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I come not to bury DailyKos, but to praise it…

Kinda not what you expected, eh?

Here’s the thing: I LOVE DailyKos, or what it used to be anyway. I totally believe in the whole concept of “Crashing the Gate”. The site was a godsend to many of us leading up to and after the 2004 election. That’s where we found each other and promised to watch each other’s backs. We commiserated. We schemed. We wrote brilliant commentary. Some of Hunter’s old posts are the most breathtaking pieces of cantankerous, pithy snark I’ve ever read. Georgia10 was just a baby studying for her bar exam when she came up with Fitzmas and the hillariously funny Fitzmas carols that followed. And there was Markos, cheering us on, telling us to ignore what the media threw at us because we were challenging them to become better journalists. We challenged the narratives they constructed against our candidates. We made David Brooks snipe at us in frustration. We gave readers options.

And DailyKos gave hundreds of thousands of us a voice.

Therefore, the powers that be determined, DailyKos must go.

It struck me sometime in 2006 that the media and the Republican Wurlitzer operatives were going to have to take DailyKos down and other nascent blogs out if there was any hope of controlling the narrative in 2008. There was too much “Netroots Nation”, hanging together instead of hanging separately, too much of the “alternative version of the story” about DailyKos. But how to do it without being obvious? Well, attacking the strength has worked so well before so go after it’s cherished independent voices. Make it more homgenous in the hopes of driving a wedge through the heart of it. And it’s like one big focus group. Find out what motivates its most passionate voices and bait them. Ahhh, and they claim to not be single issue voters but they sure don’t like anything to do with the war (well, who does?), so couple a new war resolution with that Benedict Arnold of the Democratic party, Joe Lieberman, and watch them flay themselves and the strongest candidate they have running in the fall election.

Finally, don’t forget group dynamics. The thing that drove everyone to DailyKos in the first place was the relief at finding a tribe to belong to. So, destroy tribal loyalty. Turn the tribe on itself with trollstorms and divisive rhetoric. Exile the most committed to the group in favor of those most committed to a personality. Humiliate and shun the people calling for reconciliation and who still have the nerve to support the a candidate not sanctioned by the tribe. Make it uncool. Make them “not one of us”.

It worked brilliantly. The perception managers took themselves out to dinner recently to celebrate the demise of DailyKos.

Friends, Democrats, Kossacks, they did this not because DailyKos was a failed experiment or a refuge of fanatics. No, they did this because DailyKos was a phenomenal success. Now, everyone has a blog and takes comments and invites contributors and the voices in the public forum have multiplied many, many fold because DailyKos showed us how it is done. Newpapers and cable TV and radio are struggling to find their audience while their audience, sensing something worng with the presentation of “facts” have sought the truth online, with first person accounts and international sources and a new generation of blog based pundits who reinterpret what’s really going on.

And we owe much of that to Markos and the thousands of dedicated online activists who got off their asses in 2006 to put more Democrats in office. We may not have gotten Bush/Cheney impeached, but it is no exaggeration to say that we saved the Republic. (And BTW, Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake deserves the credit for seeing the Achilles heel that was Joe Lieberman in the CT senate race.  When history is written, let the laurels go to Jane for almost single handedly changing the Iraq War narrative that swung the 2006 elections.)  We saved it from even greater excesses of the Bushies. We saved it from even more Constitutional violations. We alerted people to what was really going on by turning over voter after voter who were tuned into the actual zeitgeist. One persuaded voter and many persuadable friends, person by person, American to American who spoke loudly and clearly in November 2006 and said “Enough! I want my country back” Friends, that is powerful. That is awesome.

Yes, some of us lament that it wasn’t enough and nothing has been done and Congress has capitulated one too many times and all we have is a stalemate. Friends, if all we have is a stalemate, that is a victory. We have stopped the Bushies from doing their worst. We’ve prevented the Senate from going Nuclear. We’ve kept another Sam Alito off the Supreme Court. Does anyone think in their wildest dreams that if another Supreme Court justice retired right now that Bush would be able to appoint anyone before the November election? Nah gah happen. I dare him to try.

