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I've noticed this thing about bullies. Rather, I've noticed this thing about a particular kind of bully.  I call it the Veruca Salt syndrome.

1.    They are never satisfied. They scream for what they want, and when they get it, their near-immediate response is to scream some more. (Any intervening period of smug gloating is brief).

"Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons...give it to me NOW!"
2.    They demand absolute loyalty, but give none.
"I want today, I want tomorrow. I want to wear in my braids in my hair and I DON'T MEAN TO SHARE THEM!"
3.    The moment they don't get everything they want, they portray themselves as victims to anybody who will listen. The most fun version of this is when they walk up to someone, verbally punch them in the mouth, and then get hurt and teary because the punchee has some choice things to say about being hit in the mouth unprovoked.
Veruca Salt: "They're not even trying! They don't want to find it! They're jealous of me!"
Having been on this site a long time, I know that the response of the other side of the Great Divide is going to be the immortal I-am-rubber-you-are-glue strategy, also known as "Back atcha."

But I am not talking about the other side of the Kossack Great Divide and the fun meta we'€™ve been having lately. I'm talking about the Third Way.

As many of you know, Markos wrote a diary Tuesday attempting to reframe our ten-year-long history together as a successful attempt at moving the party leftward. It's difficult to make that argument based on policy, since in 2007 we had a party that successfully fought off a Republican attack on Social Security, and now we have a party that unsuccessfully attacks Social Security. But Markos did a credible job of making the argument based on people:  to wit, we have a lot fewer Blanche Lincolns and Joe Liebermans and Bart Stupaks in the party, or at least, there are a lot fewer of them holding elective office. Therefore, his argument went, we have made some strides in moving the party leftward.

Enter Veruca.

Veruca: "What's the matter with those twerps down there?"

Apparently, the Third Way must either have some people on here, or they monitor this site fairly closely, because a hit piece on Markos and his diary appeared yesterday in Politico.

The title? Markos Moulitsas folds the Big Tent.

There are a lot of things one could say to that.

You could say "Wow! Markos has the power to take down the Big Tent? All by himself? Yowza!"

You could say "€œThe Third Way is upset with Markos? After he has toed the party line so faithfully? Regardless of how far to the right the party has gone, Markos' criticisms of Democrats over the past four years have been extremely few. €”I mean, he has only broken with them on SOPA, Social Security, and the Syrian war. And you can hardly expect a web entrepreneur to support SOPA, nor a veteran to support wading into another Middle Eastern quagmire, can you? After Markos told Democratic critics to get the hell off his site in the fall of 2012? After the solid support of the FP for Hillary Clinton? The Third Way does a hit piece on Markos?"

That'€™s just how it is with Veruca sometimes. It doesn'€™t matter how much you have given her in the past; all that vanishes if you displease her NOW.

But the main point I want to make here is not so much about Markos, but about the Third Way itself.

Follow me below the orange gobstopper.

I remember some months ago, there was a little piece on Liz Warren in the Wall Street Journal . It was a hit piece which attempted to discredit Warren and her goal of expanding Social Security.

It was written by the Third Way. So the people who are portraying themselves as the Defenders of the Big Tent did a hit piece on a sitting Democratic Senator in the Wall St Journal—because they didn’t like her policy positions. What motivated the attack in particular was the fact that Warren’s position, and the political philosophy behind it, was gaining too much traction.

You see, this is why my first reaction to the Politico hit piece on Markos was a fit of giggles.

Big Tent? Big Tent, seriously?

Let me explain the “Big Tent” to you, Veruca. “Big Tent” is not a magic catchphrase which ensures that you always get your way. “Big Tent” actually means something, and here’s what it means:  Democrats support other Democrats despite having serious differences of opinion about economics.

Now that idea may have its flaws. That idea may have come to its end.

But let’s be clear: that idea was trashed initially by you and your allies. Not just in making a basically unwarranted attack on Markos Moulitsas, but by behavior such as this:

Rob Zerban, Democratic challenger to Paul Ryan, who raised two million bucks on his own without help from the DCCC, would like to know where the Big Tent is.

And this:

Barbara Buono, Democratic challenger to what was, before scandals erupted out of his pallid chest like the Alien, the frontrunner for the Republicans in the 2016 Presidential race, would like to know where the Big Tent is.

You, the far-right wing of the party, are the ones who “folded” the Big Tent by “folding” your support for a challenge to the Republican chairman of the Budget Committee, as well as by “folding” your support for a challenge to what used to be the Republican frontrunner for President in 2016. And you've been doing this for a long time. I had a personal experience with this in FL-6 as early as 2004.

Big Tent, Veruca? Big Tent?

To quote Willy Wonka, “There’s going to be a lot of garbage today.”

Originally posted to SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Maryland Kos.

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