The DLC And The Netroots

Writing from Netroots Nation discussion between Markos and DLC Chair Harold Ford, Ezra Klein writes about the incongruity of Ford speaking at Netroots Nation:

[T]he DLC ceased being a threat and became simply a foil. In 2005, when DailyKos was preparing to destroy the DLC, they were punching up, or thought they were. Now it would be baffling if they took the DLC on: What would be the point? The netroots are bigger, richer, and more relevant, or at least feel as if they are.

That strikes me as hilarious. Who was "bigger, richer and more relevant" on FISA? Harold Ford said:

Ford pushed back against the notion that Obama had abandoned the netroots on the FISA fight. "Many of the candidates that people in this room drew national attention to voted yes for FISA including Jim Webb and Claire McCaskill," he said, "as did 20 of the 30 red-to-blue candidates that were highlighted by the netroots."

. . . Later Ford was quizzed on why he would support granting telecommunication companies immunity for their participation in the FISA program. His response - that it wasn't the companies who should be held to a fault but rather the public officials who ordered their participation - was challenged by several different questioners, who demanded "accountability" for privacy violations.

"I think that accountability was brought in 2006 when [the GOP] lost in the House and the Senate," Ford responded said. "And we have only eight more months of George W. Bush..."

Think about what Ford said - the "Netroots" candidates like Webb and McCaskill et al voted for FISA Capitulation. They voted like the DLC wanted. So who won? Who was "bigger, richer and more relevant on FISA?" The DLC or the Netroots? It is important to deal with reality and the reality is the DLC is closer to the Dem agenda and the Obama agenda, style and rhetoric than was the Netroots of a year ago. I do not see how anyone can claim the Netroots won its fight with the DLC. It didn't. It lost. And it seems that it lost willingly with a smile on its face.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:42:49 PM EST
    Is the story of Markos' master plan to destroy the DLC to be forever unwritten?

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:47:26 PM EST
    That was always a silly thing imo. But there was a real debate going on about what the Dem Party should be on issues, on style on rhetoric.

    For now, the DLC has won that debate in the Democratic Party.


    Markos's book on Obama's (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:00:56 PM EST
    campaign, victory, and Presidency should be very, very interesting.

    What would it say... (5.00 / 8) (#23)
    by nulee on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:00:08 PM EST
    'The night of the Iowa primary I blindly turned my entire site into a pro-Obama noise machine, despite earlier postings by me that indeed Hillary was the more progressive candidate, and despite chasing away legions of loyal bloggers and readers.  I was blinded by a desire to destroy the DLC at all costs, damn the agenda and the issues.'

    It may be a lot shorter book (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:23:31 PM EST
    than anticipated.

    Is he writing a book on that? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:02:34 PM EST
    I understood he was writing about Saul Alinsky.

    How would I know? But wouldn't you (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:03:49 PM EST
    think he would?

    Alinsky was a progressive (none / 0) (#51)
    by koshembos on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 10:40:14 PM EST
    while Markos supports a centrist, or worse, and runs a blog that makes every fascist leader proud.

    For the record (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:50:32 PM EST
    In 2005, I was a principal writer at daily kos engaged in battle with the DLC as much as anybody besides Markos.

    As the Unity Pony.... (5.00 / 9) (#2)
    by lambert on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:46:32 PM EST
    ... drops another steaming load.

    As BTD has, I believe, oft pointed out, the crazed thing about the (self-annointed) "netroots" is that they gave unquestioning fealty to Obama without getting anything in return. And so, FISA.

    I am accused here (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:48:56 PM EST
    of the same.

    My own view is that voting for McCain is unthinkable. I would never vote for someone who disagrees with me on virtually everything.

    But I am also not going to pretend I won when I have basically lost.


    Your last sentence disqualifies you (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:56:33 PM EST
    from running for or holding political office.

    I was disqualified long before that (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:00:10 PM EST
    I heard today (none / 0) (#17)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:39:25 PM EST
    that your overriding motivation is hatred for Barack Obama, even though you're going to vote for him anyway.

    I do dislike the Unity Schtick no question (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:53:38 PM EST
    I think that is what he means. He can not separate the man from the policies and the politics.

    The very definition of a cult of personality. He is a cultist no matter how much he denies it.


