[Emphasis added.] This is the intro to a long letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy posted this evening on DailyKos by Todd Johnston. Mr. Johnston is nobody famous as far as I know. He's just a thoughtful working adult with no special access to any persons of power. He doesn't spell or punctuate especially well. And yet I know his letter will be carefully read by a Kennedy staffer. It will be certainly be brought to the senator's attention. Sen. Kennedy may even read the letter himself, and he will most definitely be involved in crafting a reply. He might even sit down and type it himself.
Why? Because Daily Kos is the largest political blog on earth. It averages 2 million page views per week and rising. Its audience is educated, affluent, overwhelmingly Democratic, and activist - 63% have donated money to political causes. According to a recent study, it outranks the top five GOP blogs combined. And if Mr. Johnson's letter reached the top of the Kos recommended list (which it did), then it will be read by all those activists along with every other legislator in DC on both sides of the aisle, all of the strategists and most of the media. You can bet Sen. Kennedy will pay attention.
Daily Kos got where it is through a combination of luck, timing, and smarts. Media windbags may have painted the site as hard left, excitable, dismissible... but those who visit on a regular basis understand that its population is diverse and generally thoughtful, with writers from the far corners of law, politics, business, academia, media, and even some of those continents way over there in Europe. The main thing Kos readers have in common is that they are SERIOUSLY pissed off. That doesn't mean they're foolish or naive.
I don't write much on that site. But it's the daily visits of people like me - asking questions, commenting, pushing up the stats, sending more people to the site, responding to calls for action, sending money - that have built the first stirrings of a left wing echo chamber. People are hearing us, and it is starting to make a difference.
Citizen Johnston puts some excellent questions to Sen. Kennedy about Iraq, intelligence, weapons, and the runup to the war. Imagine the senator reading this section knowing that a million people of influence are looking over his shoulder:
or this one:
The ending's pretty good, too:
Senator Kennedy is friend not foe, but friends need to be held accountable when it's a matter of importance. This is such a matter. And while he may not give us satisfactory answers, he will at least think about the questions. In my tiny way I helped make this possible. And that's why I bother.