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Dean Barnett over at the Daily Standard says Daily Kos is akin to a virtual ward committee.

Like a ward committee, the Kos community is able to raise funds for candidates and causes it deems worthy. Also like a ward committee, the Kos community has energy; politicians know a favorable nod from Kos proprietor Markos Moulitsas or one of his co-bloggers can generate not just cash but volunteers, too. Problematically, though, the Daily Kos also has many of the negative characteristics of a Ward committee: The excessive passion, the intemperate remarks, and the strange world views of people who obsess about politics.

BUT AS A WARD COMMITTEE ON HYPER-STEROIDS, the Daily Kos has become enough of a player that it's not just selectmen and aspiring state senators who curry the community's favor. United States Senator Barbara Boxer has sent the community not one but two fawning mash notes in the past month to better ingratiate herself with the Kossacks (as they call themselves). As Moulitsas has crowed many times on his website, the Daily Kos has real power, power that is evidenced by the fact that a national figure such as Boxer will stop by repeatedly to pay her respects.

But unlike an actual ward committee which has its meetings (mercifully) in private, the Daily Kos convenes around the clock on the Internet, where the whole world can monitor its goings on.

Last week Kos "diarist" (the Kos Community has numerous diaries which function as blogs within the blog) "Regeneration Man" offered a lengthy post which purported to prove that Jeff Gannon/James Guckert was the missing link in the Rathergate scandal. As Regeneration Man put it, "It now appears that Jeff Gannon could be the thread that unravels the real story behind the TANG/CBS forgeries. I have put together a case here that if looked at carefully by the blogosphere would show that the TANG forgeries were made by the White House . . . The main point of this diary is that Gannon was being used by the White House to ID Mapes to send the news media in a certain direction on that story . . . In all instances, it's Gannon who is given hot information to help orchestrate the story." ...

Moulitsas (who declined to be interviewed for this story) has not been bashful about his ambitions: He wants to first empower the Democratic grassroots and then in turn empower a more reliably liberal Democratic party.

But his site's greatest asset is also its greatest potential liability. The Kos community's energy attracts politicians with the promise of money and volunteers. But that same energy also produces a surfeit of unseemly commentary on a recurring basis. If Moulitsas is unable or unwilling to exert a more forceful hand in harnessing that energy, he runs the risk that the political class will eschew his embrace.

Then again, perhaps Moulitsas is trying to usher a different kind of Democratic politician to the fore--the kind of politician who is unconstrained by the traditional urge to appear civil.

Steve Gilliard pokes great big holes in Barnett's commentary:

Like all Daily News stories about the NY Post serve an agenda, all Weekly Standard stories abouyt liberal bloggers must be regarded in the same light. First, Kos has the brains to not talk to the Weekly Standard, something I would recommend as SOP for all liberal bloggers. Why let them distort our words when we can speak for ourselves.

Second, civility? You mean like Michelle Malkin's justification of the reprehensible internment of the Japanese, Jonah Goldberg attacking Juan Cole, only to get his dick smacked, and Frei Republik, which routinely calls for murder of people they disagree with.

DO NOT BE FOOLED. Civility is a club to beat you over the head with. Jim Inhofe is as civil as a dog. Ann Coulter uses the word treason like Alton Brown uses Kosher Salt. They want to make it seem like the Daily Kos community is a bunch of wackos and it is not Frei Republik, and saying one "hates" Republicans wouldn't go far there. Of course, they left out the fight between the vote fraudesters and Kos, who didn't let them take over the site. Imagine that battle on Frei Republik. People would have lost their minds.

They want to call us unamerican traitors and we're supposed to remain civil. Well, that dog don't hunt. They no longer get a free hand. They stopped being civil a long time ago. So don't be fooled by this argument, because it's really bullshit.

What you also need to read into this is that GOP attempts to create a version of Kos has failed miserably. The owners either edit comments or demand party loyalty to an idea-killing degree. So it serves their interest to knock Kos and his site as much as possible. They want to hamstring the Democrats while the vermin they call pundits run free denigration their opponents and embarassing America.

Drummond and georgia10 posted Diaries on this subject earlier today.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 11:44 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hmm. (4.00)
    "Unseemly commentary," eh?