    Heh. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:02:48 PM EST
    Issues voters tolerate politicians as necessary parts of the process.  So we are often fickle, praising a politician one week and cursing them the next.  This doesn't go over so well with the enthusiastic supporters of candidates who think the candidates are the both the means and the ends.

    Well (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:40:47 PM EST
    Here's a great idea for making the DLC irrelevant!  Let's find a candidate who follows the DLC's preferred strategy, and make sure he wins, thus confirming that the DLC is wrong and we are right!

    In all seriousness, I can understand how people might have thought Obama was the guy to set a new paradigm, because of the war issue.  It just hasn't worked out that way.  Problem is, the more success he enjoys, the less likely he will be to manifest any of that missing political courage.


    I'm kind of hurt Geek stopped (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:32:57 PM EST
    dropping in here and now shares thoughts on MyDd.  

    that's why god invented (none / 0) (#46)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:24:40 PM EST
    the "write-in" space on the ballot.

    I would never vote for someone who disagrees with me on virtually everything.

    actually, i find the whole host of bloggers to have a seriously inflated view of their own importance, pretty much regarding anything.

    being blunt, bloggers and their followers represent perhaps 1/10th of 1% of the total electorate, hardly cause for beating your chests. you have, individually and in the aggregate, zero effect on pretty much anything.

    this may change in the future, but for the moment, collectively, you're shouting in an empty forest, with only trees for an audience.


    ... cognitive dissonance for me has been that I watched so many of them ferociously "attack" people who were almost like the advance guard of many of Obama's stands - yet, from Obama, they merely ooo and aaah.

    It's a shame, really.


    agree (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:53:18 PM EST
    The netroots strikes me as somewhat of a special interests group, a class comprised primarily of ... wait. I think I've heard this before: the creative class!

    Actually they remind me (5.00 / 7) (#21)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:53:53 PM EST
    of the religious right.  The religious right isn't that big in terms of votes, but they learned how to use the media which was generally friendly to them in order to create political leverage.  I believe the religious right pioneered astro turfing.

    My first experience with the true power of the religious right was when Concerned Mothers?/Women? of America boycotted DC comics over a "controversial" Vertigo title.  Once I realized how much business this would cost DC, I laughed.  What were the chances that DC's biggest customers were hard core social conservative activists?

    I believe the net roots does have an important role to play, but even in the fast paced world of computers and social networking, it will take years to build a solid organization of consistent activists.  What the network is good for right now is the kind of Axelrod flash in the pan activism.   Here today, gone tomorrow.  The 'net is better for disseminating information - getting data to people, not getting people together.  


    Oddly enough, I wrote a bit about it today, and about my initial pesky concerns that progressivism's adoption of the IMW (infamous Mighty Wuretc) would turn them into the same thing as freepers.

    Which as far as I can tell, it has. Well, maybe not quite that bad --- but maybe just that bad.


    Actually this is one of the things (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by weltec2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:42:59 PM EST
    that makes me very suspicious of the college-kid vote that BO was so very good at drumming up in the primaries. He was able to do it once because the kids literally by the millions had him right there in their hands looking right back at them. But now that he has moved to the right of center it seems to me that a cool has settled over their fire. I'm wondering if that sort of gimmicking the kids to the poles is going to work twice. I have serious doubts about it.

    They served their purpose. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:51:03 PM EST
    (What?  Me cynical?)

    Sadly for the party... (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by weltec2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 10:24:11 PM EST
    I'm afraid you're right. The question now is whether or not BO can pick up enough of those of us who actually do vote in general elections. And those of us over sixty who always vote: for example, my dad who is deep in his eighties was first for Edwards then Hillary... but he has been disgusted by BO's move to the right and has decided not to vote at all for the first time since he was old enough to vote.

    Faith Based Initiatives, FISA, and I don't even trust him on Iraq... BO is not making me feel obligated enough as a Democrat to bend that far.


    I wouldn't have minded (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:53:32 PM EST
    if DailyKos hadn't declared some kind of monumental victory, but instead plugged steadily away at incremental change.  Sometimes a change or movement does come all at once, but most often, it creeps unsteadily along, picking up supporters and strength in fits and starts until can't be ignored any more.

