Want to point you in the direction of two bloggers who have made good points about the atmosphere here at YearlyKos. First, Matt Yglesias:
…it’s not even totally clear to me that’s there’s an especially logical or organic connection to bloggers and blogging in play here. Obviously, that’s the causal origin of the gathering. But bloggers are interested in the issues, and an awful lot of what’s going on here is just around issues — foreign policy, telecom policy, education, church/state issues, whatever — issues that activists care about whether on- or off-line.
That sounds completely right to me. Some events and seminars here are about blogging, but just as many, if not more, are just about policy, the realities of politics in the world today, and various social issues.
The other, Hendrik Hertzberg:
I was expecting this crowd to look weirder. Not hippie weirder, though I did expect a bit of that, but nerdy weirder. So I was surprised at how extraordinarily normal everyone looked. The left, if I may use that radioactive word, sure has changed since “my day,” i.e., the nineteen-sixties and early seventies… No chaos at YearlyKos. No “sweet smell of marijuana,” as the straight papers used to refer to it. No demands for revolution. No denunciations of bourgeois democracy. The Democratic National Committee Chairman is listened to respectfully and cheered enthusiastically.
Yup. People are a bit pudgy, a bit bald, and a bit odd: just like most Americans, dare I say. The group here is less diverse than America at large, and much less diverse than Democratic voters as a whole, but that’s the only substantial observation to be made about the crowd here in Chicago.