The Daily Kos is a Gift that Keeps on Giving

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Andrew Sullivan is not among my favorite thinkers. His Bush bashing is often unfair and exaggerated. Nonetheless, he insightfully points out that “ Yes, there's nothing so valuable to George W. Bush and the religious right than Daily Kos, and Ted Kennedy. What would he do without them?”: (thanks to Little Green footballs)

The Daily Kos responds by describing Sullivan as an idiot who fails to understand “that institutions like MoveOn and Daily Kos are a reaction to the Right Wing's tactics for the past 20 years.” Is Kos right to say that conservatives behaved similarly in the past? I am, for the moment, going to dodge that question. The main thing is this: the Daily Kos is living in a dream world. He is totally oblivious to the harsh reality that his group of leftist extremists are likely perceived by Karl Rove as a gift from heaven. It would even behoove the Bush White House to discretely fund the Daily Kos. The president’s poll numbers go up virtually every time Kos and his allies open their mouths. If the Daily Kos didn’t exist, Karl Rove would have to invent him. This is what happens when one lives their life within an echo chamber. One ultimately starts to believe their own bovine excrement. The Daily Kos represents the mainstream of the Democratic Party’s national apparatus. He is definitely not a fringe player on the outside looking in. How did the Republican Party get so lucky? God must truly love the GOP.


Eric Blair said...

Is Kos truly the 'mainstream' of the Democratic party? I wonder.

I think he thinks he's important, but, I wonder.

Every candidate he's backed has lost.

Does he really put that much money into the Democratic campaign coffers? I wonder.

Still, Its pretty obvious that people like to point at him and his site. I don't get the sense that there is a comparable 'right wing' (for lack of a better word) site, that purports to do as much as Kos claims to do.

flenser said...

“institutions like MoveOn and Daily Kos are a reaction to the Right Wing's tactics for the past 20 years.”

I think that a lot of members of the Democratic party have been unable to come to terms with their fall from electoral grace over the past twenty years.

Rather than engage in any introspection they prefer to believe that their problems are due to unfair and dishonest tactics on the part of the Republicans.

I'll address the point which David skipped and say that the Democrats are mistaken and living in denial.

Knucklehead said...

The Daily Kos responds by describing Sullivan as an idiot who fails to understand "that institutions like MoveOn and Daily Kos are a reaction to the Right Wing's tactics for the past 20 years." Is Kos right to say that conservatives behaved similarly in the past?

I'd like to see some evidence that there have been some "right wing" media organs (clearly they can't be websites going back over "20 years"), but whatever form of media, that have presented a similar megaphone to folks spouting such vitriol. Just because I can't think of any doesn't mean they don't, or didn't exist, so I'm willing to hear the standard compare and contrast type analysis.

My own guess is that organizations like Daily Kos, Moveon, etc., are the result of the success of "right wing" tactics rather than the result of the tactics. "Right Wing" tactics have not been particularly nasty, especially by US political standards, but they have been slowly and steadily effective to a degree that is marginalizing the "Left Wing". The increasingly marginalized Left Wing is reacting with increasingly demented anger.

Seneca the Younger said...

There is no mainstream of the Democratic party.

I can dig it.

We don't walk in lockstep like you guys.

Which makes it opretty tough to win elections, don't you think?

David Thomson said...

“Is Kos truly the 'mainstream' of the Democratic party? I wonder.”

Is Kos the mainstream in Idaho or South Dakota? What about even in upper New York State? Does a sheriff’s candidate of a small town in New Mexico have to worry about this radical leftist? That’s not what I’m saying. The Daily Kos is definitely a mainstream player when it comes the Democratic Party’s selection of its presidential nominee. He is probably Hillary Clinton’s number one obstacle to overcome.

National elections are all about keeping the true believers happy. Fortunately, the Republicans have to be concerned merely with the Center-Right and the Neo-Cons. The Hard Right walked out long ago. The Democrats, on the other hand, have to suck up to the left wing crazies. It is very fair to describe the GOP as the more moderate of the two major parties. The vast majority of voters feel uncomfortable with perceived extremists. Don’t believe me? Just ask Barry Goldwater or George McGovern.

Knucklehead said...


