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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Kossaks on the rampage

Markos Moulitsas is only recently famous, but he is willing to take on NARAL and the DLC at the same time. The Kos DLC fight has gotten coverage in the MSM. Kos also criticized NARAL for endorsing Lincoln Chafee. Now NARAL is fighting back asking members to post comments on KOS and similar blogs. I think that Kos quotes them fairly, at least the quote is a well framed sneaky argument. His reply is devastating.

NARAL as quoted insinuates that activist blogs ("The call to action includes links to Daily Kos, MyDD, Swing State Project, Atrios, and Left Coaster) talk about abortion as an issue that Democrats can use to win elections and ignore the fact that it is an important issue. Kos puts it better than NARAL "Their message -- choice affects women, not just politics." I think it is impressive that KOS frames criticism of KOS in such a fair way.

I am even more impressed that his reply does not include a refutation of NARAL's insinuation "But what's disturbing is that choice and abortion are being discussed--in blogs and in the media--more as a political tool than as an issue that affects women's lives." He could easily have proven that the daily KOS displays passion about the issue. See for example the post which immediately precedes his debate with NARAL. I didn't have to look far to prove that the accusation suggested but not stated by NARAL is false. Kos, however, ignored it entirely, passing directly to a constructive debate about what supporters of obortion rights should do. This shows an admirably thick skin. Abortion rights supporters like Markos Moulitsas should not allow the debate to shift to one about how NARAL is unfair to abortion rights supporters like Markos Moulitsas.

Instead KOS convincintly argues (I would say proves) that NARAL would serve its cause better if it endorsed a pro life Democrats instead of a pro choice Republican. The reason is that the issue will be decided by the Supreme court so what should matter to NARAL is how Senators vote on judicial nominees. In practice, pro choice Republicans like Chafee vote to approve Bush nominees and pro life Democrats vote against some of them. Thus, if NARAL really cared only about that one issue, they would care only about party affiliation.

I think the fact that NARAL can't respond to this evidence explains why they resorted to dishonest hints of clearly false claims. Similarly the DLC is clearly hurting, since Marshall Whitman felt the need to talk about "the daily Kosy " and claim that a site with over 500,000 visits a day has only a few thousand readers.

I hope that Moulitsas manages to keep redirecting the debate to issues and not insults.

Mostly, I have the same reaction to these debates as to The daily Howler. Why is it that bloggers are so much better at doing the elites job than the elite ? How did journalism manage to not find a use for Somerby and why was Moulitsas an obscure poltical consultant ? How did the blogosphere find them and tell me about them ? I mean what suddently went right ? Does Google deserve the credit ? Finally, if I'm so impressed with the blogoscreen should I be worried that I get about one visit an hour ?

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