    Fuuuuuuuuuck that.

    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 11:49:08 PM PST

    •  Like this is unseemly commentary? (4.00)
      " say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else," Gibbons said to another burst of applause."--Nevada District 2 Congressional Representative.

      Have you asked your Senator about Halliburton today?

      by greatbasin2 on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:16:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to mention Texas Rep. ... (4.00)
        ...Sam Johnson's telling the President he could solve the "Syrian problem" by personally dropping a couple of nukes on Syria. (Johnson, 75, is a fighter pilot who flew missions over Korea and Vietnam.)
        •  Yep (4.00)
          The gauntlet was thrown down in 2000.  Since then they've been smacking us around with it.  Well, they've had their first punch, and their second and third and more.  The gloves are off - let's kick their ass.

          When the Weekly Pander starts squealing it's music to my ears.

          "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

          by baba durag on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:45:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Long before then (4.00)
            The gauntlet was thrown down over a decade ago, when Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves and Newt Gingrich introduced us all to the politics of personal destruction.  It's taken us this long, and the loss of both houses of Congress and the White House, to stop bringing olive branches to a knife fight.
          •  The Gauntlet Was Thrown Down In 1798 (4.00)
            The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were repressive legislation passed by the Federalists under John Adams. Opposition to them--led by the bloggers of the day, most notably the Philadelphia Aurora--was a unifying force that helped to solidify the Republican--soon to be Democratic-Republican, and eventually, the Democratic--Party into an institutionalized entity.

            Yup, that's right folks. The Democratic Party was actually solidified as an institution in response to exactly the same sort of crap we are seeing today. Adams even had a New Hampshire Congressmember thrown into jail for criticising the government. His constituents returned him to office (while he was in jail) by an overwhelming majority.

            "Same as it ever was
            Same as it ever was"
              -- Talking Heads, "Once in A Lifetime"

            •  True, but... (none)
              ... the Party has undergone so many metamorphoses since then that we can hardly claim to have a continuity of ideals, values, or morals dating back that far.

              We can perhaps say we have come full circle though, something the GOP can't do. It really ticks me off when the GOP cites Abe Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt as being representative of their current party. Hell, they can hardly say Nixon is representative of their party in terms of policies like foreign policy (China) and environmental protections, though he is a good example of GOP win-at-all-costs corruption.

              "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

              by mrboma on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:29:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, There Is A Continuity... (none)
                The GOP has a very contorted history, but the Democratic Party's history is significant less so. It has always represented more of the non-elites, and encompassed a greater diversity of people. But it did so within a racist framework for many of its members until the shakeout of the civil rights movement.

                Jefferson, Jackson, FDR and LBJ were all about expanding opportunity for those without property, but with a desire to better themselves. This is a core value the party has always had. (It's also why DLC is basically an alien force.)

            •  Film-makers (none)
              ...I wish some gret film-maker would make our version of the "Passion", the story of our founding fathers and the beginnings of our party.

              "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

              by eyeswideopen on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:14:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  by Benjamin Franklin Bache and friends (none)
              Have to give a plug for American Aurora here too. A truly fascinating and unique book.

              "I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party." - Howard Dean

              by Flakcatcher on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:34:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, if you want to get reductionist (none)
              The problem goes back to Washington's first cabinet.  The battle was between Hamilton and Jefferson.  Hamilton wanted a commercialized America focused on business and wealth.  Jefferson wanted a more pastoral America focused on people and culture.  That conflict has never been settled, and we are still fighting it today.

              "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

              by baba durag on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:57:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's Not Reductionism (none)
                It's a pattern of behavior.

                You're the one engaged in reductionism by suggesting that the difference in vision completely explains the pattern of behavior.

                I think it's more complicated than that. But I think that the repetition of behavior is quite clear, even though Democrats were involved in it themselves under Wilson--following the decision to enter WWI, and intensifying even more after the war. (Yes, Joementum has his precursors, too.)

                •  Paul (none)
                  I wasn't pointing fingers.  I was being reductionist too.  Truly, I have no problem with you.  We had a spat one night, but that's long over as far as I'm concerned.

                  Reductionism isn't bad per se (in my eyes).  It's a search for roots when not taken to extremes.

