June 12, 2006
The odd thing was that MoulitsasÂ’s victories werenÂ’t actually victories. 2003 might have been the year of candidate Howard Dean, but 2004 was the year in which the Democratic presidential nominee was actually chosenÂ—and Dean lost. And while 2005 was indeed the year Dean ascended to the top of the DNC, it would be a mistake to attribute his victory mostly to MoulitsasÂ’s influence. And Paul Hackett, a Moulitsas favorite who ran for a seat in the House from Ohio in 2005Â—well, he lost. And so did more than a dozen other candidates who ran with MoulitsasÂ’s support.Translation: All of our screaming, foot-stomping and caterwauling may not actually win anything in the strictest sense of the word, but dammit, they're going to pay attention to us!
WhatÂ’s more, some of them lost in part because they said the kind of things that bring cheers on the DailyKos but that turn off many voters. Hackett not only called President Bush a Â“chickenhawk,Â” he also saidÂ—echoing earlier statements by Moulitsas himselfÂ—that Â“the Republican party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, arenÂ’t a whole lot different from Osama bin Laden.Â” Voters thought he was a bit over the topÂ—just like some of the bloggers who supported him.
But that doesnÂ’t appear to give Moulitsas pauseÂ—or reason for reflection. Instead, on Thursday night, with his face shining down on his followers from large screens on both ends of the stage, he fused the two worlds of the liberal blogosphereÂ—the world of overweening confidence and the world of resentment at those who donÂ’t recognize the KossacksÂ’ extraordinary power.
Â“Look at each other,Â” Moulitsas told his followers. Â“Look left and right. There have been so many efforts to marginalize us by the media and political elite because we had the temerity to feel passionate about politics. How dare us riff raff demand a voice in our democracy?Â”
They canÂ’t keep us out any longer, Moulitsas said. WeÂ’re going to crash the gates. Â“People power is a wonderful thing. Everyone can be a leader. Everyone can be a strong voice. Everyone can make a difference. There has been far too much talent, far too much passion, far too much intelligence in this country marginalized by the establishment currently stinking up Washington D.C. And now, that talent has an outlet. It can no longer be marginalized.Â”
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