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The Kos Establishment OR Kaus vs. Kos

Mickey Kaus finds the treatment Mark Warner got at YearlyKos questionable -- as well he should. As I reported over at the New York Sun's blog, Warner was the only one of the four prospective 2008 candidates who got to address the entire Kos convention (at lunch on Saturday), and he got a very nice introduction from Markos himself.

Kaus attributes this treatment to "Warner's hiring of Moulitsas' buddy, Jerome Armstrong." That's part of it. Another part of it is that, as Markos said in his introduction, Warner was the second big shot -- after Harry Reid, in whose backyard (Las Vegas) the whole event was being held -- to accept the Kos invitation. Pandering, apparently, can get you to second base with these folks.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. If a political gathering wants to reward politicians who are early to sign up, good for them. But Kaus is right that it's more than a little hypocritical for a group of bloggers that constantly rails against the political establishment, and particularly centrist Democrats, to extend political-establishment-like treatment to a centrist Democrat just because he returns their phone calls.

The second round of stories out of YearlyKos seem to be focusing on whether the Kos folks are really anti-establishment or just trying to burrow their ways into the establishment as quickly as possible after making a splash on the Internet. That Jerome Armstrong is working for Mark Warner points toward the latter conclusion. Call him the Ana Marie Cox of the lefty blogosphere.

And call Mark Warner savvy for buying off a potentially problematic interest group (or at least its leaders) so cheaply.