Infiltrating Yearly Kos: Post 1

posted at 3:35 pm on June 8, 2006 by Allahpundit

Did you really think, after those promos, we were going to let this freak show pass without sending someone out to cover it?

Here are the first three dispatches from our man on the inside. Nothing too freaky as of yet, although there has been a Wonkette sighting. The heavy hitters don’t get going until tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Update: A surreal day ends on a surreal note as Andrew “Rogue Nation” Sullivan accuses us of being shrill. And of stereotyping, which is a point I’ll ponder while awaiting his next missive on “Christianists.”

Anyway, welcome to Captain Sanctimony’s readers!



First time here. What an odd choice for this conference. Here’s a city built by capitalism for risk takers, a randy Randian town, an ecological improbability, a city in all bright neon instead of earth tones. What an utterly un-Kossy town.

But when you think about it, it makes sense. This oasis sprang up because a lot of gullible people exist in the world, people who can be enticed here by the prospect of Something for Nothing. That is the lie underlying socialist politics—that you can run a society by redistributing the goods from the successful risk-takers to those who have, for whatever reason, crapped out.

So it looks like these folks are here to discuss a change to the house rules—these folks want to squeeze the high-rollers even harder, and make it harder and harder for them to walk away from the table a winner. Why we think the high rollers will still play with worse odds and smaller payouts, well, I don’t expect they’ll have an answer to that. I do expect a lot of nifty ideas on how to spend all that extra wealth they’re going to squeeze out of the undeserving rich.

Plus it’s easy to make a convincing argument for global warming here in the desert.



So far it’s not exactly a revival meeting. I’ve been to two technical, very detailed presentations, one about How To Run For Office, one about translating online activism into real world results. This second was by Howard Dean’s Democracy For America, not by the Kos machine, which would be pretty ironic, given Kos’ endorsement record of 0 for—what, 15? More? Do we count Francine Busby in that total?

Zarqawi came up once as the DFA guy tried to explain how you make an action-oriented group e-mail out of daily headlines. “So if we wanted to make an action item out of that…well, there’s really not much action you could urge, because he’s dead.”

I can’t help but doubt that these kinds of technical, campaign-consultant powerpoint lectures—though they are useful— are what most of the ideologically hydrophobic Kossacks had in mind. (The lack of coffee can’t help. Power Point, 8:00 AM, no caffeine—even the most scenery-chewing Democratic Underground ogre has to mellow out.) The DFA guy said he usually starts his presentations by asking people why they’re here, and then saying—and I’m quoting roughly from memory here—”No, you’re here because you’re strange. In a good way. Most people don’t care as much about politics as you do. If you care about election reform, well, you think everybody must care about election reform, right? No. I’m telling you I can show you quantitatively that most people don’t care about election reform. It’s like 18th on the list of things people care about.”

That’s true, and I suspect it’s more true than they would be comfortable facing up to. It’s got to hurt because that’s actually true of about most of the issues they care strongly about. Most people care about borders, terrorism, and gas prices. Sustainable wind energy and foreign aid for Bangladeshi microcredit lending are just not a priority for most voters.


The Netroots

People here are largely, disappointingly, golf-shirted, short-haired, and white bread. Grooming and hygiene are up to western business standards. There is one dude wearing a pith helmet and another guy in a kilt, but the freakish T-shirts I brought along a camera for are not popping up. Oh, I spoke too soon, there’s a girl in an I HAD AN ABORTION t-shirt. For such a routine, ordinary, medical procedure she seems awfully proud of it. Can I get an “I HAD A TONSILLECTOMY” shirt?

On the other hand there’s a buzz-cut grey-templed fellow in a pinstripe suit and an American flag tie. Hmm…maybe they’re catching on. The media is here pretty strong, so maybe they cleaned up and want to look respectable.

So far, and maybe it’s the character of the particular panels I’ve been to, people are pretty nice. There hasn’t been much opportunity for venting, so I haven’t heard a lot of gratuitous grouching about the Right yet. I also haven’t introduced myself as a Hotair correspondent; that might change the reaction I get…but I think this is a case of the well-documented phenomenon of people who are nice and socially adept enough in person who lose all restraint online.

Oh-one always wants to know whether the other side’s women are more attractive. So rest assured, my gentlemen readers at Hotair, you are on the right side of history. Again, not an extreme case: If you had pictured nothing but young, budding, be-Birkenstocked Helen Thomases traipsing through the Riviera’s halls, seeking whom they may devour, it’s nowhere near that bad; it’s just that I’ve been to CPAC; and this, sir, is no CPAC. Hmm…I think I just saw Wonkette, if she’s your type…

Update: Byron York is live at YK too.

Update (Bryan): Andrew Sullivan. Calls us. A “screamfest.” This from the guy for whom every other written word is emotionally-charged nonsense about the US being a “rogue nation.” This from a guy so fixated on Abu Ghraib and the FMA that he can no longer comprehend the war beyond his own pet leftwing version of it. This from the guy who screeeams at the mere mention of menstrual blood, fake or otherwise. This from a guy who ranted and raved and denounced Ramesh Ponnuru about the title of his book, and the flap of the book, and a blurb about the book–a book Sullivan never bothered to, you know, read.

