Wednesday, April 9, 2008

An Afternoon with a Flaming Liberal

Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen Markos Moulitsas speak at Utah State University. I know, I know. You're thinking, "Who the heck is Markos Moulitsas?" I found myself in a similar predicament until last week when I saw a poster advertising his coming. One simple Google search later I was moderately acquainted with one of the premiere names in political blogging.

Moulitsas is the author and creator of "Daily Kos," which is a blog that addresses politics and government from a liberal and more progressive standpoint. It receives several hundreds of thousands of hits a day, and has partnered up with prominent names in government, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and former President Jimmy Carter. Moulitsas started the blog in 2002 as an outlet for his frustrations with the Bush Administration and the Iraq War. He was one of the few people (along with Barack Obama and myself) who saw the war as a mistake from the beginning. He used the internet as an outlet, and since then has become a trailblazer in the ever-evolving blogging media.

I found the lecture very satisfactory, mostly because I was surrounded by people who share my obsession with politics (in varying degrees). What was even more rewarding is that these people were, for the most part, liberals and progressives, which meant that I wasn't scrutinized for my leftist comments and questions - a rarity for anyone who calls the Beehive State home. There were, of course, a few conservatives in the crowd, but their comments were fair and they were respectfully interested in what Mr. Moulitsas had to say. I like that. I encourage that. It's the people who are so far removed from reality and think that Bush isn't a failure of a president who upset me.

I learned a lot throughout the hour and a half of Q & A, including the fact that Moulitsas is convinced that the race for the Democratic nomination is over. He mentioned how Hillary Clinton had long lost the race, and that it was just a matter of her accepting that. I loved to hear him talk like that, because I've had mild heartburn for the last 12 months in worry that Hillary would get the Democratic nod. Now don't get me wrong - I like Hillary. She's a good politician and a powerful leader. She's led an impressive life and will undoubtedly have a bright future - I just like Obama more. He's everything that Hillary is, but isn't so polarizing, and thus able to bring more people together in a campaign for peace, stability and security. So, for me to hear Moulitsas - who obviously knows more than I do when it comes to the scene in Washington - say that it's over was very satisfying.

Of course, I'm reserving a small portion of my mind to play the skeptic and say that the race isn't over till it's over, but my hope in Obama's campaign just received a good shot in the arm, and those are always welcome. I'll hopefully be getting another on April 22 when Obama upsets Hillary in the Pennsylvania primary.

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