I'm old enough to remember when Markos was a fairly vocal proponent of Howard Dean's 50-State strategy, bringing support to grassroots progressives in deep red states, with the hope of turning them blue. That spirit led to a well received and uncontroversial Netroots Nation conference in deep red Texas, which helped build progressive groups in Texas that are still active -- and forces to be reckoned with -- today.
Anyway, there are few worse statutes then SB 1070, and even though the Supreme Court has struck down some of it, enough remains that an economic boycott is still very much justified.
However. . . .
Since when is a non-profit progressive conference whose message in part will be dedicated to the repeal of SB 1070 a GOOD thing for the proponents of Arizona's retrograde policies on immigration?
Yes, a secondary effect of the conference may be some marginal economic benefit to blue-dot Phoenix in deep red Arizona, but the primary, non-profit purpose will be a political message aligned with the message of the AZ boycott. This is not the Superbowl, or a for-profit conference by some professional organization. These are progressive activists in deep red territory trying to change the law, just as Howard Dean envisioned with his 50 State strategy.
Markos raised the example of Apartheid South Africa. Should Robert Kennedy have stayed away from South Africa because of the incidental economic benefit his presence provided to the country, and robbed it of his impassioned and influential speech decrying apartheid? Should Jesse Jackson have stayed away after Stephen Biko's death and right when the boycott movement was gaining steam? I don't think anyone thinks they should have.
This seems like a tactical disagreement between good friends with the same goals, and one that I'm sure will be forgotten by 2016. But I have to say, Markos' decision to have Daily Kos avoid Netroots Nation in 2015 seems wrongheaded and counterproductive. I hope he, and the site, reconsiders.