Oooookay, Andrew, we’re a screamfest. Riiiight.

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Thank you!

JazzBass on June 8, 2006 at 3:42 PM

Wonkette? Why settle for mediocrity?

Hoodlumman on June 8, 2006 at 3:55 PM

Of COURSE you won’t see the NUTroots there! This is their stab at becoming a “consulting” powerhouse and the NUTS will drive away business!

This is ALL about the money, baby!

Warner Todd Huston on June 8, 2006 at 3:58 PM

Wonkette (Ana Marie Cox) is just a freckly 40 year old redhead who stumbled into mediocrity after being unable to get a job writing in the outside world. She found the road to success was easy, all you had to do was drink, talk dirty, think liberal, and mingle with those who do. Intellect isn’t part of the equation, as her appearance on Don Imus’ show six months or so ago verified. Since she brought nothing to the party, she wasn’t invited back to my knowledge. Maybe she should hire a writer…

clyde on June 8, 2006 at 4:05 PM

“I Had An Abortion T-Shirt”. They do wear their pride, don’t they.

birdman on June 8, 2006 at 4:09 PM

So, is Kos as much of a bug-eyed Gollum as he appears to be ?

bbz123 on June 8, 2006 at 4:13 PM

“I can show you quantitatively [just how out of touch you all are].” That’s a good thing?

Brilliant work so far. I can barely sit still, in anticipation of the pictures. What happens in Vegas… gets immediately disseminated throughout the blogosphere.

flip on June 8, 2006 at 4:24 PM

What an utterly un-Kossy town.

Although they do tend to bet it all on Red.

Jim Treacher on June 8, 2006 at 4:26 PM

I really don’t give a hopping hell about Kos. This fixation with him seems to me a little excessive and possibly an indicator to something of a serious Psychological condition. I saw one stupid mentos ad and quickly concluded the guy is a utter shmuck.

Let him go, he aint worth all the hoo haa.

Shmo on June 8, 2006 at 5:19 PM

“Oh-one always wants to know whether the other side’s women are more attractive. So rest assured, my gentlemen readers at Hotair, you are on the right side of history.”

Thank you for telling me what I already know! Unlike so many of their lefty/lib counterparts, conservative females, by and large, haven’t forgotten the essential axiom: what makes a woman attractive to a man, first and foremost, is that She’s Not A Man. Because they’re unashamed of their own femininity, they can act and dress and carry themselves in keeping with the same.

Wonkette? Somebody else put it best: “The Paris Hilton of the Internet.”

Spurius Ligustinus on June 8, 2006 at 5:27 PM

Shmo, in case you’ve forgotten, Screw them.

No. Markos needs to get blasted every time his putrid little head pops up out of the fever swamp. The worst of it is that he’s so frigging pathetic that it’s hard to keep a straight, let alone enraged, face.

So, no. He needs to wear that for as long as he thinks he’s in politics. That fact that such a disgusting piece of shit is pulling a living out of being a disgusting piece of shit says bad things about America. That he might ever get anywhere near the levers of power is unthinkable.

Pablo on June 8, 2006 at 5:33 PM

It’s good to associate such a scumbag as Kos with the democrat party. The more face time he gets the better. He’ll be as good for them as Michael Moore was. The more mainstream america sees what these freaks are all about, the sooner they will support conservatives.

roninacreage on June 8, 2006 at 6:03 PM

And I thought just being in vegas made you feel unclean; going to a Kos Konvention in Vegas means your going to use four of those hotel soap bars aday

Defector01 on June 8, 2006 at 6:33 PM

I read that Hillary will ne NO show.

Well,so much for support. The left gonna dump her like a rag.

easy87us on June 8, 2006 at 7:05 PM

Excellent coverage. Fascinating.

And you are braver than I.

Professor Blather on June 8, 2006 at 7:25 PM

Now, if we could just get Kos to do the Mentos thing for real….

Chappy on June 8, 2006 at 7:37 PM

damn, should have asked me to tag along, I love vegas, great place to go and watch people get seperated from their money :)
(and the foods pretty good too)

Wyrd on June 8, 2006 at 7:39 PM

National Review’s Media Blog yesterday OUTED bigshot KOssack Armando as a (GASP!) corporate lawyer! The shame of it caused Armando to announce that he is leaving the Daily Kos.

pjcomix on June 8, 2006 at 8:31 PM

Screamfest? Maybe he just meant the Cox & Forkum logo.

Jim Treacher on June 8, 2006 at 9:15 PM

They are all so “normal” appearing because that is characteristic of their lot when not able to hide behind the anonymity of the computer keyboard.If they stood out in their dress and mannerisms someone would probably ask them a question about their socio/political positions face to face. They simply are not up to that kind of committment.

Chief1942 on June 8, 2006 at 9:27 PM