Kos and the “Ideology of Winnerism”

KOS AND THE “IDEOLOGY OF WINNERISM”….Look, this slam from Jason Zengerle is just unfair. Yes, Ciro Rodriguez, the Kos/Atrios/etc. candidate, lost fairly badly to Henry Cuellar in Texas last night, and yes, this means that liberal blogs continue to have a batting average that makes the ’62 Mets look good. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. I imagine the Kossacks will learn from their mistakes and figure out how to do better in the future.

But it turns out that Laura Turner actually has a better critique than that. Zengerle thinks that Rodriguez’s defeat is also a defeat for Kos’s “ideology of winnerism,” but she’s not so sure:

Doesn’t Zengerle posit there might be, like, a reason the blogs launched themselves behind Rodriguez that might have to do with ideology, in the sense that Cueller is (and he really is) a very bad Democrat? If Kos and Atrios just wanted a win for somebody with a D behind his name, they probably would have stayed out of Texas-28, which already gurantees such an outcome given that the GOP doesn’t even run candidates in the district (somehow the Republican revolution never took hold there). The blogs took a chance on the underdog Rodriguez. Isn’t that the opposite of a blind Democratic “winnerism”?

I suppose there are multiple of ways of looking at this. Laura’s way is one, but it’s also true that the whole thing was sort of a freebie. It’s easy to take a cheap ideological stand when you know there’s no danger of losing in November, so this race doesn’t really say anything one way or another about the Kossacks’ willingness to risk a loss in order to elect a better candidate.

In the end, of course, I suspect this is all a bunch of overanalysis. The ability of Kos to rally his troops depends on the troops themselves, and my guess is that their preferences are fairly unpredictable. Sometimes they’ll sacrifice ideology for a better chance of winning, and other times they won’t. Just like all of us.

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