If you have a couple hours to kill, there's a terrific illustration of the battle on the left heating up between progressives who believe that political positions arise from values and party devotees who believe that values just get in the way of political victory.
It was triggered by Parker, who wrote:
First they came for the Sanctimonious women's studies set
and I did not speak out
because I was not the in Sanctimonious women's studies set.
Then they came for the Touchy-feely hippy types that thinks war is inherently bad
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Touchy-feely hippy types that thinks war is inherently bad.
Then they came for the Idiotic LBGT groups
and I did not speak out
because I was not an Idiotic LBGT.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me
and then added:
Perhaps someone should pick out the mote in the eye of the Democratic Party who highly regards Bi-PARTISANSHIP" (ie selling out) above Party everytime ....before... they holler bloody murder about the "alledged" mote in the eyes of true bi-partisanship organizations.
Is Daily Kos now the new lawn mower, contracted to mow down all those pesty bipartisan special interest groups who refuse dagummit not to be Democratic partisans?
What happened then is that BooMan responded, ostensibly to defend Kos. And here lies the dramatic contrast. Take a look at the thread on his own site, and the thread under his cross-post on Daily Kos. What you will see are two different worlds represented by these two miniscule microcosms. (Yes, miniscule. Remember, there are some 300 million Americans and over 6 billion people on this Earth.)
Unfortunately, what you won't see on the Daily Kos thread are all the comments that were supertroll-rated for not fitting the members' political orthodoxy. What you will see are comments like this pearl from Daily Kos enforcer Armando:
Look, I am not one that likes to say things like this but daily kos is "most of the Left Blogs."
Consider that for a moment and see who is getting it right or wrong.
That's right, folks. You don't matter. You don't exist. There is no life left of Daily Kos. Yet somehow I don't think Armando's inflated sense of self-importance is backed up by the numbers.
Some Kossacks do have a grasp on reality, though, such as m16eib, who notes:
Dems will need 60,000,000 +++ voters to win anything in the future. That leaves at least 59.7 million voters outside of dKos that you have to try and convince to vote for a Dem.
But then there are sycophants like Calishfornia, who claims:
The left wing of the left wing continues to rail on an on about the selling out of DKos and yet they just can't seem to stay away....
...If Booman or LSF had 60,000+ subscribers would their members be so upset and concerned with what Markos has to say? I doubt it....
...But this is no longer about just posting one's thoughts and discussing them. This has graduated to a fight for POWER. Some on the "outside" feel that they have a right to dictate what DKos is "all about" (see KO's recent request for a powersharing "coup" of sorts).
And that just strikes me as the whining of the jealous, selfish and petty who put their own worldview above all others. They would like to make DKos their own, and are blind to the fact that DKos is huge because of what it already is.
And sadly this is how discussion on Daily Kos has degenerated in the 10 months and change since I first heard of it. The freeper tone is unfortunate, because Daily Kos used to be a place where there was a lot of high quality discussion. Even if you didn't care for Kos' odd rants against core progressive groups, there were some good contributors who made the site into a must-visit.
Now it's an online football game, with 60,000-odd people in the stands, screaming at the top of their lungs, while a few select people are down there, center field, declaring what is and is not out-of-bounds. Marie puts it well:
In case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of new progressive people at dKos who are beginning to feel just as unwelcome as many that have been run off in the past. (I don't feel any differently than any of them -- and don't delude myself that I'm welcome here -- but I was here before you and many of the others, and I don't respond well to newbies that want to oust me.)
Then again, I don't come here to see what's on the front page, other than to check for signs of maturation and growth in analyzing politics and political strategy. Frankly, over the past three years, a college Republican mentality has been creeping in (only sorry I didn't label it as such -- I only got as far as sensing that in tone and feel, it was too much like what was seen in the 2000 "Brooks Bros. revolt.")
The BooMan Tribune thread has an entirely different tone. What you will see are strongly held views, and spirited debate. What you won't see are many troll ratings to express disagreement. And you'll see precious little of the name calling that suffices for debate on Daily Kos these days.
What I am doing with this post also may be considered controversial. There are those who think we shouldn't even talk about this debate within the left. They're afraid that if we don't operate behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms, we're being too weak and lending strength to the radicals on the right. But you know what? That's not the way of the blogosphere. The whole idea is transparency and openness. And if you ask me, this kind of real and actual important shit has to be dealt with.
The DLC has dominated the Democratic Party for over a dozen years, pushing the idea that the way to win is to stand for nothing and just offer moderated versions of Republican agenda items. Call it the GOP Lite formula. It seems to me that Kos and is NDN PAC -- and his bevy of cheerleaders who do their best imitation of 14-year-old boys -- are now pushing for the same agenda, only branded his way.
I feel that is a boneheaded strategy. The Republicans have been winning popularity -- and registered voters -- because they've been speaking to people's values. It doesn't matter that their idea of values is perverted, twisted and nihilistic. They win by default. The Democrats, and the left in general, have been mum on values. And it seems clear that Kos wants to keep it that way.
This is a whole lot bigger than Daily Kos. It's a whole lot bigger than the blogosphere. It doesn't take 60,000 screaming Kossacks doing their best to imitate freepers to steer our country out of the ditch, it takes 60 million voters, and most of them have never heard of Daily Kos and don't give a crap about bruised egos of Ã¼berbloggers.
But this is a discussion, a debate, that needs to happen, and happen everywhere. We bloggers do our part. And within our little corner of the world, Daily Kos is the 800-pound gorilla, and what it does affects us all to some degree.
And lest the assrockets and snotballs of the blogosphere giggle in delight over this intra-left conflict, consider this: We progressives, liberals and vaguely-identified Democrats don't goose step around anger points like you do. We need to hash things out, and do it openly and with feeling. You see, we take our freedoms seriously, and embrace them in our lives -- and prefer not to treat them as empty symbols to serve martinet loyalties. What we're doing is sorting out our own talking points, and we don't need to get them from Karl and Grover.
Other reactions on this general topic around and about:
susahnu: The art of politics
duranta: Let them eat party politics
Amanda: Because there's no such thing as a blog war I don't want to be a part of
Lauren: Is It Really a Hearing If Everyoneâ€™s Turned a Deaf Ear?