Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Figuring Out How to Win

The Democrats have finally figured out how to win. Kos tells them how:

The Democrats need to offer an alternative agenda over the next four years. It won't be enacted, so they can shoot for the moon. The hell with good policy, make proposals that sound great.
So there you have it. No need to be responsible. No need to give voters good choices. No more offering guidance and doing the do-able. Shoot for the moon.

That will work.

Kos I believe has an unbroken record. All his candidates lose.

I think he is working to extend his streak.

Keep up the good work Kos.

The hell with the Republic. It is not about governing. It is about winning. With promises that cannot be kept.

And people wonder why politicians rate below used car salesmen.

And people wonder why the Democrats rate below the Republicans.


Welcome Instapundit Readers.


Unknown said...

I used to try and read Kos, because I wanted more balance in my reading.

Then it occurred to me that reading an unbalanced writer regularly would probably be more counterproductive than anything else.

RFTR said...

They could use a new motto, too...

I'm thinking something along the lines of:
Kos - The New Shrum.


Shannon Love said...

1) Offer a wild "shoot for moon" agenda
2) ?????
3) Win Elections!

Kos, and virtually all other Leftist, see politics as purely an exercise in marketing. Substance is irrelevant, only spin counts. They lose elections not because the electorate doesn't trust them national security, doesn't like high taxes, etc but rather because the Right comes up with better marketing jingles.

Until the Left is willing to consider the merest ghost of the idea that the solutions that worked in 1935 might, just might, no longer work in 2005+ they will never get back into power.

Anonymous said...

The left is dead.

It's ideas have been dead for years, it's only now that reality have caught up with the electorate as a whole.

Sigivald said...

Shannon - It seems to me more apt to say that the stereotypical leftist believes not so much that substance is irrelevant, but that the substance they have to offer/would enact is so Completely And Obviously Right that all that matters is getting in power to enact it. (And if the people don't think it's C&OR, then the people are blinded/victims of false consciousness/dupes/capitalist running dogs/etc.)

The difference between that and a blind hunger for power regardless of any actual ideals is, in practical terms, roughly zero, I suppose.

Pluto's Dad said...

Too bad it works. Every president, on their way out, enacts a whole bunch of things he could never do during his term. They do this just to make the incoming president look bad, and the media eats it up.

Remember Clinton and all the pro-environment rules he enacted the last few weeks of his presidency? Nevermind the fact that Clinton would not have done them himself, he just wanted to force Bush to retract them, thus making Bush look anti-environment.

Kos is just advocating what politicians do all the time. Take an extreme position that you know will not win, just so you say you did it.

SurfWired said...

Shannon: you have identified a classic "underwear gnomes" business plan!

You wrote:

1) Offer a wild "shoot for moon" agenda
2) ?????
3) Win Elections!

Matt Stone and Trey Parker wrote:

[In the gnome's cave]
Gnome 1: This is where all our work is done.
Kyle: So what are you gonna do with all these underpants you steal?
Gnome 1: Collecting underpants is just phase one. Phase one: collect underpants.
Kyle: So what's phase two?
Gnome 1: Hey, what's phase two?!
Gnome 2: Phase one: we collect underpants.
Gnome 1: Ya, ya, ya. But what about phase two?
Gnome 2: Well, phase three is profit. Get it?
Stan: I don't get it.
Gnome 2: (Goes over to a chart on the wall) You see, Phase one: collect underpants, phase two-
Gnome 2: Phase three: profit.
Cartman: Oh I get it.
Stan: No you don't.

Motley Fool warns us as investors to watch out for businesses that are run this way (too many, according to them):

Reliapundit said...

kos works for rove

Anonymous said...

Kos has the first half of the playbook. Act II:

A) Take power
B) Make a show of looking at the "books".
C) Somberly declare things much worse than anybody knew.
D) Flush all election promises
E) Tax the shit out of everybody

Amovar said...

Shorter M. Simon-

Charlie Stenholm to the max!

seamus said...

Democrats have for years pushed candidates who won on issues and policies and then lost elections because of "message." Bush defeated Kerry in spite of a horrible record as president, because he won on personality. So Dems are ready to say, to hell with substance, what's our brand?

vanderleun said...

Kos is like Toby on the West Wing. But without the charm, brains, looks and winning streak.

Anonymous said...

