The reason 9/11 Truthers aren't welcome on Daily Kos is because what they bring to the table is poison: They ignore all arguments contrary to their cherished conspiracy theories, treating their conclusions as ends in themselves, and when the facts are indisputable they go after the people presenting them instead - accusing voices of reason of being sheep who serve an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent police state. They tie all issues together into one impenetrable, closed epistemic bubble and accuse anyone who differs with them on even the craziest of premises of being demonic, Orwellian villains. Sound familiar?
Forums that turn into Truther nests or the like quickly become useless to progressive politics, because every single issue turns into a pie fight between bigoted, bomb-throwing nutjobs and an ever-diminishing handful of people willing to stand up to them while remaining patient enough to do so in a way that doesn't set off their ever-increasing intolerance of criticism or even skepticism. They cease to be arenas for exchange of liberal ideas and become instead churches for the promulgation of ideologies and sacred hatreds, where the person who introduces inconvenient facts is the one being "disruptive" and "inflammatory" while the purveyor of incoherent hate-speech is the pillar of community standards.
Who you hate becomes the shibboleth for your purity of identity, and invariably the most sacred of hatreds is hatred of the Unbeliever. The Heretic. The Apostate. Those who compete with the power of the "Church" for the hearts, minds, and attention span of the audience are the ultimate evil, beyond even the Satan figure of their closed bubble universe - because, of course, Satan is fiction and the people poking holes in their epistemic bubble are real.
But these days that set of people have merged the roles of Satan and Heretic, because the President of the United States is a liberal Democrat who has accomplished more for the prospects and liberty of the average American than anyone in forty years has come near to achieving. And that is a fact that cannot be tolerated in the fanatic bubble universe that depends on impotent rage and paranoia for fuel. ALL facts that are inconvenient to the Sacred Narrative must be deprecated and denied, until people living inside the bubble don't even seem to know things that 6th grade Social Studies classes learn - things like the fact that we have three branches of government. To even note that we have three branches of government is dangerous heresy because it discredits so much of the content of hate-filled anti-Obama screeds.
And that's not even counting the oh-so-complicated high school Civics lessons about how the Executive branch functions between the Presidency and different institutions: It's "11 dimensional chess" if you know that, for instance, a President has no legitimate authority to order or quash specific prosecutions. Moreover, every accomplishment is ignored. If it's pointed out, it's deprecated as a triviality. If its significance is undeniable, the claim is that it's just part of some diabolical plot to deceive people in order to achieve the exact opposite of what actually happened. No obvious fact is too great to dismiss if it argues for supporting the President; no conspiracy theory is too laughable to promote if it argues for demonizing him.
This is what Truthers are, and the only difference between Trutherism and some of the heinous hate-speech being promoted and abusively defended here is the lack of specific claims about 9/11, but everything else is identical: The attitude, the worldview, the tactics, everything. Only now with a globally adored Democratic President at the demon-head. So I have to ask what that accomplishes other than to distract, disrupt, and divide us.
How does making up an alternate history where Barack Obama was the "Manchurian Candidate" serve to elect Democrats or improve the Democratic Party? It doesn't - it does the exact opposite, and everyone who isn't part of the Alex Jones egosystem fucking knows that. Every last person who Recs that shit knows it's hate speech, knows it's twisted and mendacious, knows it has nothing to do with reality. It's an expression of misdirected emotion that's been allowed to corrupt facts and sabotage ethics, and we all damn well know it. We know it has nothing to do with any mission of substance pursued by progressives. It's just hate doing what hate does.
Does it make you feel more powerful to piss on Democrats than to fight Republicans? Does it alleviate your impotent rage to tear down the people fighting for you, knowing that you can do more damage to those closest to you than to those farther away who are causing all the problems? Liberals are engaged with government, not making up bigoted propaganda fairy tales to rationalize always losing and demonize anyone who takes away our excuses by achieving things.
The people who do the latter can't fight Republicans, so instead they fight us. They can't win elections, so they come up with reasons why the people who do are evil and corrupt in order to vindicate their self-inflicted failure as a mark of honor. The more obviously someone punctures their epistemic bubble, the more vehemently that person has to be destroyed in order that the bubble can re-form. Because Barack Obama is the most liberal President in generations, he must be savagely slandered as the opposite. That's how the moral inversions of narcissistic thinking work: The less your hatred is deserved, the more intensely and ruthlessly it must be argued. And if it isn't deserved at all - if reality is the exact opposite of your emotional state - then reality is wrong and must be reshaped through violence, whether verbal or literal.
That is the mind of the fanatic. That is the mentality of the person incapable of creating or making progress in any remote fashion. That kind of propaganda is no more progressive commentary or criticism than throwing a hand grenade into someone's house makes you an interior decorator. There are no thoughts or ideas behind it - it's just hateful emotional expressionism at the expense of everyone around it. Hate speech, in other words. Everything surrounding it is just an excuse, or a deflection, or a deception, or a moral inversion to rationalize the hate that rests at its center.
Well, that's not Daily Kos. That's something that has grown on Daily Kos like a tumor. What makes this place worth anything to a progressive agenda is the willingness to confront issues and the approaches to solving them in a reality-based fashion, which doesn't allow for narrative-driven magical thinking and unconscious meme propagation. It doesn't allow for CT, which is why it's fucking illegal here, although apparently no longer enforced as such. You can be as shallow as you please, but when what you say is counterfactual - aka, FALSE - and not only obviously so, but apparently deliberately so, with every fanatic reality-avoidance tactic in the book being used, all you're doing is acting as a useless parasite on the energy of liberal moral outrage.
To borrow from Frank Herbert, all morality begins with respect for the truth. If that respect is so flimsy that your pique with the President on some issue transcends the validity of time and space and justifies making up your own history, then you're no progressive. And if that fact is so obvious that not a single voice can be tolerated that dares to call it what it is for fear of puncturing the bubble, then the case is made, QED. Barack Obama is a great President who faces the most intransigently psychotic internal resistance since the Civil War, and unfortunately some of the people who post on Daily Kos are a (small and petty) part of that problem rather than part of any solution.
People who care about other people prioritize issues accordingly. People who want to protect the rights of actual human beings are more concerned with Stop & Frisk policies than internet privacy, because the former is a lot more urgent as a 4th Amendment issue than the latter; more concerned with increasing access to healthcare than writing a perfect system etched in diamond; more concerned with what happens to actual people than with the ego-driven symbolic significance of it. And the reason is that other people are the purpose of our politics - not generating pleasure for ourselves. It's not a fucking drug to us. It's work. Good work. Benevolent work for a better future. Try it sometime rather than getting high off of rage and ending up trashing your own place. Burn reason to trade in emotions, and the only emotion you'll deserve is disgust.
6:48 PM PT: I'll be away for a while, so anticipate a delay in response to comments.