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Very, very nicely done. You are a clever boy, too, for picking up that Kos is not the "cause".


Saving the county? That sounds like a Kenny Rogers song. Or was that Coward of the County?

And I can't believe that some Bananarama spin-off band named after a Smiths song is threatening to destroy the fabric of the progressive grassroots movement.


It's telling how these guys tell us we have no sense of humor but then get into a snit when we poke them with a stick.

And yeah, you put your opinion out there, you run an ad, you do anything public--you're fair game. Funny how thin-skinned they get when the ones doing the calling out are us silly women.


"As if the cause and Kos are the same thing."

Seems to me that cuts both ways here. Both critics and supporters are blurring the line between Kos and the progressive cause, IMHO.

res publica

This whole affair has been interesting, though hardly surprising. Scratch most men, even "progressive" men, and what oozes out is rank misogyny. Not all men, of course, but most. Including most gay men, which surprised me very much when I was younger. I can't remember why it surprised me, but it did.

I am consistently amazed at how few feminist men there actually are. Maybe none? Maybe we have yet to see what feminist manhood looks like. Surely when we know what that looks like, we'll know what it really means when we say that feminism is good for everyone.

blue girl

Lance, sorry I pinged twice. I got a little ping-happy, there!

Also, I think you are showing an attitude of "wagonism." --

"That would be like saying when I look out at my driveway at my station wagon I'm happy to see it and proud it's there....It's a necessary tool....isn't that a sad commentary on American suburban life."

If your station wagon is anything like mine, she knows when you are talking mean about her. So, if she doesn't start for you tomorrow, or say suddenly you discover you are in need of a $2,000 repair -- you can't say I didn't warn you!

mrs. norman maine

"Once upon a time there was a stupid TV show.
Many, many, many years later, TBS created a stupid TV show based on that stupid TV show......."

I'm so frigheningly informed by 60s and 70s television that I fully expected your little story to end, "My name is Charlie."



I think you have a very good point. The whole fight began when a bunch of Kos's readers challenged Kos' personal business decision as if he wasn't a businessman but a beholden spokesman for their cause. But then Kos responded as if he was only a small businessman chasing a pack of rude kids he'd caught shoplifting from his store. His reaction was insulting and people objected, rightly. But you are right, I've read some reactions that sound as though the person writing thinks that being insulted by Kos is the same as being insulted by the entire Democratic party. Those, though, are a minority.



shhhh! When I wrote that bit about the wagon I typed very quietly so the car wouldn't hear me. Now you're going to give me away!

I was able to clean up the double-ping. You probably don't have that function on your blog. It's one of the nifty features like an order button that I got just for being a boy blogger.

Mrs M,

When I was writing that part I kept thinking, "I sound like somebody here," but I couldn't figure out who. Now I know.


Damn, you and I are of the same mind. But you know, with 100% less sexy pictures.


Beautiful. You have a knack for the well-crafted phrase, did you know?


Jeez. Doesn't anyone younger than 50 have a sense of history? Don't they know New Left male objectification and condescension to women precipitated feminism's 2nd wave? I'm an old broad, happily embracing my chrone age, disgusted but hardly surprised that Kos and klatch are unwilling or incapable of genuine reflection or insight into their own fear-driven bigotry -- which. is. exactly. what. it. is. The self-involved mediocrity of most of the three-legged sex, regardless of what side's political virtues they espouse, is the bottom-line reason why the world's such a mess. DKos is great place for political new/info, but for insight, it's Tabuala Rasaland.

Mad Kane

What a wonderful post!
I've linked it in my latest post (Ode to Misogyny.)

Liz Smith- Blondesense

Excellent! Great post, thank you


I read the post on Kos myself and was pretty shocked myself. The level of contempt he showed was unbelievable for someone who believes himself to be on the 'right' side.

Without going into the merits of whether he was right in clubbing Lieberman and the women who took offence( stupid move) which you have covered excellently (no surprises there), what one needs to take a look at is the behavior of the kossacks.

The liberal bloggers seem to take great pleasure in reviling those on the other side and how the other side reveres their leader. But a look at these guys' behavior reveals they are not that different. Questioning Kos seems to be equal to heresy in some circles and I cannot get over the fact that these guy do not seem to see the irony in doing that. Steve Gilliard's response was disappointing to say the least. The fact that the blog is Kos' livelihood does not excuse his response.

I've never read Shakespeare's sister before, but after this, she is going to be a regular read of mine.


Amanda, I---

Damn. There was something I wanted to say. I think it was important. But then I went and looked at those pictures of yours again and the thought went right out of my head.

Wait. Wait. It was...

Nope. Gone again.

Amanda Marcotte

LOL. Ah, I gave into the requests and handed one over to the ladies. I just wanted to make it clear to the whiners that contrary to their feverish hopes, I'm really not anti-sex or anti-nudie shots.