    Precisely (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:54:50 PM EST
    I support Obama but I know I lost the political argument on how the politics of the Dem Party should be carried out and on a lot of issues.

    At least Tester is with you on FISA. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:57:33 PM EST
    Indeed (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:59:31 PM EST
    Tester is largely a good one. I lost him on Iraq though.

    I am really down on Webb though. He is a wimp.


    Looking back, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:18:07 PM EST
    some people had higher expectations for him than they probably should have. I include myself in that. I mean, he did support Reagan.

    But he gave such a strong rebuttal to (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:30:49 PM EST
    that State of the Union speech.  What happened?

    Really? (none / 0) (#36)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:30:23 PM EST
    He is a wimp.

    Who do you think he's frightened of in this matter?


    "[A] weak, cowardly, (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:34:45 PM EST
    or ineffectual person"

    Could just be the guy's personality, but I doubt it.


    How could I ever refuse? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:43:58 PM EST
    I feel like I win when I lose.

    lol (none / 0) (#33)
    by dws3665 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:00:38 PM EST
    I'm going to see that in just a little while! Can't wait. Of course, that song isn't in the show (sung as curtain call). Sorry, I know: OT.

    zomg! (none / 0) (#35)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:25:06 PM EST

    I took my wife to see that show for her birthday.  It was a lot of fun.


    O.K. I got as far as the singer and (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:35:18 PM EST
    the group.  What's the name of the show?

    it's more journalism than power broker (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:41:04 PM EST
    Netroots seems more like a collection of people most interested in communicating what's going on rather than effecting what's going on. If your main agenda is power brokering and having an effect, then you tend to do that more quietly and do a lot of maneuvering so people owe you and you can pull strings. I don't think the people that make up the netroots have a handle on that.

    So I'd put it more in the camp of a collection of progressive magazines that report and have opinions and try their best to matter and to create progressive movements that matter, but so far have just talked about them. Having said that, I quite like that view and what it can do and how it can matter. It's just not a path to being a power broker.

    Interestingly I think even if some netroots groups try to get some power or get something by wielding or withholding their endorsement, they you get some cash and/or attention for your endorsement, but you don't get power. It's tricker than that. A good example of that is NARAL who got some contributions for their endorsement, but have no influence for their trouble, obviously.

    Thanks for calling this out (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by nulee on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:54:23 PM EST
    as it is.  It is indeed very interesting.

    Activists will forever (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:18:43 PM EST
    be disappointed by politicians.  

    The DLC will always have more perceived influence than the netroots because they adhere to the status quo.

    The netroots has to content itself with small incremental changes while the DLC will generally have it's policies carried out because there is very little political risk.  

    They have contented themselves (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:21:22 PM EST
    Sort of my point. They have declared victory.

    Look, you never cared what some of us cared about and wrote about for years.

    So really, I am not talking about you here.


    flyerhawk's apologies (none / 0) (#57)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:07:51 AM EST
    are starting to sound like your activism.

    You misperceive the netroots (none / 0) (#59)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:19:42 AM EST
    If there is anything that binds us all together it is that our grievances are so ingrained into our own personal psychologies that we have turned to..... out of sheer desparation..... the internet.



    Yes Yes Yes (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:32:36 PM EST
    It is important to deal with reality and the reality is the DLC is closer to the Dem agenda and the Obama agenda, style and rhetoric than was the Netroots of a year ago.

    You have nailed the contradiction at the heart of this whole campaign. What has driven a lot of us bonkers. Netroots, claiming to represent the progrssive wing of the party, embracing the DLC in everything but name.

    But hey, as Ezra says, they feel more powerful, so that's what matters. That's what Obama gave them -somehow, in that sweet, sweet kool-aid.

    has talkleft run the party platform story? (none / 0) (#34)
    by boredmpa on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:08:29 PM EST
    I've been too busy at work, but I found this article about "platform outreach" and democracy in the chronicle to be umm interesting.

    Only there's been no advance warning that i've seen.  So I doubt there's going to be much input on, for example, reforming the primary process.  Nonetheless, maybe people will show up, speak, and have their thoughts swallowed up by some subcommittee somewhere.  Cause they clearly aren't listening to the opinion on FISA.

