A Daily Kos Reality Check
Over at the very liberal blog, Whiskey Bar, Billmon wrote a long, interesting, albeit unsurprisingly slanted to the left, post about the motivations of the publications on the left in pursuing the Ko$ola scandal:
“The real question in my mind is what the attack puppies are trying to accomplish. Surely they must understand that in the end, there is no such thing as bad publicity for a blogger. Ann Coulter has built an extremely lucrative career out of being attacked in print by her opponents. Does the TNR really think Daily Kos’s traffic and ad revenues are going to do down because of this? If so, it may explain why the f*cking rag is withering away: an absolute lack of business sense.
Seriously, though, I suspect the real objective here is to try to scare away the Democratic pols who have been cozying up to Kos and the liberal blogosphere. The sight of all those powerbrokers — Harry Reid, etc. — lining up to kiss Kos’s ring in Vegas must have really set the klaxons wailing at DLC HQ. It isn’t that Kos is particularly liberal or progressive (the right wingers only yell that he is because they understand that he isn’t.) Go where the real lefties hang out, and you’ll learn mighty fast that the name Kos is a dirty word in those circles — right up there with those other well-known fascist running dogs like Howard Dean and John Kerry.
But in the end it doesn’t matter. The Lieberman Dems don’t hate and fear Kos and the Daily Kos “community” because they are too far to the left. They hate them because they represent an emerging power center within the Democratic Party that they don’t control — what’s more, one that is now much closer to the public mainstream on the central issue of our time (the Iraq War) than they are.
…Add in the cheerful brutality with which Kos and Jerome have skewered the consultants and the DLC Dems, the primary defeat now looming over Joe Lieberman’s head, and the rice bowls that could be broken if the old system of campaign graft is abandoned, and it’s easy to understand why the long knives are out.
Whether the grown ups (Peretz, Lieberman, Hillary) actually set the Swiftboat in motion, or just watched approvingly (“Who shall rid us of this meddlesome blogger?”) as their hatchet boys did what comes natural, is almost irrelevant. The important thing to understand is that we have reached the point where the Dinos and their media allies are willing to use Rovian tactics against anyone who challenges their entrenched position — even someone like Kos, who is hardly the second coming of Henry Wallace or George McGovern.
Whether that’s good or bad for the Kossaks I don’t know — I suppose it depends on how much credence you give to Gandhi’s old saw: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” In the real world — and in imperial America, too — the truth is that sometimes they ignore you, then ridicule you, then fight you and crush you like an overripe eggplant. We’ll see if that’s true this time. Either way, though, it looks like the battle between the netroots and dino Dems is going to get very down and dirty indeed.”
Billmon is on to something here.
What people have to understand about Kos is that he has been phenomenally successful — as a blogger. He has an enormous audience, he rakes in beaucoup bucks, people pay attention to what he has to say, he helped write a moderately successful book, and his Yearly Kos convention was a big success. Without question, Markos Moulitsas Zungia has blazed a trail and everyone else in the political blogosphere is following in his wake.
On the other hand, in the world of politics, Kos is nothing but a puffed up little pissant with very marginal accomplishments. Yes, he may have helped raise a lot of money for candidates, but he might as well have thrown that money out a window for all the good it has done anyone. As of yet, the Democratic netroots hasn’t delivered a single victory over a Republican candidate.
His book sales? A really good week for Kos would be an extremely slow Tuesday for someone like Ann Coulter. His Yearly Kos convention? It was a thousand people. Big whoop. 1200 people gathered at a conspiracy theorist convention in LA and would anyone be surprised if some of the same people were at both conventions? Kos’s massive audience? Congrats, Kos, you’re roughly 1/20 the size of Drudge!
Moreover, if you look at the biggest accomplishment of Kos and the liberal netroots, it would probably be getting Howard Dean in as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. We’re talking about a guy who stinks at fund raising, squanders the money they collect on a ludicrous 50 state program (“No, don’t spend the money on that competitive race. We need to use it in Utah instead!”), and who, at regular intervals pipes up with some ludicrous comment that fires up the Republican base and makes the rest of the country think the Democrats are nuts.
Want to know a little secret? Lean in close, because I don’t want anyone to hear. Republicans think Howard Dean helps us more than he does the Democrats and…we think the same thing about Kos. We love the fact that Democratic politicians post on the Daily Kos and, as Billmon says, kiss his ring. Know why? Because the Daily Kos is a moonbat pit and every time Kos or even one of his diarists says something paranoid or ridiculous, which they do pretty regularly, we can tie it to big cheeses in the Democratic Party.
Now, the point of the last four paragraphs wasn’t just to rip on Kos, although that was fun, it’s to point out how arrogant and out-of-touch with reality he is when he says things like,
“I write in our book, I write, basically, the establishment Democrats have three choices. One, they can join us, and a lot of people have, people like Simon Rosenberg. They can get out of the way. Or we’re going to roll them. Because quite frankly we’re tired of losing, and we’re not going to do that anymore.”
Kos is, in the political world, a minor player who has never won anything. Yet, he’s in essence telling all the other Democrats that they’re losers and they can either join him or get out of his way? Combine that sort of titanic arrogance with Kos’s mediocre record and is it any wonder that Kos’s name is a “dirty word” in some circles?
The truth is that Kos has chosen to pick a fight not only with his ideological foes in the Democratic Party, like the DLC, but with a lot of liberals who would otherwise be predisposed to be his allies. Unfortunately for him, he has finally gotten big enough for them to notice and they are starting to fire back.