« Among the Kosniks (part V) | Main | Harmonic convergence »

Among the Kosniks (part VI)

By Michael J. Smith on Monday February 20, 2006 10:27 AM

Part six of a series. Previous installments

VI. Kosniks are deferential to authority Alongside ferocious contempt for the "ignorant" and the "idiots," Kosniks exhibit a grovelling obseqiousness to important people. Every so often a Democratic politican, like John Kerry or Barack Obama, will favor the Kosniks with a recycled chamber-of-commerce speech. The Kosniks quickly swamp the site with hundreds of fawning "comments" like this:

Senator, thanks for posting here. I am flattered that you chose to come to this forum and explain your position on the Roberts nomination, and I hope your comments are taken very seriously.
This servility partly reflects an excessive respect for institutions, which necessarily rubs off onto the people in control of those institutions. But the other component is a displaced self-regard. Obama is the liberal self writ large; Caliban thinks that the TV is a mirror, and Obama's handsome face is his own.

To be continued...

Comments (10)

J. Alva Scruggs:

This one is especially galling. If they didn't kiss up so much, they wouldn't need to kick down. It's not wholly their fault that they have the impulse to deference, but they are sharp enough to see the damaging effect bootlicking and cop-sniffing has had on their Republican counterparts.

It's easy to just walk away. Some people are not adept debaters or debunkers. There's no shame in that. Assertive confrontation doesn't come easily to most. I don't think anyone would insist they excoriate or debate charlatans like Kerry and Obama -- more likely the staffer they sent to cut and paste something written by a perception management team. A deafening silence would do, leave the "room" or moderate the cut and paste job to reflect its adolescent troll qualities.

Kinda pathetic, isn't it? The Kosniks appear to be in search of a personality around which they can form a cult. Must be part of the whole "pwogwessive" makeup - that they look for someone into which they can subsume their personalities.


" Obama is the liberal self writ large; Caliban thinks that the TV is a mirror, and Obama's handsome face is his own"

this callow lilly
of a Caliban .....

what by the way is the age range of these koskateers anyway ???


I was surprised recently to find that they're not that young. There's a very junior-woodchuck flavor to the site, but somebody did a survey, and IIRC more than half of 'em are over thirty, and a good third over forty.Assuming the respondents were being candid and constituted a reasonable sample, which doesn't seem implausible.

Tim D:

Servility is right! I was just reading a WSWS article about Paul Hackett and how the Democrats torpedoed his senatorial campaign. I know it was discussed earlier, but to quote from the article:

"Hackett said the Senate leaders had made calls to potential donors discouraging them from contributing to his campaign, with the result that Brown had a huge financial advantage in the primary campaign.

'I made this decision reluctantly, only after repeated requests from party leaders, as well as behind-the-scenes machinations, that were intended to hurt my campaign,' Hackett said in a statement. 'My donor base and host base on both coasts was contacted by elected officials and asked to stop giving. The original promise to me from Schumer was that I would have no financial concerns. It went from that to Senator Schumer actually working against my ability to raise money.'

Hackett added, 'For me, this is a second betrayal. First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me.' The first Iraq war veteran to seek national office, Hackett said he was ending his political career, but not leaving the Democratic Party. He indicated he would support Brown if he were the Democratic nominee."

What a chump. There really is something pathological about their blind loyalty huh? And what's sad as MJS points out is that there is no real cult of personality involved here. It's just the abstract notion of the party itself that awes them.

More and more, I wonder how much longer I can go on living in this country. One small bit of hope that I have now is that Maryland (my current state of residence) may institute a ranked-choice voting system (IRV) for local and state elections. Furthermore, Kevin Zeese is starting to shake things up in his indepedent senatorial campaign...


The demographics of Kosniks seemed to be the stereotype of young turk bloggers when I started getting into blogs in early 2003. By the time the Presidential primaries started heating up, it seemed to shift towards an older and more establishment oriented set who argued, no joke, about Lieberman's electability. The initial set of writers who may have, once upon a time, made Kos interesting had left by them, particularly Gilliard and the sublime Billmon.

Someday, a great story could be told about the damage the 2004 election did to independent thought in the blog universe, as normally sane people jumped aboard the "my team can beat your team" hero-worshipping bandwagon.


2004 didn't just take the steam out of the blog world -- it also knocked the stuffing out of the anti-war movement. I think this is actually one of the big structural functions of the parties -- far from being means for doing politics, they're institutional buffers against any kind of politics worthy of the name.

J. Alva Scruggs:

I think so, too, MJS. Groups like MoveOn exist to sop up whatever leftover political energy there is. There's a warped kind of respectablity to belonging to a corporate-structured political group. Fear of being altogether left out keeps people pumping $$$ into their coffers. I think their shallowness has some appeal too. Thinking really hard sometimes leads to uncomfortable conclusions, which sometimes lead to real discomfort.

js p:

"It's just the abstract notion of the party itself that awes them"

yes yes and i'll give em one

ready to strom the battlements
if they'll join me in
a bloody purge


JAS -- Loved the pictures.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Monday February 20, 2006 10:27 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Among the Kosniks (part V).

The next post in this blog is Harmonic convergence.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31