                  But I differ about the Hamilton/Jefferson conflict.   I believe it to be the root philosophical difference between Reps and Dems in the 20th century.

                  "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

                  by baba durag on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 10:37:32 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Don't Disagree Re The Philosophy (none)
                    Sorry if my tone sounded cross. I was really just tired and hurried.  I'll try to spell out why I think I'm making an important disctinction, which your comment can obscure, even though I agree that what you say is true.

                    I'm just saying that philosophy alone at the level you presented doesn't explain political strategy at the level that we're talking about--nor does it rally opposition sufficiently well. There are underlying philosophical presumptions about entitlement and inequality that go even deeper on the GOP side.  These, in turn, tie into norms of what they deem acceptable political behavior (different standards for us & them, of course, since they're better than us!) And this did not become truly evidenct until the Adams Administration.  

                    The reason I think it's important to focus on the actual behavior is because I think that it casts the underlying philosophy in a deservedly bad light. The Hamiltonians always try to cast their approach in an egalitarian light--"We favor the rich, but anyone can become rich. And all become richer as a result."--That sort of thing.

                    But their actions, from the Alien and Sedition Acts onwards, show just how mean-spirited, manipulative, and downright tyrannical they can be, when they feel the need and think that they can get away with it.  A lot of folks who would buy the philosophy in the abstract are brought up a bit short when they get a good look at it in actual action.

                    This is reflected in empirical data, btw. There's a significant degree of "principled conservatism"--support for free markets, small govt, etc.--that is not correlated with the two major sources of prejudice--rightwing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO)--as well as a significant amount that is correlated with SDO and RWA. By highlighting the nastier manifestations of SDO and RWA, we can loosen the hold of these authoritarian types over "principled conservatives" who are actually willing to live by democratic standards, and accept a lot of liberal programs simply because they work.

                    •  Well said (none)
                      You must be a writer.

                      I completely agree.  Origins and manifestations.  I'd view Adams as the first full flowering of the Machiavellian in America.  But you said it better.

                      "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

                      by baba durag on Fri Mar 04, 2005 at 10:03:39 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  The gauntlet was thrown before that ... (none)
            ... but we hadnt woken up.

            If anyone can find a more compromising, less attack-oppo president than Clinton, gimme the name. And look what they did.

            It's total bullshit, this attempt by THEM to tone us down, muffle us, mute us and ultimately GAG us with the faux issue of our lack of civility.

            As a Brit advised me before the 'election', re our GOP problemo and the similarity to their Tories, dont just beat them, beat them down into an ineffectual shadow of their former selves. He was saying that was the attitude we must have and that is what it will take to get the job done. (Think of the endless Halloween or Friday the 13th movies, where  it appears Mikey or Jason have been snuffed, and then, whoops, there they come again!)

            They will be vanquished only when they are too battle weary and bankrupt to produce yet another sequel.

        •  Here, let me be civil (4.00)
          I really really do not like Sam Johnson.

          See? So civil. I didn't mention once what a fascist fucktard he is. Ooops.

      •  Won't they be surprised (none)
        ... when those hippies move from citizen journalism to citizen news media with video streaming over the web and ordinary folks stop watching Big Brother media and turn to citizen media. It will happen, and soon.  And we'll have the best music, graphics, and video.  Oh yes, and the truth.

        "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

        by eyeswideopen on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:04:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You've got that right (4.00)
      Civility is for royalty, diplomats, clergy and golf courses.

      We've got a democracy to wake up and get moving again. The way these people talk sometimes, you'd think we were snatching Republicans bald and thrashing them with our shoes - you know, like they do in the Japanese parliament. And we all know what boorish manners the Japanese have...

      I'm not saying I don't envy the Japanese their passionate expressions of political frustration, mind you.

    •  In 1993, Kristol compared Clinton to Hitler. (4.00)
      And not Ted Hitler either....yup, that was straight from the people who today whine about civility.

      The Daily Standard, is an arm of the Weekly Standard, which is run by Kristol, and which runs us red ink[like good Goopers], about $2 mill per year, for which Murdoch picks up the tab, and pays with the money he makes on "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" and "The World's Scariest Car Crashes" and Satellite Pay Per View, Hard Core Porn--yet in their ELITE, RULING CLASS way, they have the nerve to talk about "unseemly."