The GOP has, largely, gotten its crazies off the front porch. The Dems are still in the process of getting a big kick out of letting their crazies hold rallies curbside and in front of City Hall. They still have not come to understand that nobody wants to hear the irrational shouting of their most insane members.

Rick Ballard said...

"Does he really put that much money into the Democratic campaign coffers? I wonder."

The short answer is no. I'll be doing a long answer after the new FEC reports are online.

DKos, Moveon, etc. are offshoots of the Soros machine with Howard Dean as their front man. When they fail this fall the Dems will feign a "wake up call" and turn to the Village Commissar for relief. The only problem is the baggage that the Village Commissar is lugging around with her. She's a poor politician and she's too smart (dumb) to take advice.

It's entertaining to watch the Stalinists and Troskyites argue over ideological purity. It's very difficult to actually root for one side - you just hope the fight goes on for a very long time.

Peter UK said...

"We don't walk in lockstep like you guys."
No they walk the goosestep like they always have.
Screen capture is such a wonderful thing.

Kos isn't an institution it is a fashion,like all such others will fade and die,probably when the majority of its members reach puberty.

Buddy Larsen said...

...or have ten bucks in the bank.

Buddy Larsen said...

I like their huge discussion, in November '04, over whether or not to "succeed" from the union.

Peter UK said...

Must be awful being 49 and still waiting for the ,er,penny to drop.

Buddy Larsen said...

...getting to be SUCH a strain, grabbing those purses and outrunning the cops.

Pastorius said...

As a guy who was converted to Conservatism by 9/11, I can answer the question, did Repubs behave this way in the past.

Yes, they did, and they will again, if they lose power, and I am disguested when either side behaves this way. It is anti-American in my opinion.

One of the most disgusting things that mainstream conservatives ever did was give lip service to the video "The Clinton Chronicles."

I will never forget hearing Rush Limbaugh, and others like him, insinuate that Clinton had had too many close friends die under mysterious circumstances. I even remember hearing Republicans insinuate that Clinton had had Ron Brown knocked off.

Unfortunately, the Dems are only following the Republican playbook. And, unfortunately for our nation, the stakes are much higher post 9/11, than they were in the 90's.

We reap what we sow.

Buddy Larsen said...

I think about that often, Pastorious--whether Pubs created the monster.

Then I remember myself, a Carter voter, who was chased out of the party by one Sen. George Mitchell, who as the senate party leader almost overnite, out of the blue, decided on practicing what they came to brag as "Rip Their Lungs Out" politics, beginning the now-familiar criminalizing of politics via an orchestrated telling of outrageous whoppers about Reagan Admin officials. The 'permanent campagn' was born, at that point aimed at retaking the WHouse.

By the time Clinton--and no fresh daisy he--came along, the soil was already well prepped.

But as you say, Pubs didn't have to get quite so personal.

Pastorius said...

The whole Senator Mitchell thing happened before I started to pay attention to politics, so you've taught me something.

I do remember that there was an unending campaign to delegitimize Reagan.

terrye said...

Most Democrats I know do not even know who Kos is.

Seriously. Think about it, say he gets 500,000 visitors a blog standards that is huge, but it is not a big part of the over all population.

Thank God. But he brings in money.

I do think both sides have done this kind of thing to some extent and I think it becomes a tit for tat kind of game with party faithful. Oh yeah? Well, I will see your resignation and raise you an impeachment.

But Republicans usually try harder to keep it domestic.

I am no great fan of Hillary and will not vote for her, ever, but I have to say that I found some of Rush's nasty jokes about her a turn off. I can remember when Clinton was president thinking to myself that I had never seen grown men of either party treat a First Lady with such total disrespect.

And Ann Coulter can be really obnxious.

But pandering to the enemy? Since the America Firsters went to the wayside after the bombing of Pearl Harbor one does not see Republicans making excuses for America's enemies.

The Democrats on the other hand....

And David is right, it is not something most people feel comfortable with.

I wonder if the Warners and the Bayhs of the party will be able to banish them to the hinterlands?

Buddy Larsen said...

Yep--Mitchell taught Daschle, who taught Reid. Before Mitchell, the Senate had a different character. Mitchell's scorched-earth rhetoric was shocking, when new. We're used to it now, alas.