So, while it pains me to see DailyKos ripped apart by so-called friends internally, I am ever hopeful that Markos and the other brilliant frontpagers (except for KagroX) will rally and overcome their psychogenic fugue soon. They need to get a grip and examine the internal forces that are ripping DKos to shreds. They need to examine their consciences and discover where their animus towards one candidate is coming from. Really figure it out. They need to do it soon because time is running out and the division that began at DailyKos months ago is now spreading throughout the Democratic elecorate as the forces that seek to undermine us stir up old prejudices and only one candidate benefits from them, leaving millions and millions of women exiled from their own tribe. If that candidate is going to win, let him do so on the strength of who he is, not at the expense of what he is not.

Get it together, Kos. Don’t let the Villagers demoralize you. Go back to the beginning and bring us together again. Don’t make me write another one of these damn posts. Good luck.

16 Responses

  1. You’re right (again).

    DKos has driven a wedge between his “members” and it’s getting to a point where it is/may be too late to go back.

    I couldn’t believe it this AM when my husband and I started to look at McCain and uttered the words….he’s an honorable man.

    Help us!!!! We’re losing it.

  2. Unfortunately, DailyKos is not the only progressive site that has adopted tactics of the MSM that in the past caused so many to look to the internet for truthful, unbiased information. Now I really cannot distinguish between MSNBC, Buzzflash, Fox, DK, CBS, DU, CNN or ABC. None of them tolerate any differing opinion from the storyline they are pushing — Obama is the nominee, and the old woman and her brainpower and work ethic and concern for ordinary working people needs to get out of the way. Never mind that most of Obama’s victories have come from Republican voters in Republican states that will never vote for a Democrat in the GE. Never mind that many of them have come in the caucus states where many Clinton supporters could not take time off from work to show up and participate, and even if they did were intimidated with strong arm tactics and shouted down by Obama zealots. Never mind that Clinton has solid victories in both the large traditionally Democratic states but also in states like Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico — states that the Democratic nominee will need to win in order to avoid suffering the same fate as Gore and Kerry. The “story” by both the MSM and their blogging counterparts is the inevitability and wonderfulness of Obama.

    In 2000 and 2004 the MSM foisted a candidate upon us that was in no way capable of being an even somewhat adequate leader of this country — they convinced a large number of voters that having a President that was intelligent and hardworking was much less important than having a President you’d like to have a beer with. The parallels between Bush and Obama are endless: they’re supposedly a lot more likable than the smarty-pants candidate who actually knows stuff; they don’t have to really know anything because they’ll have advisers to run everything (who will be Obama’s Cheney, his Rumsfeld, his Gonzales?); they both promised “change” (we certainly got it with Bush, but not for the better — why would anyone want to take a chance on another candidate parroting this empty slogan); both proclaim themselves “uniters” (yes, I feel really united with your contemptuous attitude toward older women — Oprah must be so proud); both have this little smirk that shows itself when they’re delivering a particularly nasty and untrue put-down of the opponent; both strut around the stage basking in the adoration of people looking for easy answers to hard problems; and both have the undying love of the MSM. There are a couple of differences — Obama also has the undying love of many progressive websites, especially those run by men; and Obama is able to speak coherently, so maybe we’ll at least be entertained while he’s explaining why in his administration you still can’t put “food on your family.”

    I too felt sad that these formerly entertaining and informative websites have been reduced to mere conduits for frothing and slavering attacks on Hillary Clinton. They perfectly illustrate that cliches sometimes become cliches because they are actually true — the one applicable here is “Power Corrupts.” They have interacted with the MSM to the point that they have become part of them and are determined to put their man in office — to hell with truth, fairness or even common decency — all that matters is winning.

    But even as I sadly stopped visiting those sites, I discovered sites that were still based in reality and tolerated differing viewpoints — this one, TaylorMarsh.com, MakeThemAccountable.com, Craig Crawford’s blog, and even Bartcop.com, which I previously considered sexist. He has chosen to support Clinton without bashing Obama, which is a standard Kos, Buzzflash and their Hillary-hating cohorts should seriously consider adopting.

    The chances of their doing this are approximately the same as Obama saying, “You know, I just kind of noticed that, while I’m an incredibly good-looking (in his own mind), charismatic guy, I just realized that I don’t have a clue of how to achieve any of this stuff I keep saying, so I’m gonna go back to the Senate a few more years and try to figure out how government really works, and, in the meantime, vote for Hillary, because she’s really smart and all, and that economic plan of hers that I plagiarized seems like it really might work.” So, just keep up the great work you are doing on your blog and keep linking to the others that are also more into facts and truth than character assassination. You are a bright and shining light in a world of misinformation crap.