      These people should really look up their family trees, or they should really stop pretending that people don't know.

      •  Gephardt is a "snake oil salesman" (4.00)
        "Needless to say, the House majority leader's [Gephardt] snake-oil salesmanship has already begun."  

        Bill Kristol, August 03, 1994. Washington Times

        Oh, the civility.  Oh, the intemperance.

        What will we tell the children?

      •  Rush called 12 year old Chelsea Clinton (4.00)
        the WH dog.
        •  Thanks for that reminder (none)
          By what stretch of the imagination does attacking an innocent young girl's self-esteem qualify as "civil" discourse?

          Even the British tabloids had the good grace to leave Harry and Wills alone until they hit puberty.

      •  How about... (4.00)
        ...the fact that the man who runs the bigoted, homophobic, fascist, evangelical Republican Party is...



        That's not even UP the family tree. He's just the guy who trims the family Bushes!

        Maybe he's the guckertsucker who kept getting Gannon into the White House!

      •  Lest we forget... (3.66)
        during the entire Clinton presidency Chris Mathews on Hardball routinely referred to the president as Slick Willie, even when talking to guests. And I don't remember any media protests over this.

        I've yet to hear him refer to GWB as Monkey Face, Liar in Chief, the Shyster, the Chimp, King Smirky, Caligula 2000, the Thing, or any other unflattering appellation. How come, Chris? I thought it was called Hardball.

        Maybe because the elected Democrats, being so civil, never institutionalized these names. Maybe they should, since it was the otherside that invented and promoted the Clinton nickname.

        And then 2/27/33 happened, and that changed everything.

        by Julian on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:25:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  *snicker* (4.00)
            I once got suspended from "Christian Forums" (I hung out there to watch Creationists, but tried to be polite when I did say something) for repeatedly referring to Bush as "Dubya".

            The moderator of the Political Forum (where I used the term) got pissed, saying that you shouldn't "disrespect" the President even if you didn't like him.

            I pointed out that she had called Clinton "Bubba" for about 5 years of his Presidency, and unlike "Bubba", Bush actually himself uses the term "Dubya".

            They don't like it when you fight back. They don't know how to handle it. O'Reilly's meltdown in front of Al Franken proves that. The GOP is in the hands of bullies -- scary and intimidating, until you stand up to them. They can only fight on their terms.

          •  heh (4.00)
            A few years ago I used to chat on a site run by very conservative people who were so offended by the word "suck", as in "that sucks", that you could get banned for using it. We used to substitute "Hoovers", a la vacuum cleaner which sucks things up, to get around the rule. "That Hoovers!"

            Typical tactic of the right-wing: focus on the minutae and ignore the important issues. "Dubya" is offensive? Well, as a matter of fact, he is, no matter what you call him.

            "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

            by catnip on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:06:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Very good point re Matthews (none)
          But re Clinton v Bush coverage by Tweety, it isnt hardball v softball. It's slimeball v softball.

          Well, he did brag that he had voted for Bush in 2000.

    •  Same line that stuck out for me-- (4.00)
      and made me say WTF?

      It's "unseemly commentary" to not just speculate, but investigate?  The same f-ing investigative work that the press should be doing, but isn't?  And isn't doing, because they are afraid of being punished for digging into anything "controversial"?  The press who know that anything anyone wishes to offer in  doubt of the president in public print or broadcast is going to be deemed "controverial" by this secretive, punitive and mendacious White House?

      That press?

      So it's unseemly to do the work that real journalists used to do in this country?  It's unseemly to do the work that real Americans used to want journalists to do?  It's unseemly to do the work of THINKING about what this administration is orchestrating, hiding and destroying?

      You're right, Maryscott.  Fuck that.

    •  Hahaha. (none)
      Funny post of the week.

      I'd have given you two fours, if I could have.  :)

      "Our slogan shall be a rotten candidate for a rotten borough." -Edmund Blackadder, from Blackadder III

      by WussGawd on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:01:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Civility? Civility is overrated. (3.93)
      Remember rules #1 & 2 of Democracy for Dummies!

