I’ve resisted writing about how as a long-time Kos member and flaming commie pinko I felt pretty betrayed and unsettled by how the scholarship thing went. I didn’t know how to put it beyond “I’m disturbed to find people on my side as capable of a mob mentality and baseless us-versus-them thinking as the other guys”. But this…
I haven’t asked any of them about this — and for all I know, some of them support Kennedy’s bid — but I suspect that to the extent there’s skepticism or even hostility, it’s because the whole ethos of this site is meritocracy, and it extends to the blogosphere as a whole. There’s nothing inherent in names like “Joshua Micah Marshall” or “Glenn Greenwald” that compels you to read them; you visit their sites because they’re good. On the other hand, the Internet is littered with sites and projects backed by big money and big names (remember Unity08?), but which collapsed because of lack of interest.
I know I haven’t ranted about this much, but holy crap. In the great Blog Scholarship dust-up, Kos and other front-page posters actively supported a progressive blogger who wasn’t nearly as good, hadn’t built an audience, hadn’t been recognized, and on and on because they were a progressive blogger with a Kos connection.
It wasn’t about merit. Dave asked his audience for votes, and they responded, and his competition asked for votes of his audience and didn’t get any so he went looking for table scraps off a larger site and got them. Over and over, it was “we need progressive bloggers more than some baseball guy” or “Dave’s a creep” or whatever.
It was never about merit. In a different kind of election, they supported the clearly worse candidate because of entirely superficial reasons including his dad’s progressive activism. Where was this merit-based evaluation standard when it mattered on a small scale?