    Netroots detached reality (none / 0) (#41)
    by pluege on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:06:19 PM EST
    good points BTD.

    I watched David Gregory (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jjc2008 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:06:54 PM EST
    interview Markos today and frankly Mr. Moulitas has become what he implied that he loathed.  He spun and spun and his arrogance was a real turn off to me.

    Now, to me, after this primary much of Netroots seems to represent this what was said in this article about some whiny gen xers who want to blame Boomers (and the Clintons) for everything:

    I have no respect for the netroots (none / 0) (#48)
    by AX10 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 10:16:25 PM EST
    collective community.

    They have proven to be every bit as vile as the right wing.  From Kos and Arriana, to those sad souless creatons at Moveon and Ameriblog as well as Air America Radio.
    I have no respect for any of them.  I have more respect for John McCain than I could for any of them.


    I like John McCain (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by weltec2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 10:34:05 PM EST
    as a person. As they say about George Bush, he's the kind of guy you could sit down and have a beer with. But as politicians I think he should retire and George should be led away in chains.

    And as for drinking companions, I would prefer Bill and Hillary anyway.


    Breaking: NN08 panel on profanity (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:09:43 PM EST
    on the blogs:


    IAJF (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by waldenpond on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 11:52:17 PM EST
    It's all Jeralyn's fault.....

    [Using obscenities acts like a relief valve, he said, and "that's the kind of thing that keeps a movement together."]

    Jeralyn has destroyed the 'movement' by banning profanity.


    Don't you think BTD could have (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:37:57 AM EST
    added alot to this panel discussion?  What a waste.  I'm rather disappointed Digby chose to participate.

    my ears (none / 0) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:41:27 AM EST
    were burning, for sure, as I read the NYT article.

    Ha. (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:01:33 AM EST
    future Dowd column? (none / 0) (#66)
    by lilburro on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:48:18 AM EST
    Psst.. the netroots stopped the Iraq war (none / 0) (#52)
    by MarkL on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 11:09:46 PM EST
    too!! Hurray!

    might have done it sooner (none / 0) (#70)
    by DFLer on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:35:01 AM EST
    had they been subject to a draft for these wars.

    Odd thing is (none / 0) (#60)
    by Fabian on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:18:00 AM EST
    that for years I rarely paid much attention to what Kos himself said.  I thought other diarists were better and more interesting writers so I read them instead.  It wasn't until the primary brouhaha started that I began to pay attention to what Kos was writing, especially when the better writers & thinkers began to leave.  Then I began to read more of Kos' posts.  I was not impressed.

    But what really pisses me off about markos (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:21:53 AM EST
    When he sticks his foot three feet down his own throat he says "I'm not the netroots, it's a big internet."

    When he's ripping on politicians, he's setting a tone and wants the people on his blog to take the next step.

    Accountability in the netroots is more OXYMORONIC than military intelligence.



    Yes, he does do that. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Fabian on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:24:36 AM EST
    He says "Hey, I'm just some guy with a blog, y'know?".  He's in charge of picking the front pagers(most good, one not-so-good) , setting the tone, writing FP posts, promoting others' posts and so forth and so on.  That's a lot of responsibility.

    Does he take that responsibility seriously?  He should.  When he does stupid things like agreeing that Hillary Clinton is no longer a Democrat(primary season) on a FP post, I doubt it.  There are honest mistakes, and then there are stupid, short-sighted mistakes.  


    markos and his friends (none / 0) (#63)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:23:12 AM EST
    are hypocritcal idiots.

    I think that comment i just wrote applies to all his friends.


    What most deeply (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:08:15 AM EST
    grieved me about Kos was that he shut down communication between people who should have been working together. We were supposed to have been on the same side but Kos created walls and shut people out of the discussion. As a result... we are here and he is there... and relationships have become more fragmented than ever.

    Ironic. (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Fabian on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:31:32 AM EST
    The biggest blog, with the most potential for getting people together, drives them apart instead.

    Part of it was due to a unfounded expectation that people would rally 'round the Party after the primaries because that's how it always goes.  "Never mind the hateful rhetoric folks!  We'll all be good friends afterwards!  Guys?  Guys?"  

    Hopefully a few people will learn a lesson from this.  Probably not as many as ought to will, though.


