Often times, after writing a post describing some instance of right-wing lunacy, I get a comment offering up Daily Kos as a counterexample. I figure now is as good a time as any to tell where I stand on that titan of the left-wing blogosphere.
I resisted putting Kos on my blogroll for quite some time. I didn't want to be associated with "that wing" of the blogosphere--partisan, shrill, and utterly predictable. But even when it wasn't on my blogroll, I still read it fairly frequently--just to keep my finger on the pulse, I said. However, I only read the front pages (never the diarists), so whatever lurks in that morass is pretty much a mystery to me.
In my mind, there are three different types of Kos posts. The first are posts on issues of policy. In terms of equivalent craziness, this is the analogue to the "women shouldn't be allowed to vote" column I just blogged about. But I don't think they write those very often (Iraq, mostly), and I rarely read them when they do. I don't recall any policy post ever reaching the lunacy of women not voting, though.
Indeed, the kind of "go to post" for Kos extremism was his "screw 'em" post after some American mercenaries were lit on fire in Iraq. That, of course, was a hideous sentiment, and I condemn it utterly. That being said, it isn't a policy position (which doesn't make it better, or worse, but different). Also, not to excuse what he said, but Markos was a refugee from El Salvador--a country literal torn apart by a merc-fueled civil war. If I recall correctly, Kos apologized for his post and explained that something in the story had triggered his reflexive animosity towards mercenaries--an animosity I can entirely understand.
But I digress. The next category is posts on political strategy. These, I think, are hit or miss--and I read them as hits or misses. I don't think Kos stands out as either particular savvy or poor in providing strategic political advice for the Democratic Party. It probably wouldn't be enough to read the blog by itself though.
The third category, however, is where Kos really shines. This is on political coverage. It most certainly is not non-partisan. However, in terms of always having the latest polls and data on the horse races, as well as alerting me to races that are not getting media attention but deserve to have an eye kept on them (many of those this year), Kos does a truly magnificent job. It is that service that kept me returning to the site, and that service that eventually compelled to put it on the blogroll.
So, to conclude. There is plenty about Kos I don't like. They are certainly too partisan for my tastes, and they have a tendancy to hold grudges and cheer the literary deaths of even people who could be their friends (i.e., TNR), which I find very distasteful. But they are an unmatched resource for keeping up with the latest polls and inside campaign information. And I've yet to read anything that would be the left-wing equivalent of saying that women shouldn't vote, or that soy makes you gay.