[T]he Democrats lost the week in the war over the war, and Moulitsas — who chats with Senate leadership aides several times a week and has brainstormed with Democratic operatives about the fall campaign —could no longer just criticize from the outside. Indeed, the Democrats' failed Iraq strategy — stand together, talk tough and make plans to leave —lined up exactly with the prescriptions found on Daily Kos.Kos's writing style -- which has obviously served him well as a blogger up to this point -- sounds angry and crazed to the outsider. It's easy to get him to react with "belligerence and paranoia," and the more successful he is, the more Democrats are motivated to marginalize and disqualify him. Those he's accused of "digging around in my past" have denied that they're doing it, but, really, why wouldn't they be doing it? And why wouldn't part of their strategy be to make him think that they are so they can lure him into displaying more of that "belligerence and paranoia"?
Moulitsas is also learning another downside of membership in the elite: the bigger the liberal sniper gets, the more incoming fire he faces. The talk of the blogosphere last week was "Kosola"— allegations that Moulitsas wrote favorably about candidates with whom he or his close friend and coauthor Jerome Armstrong had financial relationships. Moulitsas swore the charges were baseless (Armstrong, too, has denied impropriety), but they clearly got under his skin. When The New Republic's Web site published an e-mail from Moulitsas to a group of friendly activists urging them not to talk about Kosola and thus "starve it of oxygen," Moulitsas went berserk in a blog posting, accusing the venerable liberal journal of treason. By the weekend, Moulitsas's allies were sending each other e-mails infected with the paranoia of revolutionaries who've gained power too fast: How should they deal with traitors? How much openness could they handle? Which fellow travelers could they really trust?...
[S]ome Dems fear that Moulitsas's popularity will pull the party so far to the left that it won't be able to win the general election in 2008. "It's a little bit like 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' with these guys," said an aide to a Democratic presidential candidate who asked not to be identified while the boss was angling for Moulitsas's support. "You like what they're saying when they're coming in, but you don't know what they're going to do once you let them into your house." Newt Gingrich, who wins points even from liberal bloggers for his political acumen, marvels at the Democrats' embrace of the blogosphere: "Candidates out there run a risk of resembling the people they're trying to appeal to," he tells NEWSWEEK. "I think the Republican Party has few allies more effective than the Daily Kos."...
The pressure on Moulitsas — to be consistent, to be pragmatic, to win — will only grow as the fall elections approach. Already, the strain of the spotlight is beginning to show in his growing belligerence and paranoia. When Kosola broke, Moulitsas e-mailed fellow progressive activists, wondering who might be shopping the story. "I've gotten reliable tips that Hillary's operation has been digging around my past (something I confronted them about, btw, and never got a denial), and you know the Lieberman/DLC/TNR camp is digging as well," he wrote, referring to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and The New Republic.
So I assume there is a conspiracy and a strategy to investigate Kos. And it's so easy to do because it can succeed even if it fails to turn anything up, because it will provoke him, and when he reacts, they'll all say he's paranoid, belligerent. Escort that man back outside the gate.
But why is Althouse saying all this? Is she trying to stoke his paranoia and lead him into the very pitfall she's identified? Is she nonpartisan and just calling them as she sees them? Or is she just saying that because she knows that's the kind of assertion that Kos folk are least likely to believe? And is that one more reason to suspect there's a big plot? Look at that line she boldfaced up there. There's a Republican plot and a Democratic plot all converging on poor Mr. Moulitsas.
And if he exhibits these suspicions, he's going to look crazy. And you know what they do to you once they have the material to make you look ca-ray-zee.