    And What Made It Problematic (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by The Maven on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:37:45 PM EST
    was that for quite some time before this presidential primary season, his take on contested preimaries was that they were a good thing for the party, both because it kept media focus on the race (while the Republican would fade out of daily coverage) and because it would permit the eventual winner to refine and strengthen his or her positions and message.  All of that was coming from a different person than the one in charge over at Orangeland in 2008.

    Calling the supporters of a candidate favored by half the voters (though much less in the self-declared "progressive" netroots) as engaged in a civil war to tear apart the party, or seeking a "coup", hardly seems consistent with the message from earlier times.  It is this apparent lack of acknowledgement that his site's mission has fundamentally changed in this regard which makes it seem all the more hypocritical and all the more saddening to me, as many folks there whom I'd thought of as colleagues and friends are in denial about the degree to which they've set back the prospects for an effective online political community where discussion and constructive criticism was welcomed, not troll-rated.


    True colors? (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Fabian on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:30:39 PM EST
    I actually believed Kos right up until he jumped on the Obama bandwagon.  Then it wasn't the will of the people or the voice of the netroots, but his will and his candidate that was important.  There was no other way to interpret it.   I would have respected him if he had discouraged the rumor mongering and unfounded speculation instead of enthusiastically participating in it.  "Beat Hillary!" became a major theme instead of "May the best Dem win!".

    Whatever viral campaigns were out there, they were effective on the internets at least.  Site after site jumped into the tank, becoming hyperpartisan and intolerant and plain nasty.   DK went from having some modicum of balance and community moderation to seething mob rule.  No one who could seemed interested in stopping the phenomena either.

    It was a season of successes and failures.  The internet has shown just how susceptible it is to manipulation, especially when it happens quickly.    Community rules are created by consensus, and the moderators are generally a small minority.  So all you are really doing is overrunning a small group, not a large group.  Then you give the Overton windows a good hard shove while creating an uncomfortable environment for dissenters and pretty soon you set the tone for the blog.


    Yup, You and Me Both (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by The Maven on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:11:29 PM EST
    I think we're pretty much in agreement here.  I've known that Markos himself had some serious flaws, but I generally felt that the self-policing community process on the whole worked pretty darn well until this year.  Then, it all became about the power of the mob, and by March, there was the de facto endorsement of the mob and intolerance of dissent.

    What's amusing to me, in a sad yet ironic way, is that I'd had a discussion in early 2006 with a woman about the psychology of community political blogs, and how they would likely develop from their infancy through young childhood, adolescence and finally to maturity.  [If 2006-07 were the childhood years, starting with the cries for attention and testing out what one could accomplish, and then turning into demands that simply were not going to be met, 2008 has been filled with early adolescent cliquishness, filled with the queen bees and wannabes (the 'kool kids'), with all the outsiders treated like dirt.]  The irony was that this conversation was at a Kossack meetup with Markos and Jerome Armstrong as the guests of honor.  I had hoped to be an element in helping to steer the blog toward maturity by keeping it fully grounded in reality, but clearly there weren't enough of us to stem the tide.

    For all its high traffic numbers and viewership in the hundreds of thousands, it was always clear from the daily statistics that the number of actively-engaged Kossacks (writing, recommending or commenting on diaries or front page posts) remained fairly constant at a bit over 3000.  At that size, it became far too easy to overrun the community and reach the tipping point which drove so many away.  To slightly abuse the analogy, the Bolsheviks would be proud.


    tucc (none / 0) (#61)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:18:57 AM EST
    does some good work too.

    I have always said that.


    As Much If Not More (none / 0) (#64)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:48:09 AM EST
    The DLC is as different from McCain as Obama is.

    I wanted to point that out.

    Maybe it's time to make Obama radioactive!!!!!!!

    I think Greenwald's post from yesterday (none / 0) (#67)
    by lilburro on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:52:33 AM EST
    is a great counterpoint.  We have two resolutions winding their way through the House and Senate that are extremely aggressive toward Iran, and both are sponsored by Democrats.  Are these netroots values?  

    Its just completely baffling to me.  Actual bipartisanship produces awful, rightwing bills and IMO should be political poison.  But the country clings to the dream that these people aren't crazy...