent voters and some Republicans while it’s at it, the Party MUST NOT allow the appearance of any viable alternatives on the left. Especially since alternatives on the left don’t lead to big funding from big corporate donors and generally tend to get the MSM talking head squawking.

    So, no matter how many congresspeople stand firm with Stupak, it’s Kucinich’s fault. The left must get the blame.

    This is why I stopped reading Kos over a year ago, and this is why I’m not a Democrat. I can see the logic of LTE, but the price is too high. I’m a liberal, not a party member.

  23. dob

    Barry, you get me instant run-off voting, I’ll be with your liberal 3rd party in a heartbeat. Until then, and only then, will supporting a party to the left of the Democrats, instead of trying to push the Democrats further to the left, not have the net effect of strengthening the right.

  24. Lex

    Unfortunately, trying to push the Democrats to the left is a task that Sisyphus would give up on.

  25. my original internet identity has a GOS id number that is ridiculously low. i remember when reading the site felt like participating with some of the action, realtime. then it got monolithic and preachy, and i stopped reading it. there’s a limit to the value of certain forms of discussion, as is demonstrated there every day. but i’ve never mistaken the siteowner for anything other than what he is. he’s stepped in it on issues like women’s and gay equality, religion, stupid economic tricks, etc. i’ve never thought him to be a ‘brilliant strategist.’ i never understood why anyone would. he got lucky, he’s the textbook definition of ‘right place at the right time’ and i wish him well. but stuff like this post remind me of why i also think of him as a tool.

  26. DWCG

    Chicago Dyke:

    I was on Daily Kos before there were IDs. I remember writing about this obscure unknown governor named Howard Dean back in 2002 on the site, when discussing the 2004 primaries. The only reason I have four digits in my ID instead of 2 or 3 is because when the roll-out of the system came, I was working a campaign.

    But I’ve observed exactly the same thing you have and that’s why I’ve stopped reading. What used to be a healthy exchange of democratic policy and strategy, became a constant political rally devoid of any level of discussion worthy of my time. When the Recommended Diaries feature came, it used to feature thought-provoking contributions. Now stuff like “I’m Mad As Hell Because…” make the top of the list.

    With this act, I think Kos has done a few things:

    1) He’s helped launch the term PINO (Progressive In Name Only). Sure he’s always been a Democratic Party partisan, but he always at least appeared to be a principle progressive.

    2) He’s officially revealed himself as co-opted. It happens to almost all of them. They go from talking to average Americans, to the DC cocktail circuit and so they begin to change the way they think and speak and view issues.

    3) He’s officially jumped the shark.

    I wish I could “wish him well,” but as Ian points out, I think now, he’s now doing more damage to the left than good.

    And if he hasn’t already, I think he will soon understand that he has far fewer friends than he thought.

  27. Barry


    1.How about you get ME instant runoff voting? Then we could both vote our consciences. But how will you get me IRV? The same way you are getting me the Public Option, or Single Payer. Darn, we don’t have the votes for it.
    2. People within the “real” party could use third party defection as a threat to move candidates to the left. There’s even a word for that: triangulation. But that’s not what people do, is it? Never to the left. They have a higher priority, which is precluding the possibility of viable alternatives to the Democratic and Republican Parties. Liberalism will just have to wait.

  28. Since Markos C. A. Moulitsas Zúñiga spent two years training and working at the CIA between 2001 and 2003, it was only a matter of time before he started doing the sorts of political acts that are consistent with having been trained by the CIA.

    You don’t believe that MAMZ worked at the CIA. Listen to the audiotape

    in which MAMZ says what he did at the CIA for two years, and then look up the work “work” in the Merriam Webster’s dictionary to see if what MAMZ said he did constitutes work in the way that most people understand the word:

    1 : activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something: a : sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result

    MAMZ said he was trying to enter the CIA during his training, so he was “exerting strength,” which means, according to the most common Merriam definition of “work,” that he worked at the CIA for two years.

    How much money did he get for his work. That’s a question the mainstream media has never publicly asked MAMZ and a question that he has never publicly answered.

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