The Blog

Taking Kos Seriously

The Daily Kos is the most popular and important force in the blogosphere; it's a fact with which Democrats are just now coming to grips.

11:00 PM, Feb 1, 2005 • By DEAN BARNETT
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More recently Senator Barbara Boxer, sent a fawning note thanking the Daily Kos community for its support in her courageous and lonely efforts to speak truth to power. She fondly recalled a chat she had with two Kos contributors and concluded by proclaiming: "I look forward to future interactions with the Daily Kos community. I hope to have the time to drop by here and participate in the discussion from time to time--I value your input, and I thank you for caring so much about the future of our country."

Yes, Kos is definitely on a roll. This week, under the headline "They Finally Fear Us," Kos excerpted a Los Angeles Times story which reported that in spite of some unease with the idea of a Dean chairmanship, prominent Democrats were loath to speak out against the Vermont governor, lest they enrage the increasingly powerful lobby of Internet activists personified and led by Kos. As Kos astutely summarized the situation, the Internet activists are in the process of achieving parity with special interest groups like NARAL, the unions, and the NAACP. What he doesn't point out is that those groups for the most part maxed out long ago in terms of power and influence. The Kos community is still in its infancy.

In recent days, Kos has begun suggesting that someone challenge conservative Democrat Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary. Given Kos's recent successes, Lieberman would be wise to not take this threat lightly.

Many in the conservative blogosphere have been quick to label Kos a "moon bat" because of his unforgiving left-wing politics and his strident tone. Kos in turn dismisses these critics as "wing nuts." (Who says dialogue in the blogosphere isn't edifying?) This kind of juvenile give and take, however, obscures the vital fact that Moulitsas leads an influential movement, a movement whose influence is likely to grow even larger.

Whether or not that's good for the Democratic party remains to be seen.

Dean Barnett writes on politics at under his online pseudonym "James Frederick Dwight."