June 12, 2006
Yearly Kos : Monday-morning Quarterbacking
The Kossacks themselves are all over the map as to what went right and what went wrong this past weekend. Mark Warner's massive party is a hot topic of conversation on the internet:
Think about it this way: if Gov. Warner has now established himself in the front of the pack, and grabbed onto a great big piece of the mindshare of the blogosphere, for only $70,000 (or whatever it cost), then GOOD FOR HIM - it shows he knows how to reach the audiences he needs to reach, when he needs to reach them. It's called "marketing." If there's anything the Democrats need it's marketing know-how, and if it means we get to eat free sushi, all the better.
Warner had his now infamous party. It was pretty cool as far as I was concerned, but it did cause a lot of controversy. My main problem was that I was so tired that I had a hard time socializing. . . . I was concerned about the way the convention became a kind of near endorsement of Mark Warner, and I will probably have more to say on that later. But, by way of a quick clarification, I don't think Warner did anything wrong. I think Jerome Armstrong deserves a doubling in salary for the job he did for Warner.
Let me tell you, I've seen some lavish decadence in my day. The Mark Warner party was some decadence. Salon asks, "How much is that blogger in the window?" The party was hosted at the top of the Stratosphere needle, with a commanding view of the city for miles in every direction. Live bands, open bars all over the place, ice sculptures, food bars everywhere serving sushi, tender roast beef, chicken, pork loin, fresh fruit, a huge chocolate waterfall fountain. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but the point is: this, my friends, was a PARTY. Just check out the pictures. Salon predicts:
If the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries were held tomorrow, former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner would easily win the contest for the best party planner. To date, no other candidate has rented an Elvis impersonator to perform for supporters in a circular viewing station 1,000 feet above the Vegas strip. And no other candidate has tried to ply voters with the deadly trifecta of a vodka-chilling ice sculpture, a chocolate fondue waterfall, and free roller-coaster rides. . . At a reported cost of around $50,000, Warner had rented out the highest bar in Vegas to entertain the nearly 1,000 bloggers and online activists who were in town for YearlyKos...One Kossack has described the party as "surreal." Most of the reaction from the Kossacks themselves has been simple delight and awe at being hosted so generously by a wealthy and powerful politician.
Wonkette asks: "How Much Free Booze Did You Miss?"
The Kossacks tinfoil hats have also been quite a topic of conversation:
The Australian notes:
PEOPLE were walking around in hats fashioned out of tinfoil in Las Vegas at the weekend, the fruits of a workshop on the media at an inaugural annual convention of liberal internet bloggers.
"It's to stop them from frying our brains," said Lisa Schiff, who writes a regular blog - or web log - under the name of "Crkrjx". She said the tinfoil helmets were an "elaborate joke on the much-despised mainstream media".
"Everyone thinks that because we are on the Left we must be conspiracy theorists, even though we have some pretty good ideas," she said.
"I mean," she added with a sly smile, "look at my hat. I've given it a receptor aerial so it can pick up the truth."
A fellow Kossack asks WTF are you doing? Tinfoil Hats?!?!?
If I didn't think there was so much potential in this community I would call it quits now. There is no quicker way to make yourself look like a delusional whackjob than by sporting a tin foil hat. I don't care if it was a fun competition or a serious display of paranoia -- if we want to be taken seriously we don't need a group of our own showing up in the media wearing tin foil on our heads.
I tend to beat up on Karl Rove a lot, but I gotta admit: slipping the Kossacks some Reynolds Wrap was, indeed, a stroke of genius.
As I noted before, Kossacks tend to be quite an agreeable lot in person. Accordingly, there was a lot of community at Yearly Kos and not much discussion. Apparently, it's only when their typing on their keyboards that Kossacks become raving lunatics. Now that they're back at their respective keyboards, I predict we'll be hearing more sentiments like these:What I Saw at the Revolution
Iâ€™ve written before about my dismay with Democrats when it come to gay issues, and my frustration with Howard Dean and the direction the party seems to be taking where LGBT issues are concerned. And I suppose going into YearlyKos I should have known what I was getting into. Kos is, after all, known for saying that us "single issue" folks should zip it, sit tight on the back burner and support the party no matter what, even when it backs candidates that donâ€™t support our concerns or issues. I should have known what to expect based on the comments Iâ€™d seen when the subject came up on netroots sites like MyDD and DailyKos. I should have figured Iâ€™d hear the same things Iâ€™d heard all along, even during the FMA debate.
I guess just hoped being there and bringing it all up might help, or might mean something. But I heard the same thing, even from gay folks who are just as frustrated as I am, and from supportive straight people too: this is what we have to do to win, and if gay issues have to take an extended back seat consider it taking one for the team. . . .
But Iâ€™ve burned a lot of bandwith on this only to realize something I already said above. I canâ€™t fight the entire netroots, or convince them for that matter. As I drifted through the convention, through speeches by the political elite and panels of the blogging elite, and one truly surreal party hosted by Mark Warner (completely with an ice sculpture of Kosâ€™ name), I realized pretty clearly my place in the blogging cosmos (or is that Kosmos?).
Echoing that sentiment: No love for labor?
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed YearlyKos and many of the panels were outstanding. But I did leave a bit dispirited that, not exactly to my surprise, there was minimal attendance at any of the four different sessions discussing issues of working families and the labor movement. None of those four sessions had more than forty people in attendance.Kos makes no bones about his intention to "tame the fringes" of the left-wing and make them into loyal and reliable Democrat voters. He also dismisses labor as increasingly insignificant to modern politics, so it's not a surprise to see that labor isn't falling all over itself to join his club.
UPDATE: Some Kossacks are experiencing a little political hangover after their one-night-stand with Warner Saturday night. A few Kossack comments on Warner and his sushi-fest:
[Warner's] big coming out party was with the DLC last month.So, if Warner's "first date" with the Kossacks wins them over, they look like they're bought and paid for. If they end up turning on him, he looks like a chump. Far from being a "brilliant" move, it looks like Warner's people put him in a "no win" position. Way to go, guys!
...That tells me everything I need to know.
I'm happy to have candidates court the blogroots.
I wish they were progressive.
Sorry, Mark. I'm a Gore and/or Clark girl.
He is with the DLC on policy, with the netroots when it comes to picking up the bar tab. That isn't a leader, it is a lobbyist.
I am so sick of people here referring to the DLC like it is the worst organization in the world. Get over yourselves people!
Wasn't it Kos himself who just told us a few weeks ago that the DLC was one of the worst organizations in the world - that it was a dinosaur destined for extinction?
...if he fights and wins against the Swiftboating motherfers, and then governs like a room-temperature Republican, where are we?
CNN thought it very funny that we could be bought off so easily.
I sad to say that I agree.
What's the difference from a candidate buying us or hey, a lobyist.
Would seem to me that YKos should not be open to such things.
Shame on us.
...One of the reasons I read DKos is that I don't like the way politics and Government runs. Too many people on the take. Too much money influencing too many people.
Be it a dollar or 100,000 dollars I see little difference. Can you explain why a junket to Scottland is any different than a free drink? Or a free airplane ride?
Some membership groups prohibit "free" anything for those exact reasons. Why don't we?