Glad someone else is calling out Kos. My money quote (a simple continuation, really):

"The hell with good policy, make proposals that sound great. The GOP used flag burning and gay marriage to rally their side. We can find equivalents. Don't worry about them becoming law, because they won't. Worry about branding the party and placing every bit of bad news (and there will be plenty) squarely at the feet of the party that controls all levers of government."

I especially like the "branding" bit.

It's official: they've lost it. I always wondered what the left would look like when The Deal Went Down and now I'm seeing it. I got a letter from my tax guy a few days ago -- a quiet, unassuming liberal who's done work for me for over a decade -- and he spent 90% of his yearly update letter ranting about Bush and how the "goose steppers are about to impose their so-called Ownership Society."

I find the proper response to all of this in peals of laughter. As in: I simply can't take you seriously no matter how hard I try.

Anonymous said...

To be fair (and I'm not a big fan of Kos myself), many Republicans did the same sort of thing during the campaign this year.

Witness the support of the Federal Marriage Amendment during the campaign that died out after Bush was re-elected.

Look at Dennis Hastert's "get rid of the IRS and put in a national consumption tax" trial balloon.

Political campaigns are a lot about PR and marketing. You make proposals that have no chance in hell of being enacted but sound good to the average voter.

That said, as a Democrat, I'd prefer to have reality-based ideas to market to the American people...

Anonymous said...

Oh, forgot to sign my name to that last post, sorry...

-Brad R.

Towering Barbarian said...

Brad R.,
With all due respect...

1. The Federal Marriage Ammendment was pretty much a grassroots thing rather than anything Mr. Bush had promised. I know a number of people who are still into it.

2. Mr. Hastert probably was pandering, or at best musing out loud, since he's basically a moderate and the dilemma of the moderate lies in the danger of going the Wendell Wilkie route (Running on on a "Me too!" basis) and compromising away whatever principles they had. Or he may be enough of a fruitbat to believe in it. But I do remember that both the Flat Tax and the National Sales Tax ideas have been kicking around since the early 1990s when they were pushed by Steve Forbes(& Trent Lott in the Senate) and Billy Tarzen respectively. The common ground was that either would be better than the IRS while the perceived flaw in the National Sales Tax (& this was a showstopper for me) was that the most likely outcome would be to merely add it to whatever Income Tax system was already in place and basically zap us with a V.A.T. of the sort that the Europeans are stuck with.

But all that said, I can't help but disagree with anyone who assumes *too* strongly that the "current political climate" is a thing of eternity set in stone. After all "climate" by definition is a matter of weather and is therefore the thing most subject to rapid change, ne? ^_~

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Kos was a paid consultant to the Dean campaign. Was this the type of advice he gave?

More importantly, is this representative of the way Gov. Dean thinks, with regards to the vital issues of our time?

Even more importantly, is this representative of the way the Democratic party thinks?

SurfWired said...


There are a few things wrong with your statement.

1. The Democrats did not win on the issues this year or at any other time when they have lost. This is a Democrat myth, propogated generally by the party's base which doesn't want to budge on the left-wing activist dogma that still exists in the party platform.
2. Bush's record as President is hardly "horrible," according to anyone but the fringe. I challenge you to explain how his record as President is "horrible."
3. John Kerry lost on personality, in a sense. If one feels the Bush administration is untrustworthy, how about a candidate who MADE UP a story, that's right there in the Congressional Record, that he was ordered to Cambodia, that it was "seared into his memory" even though he has never in his life been to Cambodia. He also lost on issues, though. There are many recordings of conflicting statements he made about many issues. Talk radio had a field day with this, and well they should have. The fact that he didn't have a coherent stance on several major issues doesn't mean he didn't LOSE on the issues, capiche?

The Democrats need to have a serious epiphany: they lost on the issues AND they lost on personality.

Anonymous said...

If the Dems are looking to shoot the moon, they could start with Ted Kennedy's recent speech.

Tom Maguire

SurfWired said...

To add:

As far as Bush's record as President...

What do people care about?

