Kos: 0-20

Apropos Bilbray’s victory over Busby, David All, a staffer for Rep. Jack Kingston, sends an email with the subject line: “Kos: 0-20.”

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Actually, I think a careful count would put Kos at 1 win and 19 losses. The one win being the Tester primary victory. Now considering the conventional wisdom that Burns is the second most vulnerable Republican candidate, if he wins, then we may have to consider an asterisk behind the 1 win. Because the 1 win in a primary that might lead to an unexpected win in the general election is certainly a debatable issue as to it really being a win.

  2. flypay says:

    Nit-picking I know, but I think the standard for “keeping score” should be how many actual people he has helped put IN OFFICE (so far – zero). Backing one Democrat over another in a primary race is hardly a watershed moment in his, so far, hapless consulting career. Let’s see if he can carry the general election before scoring a “win”.

  3. Flypay,

    I would agree that we need a definition of “winning”. I believe one of the 19 losses is a democratic primary loss here in Texas.

    I would happily accept your definition as it would avoid the “asterisk” issue I raised, but lets settle on one definition.

  4. jwb says:

    Kos doesn’t get behind candidates in cakewalk districts. He likes to pick fights in districts where the opposition (Republican, usually, or DINOs) is expected to win in a landslide.

    I’m sure he’d be happier with fewer near misses, though.

  5. James Joyner says:


    Sure. But that’s part of the problem, no? Fighting for underdog candidates might be fun and even ballsy. It’s not exactly smart from a tactical perspective, though, if one’s objective is to actually win seats. There’s a reason the Establishment funnels its money to candidates in “winnable” districts.

  6. jwb says:

    James Joyner: I think Kos hates the Establishment more than he hates the Republicans.

  7. James Joyner says:

    jwb: Probably so. They’re his obstacle to power, not the GOP.

    He’s got great ideas for organizing and motivating people. He’s likely better at that than the folks behind the likes of Dukakis, Mondale, Gore, and Kerry. They’re more realistic, though, about electoral strategy and allocation of scarce resources.

  8. TallDave says:

    I think Kos hates the Establishment more than he hates the Republicans.

    Well, let’s not judge him too harshly: remember his heartfelt sympathy and compassion for those American contractors who were murdered in Iraq (“Screw them, I feel nothing,” as he put it).

    Hatred is relative. I’m not sure how he’d react to Republicans being immolated and strung up on a bridge, but I wouldn’t rule out cheering and/or high-fives. I think a Dem would at least get a sympathetic head tilt (with the exception of Lieberman, of course).

  9. Jonny Action says:

    This 0-20 statistic came from somewhere, right? Other than Wonkette’s ass? Kos supported Ben Chandler (KY) and Stephanie Herseth (SD), who won special elections in the runup to the 2004 election, so the 0-20 tally would have to exclude those.

    Kos supported Ciro Rodriguez, who lost in a primary, so if that’s listed among the losses, Tester ought to be listed among the wins.

    This smells like a big, walking zombie lie which will be feeding off our brains ad nauseum. That’s fine.

    As Gandhi said: First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

  10. Kevin Bailey says:

    You all should watch CSPAN2. These guys are hilarious! True unintentional comedy at it’s finest!