The House Pubs during that a-borning rot of rhetoric, inserted their own overheated partisan, Newt, who never bothered me much because, tho he was over-the-top, at least he wasn't making sh*t up.

terrye said...


The fact that I no longer turn off the TV when Newt comes on says something about what has happened to American politics these last years.

He seems almost sedate by today's standards.

I can remember when Ted Kennedy was not the loud mouth he is today too. Even Biden used to seem somewhat sane. No more.

Knucklehead said...


Your point has merit. I've never been a regular Rush Limbaugh listener so I don't know how far he took the "Clinton Chronicles" sort of Clinton Derangement Syndrome. I do know that the American Spectator went way over the top with their CDS - I actually cancelled my subscription over it and let them know so (not that I imagined it mattered to them).

I think the manifestations of BDS are so wide-spread and so virulent that they are effectively different things. The common cold and the influenza may both be viral, but the latter is far more severe than the former. We don't tend to think of the flu as the same thing as a cold only a little worse. Colds make one uncomfortable, flus kick one's butt.

The GOP, to the best of my knowledge, never feted the creator of the Clinton Chronicles in the same way, for example, that the DNC feted Michael Moore. I don't recall the Clinton Chronicles ever making mainstream appearance in the nation's movie theaters.

I don't recall actual GOP leadership shrieking themselves purple with CDS.

Eric Blair said...

I sorta remember George Mitchell. I certainly remember all the reds & Dems on campus trying villifying Reagan for pretty much everything, (no matter what), although it was amusing to go through the back issues of the Daily Worker in the Library and see how badly Carter had been villified by them as well.

I don't think Hillary is going to save the Democratic Party. I'll make a prediction that their candidate in 2008 will be a governor, probably from a midwest or southern state. Somebody like Vilsack from Iowa or that guy from Tennessee.

We will see if I'm right.

flenser said...

I was lucky enough to be out of the country during the Clinton years, so I cannot speak as to how badly the R's behaved during that time.

My impression is that while there were indeed people saying a lot of bad things about Clinton, they were not people in the leadership of the GOP. Perhaps the chairman of the RNC was suggesting that Clinton was bumping off his enemies and it just never made news overseas.

There have always been extreme elements in politics. What has seemed to change is that the rhetoric from the fringes is now aped by the politicians, within the Democratic party.

I don't see this happening within the GOP. Instead there is general agreement that Bush needs to be more aggressive in standing up for himself and in holding the Democrats accountable for their statements, such as comparing America to the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

This sentiment is expressed by former Democrats, not just "right wing extremists", so I think it is an accurate perception of the gap seperating the two parties.

MeaninglessHotAir said...


The Village Commisar in Sheep's Clothing is a great politician as long as she keeps her mouth shut, stands on the stage and looks demure, and lets the big bad Republicans attack her. Then she gets the sympathy vote. She can go race-bait whenever she feels like it, knowing that the Democratic press will cover it up. The problem for the Republicans is that they have to hold back their urge to attack her because it will always backfire in their faces. The problem for her is whether she can keep her mouth shut through an entire election campaign.

Anonymous said...

Hillary got trashed because she wanted to play a prominent policy role in the Clinton White House. remember "Hillary care"/

terrye said...


Yes, this is true, but back then I was offended by the nature of the attacks.

They seemed to personal.

As a general rule conservatives are more careful about what they say in public. It is their nature.

That is why people like to compare them to Puritans.

Buddy Larsen said...

Puritans make good government:

Anonymous said...


She brought some of those attacks on just by being appointed to head the health care project by Bill. It was obvious that she received that assignment as a way of grooming her to run for president; someone who had not been elected to public office and was not an expert in the field. Plus she was so secretive about the project a court case was filed that resulted in Dick Chaney learning how to hold energy policy hearings w/o having to make them public.

flenser said...


I wonder who "anonymous" is?

Buddy Larsen said...

Actually, the lawsuit filed against the vice-president by some public-interest group would've established a precedent whereby no public servant could do anything at all off-the-record. The courts threw it out, rightfully, as every government we've ever had has spent a very great amount of its time in private meetings.

I think Bush just had a private meeting with Angela Merkle, who, had the Cheney nuisance-lawsuit been won, probably would not have bothered to make the trip to the White House, as nothing could've been discussed that couldn't have been done more easily via press releases.

