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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/12/10

Et Tu Markos? Kos Threatens Kucinich

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Maybe had Keith Olbermann been helming Countdown on the night of March 9, 2010, and not the cardboard talking head of the Democratic establishment, Lawrence O'Donnell, guest Markos (Kos) Moulitsas may have tamped his maniac desire to please when in the presence of a member of the Washington in-crowd. Instead, the founder and publisher of the activist blog Daily Kos cooed just what O'Donnell wanted to hear and may have started his decline into irrelevance for having done so.

O'Donnell presented before Markos the lone stand of Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D) Ohio against passage of the U.S. Senate's Health Reform Bill due to the lack of a public option. The guest host asked Moulitsas how Kucinich's position was being received out there in the "liberal blogosphere".

Moulitsas's answer was grounded in centralist, inside-the-beltway type smearing of those who dare to be principled rather than sycophants of the powerful:

"Well, it's definitely a very Ralph Nader-esque approach, I think, to politics, a very unrealistic and self-defeating approach. I mean, Ralph Nader paved the way for eight years of George Bush and wars and in attacking our civil liberties and our economy. And I'm going to hold people, like Dennis Kucinich, responsible for the 40,000 Americans that die each year from a lack of health care.(author emphasis) And I don't care if you're a Republican or you're a conservative Democrat or you're somebody like Dennis Kucinich. The fact is, this does a heck of a lot for a lot of people. And like I said, it's not perfect. It definitely needs to be improved. But it's a first step. And God knows it's taken us a long time to even get our toe in the door given the corporate interest that are arrayed against any kind of real reform. So, I think this is a first step. It's definitely not the end of the path. It's not the ideal solution. But we have our foot is in the door, and if somebody like Kucinich wants to block that, I find that completely reprehensible." (author emphasis)

O'Donnell went for the kill by asking Moulitsas if Kucinich's vote against the Senate Healthcare Bill was "... reprehensible enough to mount a primary challenge against him? Is it possible to be too liberal and not practical enough and, therefore, merit a challenge in a primary? Especially if Dennis Kucinich votes as he promises he will, votes against this bill in the House of Representatives?"

Then Moulitsas cooed an answer that may cost Daily Kos a significant number of followers and dramatically reduce Markos's political influence:

"Yes, absolutely. I don't think he gets a pass. I don't care what his excuse is. The fact is, this is a good first step. And he's elected not to run for president, which he seems to do every four years. He's not elected to grandstand and to--and to give us this ideal utopian society (author emphasis). He's elected to represent the people of his district. And he's not representing the uninsured constituents in his district by pretending to take the high ground here(author emphasis). He's undermining this reform. He's making common cause with Republicans, and I think that's a perfect excuse and rationale for a primary challenge.

Perhaps Moulitsas was looking ahead two years, for, as the creator of Netroots Nation, Markos prides himself on his electoral street cred; so he should have known (and, too, O'Donnell) that the filing deadline for the 2010 Ohio primary was this past February 18th.

Perhaps in his eagerness to please Beltway O'Donnell, Moulitsas simply chose to discard that fact.

The historical fact is that Dennis Kucinich has always been a principled proponent of his constituents against corporate greed and power as far back as when, as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, he defied all the powerbrokers and prevented the sale of the Cleveland Municipal Light Company, saving his constituents millions of dollars in corporate rate hikes. In a city plagued by lobbyists, their elected employees and smarmy promoters of the incestuous political status quo like O'Donnell, Kucinich earned his populist credentials long before Markos Moulitsas was a Republican carrying water for Henry Hyde and so opportunistically experienced a liberal conversion.

In a August 3, 2004 posting on Daily Kos, Moulitsas wrote that his greatest hero and inspiration is Salvadoran martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero. In refusing to vote for a health care reform bill that extorts billions of dollars for near worthless insurance from United States citizens into the pockets of the immoral health insurance industry, Congressman Dennis Kucinich better lives up to the heroism of Archbishop Romero than Daily Kos's politically compromised Markos Moulitsas.

Kos should feel ashamed of himself, but he has become so compromised since elevation from blogger, to Newsweek contributor, columnist for the Hill (all MSM/establishment maintainers and enablers of Washington DC's political culture) and elbow-rubber with most of the privileged and well connected. History is littered with the rise and downfall of those who escaped and chose to forget where they came from. Less Markos Moulitsas take back his soul, he will add his own bones to the debris.
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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.
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