      1. If Repubs say we're making a mistake, we're on the right track.

      2. If Repubs say we're being reasonable, we're making a mistake.

      Sounds right to me.

      Let's kick some ass.

      (BTW: Interesting that they would pick THAT diary to quote - think Regeneration Man might have struck a nerve?)

      Theory is when we know everything and nothing works. Practice is when everything works and nobody knows why. (Einstein)

      by CodeTalker on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:39:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the Weekly Standard (4.00)
      Come on, all commentary that isn't paid for by the White House is "unseemly", isn't it?

      It's not over till you're underground.

      by ChicagoDem on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:01:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This article is clear evidence (4.00)
    that dKos is having an effect and the VRWC sound machine if getting nervous. The Weekly Standard was one of the principal 'guns" the VRWC leveled at the Clinton administration for six years. Now that gun is aimed at the dKos community.

    It's no coincidence, IMO, that this Daily Standard article - attempting to discredit dKos - appeared the morning the dKos Propagannon team had publicly announced it would post its news release calling on the MSM to get real with "Gannongate."

    (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

    by doorguy on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 11:50:50 PM PST

  •  Word (none)
         Maybe we're a virtual word committee, not "ward". All the articulate verbosity, which some others envy.
         Or, "virtuous word committee". Or, "vigorous, vivacious..."

         What does "Meteor Blades" mean, anyway? Did you see that old film "Meteor Man", with Robert Townsend or some other African American comedian?

    •  My teensy business ... (4.00) selling Indonesian textiles and ceremonial daggers, called keris or krisses. Legendarily, these magical daggers are made of meteoritic iron. Hence, Meteor Blades. In truth, only a handful have ever been so made, but many have more than usual amounts of nickel, which gives them a distinctive patterning (pamor).
      •  Sorry to O/T this, but (none)
        I'm fascinated by obscure ethnic art and crafts and own a few pieces from Indonesia, does your teensy biz have a web site and would you be so kind to share it? I know we're not supposed to be commercial here, and you aren't, and if it bothers you could you email me a link?

        (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

        by doorguy on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 01:07:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  okay, i've wanted a kris ever since I was eight (none)
        but haven't ever seen one outside a museum IRL. (I did manage to get hold of a little bit of simple batik.) How much do they go for? Not that I expect that I'll be able to afford one, but everyone needs a wishlist. Some gals have Manolo Blahnks, I have exotic/ancient artifacts...

        "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

        by bellatrys on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 03:18:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A guy I dated a long, long, time ago (none)
          had hardly any furniture in his house but he did have an enormous collection of exotic instruments from places like Thailand, Indonesia, Yemen, etc.  They filled his house.  It was fascinating.  Just some rugs, a bed, and about 200 instruments ranging from 4 foot high drums to a big gong some sort of harp to what looked like 20 different sorts of balalaikas...
        •  In shops, keris go for ... (4.00)
 little as $75 to many hundreds of dollars. Most of what you'll see are modern - sometimes raggedly cut out of a piece of thin steel (I've even seen some made of aluminum) and embued with none of the magic that actually makes a keris a keris. A handful of the more expensive keris you'll see in these shops are made more traditionally, but definitely for the tourist trade.

          I only deal in antiques, the real thing - a few thousand dollars to many thousands. Like Japanese swords, the blade used to be what mattered most to owners because that is where the protective and other magic resides. As with Japanese swords, a 250-year-old keris blade might have been refreshed two or more times with a new hilt and sheath.

          High-quality antique keris are increasingly difficult to come by, although you can find a few in the most exclusive shops in Ubud or Kuta on Bali, and in the biggest cities on Java. (My personal collection also includes stuff from Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Madera.) Very few empu - traditional keris makers - still exist.

          If someone ever says s/he has a keris made in 1821 or something like that, be very very suspicious. Japanese swords often have dates (and maker's name) on the tang, but no true keris does, and exact dating is a dicey business.  

          Traditionally, keris are passed down within a family, and before the days of minivans and motorbikes, they were often the family's most treasured possession. Still, at a wedding or funeral, you'll see hundreds of men and a few women carrying keris tucked in a sash at the small of their back or over their shoulder. Saronged guardians at other public ceremonies often wear keris, too. Although they could be used to cut or stab somebody, they are actually badges of office. Especially on Bali, these might have a wonderful old blade, but a plain hilt and sheath. The rich, like the rich everywhere, had fancier keris, with gold (on blade, hilt or sheath) traditionally being reserved for royalty.

