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Comments by YACCS
Sunday, June 25, 2006

About organizing

Si, Commandante, what are your

It's a funny thing. First, TNR, now Newsweek and David Brooks, all claiming that Daily Kos is the control center of the left blogosphere and we all follow his orders.

I've never seen such a bunch of mindless bullshit in my life, not even when Yankee fans discussed Billy Martin.

Then there was shock that there was an actual mail list used by people to organize.

Holy shit, katy bar the door, the lefties are organizing, we have to express astonishment.

OK, let me explain:

Townhouse was created by Matt Stoller based on the same drinking watching sessions held in a DC bar. Since I've known and worked with him for two years, I was one of the original members. It quickly expanded to include a group of left activists and bloggers from various thinktanks, the Hill and blogs like this one.

Since Matt has requested the specifics remain confidential, I won't go into great detail, but the idea of the mail list was to discuss ideas, send around notices and do basic organizing. Nothing nefarious.

What TNR got so incredibly wrong is that Kos was both latecomer, he's no longer on the list, and a very minor participant. It is Stoller's list, he's the driving force behind it. Kos commented rarely, Atrios is a much more frequent participant.

This idea that Kos is some kind of driving force for the blogs is just wrong. DK has some influence on electoral politics, but that's it. And most of that comes from the diaries.

By focusing on one man, they miss the point. Eschaton has nearly as many readers and is directly written by Atrios. Juan Cole dominates Iraq discussions. Josh Marshall does a lot of reporting.

But the reason we communicate with each other and organize is simple: it works. Townhouse was kept private because mail lists are private. You simply cannot organize in public. It allows for more accuracy in what we write and a better understanding of issues and campaigns

As to the specific issue regarding Armstrong, Kos simply asked us not to say anything until Jerome could defend himself. It wasn't an order of any sort. Which made sense to me , having written about stock issues, because the SEC doesn't play. Was he touting stocks for money? I guess so. It's not anything which affects me, so I can't say for sure.

Kos can't even order people on his own site around, much less a variety of people on different sites. The idea that he could order people silent is a joke.

As for the pay for play allegations, most border on a tort. First, Armstong never wrote,as far as I know, for Kos. Kos hasn't worked as a consultant in two years. So how does paying Armstong benefit Kos?

This is sloppy reporting on the level of Wen Ho Lee. Charges with no basis in fact. And here's why: Kos is a minority voice on his own blog. One of the charges the NRO dug up was that there was a slant toward Sherrod Brown. Except for one thing, the Paul Hackett partisans were all over the place.

No one recalls the brutal fights over voter fraud in 2004, because it isn't convient.

The idea behind this smear campaign is to scare pols away from Kos and his community organizing. Joe Lieberman is the victim of this, and this scares people.

It also comes from the perception that Kos is leading a bunch of teenagers. Which is silly, most are professionals over 25.

Because organizing and cooperation are powerful tools, and they want the left to remain weak and divided. So when you see this crap, which has nothing to do with this site, except tangentially, we don't endorse candidiates, the reason is to cause fear.

posted by Steve @ 11:50:00 AM

11:50:00 AM

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