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
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