          Negotiations for buying an antique family keris can take days. Some people will not sell you a keris unless they know it isn't going to be resold, and those I only buy for my personal collection. The wrong keris, it is said, brings bad luck both to the seller-maker and the buyer, and there is a complicated technique for gauging whether a keris is the right one for a particular individual. What would be a proper keris for you might be a disaster for me.

          Usually, I buy keris one or two at a time from families who no longer feel the pull of the magic or have themselves bought keris from other families over the years.

          On my Bali trip two years ago, I encountered through some friends an 85-year-old Dutch colonialist who had been on the island since before Indonesia's independence in 1949. He was, after all his years in Bali, returning to Holland for his health. When I met him he was packing up his artwork and antique keris and bemoaning the fact he'd never have a place to put it all. I wound up buying 31 keris, including three or four that are the best I've ever seen outside a museum.

      •  I prefer my own impression (none)
        which was: a force that swoops down with tremendous velocity while a whirring set of blades destroys everything in its path.

        Coming attractions...Get ready for the great unveiling of the next great Scoop site:

        by BooMan23 on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:21:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meteor Blades impression (4.00)
          Every time I see the name I get a flashing image of a warrior skating powerfully through the stars in the galaxy.  In the dark of outer space, the blades on his feet are shooting off sparks, shaving off small pieces of asteroids that fall to the earth in recognition of his passing.  He's going somewhere, a look of determination on his face, his long black hair flowing behind him, a golden bow on his back--some strange vision of art from old picture books of constellations, myths and fantasies.  Frazetta should paint him.
          •  hahahahahahahahahahahaha ... (none)
            An exact description of my daily behavior. Except for the black hair.

            Maybe I should rename myself Meteor Roller Blades.

            •  ahem (none)
              You must live in the sunny south.  Up here in the snowy Northeast, my (forgive the presumption) Meteor Blades is wearing speed-skating, ass-kicking titanium blades, the kind that carve ice.

              But all this cool stuff about tradition and ceremony and magical daggers neccesitates new imagery.  The blades are now made from the keris of ancient heroes, given to you by their descendants to prevent the catastrophe of them falling into the hands of evil-doers. Hope you don't mind.

              •  No ice-skating in the homeland ... (none)
                ...of keris. But thanks for giving my moniker more visuals than I ever could, and for making me feel a little like Arjuna, the great Hindu archer-god. He fights from a chariot, but I could actually see him skating along on meteor blades, sending his arrows to their bullseyes.
      •  Krisses? (none)
        I wonder if that's where Frank Herbert got the word "crysknife" from for his Dune books.

        Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

        by admiralh on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:02:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Price must have gone up (none)
        after the recent tsunami tragedy.

        Did it hurt anyone you know ?

        In the future people will wonder why most didn't challenge Bush's excesses
        The truth? Complacency was easier

        by lawnorder on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:39:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unkindest Cut of All (none)
        I always thought you were just shearing the sheep.

        The most potent weapon of the opressor is the mind of the opressed - Steve Biko

        by badger on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:21:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  One of my (none)
        favorite gifts my brother brought me from Bali was a blow gun in the shape of a dragon. IIRC, he said it was made of bone.

        I thought it was unique until I went to Bali myself and found a shop with hundreds of them in it.

        •  yeah, the blowguns and quite ... (none)
          ...a few other items are made specifically for tourists. Some of the craftsmanship is superfine, but what you see most is modestly artful, with a price to match. This actually isn't something new. At least as far back as when Chinese traders were plying the archipelago, islanders have made goods for trade.
      •  fascinating (none)
        And here I thought you were just another crusty curmudgeon. Turns out you're an artsy-fartsy fancy pants! I'll bet you wear socks with your sandals too, huh?

        I'm so proud of you. :)

        "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

        by catnip on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:15:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I always figured you were Puerto Rican. (none)
        I always thought that "Blades" was a two-syllable word, as in Ruben Blades.  Now I'll have to retrain myself.