1. Security. No more terrorist attacks on US soil, and yes, the islamofascists ARE out there.
2. The economy. $1 Billion Federal budget surplus for December 2004. High rates of home ownership. Unemployment rates lower than those that Clinton sailed into a second term on. No evidence of a genuinely bad economy, just a lot of shouting from the left and from the Democrats, but without evidence, this sounded DUMB.
3. The environment. Face it, the Clear Skies thing isn't as bad as Democrats made it out to be. There's some good stuff in there. Furthermore, there is more and more evidence that Global Warming models are bullshit.
4. International relations. Especially given Oil-for-Food, many informed Americans don't buy into the Kerry hogwash that France and Germany are our allies, just because they were on the same side as the US during the Cold War, which ended 15 years ago. We also don't think that letting the UN restrict or dictate our actions is in our interest, or in the interest of what is right and good in the world. So, like it or not, Bush is closer to the correct end of the scale than Kerry.

EddieP said...

And they lost on Kerry's Vietnam record. The one he refused to disclose and his post Vietnam Crusade.

Anonymous said...

What's sad for me is that I had Kos as a student when he was an undergrad (Journo and editor of a pretty good student newspaper) and then knew him as a friend. When I found DailyKos shortly after he launched it and for some time after I defended him as I had known him: passionate, intelligent, willing to listen as well as argue, caring, courteous, obstinate, impatient, i.e. a decent ordinary but above average human. In the past 18 months or so I've seen him either deteriorate or expose himself to me as much less than I knew or remember.

He was not a win-at-all-costs totaliarian whacko as he now sounds. Perhaps buying into the wrong ideological stance, or believing you have captured something you have not unhinges one.

Sad. So sad.


Tim said...


"Kos, and virtually all other Leftist, see politics as purely an exercise in marketing." Of course it is, the goal is to increase market share of government. One problem is that there is no FTC to verify advertising claims.

Anonymous said...

"No need to be responsible. No need to give voters good choices. No more offering guidance and doing the do-able."

Excellent description of Bush administration policies while actually in power. Unsustainable deficits, mortgaging the future. Unwinnable wars, getting the country bogged down in a violent morass that destroys any goodwill our nation has built up over the past decades. Irresponsible governance.

Compare the last time "liberals" were in power, the Clinton administration, where the problem was...blowjobs.

Anonymous said...

Re: previous Anon post: making sweeping assertions about "unwinnable wars" and - what was it, "uncontrolled governance" or some such - sorry, forgot to "open in new window" so I could refer to the post accurately - anyway, there was zip in that post that constituted anything other than an unsupported opinion. It's not simply useless but actually deleterious to your cause to keep on keepin' on with the tired memes sans backup; face the fact that no matter how often you repeat an accusation without also providing convincing evidence, you aren't going to change a single mind.

Now that that's out of the way... the thing that amazes me is how amazingly brazen leftward pundits are about this "strategy." It started coming out immediately after the election: earnest essays about how "all" the Dems needed to do was to learn a new, Red language - to be "convincing" about faith's role in their lives - to package their product with a NASCAR sticker in un-recyclable plastic - to dumb it all down so the Flyover people had a prayer (you should excuse the expression) of understanding it. It was condescension the likes of which I've never encountered in non-virtual life, and it seemed to indicate that they truly didn't (don't?)believe that even the moderates of this country know how to get online. It's like telling a racist joke at the top of your lungs in a crowd; it's quite reprehensible enough that you entertain the thought in the first place, but then to go broadcasting it--?.

Anyway. I'm not anonymous; my name's Jamie and I just forgot my username. I'll think of it.

Alex said...

Well, this fits right in with the Kos crew's exhortation immediately after the election to react to Bush's re-election by spreading slander, things they knew not to be true, about him and the Republicans. It becomes clearer every day that the Left are only interested in one thing, getting and keeping power, and that they're totally unaware that it's plainly obvious to everyone else that that's what they're after. What else can one possibly conclude from Kos's, um, advice?

Anonymous said...

An earlier Anonymous stated: "Compare the last time "liberals" were in power, the Clinton administration, where the problem was...blowjobs."

No. The problems were exactly the same -- a rising tide of terrorism and islamist extremists -- the only actions taken involved blowjobs. There is a difference.

Steven L.

M. Simon said...

One mild disagreement about Clinton and blowjobs.

Every time Clinton said "Osama" the Republicans said "Wag the Dog". They then proceeded to wag the dick.

Clinton is not the only one who had trouble getting his arms around the Osama problem. There is plenty of blame to go around. In 1998 there was zero political interest in terrorism at least in the general public. Without strong public backing Clinton was reduced to mostly symbolic gestures.

Mistakes were made. On both sides of the isle.

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