Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Rehabilitation of Markos Moulitsas

First posted at Culture Kitchen on February 4, 2007,
before the Truth About Kos blog and associates
broke the dams of Moulitsas' bullshit wide open.

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Today, Markos Moulitsas, is the doctrinaire leftist publisher of the DailyKos progressive anti-war blog, railing against the moderation of candidates like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Harold Ford. But in the 1980'a, Mr. Moulitsas was an unabashed Reagan Democrat, even working as a campaign aid to George H.W. Bush in the 1992 Presidential election.

Last year, in a piece Markos wrote for the Cato (libertarian) Institute, Markos acknowledged that the spent the 1980's as a Reagan Republican.

How did Markos achieve this stunning metamorphosis in just a few short years? Actually, nobody knows and Markos isn't telling. He has told interviewers, improbably, that he last voted for the Republicans in 1992, because he suddenly realized that they didn't support states rights as strongly as he would have liked. (See articles above.)

He said,
"We can fondly look back to a time [during the 1980's Reagan Administration] when Republicans spoke a good game on libertarian issues . . .[including] fealty to state rights . . ." The Case for the Libertarian Democrat (by Markos Moulitsas)
States rights' is the right-wing proposition that the Federal Government lacks the Constitutional authority to oblige the states to integrate schools, oblige restaurants to serve Black patrons and mandate equal rights for the disabled. States rights was the clarion call of southern segregationists against integration of schools and restaurants.

Considering that, for Markos, part of the Republicans "speaking a good game" on libertarian issues consisted, in Markos' words, of "fealty to states rights", clearly Markos is saying that he stopped supporting the Republicans because they stopped supporting states' rights.  (Emphasis added.)

But, Markos' rejection of the Republicans today doesn't make sense, because Republicans' dedication to states' rights has not deminished. One would have thought that George H.W. Bush's appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court would have satisfied Markos thirst for states rights jurisprudence on the US Supreme Court. Clarence Thomas is among the foremost proponents of states rights on the US Supreme Court.

E. J. Dion says,
What was once obvious is becoming painfully obvious again: The doctrine of states' rights, so often invoked as a principle, is almost always a pretext to deny the federal government authority to do things that conservatives dislike. These include expanding claims to individual rights, increasing protections for the environment and regulating business.
For example,

In the ground-breaking 2000 case, United States v. Morrison, the Supreme Court was presented with a constitutional challenge to 42 U.S.C. 13981, the provision of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) that gives victims of gender-motivated violence a private right of action against their assailants. In a 5-4 decision, the Court struck down the law, holding that the Commerce Clause did not provide Congress with the authority to enact the civil remedy portion of VAWA, since the provision was found not to be a regulation of activity that "substantially affected" interstate commerce; and secondly, because the enforcement clause of the Fourteenth Amendment did not provide Congress with authority to enact the provision . . .

With Thomas and four other justices declining to extend the enforcement clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to enact VAWA, "the unfortunate consequence of a series of political decisions harking back to Reconstruction" occurred, said Jack Balkin, a law professor at Yale. The 14th Amendment is arguably the natural home of civil rights legislation, as it guarantees equal citizenship, and it gives Congress power to enforce equality rights. Balkin elaborates, "We should recognize what the framers of the 14th Amendment intended: Congress has an independent power and obligation to promote and protect equal citizenship and civil rights." Therefore, if Congress believes that a law is necessary and proper to promote equal citizenship, it should have the power to pass it "without using the fiction that inequality affects interstate commerce."
. . . The effects of Morrison have undermined civil rights generally and women's safety issues in particular. "The Rehnquist Court's ruling in U.S. v. Morrison is a setback for women's rights and a triumph for those that seek to roll back 30 years of federal civil rights law under the guise of states' rights," said Kathy Rodgers. "The Court has slammed shut the courthouse door, wished women good luck, and sent us back to the states for justice."
With Clarence Thomas appointed to the US Supreme Court to uphold states' rights, it hardly seems logical that Markos would have abandoned the Republicans who had done so much to revive states rights in the post Civil Rights era, particularly with the appoint of Clarence Thomas, the foremost advocate of states rights.
And therein lies the mystery of Markos. Why is he a Democrat at all, if he still supports states rights?