Markos 'Kos' Moulitsas on Obama, Twittering, Fighting the Blue Dogs, and the Major Changes Coming
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MM: Who's doing the best? It's weird, because five years ago there were two or three people doing activism online. Nowadays almost all activism is online. From people on Facebook to the Twittering class to the bloggers to other independent media. So am I seeing anything that stands out?
Last year, it was the Obama campaign, bar none. I'm worried actually this year that they're misusing their list and not being aggressive enough. You're talking about several thousand per congressional district.
DH: The media wasn't impressed with their first effort at using their list and mobilizing their people.
MM: Well, here you have Obama giving a speech about why it's important to pass the stimulus, as opposed to "Here's your local congressman's phone number, put some pressure on." And I think they must be afraid of seeming too heavy-handed. There's sort of a fragile truce in Congress right now. And that some of these Blue Dog Dems will bolt if you get several thousand phone calls demanding that they toe the line for Obama.
Blue Dog Democrats
DH: But you've always been in favor of going after Democrats in the primaries.
MM: Absolutely, and I'm going to be working alongside Accountability Now. In fact, I'll be doing polling for them to essentially remind elected officials who they represent.
What we're seeing a lot now with these bailouts and stimulus and CEO pay and bonuses is that there is a class of elected officials who are 100 percent beholden to corporate interests, not their constituents. They hide behind "oh, we're in a moderate district," but I don't care how conservative, if you're in the Idaho first congressional district, which is the most Republican district held by a Democrat, no one there is clamoring for higher CEO pay or bonuses. Nobody. It doesn't exist. They're all in NYC , they're all in Connecticut.
And so this notion that this is the moderate position is patently absurd. If you look at what the definition of "center" is, it should be the place where a majority of the American people reside. In the American majority, the American people don't want higher CEO pay. They don't want bailout money going to bonuses.
So, what we're gonna do is find these elected officials doing things like voting against the stimulus and voting to protect CEO pay. We're gonna find what those major issues that are resonating are, and we're going to poll districts -- ask those people if they agree with the positions that their elected officials are taking.
If they do, hands off. There's this notion in the traditional media that we're going after conservative candidates with more liberal Democrats. Absolutely not true. What we're doing, as I've said -- and this is constantly ignored by the traditional media types -- is that if an elected official's is in tune with his or her district, and are doing his or her work and are lining up on the issues, they have absolutely nothing to fear from us.
Because incumbents never lose. They have every advantage to begin with. They have far more money than anything we'll be able to raise for a challenger, so if you lose in your district, it isn't because we targeted your district. It's because you're already out of touch. What we're doing is giving people in that district an opportunity for change.
There's a lot of people that I'd like to see gone from Congress. And realistically, that's not going to happen, because they are legitimately in tune with their constituencies. And that's their job. That's fine. I may not like their politics but I respect them for the fact they are representing their constituents. But there are people who are out of touch with their constituents, more concerned with what their corporate lobbyists are asking them to do not what the people back home are asking them. Those are the people that are going to have more to fear.