Kos gets one very, very, right

On the heels of posts by Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein yesterday, Kos has an excellent short post highlighting how Bill Clinton and Edwards both completely distorted Obama’s quote about Reagan as a transformative politician.

Huh. I didn’t see the part where Obama said the GOP’s ideas were “all the good” ones.

In fact, Obama isn’t saying anything that couldn’t come straight out of Crashing the Gate — that the GOP build a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that used its think tanks to create ideas, a media machine to sell those ideas, and a modernized campaign operation to win elections on those ideas. Yes, the GOP was the party of ideas. They were crappy ideas. But they were “ideas”.

I can see why people such as Melissa McEwan at Shakesville are offended that Obama would refer to Reagan without explicitly criticizing his ideas (although as Greg Sargent points out on TPM, he has been a lot clearer in the past); and of course I can see why Clinton wouldn’t much care for the notion that Reagan was more transformational president than he was (although for what it’s worth, I agree 100%). However, that doesn’t give license to distort his statements — and this mischaracterization has been floating around both the progressive blogosphere and the mainstream media. Good on Kos for calling it out so clearly.