CS, I hear you, but take a little pity on us. Call us naive, but many of us were hoping men that grew up in the shadow of feminism maybe would be a teeny-weeny more conscious.

Flatiron Dante

I have been watching this from the sidelines, but what I am wondering is why people care so much about what Kos thinks, though I understand why they're pissed off at his ill-tempered comments. I read his blog pretty much daily, but it's been a long time since I read it for what he writes as opposed to the 'chaos and cacophony' of the Kos community. He is an interesting voice, but he's just one voice on that community, and not the most interesting writer on that site, let alone in the blogosphere, in my opinion. I view him as the owner of an interesting bar where I go for the conversation of the other patrons, not the views of the owner -- as opposed to Tbogg, Gilliard, or Wolcott, for example (or our host on this site -- though as a former resident of the Salt City I may be biased on that front).

I used to work full time in national politics, but I got out of it when it became just a job to me as opposed to working for a cause I loved. I see some of the more prominent liberal bloggers as buying into the game and getting caught up in the intrigues of court, and I see those bloggers making the same compromises that I saw my friends from earlier campaigns make as they tried to rationalize working for more establishment type candidates rather than for the causes for which we had originally worked. That's probably why the people who I find most interesting to read are those who have other things going on in their lives(i.e. writers who are dilettantes like me and don't need to work in politics to feed their families) and who don't focus obsessively on who's up and who's down in the royal court on this particular day. That's one reason I appreciate Lance pointing out the culture blogs that cover much more than politics, because at the end of the day, life's too short to worry about whether Joe Biden is getting along with Howard Dean.


Dante, I think at this point Kos himself has stopped being the issue. What people are angry about now is what they see as an attempt by one group of bloggers (mostly male) to tell another group of bloggers (mostly women) what's important enough to worry about and write about. That's what was so galling about Kos'sneering, "Me, I'm going to concentrate on the important shit." He seemed to be claiming to be the one who gets to decide what the important shit is. His supporters have taken their cue from that.

Steve Gilliard's post defending Kos is in the same vein. He pretty much says that anyone who is bothered by Kos' running the ad (and he means women) just doesn't understand business. "Gals, you just don't have heads for big numbers."

You're right about Kos' community being the best thing about his site now. I've read that Kos himself refuses to acknowledge this and treats the diaries as if they were "his." I don't know if that's the case, but if it is it means that if he's the bartender/owner in your analogy, he thinks of the diarists as the wait staff.

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoy my page.

Daryl McCullough

I don't think it is so much mistaking the Kos for the cause. I don't even read the Kos that often. It's just that, empirically, when progressive squabble with moderates, or among themselves, the beneficiaries are the reactionaries. It's hard to know what's cause and effect here, though. Maybe the squabbling isn't the cause of our impotence, it's a symptom of it.

Flatiron Dante

Lance, I agree with your point about the male/female divide and I think you hit the nail on the head with your earlier post about the tunnel vision the (mostly male) political bloggers have. Maybe I'm just a little burned out after the last election cycle, but I can only take those political bloggers in small doses these days. I think a lot of them fall into the trap of thinking that this particular election cycle is the most important in world history and so everything in the world other than getting someone with a D by their name elected now is not important.

To me, it seems pretty important to call people out when they say stupid things, and when it's someone on your side I think it's arguably more important, because you may have a chance to get them to change. Mario Cuomo talked about how in addition to fighting for civil rights in the public sphere, we also need to do so in the private sphere, by, for example, standing up to what he called "living room talk" (or something like that). What he meant by that was that when someone you know says something racist or sexist to you in a private setting, you should let them know you disagree. Not that the Kos board is a private setting, but I agree with Governor Cuomo that you need to call out stupidity when you see it, even if it is your friend or a writer with whom you usually agree.


Here's the thing... I'll happily grant that Kos' reaction was condescending. But... has anyone considered the possibility that he might have been responding sorta "in kind" with what he may have seen as presumptuous demands?

I know this much... I sure as hell wouldn't be pleased if someone demanded that I change something on my blog.

Maybe... Just maybe people are reading a gender war into this which cuts both ways.


Did you ever read the original diary about the pie ad? I've been trying to find it, but no luck so far. I noticed many members of the community were saying Kos was probably just frustrated by angry e-mails, but he never mentions e-mails in his Pie Ad response. I assume he read the same diary that I did. It came after other diaries by women concerning Kos's comments regarding NARAL and the issue of Choice and another diary about the fact that anytime Kos or other male diarists wanted to indicate weakness in another man they call him "ball-less" or "pussy" or "bitch"- in other words- a woman. So then came the pie ad. A diarist asked thoughtfully and cautiously as to whether or not the pie ad might not be insulting to the many women at Kos who were already feeling marginalized there. She was asking how others felt about it- no demands for it be removed or name calling. Basically it was- on top of everything else- now there's this pie ad. Could it be possible this ad might be interpreted as trivializing women who are already feeling trivialized by this community? Is it really a good idea to have it here? What do you all think? There were some very strong responses.

