Friday, June 09, 2006

The Two Worlds of the Liberal Blogosphere

The Kos kids hold a convention:

“There’s no doubt we’re turning the political world upside down,” said DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas Thursday night as he gave the “keynote” address to open the YearlyKos convention here at the Riviera Hotel. “We have arrived. Look at this conference.”

The crowd—about 1,000 people were registered to attend—loved it. And their support of Moulitsas highlighted one side of the liberal blogosphere on display at YearlyKos—a side that is confident, cocky, and almost triumphal. But there’s another side, too, and it is nearly the opposite: a frustrated side, without Moulitsas’s confidence and worried that left-wing bloggers still haven’t won—and might never win—acceptance in the mainstream political world.

That other side was on display at a discussion session, held a couple of hours before Moulitsas’s speech Thursday night, by a group of people who work with the popular liberal blog firedoglake. Discussing a new project to make their opinions better known to lawmakers in Washington, several people expressed slightly different versions of the same fear: People see that we are bloggers, the fear goes, and that we’re on the left, and they think we’re nuts. “How do you avoid being seen as just a bunch of crazy bloggers?” asked one person. “Has the work ameliorated the stigma of the crazy leftist blogger?” asked another. And earlier Thursday, at a workshop run by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, one leader urged the Kossacks not to let people “marginalize you as a blogger—they may think that you are nutty and kind of wild.”

That is the contrast of YearlyKos. On the one hand, Moulitsas speaks as if he has won the political game, while on the other side some of his followers worry that they’re not even in it.
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