Friday, July 18, 2008

Netroots Applauds Moulitsas' Lieberman Obscenity

I've sent an e-mail to Susan Davis of the Wall Street Journal. I'm hoping to get an exact quote, or thereabouts, on the obscenity Markos Moulitsas is said to have used in attacking Senator Joseph Lieberman at today's Netroots Nation meeting in Austin, Texas.

In addition to
Davis' essay, the New York Times also mentions Moulitisas' anti-Lieberman attack.

Note first that Harold Ford made good on his promise to appear at the Yearly Kos/Netroots Nation meeting (he made the offer in an earlier appearance with Moulitsas on Meet the Press). During his panel, Ford was heckled by attendees when he spoke of his former colleagues at Fox News:

Here's Davis' report:

Can Democrats bridge the ideological divides within the party? A lunch keynote session at the Netroots Nation annual convention here in Austin tried to address that with a discussion between liberal founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and the not-so-liberal Democratic Leadership Council’s Harold Ford Jr.. The answer was, well, unclear.

Sure, Moulitsas and Ford both offered platitudes about how Democrats need to come together in November to elect Sen. Barack Obama, and how the factors that unite Democrats are greater than those that divide them.

But what divides them makes them angry.

The political leanings of the crowd were skewed decidedly to the left of Ford, a former centrist U.S. House member from Tennessee who lost his 2006 Senate bid to Republican Bob Corker. Ford gamely made an agreement with Moulitsas last year following a joint appearance on “Meet the Press” that each would attend the other’s political conferences as a sign of goodwill.

The crowd in the convention hall was less generous. One questioner pressed Ford on why he has taken actions “smearing Democrats,” in part by appearing on Fox News. Ford’s response that he has “great respect and admiration” for his former Fox colleagues was met with hisses and boos. (Although he duly noted his contract is with MSNBC these days.)
Here's Davis relaying Moulitsas' attack on Lieberman:

Moulitsas offered up Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Jim Webb of Virginia as two Democrats the netroots generally support because while there are policy differences between them “they aren’t afraid to be Democrats.”

Moulitsas also offered one area where he believes there is common ground. Recalling his own into-the-lion’s-den appearance at the DLC’s conference, he said he was trying not to push the envelope too far with the party’s more center wing when he slipped [and] used an off-color epithet for Sen. Joe Lieberman. The crowd here cheered at the reference, since Lieberman—aligned with the DLC—has become a sworn enemy of many in the netroots for his support of Republican Sen. John McCain in the presidential race.
Here's the New York Times on the same moment:

The two sat on stage with a moderator in front of an audience of about 2,000 people, most of them progressive bloggers, who were generally more supportive of Mr. Moulitsas than they were of Mr. Ford.

Mr. Moulitsas said he was not the one who decided for the netroots whether they approved of someone’s vote on a certain topic, but the voters were. “I didn’t decide to take on Joe Lieberman,” he said, “but the people in Connecticut decided, ‘he’s not representing us.’” Actually, Mr. Moulitsas and his blog were vocal supporters of Ned Lamont, Mr. Lieberman’s primary challenger. But the audience here applauded heartily, prompting Mr. Moulitsas to recall that when he spoke recently at Mr. Ford’s D.L.C. convention, he blurted out an obscenity about Mr. Lieberman — and also was applauded.
Moulitsas has a reputation for abject and totalizing demonology, and I'm particulary interested to know if his obscenity included anti-Semitism.

As readers will recall, Moulitsas claims his movement represents the "mainstream" of the Democratic Party, and
he's on record as coordinating campaign activities with the Barack Obama campaign.

Barack Obama's moved steadily to the center but he's clearly not repudiated netroots support for his presidential bid.

Hopefully we'll see more details on Moulitsas' obscene attack on Joseph Lieberman. If Moulitsas and the netroots truly are the party's mainstream, I'm sure the general public has an interest in knowing how these folks treat one of their own past vice-presidential nominees.

See also, "
Harold Ford Heckled Over Fox Comment At Netroots Nation."

Related: "At 'Netroots Nation,' Obama Campaign Goes to Ground."


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