She could have made her case in many different ways. She chose to use the "frame" of conspiracy and paranoia. The "election was stolen and the media won't talk about it" became a mantra on the part of her followers. Posts that stated "I just FEEL this had to be stolen" were deemed acceptable as argument. That works for building a factionalized break away movement. It doesn't work for doing mainstream politics and remaining proud members of the...
reality based community.
- they need demons
- they need demons on their own side
- they love to follow the rhetoric that "your arguments against us justify our irrational personal and spiteful rejection of you"
- they need holy grails...information that is just beyond reach
- they need a BIG CLAIM. something that is held as a tenet of belief whether or not evidence emerges against it
- they are happy to use the "openess" and "democratic" nature of left wing oraganizations to their own ends
Bev Harris is not a good leader, and she is the wrong person to spearhead the movement for reform.
Have Bev Harris' supporters and those who've enabled them with recommended diaries that repeat discredited claims here thought for a second about what the legacy of this election on the left is now?:
- Bev Harris, DU and BBV front and center
- the "stolen election" meme trumping the "election reform" meme
- the easy demonization of Markos, Atrios, Chris and Josh Marshall for no good reason. (ie. they are for election reform too. they worked their asses off this election year just like all of us.)
I think one of the things that happens with factions is that there is a hidden political struggle that plays itself out even though most of the "innocent" participants can't and don't see it.
In this case it is a battle between BBV and DU and the "Not in my Name" folks...and the more "mainstream" blogs like dailyKos, Atrios, JMM and MyDD that aspire to raise money and egage constructively with the Democratic Party. In a nutshell, whoever wins the sympathy of those who are "outraged" over this election loss wins a shot at the new leadership mantle.
That's the real battle here, even if it is pretty loosely defined...and it's a battle over money, activist energy, lefty bragging rights and "street cred"....and it has already enunciated itself with some really sad rhetoric that has done none of us any favors. (violent fantasies, claiming that a diary you disagree with is "hateful", personal attacks.)
In my view, either the community standards of dKos reassert themselves and we figure out how to have a discussion in this environment. A discussion, by the way, which should focus on everything we need to do to win real election reform and count all the votes this time. Or...I am predicting that we will see a polarized factionalizing of the netroots.
It's our choice.
Update: I know this diary, and the other one I wrote on this topic, "Taking a Stand," took strong polarized views on the politics of this issue while trying to leave a core of the middle ground intact. They were polemics, and intended as such. My intent was to outline a clear, unmistakeable point of view.
I knew, going into it, that some folks would take offense at these diaries. I knew some folks would make a personal issue of my points, and that I would take some heat. However, there are fifteen diaries in support of the opposite view here for every one like mine. And I felt strongly that the discussion here has just gotten way out of balance. Whether you agree with my position on the substance of these issues or not, you maybe can see my broader point, we need to decide how we want to have this discussion here.
To be frank, I did not write this piece to be diplomatic, but to start a very clear, very pointed discussion that might clarify this issue for all of us. You can be the judge of whether we had that discussion or not. In my view, ALL the comments below are an essential part of this diary, whether they support my point of view or not. Thank you for considering this and what follows.