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Erst die Moral, dann das Fressen

By Owen Paine on Friday February 23, 2007 01:58 PM

A must-read -- if the Washpost has any such thing --


It's about the "left" attack on Ellen Tauscher, and it's like one of those wonderful movies that has all the character actors you really like: my fave Cal gal, Jane Harman; Hoyer; la Nan; even Kos and Moveon.

Act One: the all-fours netroots attack:

Progressive blogs -- including two new ones, Ellen Tauscher Weekly and Dump Ellen Tauscher -- were bashing her as a traitor to her party. A new liberal political action committee had just named her its "Worst Offender." And in Tauscher's East Bay district office that day in January, eight MoveOn.org activists were accusing her of helping President Bush send more troops to Iraq.
Act Two: The party honchos rally round, and the weak sisters cave
Pelosi has clashed with Tauscher in the past, but she's now eager to hold together her diverse caucus ...So far, Pelosi and her leadership team seem determined to protect Tauscher and her 60 New Democrats -- up from 47 before the election. In fact, the day after Working for Us, the new progressive political action committee, targeted Tauscher, Pelosi sought her out at a caucus meeting and assured her: "I'm not going to let this happen." House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) spent 20 minutes complaining to Working for Us founder Steve Rosenthal, who swiftly removed the hit list of "Worst Offenders" from the group's Web site.
Intermezzo: Kos plays an own-horn sonata
"Absolutely, we could take her out," said Markos Moulitsas Zuniga -- better known as Kos -- the Bay Area blogger behind the influential Daily Kos site
Act Three: More weak sisters

Despite a long career as a friend of war and killer trade agreements, the cultural lib defense tries to cover her flank with green pink and caring:

"..liberal groups such as the Children's Defense Fund and the League of Conservation Voters give Tauscher impeccable report cards, while the National Rifle Association gives her straight F's."
Act Four: The hardline Net warriors return to the offense

It's about Iraq, stupid!

"We need her to stand up and end this war," said Joi. She and her Code Pink colleagues recently told Tauscher that if she wouldn't support a bill calling for total withdrawal from Iraq within six months, they'd occupy one of her district offices."
Act Five: Cue the sousaphones, as the union piecards come lumbering over the ridge:
Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, made it clear that Working for Us didn't work for him.

"Our majority can disappear in a wisp," he told the members. "I'm the sheriff of the incumbent-protection program, and if you need help, let me know. In Blue America, there's no room for PACs to chase vulnerable members they have differences with."

And a special cameo by Andy Stern, usually the blood enemy of McEntee, but singing sweet close harmony with him on this song:
Tauscher soon met for a glass of wine with Andy Stern, the feisty liberal who runs the Service Employees International Union; he assured her of his union's support.
Epilogue: Kos and Jane Harman, canon in diapente
Kos points to Harman as a perfect example of how the Net roots can keep Democrats in line. He said Harman used to be a constant irritant, a go-to quote for reporters looking for a Democrat to tweak liberals -- until she had to fight off a primary challenge from the left in 2006. "She's been great ever since," he said. Now Harman even writes on the liberal Huffington Post blog
And here's Jane, with the show's defining line:
Having served in the majority and the minority, I can tell you, the majority is better.
And that, dear readers, is what it's all about: the snout in the trough.

Comments (4)

Yeah...nothing like the power of the netroots, eh??

Did they really think that all those semi-conservative Democrats like Tauscher and Harmon were going to cave in to them merely because they were...well, the netroots?? In the end, the Benjamins will win out, and they're all controlled by the DLC and the "center".

But of course, good old Kos will be telling us by this time next year that only Hillary can save us from the Republican onslaught...right after she caves one more time and backs Dubya's adventures in Iran.

No thank you; I prefer politicians with real principles. I guess that means Nader again in 2008 (though I'd much prefer McKinney).


That's the best rundown the whole Tauscher flap I've read all week, OP. The problem for KO$ is, he needs another Holy Joe Lieberman upon whom his do-nothing netroootians can safely vent, now that the geninue article himself has made good his escape to the discard pile. Taucher seemed a likely candidate but proved too big for a cashew like KO$.

OWEN PAINE political fly by night:

i'd back ralph or madame McK

give father smiff the credit
he put my mad house gurgle
into classical/jocobean form


Yes, Kos promotes progressive primary challengers to blue-state moderate Dems. However, their numbers are exceeded by the Blue Dogs and New Dems that Kos promotes in red states. The net effect is to move the Dems to the right.

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