When Kos made put up that front page scold about the pie ad, he never once mentioned that diary or the other issues it brought up. He very much wanted it to be about the pie and the thin skinned “women’s studies set".

I've been reading Kos for over a year now, but I’ve decided to move on. I'm over Kos and the Democratic Party for that matter. That tent isn't nearly as big as they pretend it is.

Anne Laurie

My. My my my. This is why I read Lance Mannion instead of Kos; thank you, Lance! Kos, yes, founding father, important function, Democratic, anti-Bush-Imperialistes, blah blah blah. Unfortunately, I always found Kos' blog (to keep this separate from Kos himself, about whom I have no opinions since I do not know him) to suffer from the male disorder of Factuality Worship, where stacking up the biggest possible tower of Facts (or factoids, or pseudofacts) is the only thing that counts. Side effects of FW include obsessing over hit counters and the number & cost of blogads accrued. It is a perfectly defensible way of running your blog -- or your career, or your life -- and certainly the most likely way to profit monetarily from blogging. But I find it boring. I prefer to read blogs I find interesting, which tend to have fewer facts & more actual writing per column inch... like this one. Of course, I'm not TBS and can't throw a few thou into Kos' tip jar, so he's not required (as he understands the blog universe) to take notice of my opinion. But, as you so cogently point out, advertisers follow readers, so driving readers away by (further) insulting them is not even logical in the Factuality Worship universe. Although it certainly helps reinforce my prejudice that FW is a "guy" thing!

Ken C.

"This whole affair has been interesting, though hardly surprising. Scratch most men, even "progressive" men, and what oozes out is rank misogyny. Not all men, of course, but most. Including most gay men, which surprised me very much when I was younger. I can't remember why it surprised me, but it did."

I agree that the original ad was dubious. (How it compares to joking that Ginger probably loves "the money shot", I don't know: maybe each female bloggers' boyfriend gets one free pass on a cumshot joke.) I agree that Kos was being an asshole in his response to the concerns raised. But: please stop with the bullshit generalizations.


Kos and klatch are unwilling or incapable of genuine reflection or insight into their own fear-driven bigotry -- which. is. exactly. what. it. is.
Posted by: cs | June 13, 2005 01:50 PM

what are they afraid of?


The hostile and dismissive comments of Kos were just the last straw for a lot of progressives. The tipping point if you will. Progressives were becoming more marginalized at DailyKos, called "single-issue" people, told to buckle down and support the party, just get Dems elected. Kos is becoming just another Democratic party apologist, not a reformer.

At some point, push had to come to shove. Timing has a lot to do with it. We are all deciding how much to get involved in the 2006 elections. Where am I going to put my time and maybe more importantly, where am I going to put my money?

I know a lot of progressives who have been sitting on the Democratic fence for so long we've got splinters in our butts. We're waiting and waiting for signs of life from the Democratic leadership. We liked what we saw with Dean and we sent money. Then we watched as Pelosi and Reid ran away from him. WTF?

So we're waiting for signs of hope and you know what we see? Nothing. No movement. No issues. No vision. No plans. No "contract with america". The "leadership" seems truly torn. They don't know what to do with Dean who was chosen by Democratic party grassroots, not by the leadership. They don't know how to say no to the lobbyists money. They are afraid of the wrath of Rove. They look like spineless cowards.

It's becoming more and more clear that they are going to run the 2006 Congressional elections as republican lite.


Where to go? Are the Greens a realistic alternative? Should we just work on state issues and keep our eyes closed about national issues until 2008? Do we continue to try to change the party from within when the party leadership is clearly freaked out by us?




Why does one have to go anywhere? I've been an Independent for quite a few years now and it has never prevented me from voting or from cooperating with any organization to apply political pressure towards a given goal. I'm on the MoveOn and DFA email lists. Ditto for a Union activist list even though I'm not a member of a union. And I've been on several lefty blogosphere email lists from time to time. Not to mention encouraging some of the other Indie bloggers out there to join overwhelmingly Democratic action alliances like Shake's BBA.

Not being a member has never stopped me and it doesn't need to stop you or anyone else. In fact I would have to say that being a member is pretty much irrelevant.

Maybe you're not a Howard Dean fan. If so then this probably won't mean anything to you. But... I met Dean at a book signing last fall. Taking advantage of his relatively undivided attention for a few seconds I talked about Independents and how many of us have no intention of becoming Dems, yet many of us wholeheartedly supported him and continue to do so. I pointed stated that what he was working for (real change) is larger than any political party. Up until that last comment he'd been giving me about 50% of his attention while he signed my books. But, he looked up and emphatically stated that it most certainly was larger than a political party... with that patented waggle of his finger that he uses to drive home an important point.

Fight for what you believe in. Vote for who you want to represent you. If party loyalists have a problem with it merely on the basis of you not belonging then it's time to re-evaluate whether they deserve your votes and support.

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