Meet the New Kos, Not the Same as the Old Kos

by David Weigel

The Republican National Committee's "research briefing" on Markos "Daily Kos" Moulitsas has been roundly mocked around the blogs, and with reason. The idea that the embattled GOP can transform a famous-in-DC blogger into a swing-voter-poisoning Goldstein is absolutely insane - one of the best reflections I've seen of how the post-1994 GOP has become as myopic and beltway-bound as the Great Society Democrats ever were.

The RNC's briefing reminded me, though, of how much blogs have changed since their liftoff in 2001 and 2002. Kos started off a pro-Democrat blogger who engaged in tense-but-civil discussions with the right-wing and pro-GOP sides of the blogosphere. (I touched on this in a July Reason story about the mainstreaming of blogs.) The first Daily Kos post, archived here, now read like the musings of a Democratic activist calmed beyond reason by a combination of Quaaludes and Republicans holding his family hostage.

From November 5, 2002:

While the Dems will have lots of new governorships to celebrate, the night belonged to the GOP. I sincerely congratulate them -- they clearly waged a better campaign than anything the Dems were able to put together.

From November 8, 2002:

Georgia's Zell Miller has reiterated that he will not be abandoning the Democratic Party. That's good -- I do believe that the Dems have an interest in ideological diversity. Otherwise, I'd be a Green. And I actually genuinely like Zell, even if I don't care much for his politics.

But Kos isn't the only blogger who's hardened his views in the last few years. Quick: Who said this on September 12, 2001, when a shattered nation was coming together to battle the Islamo-fascist etc etc?

Bush's speech last night was just pathetic. Obviously rehearsed, not a word unscripted, totally devoid of anything real or spontaneous. Very disappointing. I really hope he can find it in himself to rise to the challenge and act courageously, for once in his spoiled rich party boy life.

That's right - it was Charles Johnson on Little Green Footballs. Like another unhinged-by-the-war-on-terror pundit mused: My, what we've lost.