Buddy Larsen said...

flenser, you're right--the sentence structure--esp last para.

markg8 said...

It's not me I can tell ya that. Show yourself mystery man!

Pastorius said...

Good point. You're correct that the Repubs didn't treat the Clinton Chronicles guys like royalty.

By the way, I think I ought to check myself on something. I called this kind of politicking "anti-American." I say that because i think it weakens our Presidents and makes them less-effective overseas.

Curiously, Bush seems to command more respect overseas now than he did earlier in his term.

Anyway, it seems maybe I shouldn't throw that term anti-American around so casually.

Buddy Larsen said...

okay, Mark, let's see y'll both post at 3:35.

terrye said...

You sneaky devil.

I think politics is rough and to a certain extent people have to expect partisan attacks...but..if it becomes too personal and just plain mean it denegrates the process and it turns people off. That is not good for anyone.

Kos's "screw 'em" remark is a good example of that. Not necessary and nasty.

Doug said...

Best of the Web Today
Al Gore shows how powerlessness corrupts. Plus Ray Nagin gives Pat Robertson some competition.

Buddy Larsen said...

o/t but--(entire, from NewsMax just now, via email)

After ripping Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito for what Senator Ted Kennedy called "troubling" ties to a social club at Princeton University, Kennedy is distancing himself from his own curious ties to a club at Harvard University.

As previously reported by NewsMax, Kennedy is a member of The Owl Club, a social club for Harvard alumni that bans women from membership. Ironically, the Owl Club, long reviled at Harvard as "sexist," was evicted from the campus in 1984 for violating federal anti-discrimination laws authored by Kennedy.

According to the Boston Herald, Kennedy was questioned on his status as an Owl Club member by Boston TV station WHDH. Kennedy said, "I'm not a member; I continue to pay about $100."

However, according to the membership directory of the Owl Club, Kennedy updated his personal information as recently as September 7.

When told by the TV reporter that the Owl Club discriminates against women, Kennedy said, "I shouldn't be and I'm going to get out as fast as I can."

Kennedy's hypocritical attack on Alito over his membership in CAP would come as no surprise to readers of the blockbuster new book "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy" by bestselling author Peter Schweizer.

In his book Schweizer discloses that while Kennedy has fought for the estate tax and spoken out against tax shelters, he has repeatedly benefited from an intricate web of trusts and private foundations that have shielded most of his family's fortune from the IRS.

One Kennedy family trust wasn't even set up in the U.S., but in Fiji.

Schweizer also reveals that while Kennedy has championed the development of alternate energy sources, he opposed a plan to build a wind-power generating facility to provide clean, cheap power to Cape Cod.

The reason: The wind turbines would be positioned off the coast from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis, in one of the family's favorite yachting and sailing areas.

chuck said...

Most Democrats I know do not even know who Kos is.

Most folks I know pay little attention to politics between elections, nor do they cruise the internet. It may be different for young people but I don't know.

Since the America Firsters went to the wayside after the bombing of Pearl Harbor one does not see Republicans making excuses for America's enemies.

I have been looking into this more and, oddly enough, the major isolationists were socialists, communists, and other progressives. That is not really a surprise when you realize that these folks also opposed US involvement in WWI and just carried that attitude over into the thirties. The communists changed their tune when Germany invaded Russia, but before that I know they were trying to strike war industries in Australia at least.

Much of the history we "know" seems to be propaganda leftovers. Actual history is more interesting and complicated.

markg8 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Buddy Larsen said...

Yes, thanks to our writers of textbooks, everyone has heard of Robert Taft but no one has heard of the ILO.

Buddy Larsen said...

Yeah, Paula Jones is the one that Presidential Advisor James Carville said the Pubs dug up by trolling a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park.

Knucklehead said...

Nasty, personalized attacks are part of American politics since the epoch. Washington probably got the closest thing to a pass.

Buddy Larsen said...

WEonder why NYTimes hasn't done an expose of all those political phony news organizations?

ex-democrat said...

pastorius - you're overdoing the moral equivalence; Clinton was a disingenuous narcissistic charmer whose unmasking served an important purpose. Bush is a fundamentally decent man trying to run a war while being heckled and hamstrung by a bunch of cry-babies.
There's nothing to unmask.

flenser said...


