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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.