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 Reichertâ€™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 Reichertâ€™s 51.5 percent.
The last-minute fundraising effort in August for Burner was titled â€œBurn Bush for Burnerâ€ and drew about 3,200 individual donors from around the country, said Burnerâ€™s campaign consultant Sandeep Kaushik. It was coordinated and organized by some of the nationâ€™s most popular liberal blogs, including DailyKos.com and firedoglake.com.
â€œThey tend to be partisans, no question about that,â€ said Kaushik, a former writer for Seattleâ€™s alternative weekly newspaper The Stranger. â€œAt the same time, theyâ€™re not part of the party structure.â€
Their role in the public discourse is still largely undefined. â€œThey kind of play this weird role that has this superficial semblance to journalism,â€ Kaushik said.
But for all their potential, itâ€™s easy to get carried away by bloggersâ€™ self-perpetuating hype. â€œThere are a lot of overblown statements about the â€˜power of the blogosphere,â€™â€ 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!”