The Party Of Ideas - Markos vs. Markos

Speaking for me only

eriposte takes Markos Moulitsas' unsound post at daily kos on the Party of Ideas and debunks it (see also Crashing The Gates co-author Jerome Armstrong gently disagree with Markos.), using Markos' own words. It uses some definitive statements from "Crashing the Gate," Markos and Jerome Armstrong's book on Democratic politics:[More...]

If anything, Democrats have failed time and again because they have had far more ideas amongst themselves - ranging from the very liberal to the somewhat conservative - that they have often failed to unify around a single set of ideas the way Republicans have. Don't just take my word for it. That is, in fact, one of the messages in Crashing The Gate. I'd like to point Markos to pages 173 and 174 in his own book:
Ask ten people what the Republican Party stands for and you'll get roughly the same ten answers: [...] Now ask ten people what the Democratic Party stands for, and you're likely to get ten different answers... ...As it turned out, this hasn't been a book about policies or new ideas or message, even though those are critically important in taking back our country. We like to believe the ideas that will lead the Democratic Party to a new governing majority already exist, but they need to be articulated clearly.
Markos unfortunately confused message discipline with ideas. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The Democrats have been the party of ideas, the Republicans have been the party of propaganda. That has not changed much in a long long time.
(Emphasis supplied.) It is clear that Markos has confused actually having new ideas with actually conveying them effectively in the political process - where he rightly chides Democrats for their ineffectiveness and lauds the GOP for its effectiveness. And indeed, Markos himself performed like a Democrat here, failing miserably in delivering his message, choosing to parrot a David Brooks' talking point instead of laying out his REAL complaint - the one he makes in Crashing the Gate. And this too is a Democratic curse. Barack Obama is especially prone to choosing GOP frames. As he was here, and as was Markos here.
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    Thanks BTD. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Teresa on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 09:46:44 AM EST
    Your sensible posts keep me sane during this primary. Despite what "some say", I find you very even-handed.

    In defense of Markos (none / 0) (#1)
    by koshembos on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 09:05:22 AM EST
    Several bloggers are very industrious and generate a huge number of posts daily. The inevitable result is misstatements and wrong interpretations. I don't read Markos frequently, but briefly, I have looked at posts by Yglesias and Drum and what you see is not very good. I am sure that if such blogger will concentrate on quality they will make much more sense.

    At the same time, Democrats have ideas; that's a given. Republicans support the rich.

    Markos, Schmarkos... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:26:20 AM EST
    ...let's remember the real and ironic problem: that the Republicans, for all their wretchedness of policy, actually ACT like a vibrant and loud opposition party when they are -- as is the case now.  The Democrats, when in the opposition for the last few decades, have DONE NOTHING THAT A REAL OPPOSITION PARTY SHOULD.  The Democratic Party has evolved into a profoundly cowardly orgainziation.  


    Um (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:30:43 AM EST
    Your comment is in line with my post and IRONICALLY, with pointys Markos Schmarkos has consistently made.

    What is out of kilter is his latest.


    Seems Raygun had some ideas about anti-trust (none / 0) (#7)
    by Rojas on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 12:06:12 PM EST
    Cowardly like self interest pursuing (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:45:28 AM EST

    As long as the political donor class continues to call the tune 90% of the time, class interest will almost always trump principal; with a resulting state of affairs in which the genuinely principaled tend to avoid direct involvment with American politics like the plague.


    Democratic message is impossible (none / 0) (#5)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:34:18 AM EST
    because there are too many voices. Unlike Republicans, we Democrats still feel people are of value even when we disagree with them. Although I agree with some of the principles of Political Correctness, I disagree with the way PC has been applied. Gender bias? Black Americans? Latino Americans? GLBT Americans? Gyno Americans? Whom do you speak for and what is the point?

    A cascade of voices may be interesting at a dinner party, but it is only when welded into a chorus that it becomes truly awesome. The Democratic choice is only whether to be the dinner party or the chorus.

    As for who is the party of ideas, read the laws that are passed. Patriot Act. "Protect America Act", AUMF, DOMA, MCA. If these are the ideas your party wishes to defend, then go ahead. If not, then why are you lying to me - BECAUSE YOU VOTED FOR THEM.

    You keep us honest A...concise and direct (none / 0) (#8)
    by bronte17 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 01:06:29 PM EST
    Very good post.

    The "anyone but Hillary" crowd (none / 0) (#9)
    by athyrio on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 01:30:03 PM EST
    is gonna destroy the democratic party with this stuff as it isn't about the hatred of one individual but what is good for the country both in ideas and abilities. They seem to have forgotten that in their fervor and are blinded by their hatred...