Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kosola Katch-up

Over a week later, the allegations and recriminations about DailyKos haven’t died down. Apparently the issue has found enough oxygen.

Last week, rightwingers at DonkeyCons trying to mountainize the molehill cited three Ohio bloggers (including this one) in one post. Generally speaking, Ohio not down with Kos. Two reasons why: 1) Tim Russo has been knee deep into Kos since ’04 and 2) Kos’s odd switch from endorsing Paul Hackett to endorsing Sherrod Brown. Tim has come out of his bunker to post a sKreed against Kos recounting Issue 1. That followed an admirable chronology by Staff recounting Issue 2.

Center/right blogger Mickey Kaus used the BSB post as a jumping off point for a post spinning out the four possible Kosola scenarios. If you read the scenarios, I tend to believe a modified version of 3 – call it scenario 3.5 – in which Armstrong tells Kos he has this client who is really good and, oh by the way, his client is in the position to spend heavily on internet advertising. As Kaus points out, this is hardly illegal and pretty much Washinton SOP. Of course, Kos is supposed to be an antidote for Washington SOP, so that hardly serves as a defense.

Kos himself posted a perfect object lesson in How Not to Kill a Scandal – an unintentional self-parody of a rant that equates criticizing Himself to joining the right wing. A pity, since a number of his friends and even a couple of his enemies have effectively refuted the latest TNR Plank allegations. If not for Kos himself, TNR would probably be letting this go.

Finally, we should remember that whether or not the fix is at Kos, the man himself remains a politically tone deaf insider wannabe with neither moral center nor demonstrated facility for serious policy discussion. In a Newsweek article out now, he talks frankly about wanting to take over the Democratic party. Talk so fundamentally out of step with reality should give us all pause. He might want to actually win an election first.

When we spoke to John Green the discussion of course rolled around to blogging. He noted that one failure of blogging thus far is its inability to forge connections across ideological divides. I would go a step farther and say that blogs tend to accentuate those divides. The DKos/MyDD axis embodies the ethic to a distressing degree. Kos’s TNR rant is an example of the overheated rhetoric that gets bounced around there – disagree with a consensus progressive position and you aren’t merely wrong, you are a soulless right-winger.

Ultimately Kossacks, like members of other progressive groups, fail to recognize and accept what they are – faction within a party. A faction that can sometimes win, will sometimes lose, and can hopefully nudge the debate in the direction they want. Ironically, the more they embrace that role, the more influence they are likely to have. If Kos was truly the just-win-baby pragmatist he pretends to be, he’d get that.