Stage Three Alert

As a wise man once said:

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

As a friend wrote, “we’ve moved into stage three.” Indeed, if not all of the old line media, then at least David Brooks has. From tomorrow’s New York Times:

They say that the great leaders are gone and politics has become the realm of the small-minded. But in the land of the Lilliputians, the Keyboard Kingpin must be accorded full respect.

The Keyboard Kingpin, aka Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, sits at his computer, fires up his Web site, Daily Kos, and commands his followers, who come across like squadrons of rabid lambs, to unleash their venom on those who stand in the way. And in this way the Kingpin has made himself a mighty force in his own mind, and every knee shall bow.

More after the jump. . . and yes, Kos ordered me to post this. Question: why is big media so obsessed with us? I don’t get it.


The Kingpin’s first enemy was the Democratic Party establishment, and it pleased him to see Howard Dean take it on. When the Dean campaign hired the Kingpin and his co-author and onetime business partner Jerome Armstrong as paid campaign consultants, this was an appropriate sign of respect, and the Kingpin did lay his hand of blog approval upon the Dean campaign (while disclosing the connection).


The Kingpin often directs his wrath at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. But the centrist Democrat Mark Warner has also hired Armstrong as a consultant, and the Kingpin has graciously exempted Warner from the seventh circle of Kos hell. Warner is frequently celebrated on Daily Kos as something akin to the second coming of FDR.

And so it is in the realm of the Kingpin. Those who offer respect get respected.
But lo, there are doubters. Chris Suellentrop, who writes the Opinionator column on TimesSelect, posted an item on June 16 noting the strange correlation between Armstrong contracts and Kos endorsements. He further reported that the SEC has filed court documents alleging that in 2000 Armstrong touted a dubious software stock on a Web site in exchange for secret payments. Armstrong was accused of building Internet buzz to make money for himself.

The Keyboard Kingpin was displeased by this publicity.

But the Sachem of the Blogosphere restrained his mighty wrath and responded with the cleverness for which he is so justly self-adored. In a private letter to hundreds of his fellow progressive bloggers, the Kingpin declared he would “go on the offensive” in a “couple of months,” but in the meantime, a code of omerta was in order. “It would make my life easier if we can confine the story,” he wrote. “If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let’s starve it of oxygen.”

But alas! There was a Judas on the listserve, who leaked the Kingpin’s missive to Jason Zengerle, who promptly posted a report on The New Republic Web site.


“The New Republic betrayed, once again, that it seeks to destroy the new people-powered movement for the sake of its Lieberman-worshiping neocon owners,” the Kingpin charged. And so the magazine of Walter Lippmann was expunged from the community of the righteous, and its writers cast into the shadow of oblivion.

The Kingpin is not surprised by such betrayals. Sounding like Tom DeLay who is his moral doppelgaenger. Kos says that those who crash the gates and take on the establishment are bound to be attacked.

But the truth is that the new boss is little different from the old boss ­ only smaller. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and many other Democrats bow and scrape. He has managed to spread the gospel of Kossism far and wide, which is not really about ideas and philosophy. “I’m just all about winning,” he has said.

And so the Kingpin has his relationships and his understandings and his networks and his compromises. In just a few short years he has achieved a level of self-importance it took those in the pre-blog political class decades to acquire.

He has challenged his enemy and become it.

David Brooks channeling Pogo? That’s rich.

Portions of this article are posted under fair use rules in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,and are strictly for the educational and informative purposes of our readers.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

13 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Its funny how the republicans assume that like them dems have no thought processes of their own. I guess this means the dems have now been certified a real challenge to the sitting goverment.

  • Yawn. Brooks is an idiot, always has been an idiot.

    What they they themselves do, they assume others do. They have kingpins, they assume we do.

  • would see the items that you first listed as all one and the same as the last. I also think Kos made some mistakes. I’m not sure if order makes any difference but, first they screwed up by trusting so many people to keep something under their collective hats. That was just plain naive. It might not have been TNR who blew the story, it could have been someone else, you simply can’t keep anything juicy mum among a large group, it’s just human nature.

    The second issue is the outrage. Either you’re a player or you’re not. Kos has risen to the top and is playing with the big boys and ought to expect to be judged by their cut-throat rules. No quarter is given or taken. Had this been a conservative blog and the direction had been to other right-wing blogs “keep this indictment thing” or whatever it actually was on the QT while it gets sorted out in the courts, the lefty blogosphere would have had a field day if it was revealed.

  • to do so. At the same time, he represents us because he is kind of the embodiment of all the blogs at this point on the left and thus we have to attack back when they attack him. I don’t like it but that is the way it has to be for the time being.

    Bite Your Head Off

  • draw people to the internet to see what the fuss is all about. Hopefully kos will not let it be the focus of the discussions there. As much as the left has to stand up, if not only that it dispells the wimpy left tag, it needs to show it has ideas too w/o proving the angry left tag.

    The right would love for emotion to rule in this argument, we need to show that they are showing their own irrelevancy. Maybe common sense can be the democratic theme.

  • about the email. I didn’t get one haha and I didn’t post on it because, well I really didn’t care all that much. lol

    Yes I think kos is realizing that he is a player whether he wants to be or not. [I’m sure he does :)] What I find funnier is that they think that can stop the members by attacking him. A lot of them don’t care about him, except for the community he built. Some of them didn’t want him coming back from his book tour to take over the fp. lol They were right, it was more interesting without him. I guess I forgot to drink the kosberry koolaid when I registered.

    I think it is ridiculous to believe that kos controls the left blogoshere. If these blogs are linked together by similiar beliefs[kust like the rights blogs] why is it not surprising that they would have interest in similiar stories or angles?

    I think this is all a reaction to seeing what happened in Vegas. It wasn’t to their advantage to see the convention shown as sane and not fitting the sterotypes they portrayed for years. I really think this is going to backfire on the right.

  • Damn! Times Select goes to all this trouble to protect us from their columnists’ toxic idiocy, and you have to go and screw it up. Thanks a lot.

  • Anyone who can write about squadrons of robotic rabid lambs — with VENOM! — without trying to be FUNNY — shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a keyboard.

  • Everything up to this stage is them reacting to us. Stage 4, though, is all us – What sort of world and how to get there. They, the former MSM, now simply whither away. What’s happening here is that they’re beginning to recognize their increasing insignificance and irrelevance and, in a desperate attempt to recapture their glory days of yesteryear, are hoping we’ll respond to their attacks. Which means that they’re now depending upon us to validate them, and, that our best response will be to ignore them entirely. Until, of course, it’s time for us the people to dispatch them to the International Court of Criminal Justice for having been accomplices of the powers that be in mass-murder and other crimes against humanity

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