    Sorry this is so long — I could probably have said it all in one sentence: “Kos is dead, long live Riverdaughter.”

  3. Sha: Take a deep breath and back away from the “Straight Talk Express”. Remember, John McCain did not chastise that woman who wanted to know how he would “Beat the Bitch”. He is NOT an honorable man. He is an old, nasty tempered, conservative Republican.
    But yeah, it’s starting to get to me to.
    Hang in there.

  4. shainzona,

    Whoa there nelly!!!

    McCain is not an honorable man.
    Take a deep breath, repeat after me..I will go visit Lynn the next time she has a Clinton Cocktail Party, she will tell me all about St. MCCain..
    …which would be Wednesday at 4 .

    I do think Kos ruined it himself by allowing the site to be infiltrated and by not seeing what was going on, or heck, maybe he really likes it this way. His stunt to get voters in Michigan to vote for Romney killed it for me.
    For anyone who claims to care about democracy and then attempt to game the vote, .well hell, that was just plain wrong.

  5. MessyMarcy: Loved your comment, even the length. Please don’t feed the ego but do come back and share what you’ve found around the web. For instance, I forgot that Craig Crawford has a blog so I’m going to check it out today.
    As for the cliches and the idea that Hillary is dead, there are so many voters that are resisting this idea. If she can pull off a win in OH, TX and WI, she might be able to finally break the stranglehold the media has on us. We can’t just let them roll over us. At least I won’t without a fight.

  6. tucsonlynn: I think that is part of the strategy. We will get disgusted and the coalition starts to fall apart. I think this is what happened with Kos:
    Rove:”you guys couldn’t get a dogcatcher elected in east Bumfuck, Idaho.”
    Markos: “Oh, yeah? We’ll see about that. I’m going to knock down Hillary’s inevitability meme and get Obama nominated and I’m going to harness the mighty power of my blog to make it happen. Just watch.”

    Job done, Rove lunches on the buffalo he snagged earlier that morning.

  7. ‘Sorry this is so long — I could probably have said it all in one sentence: “Kos is dead, long live Riverdaughter.”

    Perfect

  8. tucsonlynn: That is a formidable responsibility to put on someone who has spent her entire life playing the classic underachiever. Let’s just leave it at “there are a lot of us out here and Kossacks have alternate universes to visit while DailyKos gets its shit together”.

  9. “I will go visit Lynn. I will go visit Lynn. I will go visit Lynn….”

    HEY, I think it’s working!

  10. riverdaughter,
    somehow I doubt that you are an underachiever.

    shainzona, come by any time you are in town.

  11. How happy Karl Rove must be at having successfully set the Dems on one another, in support of the weaker, less experienced candidate.

    A great game, “Let’s You And Him Fight.’

  12. Dkos will never get its shit together. I give up. When/if Obama is elected they will spend the next four years defending the very stuff they once fought against. Kos seems to jump around so much that he might hold Obama accountable after the election but not the commenters. They are too far gone.

  13. Last night I sent an email to kos. I told him about how important the site has been to me, how painful the place had become, how badly some people were treating other community members, gave him several examples of the groupthink and vitriol, and asked him if there wasn’t something he could do.

    His response?

    “Turned off diaries and comments?
    It’ll get better after the nomination is over.”

    I wrote back that I had been thinking more along the lines of him telling people to stop behaving like spoiled children.

    No further response. So much for kos.

  14. It may get better in that the negative Clinton diaries and comments stop (though I doubt that) but it will never be the same. I will always remember how those people acted toward a fellow good Democrat. I will never donate money to any candidate on their behalf again and I seriously question their judgment now.

    They should have corrected this issue long ago but Kos himself participates.

  15. I had to stop reading DKos.

    I was an Edwards supporter (not perfect but, hey, he was closest to what I was looking for), but he dropped out before I got to vote. I figured, hey, okay, Clinton and Obama are both not terrible, and way better than a republican.

    Then at DKos I saw the mob tactics of the Obama folks, and the quick papering over of any criticism or question about him… and I decided that it was a lot easier for me to trust Clinton to say what she’s gonna do and do what she says.

    I miss DKos. I hope it gets well soon.

  16. cenobite: I share your sentiment. I’m not convinced that all the hooligans are true Kossacks or Obamaphiles. In any case, let’s hope that it gets into treatment and starts a speedy recovery before the general.

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