Internet/Telecom/Social Media

How Democrats lose elections, example # 104762

By Martin Bosworth

Someday I’d like to be a Democratic consultant, and be paid thousands of dollars to help my candidates lose elections and insult the people who support them. Because nothing says “victory” like a staffer on a progressive blogosphere-supported campaign shitting on the very folks that put his boss on the map.

Case in point–Sandeep Kaushik, campaign consultant for Darcy Burner:

According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, liberal bloggers responded by raising some $123,000 over that weekend for Reichert’s opponent, Darcy Burner. Burner, a former Microsoft manager, attempted to unseat Reichert in 2006 but lost with 48.5 percent of the vote to Reichert’s 51.5 percent.

The last-minute fundraising effort in August for Burner was titled “Burn Bush for Burner” and drew about 3,200 individual donors from around the country, said Burner’s campaign consultant Sandeep Kaushik. It was coordinated and organized by some of the nation’s most popular liberal blogs, including and

“They tend to be partisans, no question about that,” said Kaushik, a former writer for Seattle’s alternative weekly newspaper The Stranger. “At the same time, they’re not part of the party structure.”

Their role in the public discourse is still largely undefined. “They kind of play this weird role that has this superficial semblance to journalism,” Kaushik said.

But for all their potential, it’s easy to get carried away by bloggers’ self-perpetuating hype. “There are a lot of overblown statements about the ‘power of the blogosphere,’” he said.

This would be the same Darcy Burner who benefited from an astonishing amount of fundraising channeled through some of the top-shelf progressive/liberal blogs, in case you didn’t know. What I find so jaw-droppingly absurd about this is that Kaushik, who has a rather eclectic resume for being a campaign consultant, who once famously castigated Nader for running again in 2004, and who has advanced a theory of populism and infrastructure very similar to a lot of the things we say in Left Blogistan, would go out of his way to take such a deliberate shot at the very people who gave Burner the funds and support she needed to fight on.

Because, really, what we need are more of these undoubtedly well-paid consultants following the examples of brilliant leading lights like Bob Shrum and Mark Penn and teaching us exactly how Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory time and again.

I’m certainly less inclined to donate money to Burner now–either she endorses what Kaushik says, which is a huge slap in the face, or she doesn’t vet her consultants well enough before hiring them, which speaks to bad leadership. So, thanks for that, Sandeep. Heckuva job.

Or, as Kagro X put it to me succinctly, “F. you. You’re stupid. That’ll be a thousand dollars, please!”

6 replies »

  1. Jim,

    That’s what I’m saying. The guy is obviously not stupid by any means. Why get baited into something like this? Unless he was drastically misquoted, which is certainly possible.

  2. I know the way Sandeep’s statesments are being characterized are not how he meant them. Context is everything, and these statements were presented out of context. Sandeep is a friend of the netroots and we consider him our friend as well.

  3. Many bloggers just post their comments as an expression of one sort or the other and do not even read what the other bloggers are saying. Blogging is a closed loop that has only a small effect on the public at large. To be effective, one must provoke thought and the best way to do that is print out an informative column/article and disseminate in your community. Keep it short–one or two pages would do. People lead busy lives and want to go on about their business. This long primary election process is not helping–after a period of time–many people want a respite–and they turn off for a while. Try this–just Google: “the 14 points of Fascism”, email to others or print out and start a chain letter. See what happens.