We have an opening for site troll. We have to let mark go, as he is totally lacking in nuance. And a few other things. Personally I think Soros is starting to out source to India and the quality is slipping. You can't beat those authentic American trolls.

So show us your stuff, and if its up to scratch we may take you on on a part time basis.

Peter UK said...

The NYT has just received some pictures from Getty Images

Buddy Larsen said...

"investigating the Clintons and what did we get?"

Whitewater? Seventeen, wasn't it, major felony convictions for fraud, perjury, contempt, and whatnot, all stemming from looting the taxpayers, starting with an ex-governor of Arkansas and moving down to some mid-players who went to jail rather than rat out the Clintons.

Judges and prosecuters going out of their way to say that the Clintons were dirty but had covered up the evidence so well there was no way to convict them.

For the hundred mil? An example set that the nation wasn't quite a 50s banana republic or Mafia playground "yet".

Doug said...

"When told by the TV reporter that the Owl Club discriminates against women, Kennedy said, "I shouldn't be and I'm going to get out as fast as I can." "
That was after he said he was NOT a member.
In the same interview!!!
...played on Hewitt.

I'm not a member and I gotta get out as fast as I can!

Doug said...

John Boehner is either cleaner than portrayed, or he's DC's best BS Artist!
Talk about articulate!
Said his dad owned a bar and he had something like 15 siblings.
...that'll teach you to talk if you want to survive!
Transcript will be at

Peter UK said...

It has to be understood Kennedy only joined the Owl Club because it had a late bar.

Buddy Larsen said...

He thought OWL stood for "Obnoxious White Lush".

Peter UK said...

"Obnoxious" is a bit of a long word for him.More likely to be a single syllable word like "bridge"

Buddy Larsen said...

If 'bridge' began with an "O". Geez--I thought you guys invented the language.

Peter UK said...

As in OOooooBridge!!!!!

Buddy Larsen said...

Ahhh...yes, I see. An entry from the abridged dictionary--of course!

Buddy Larsen said...

Damn, stepped on my line--the obridged dictio...ah fergit it.

Buddy Larsen said...

Actually, the best line would've been, "Sorry, my dictionary is the Webster's Unobridged."

Buddy Larsen said...

"Best" doesn't mean "good"--I fully realize that.

Buddy Larsen said...

This is where Terrye says,
"buddy, please shut up."

Doug said...

I'm sorry, I should probably be appalled and angry, but I just can't stop splitting my sides over here.
U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy — who ripped Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito for ties to a group that discriminates against women — says he’s going to quit a club notorious for discriminating against women "as fast as I can."
Kennedy was outed by conservatives late last week as a current member of The Owl Club, a social club for Harvard alumni that bans women from membership.
In an interview with WHDH Channel 7's Andy Hiller that aired last night, Kennedy said,

"I joined when I . . . 52 years ago, I was a member of the Owl Club, which was basically a fraternal organization."

Asked by Hiller whether he is still a member, Kennedy said,
"I'm not a member; I continue to pay about $100."

He then said of being a member in a club that discriminates against women,
"I shouldn't be and I'm going to get out of it as fast as I can."

The Harvard Crimson reports that, in 1984, the university severed ties with clubs like the Owl, citing a federal law championed by Kennedy.
Meanwhile, Kennedy admitted to Hiller that he himself probably couldn't pass Judiciary Committee muster.

"Probably not . . . probably not," Kennedy said.

Peter UK said...

and the odd little matter of manslaughter charges.

Seneca the Younger said...

I swear I thought I'd turned anonymous commenting off. Fixed now.

terrye said...


Stop it, get a hold of yourself. Put that pun down right now. Don't touch it...walk away from the pun.

terrye said...


There have always been isolationists on both sides of the political spectrum, but one thing living in Indiana has taught me is that there really are some old fashioned conservatives out there who would have been more than glad to ignore Hitler.

But he would not let them. My point is that once that line has been crossed Republicans [by and large] do not betray their country.

Buddy Larsen said...

Small farmers have the weather, and that little ripple in commodity prices that can wipe out the year--and maybe take the farm--always, always, filling the mind. Ya wonder why folks would do it, why anybody would farm.