        We're just getting started.

        by jem6x on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 11:04:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's a Lovely Explanation (none)
        But can I keep my own mythology on this:
        I've always entertained a wonderful visual image of a celestial entity skating across the starry skies on skates made with meteors for blades.

        If I'm wrong please don't enlighten me...

        Fuzzy only works for pets.

        by NotFuzzy on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 11:26:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ward Committees (4.00)
      DailyKos can't replace Ward Committees.  Politics and electioneering is local.  DailyKos is a very valuable additional resource in greasing the wheels of information, but everyone needs to think about action on a local level to bring about change.
    •  Not a "ward" committee-- more like (4.00)
      the Solidarity Movement in Poland.  Sprang out of nowhere, in revulsion to the prevailing uses of political power and developed its agenda as it went, developed it organically, through the exchange of ideas, a response to events & an ardent commitment to Democracy.

      So there. (not saying Kos is Lech Walesa or anything. mutatis mutandi & all that)

      We are the voices the Beltway would prefer to ignore, and we are everywhere.

      "God help the political system in which a thoroughly addled sovereign is faced with a real crisis." Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Peace

      by Tulip on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:22:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sputtering Hypocrisy (4.00)
    perhaps Moulitsas is trying to usher a different kind of Democratic politician to the fore--the kind of politician who is unconstrained by the traditional urge to appear civil.
    It's just crazy how Republican accusations are cast against actions which they commit FAR MORE egregiously. Are we always civil? Perhaps not. Are Republicans always civil?? Rarely IF ever.

    Look no further than today's suggestion that we be used as human shields in Iraq. How do we respond civilly to that? "Gee, that's not such a nice thing to say." Is THAT what is expected?? Fuck that AND fuck them.

    •  The VRWC and the fascist idea (4.00)
      both suffer from the same innate fault: it's possible to build robots and organize them into an inorganic, conforming community of slaves (see Free Republic, but it's not possible to convince intellect-enabled humans to repudiate our organic nature.

      That organic nature is the enemy of fascist conformity, it stands in the way of Karl Rove's Master Society, and Kos has (brilliantly, luckily) invented a way to foster and incubate it.

      (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

      by doorguy on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:28:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        Nah, actually I won't. But thanks SOOO much for asking! It is unnerving to look into the eyes of a "True Believer" and witness the depth of vacancy in their blank stare.
        •  No mistakes here, no sirree (none)
          I was amazed over Christmas when I talked to my cousin's husband, an educated man - in the oil business technical side, from Houston, otherwise seemingly sentient. I asked if he thought Bush had made ANY mistakes. He said , "No, he's done everything just about right." For the sake of family harmony, I didn't ask if he was concerned about the prospects for his 20 year old son over there across the room, given the general diretion of Bush foreign policy. But yeah - I thought here we have a mixture of Fox-induced delusion and plain old right-wing cynicism about politics in general - i.e., an open-ended means to whatever ends serve the plutocracy. Disappointed I was, yes, and a little surprised at the unequivocal absurdity. Fuck that - though I would'nt say it to his face.

          The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

          by semiot on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:28:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  that's just in-code (4.00)
      for 'don't forget the dean scream',

      remember....we already taught you how horrified to be at that!

      why? just kos..... *just cause*

      by melo on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:25:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's pure mirroring (4.00)
      They criticize for the very faults they constantly and unabashedly display, thus deflecting attention from their actions.  And their incivility doesn't stop at the blogosphere or the punditocracy.  Look no further than Dick Cheney dropping f-bombs and a Republican Congressman calling for the use of liberals as human shields in Iraq for examples.

      As for any incivility found on dKos, I remain entirely unapologetic.  When the schoolyard bully is threatening to beat you up and take your lunch money, you don't get very far by cowering in the corner or offering him a nice cup of tea.  You stand up to him and let him know you aren't afraid.  

      •  Yes, mirroring, or projection (none)
        I noticed that in the campaign. It is the RW MO, especially Rove. Have a weakness? Accuse the other side of it, and get the dudgeon up, while Jr. tisk-tisks. Pulleez. Appaerntly if you have the SCMSM intimidated enough, it works. But, I think this little rock thrown from the House of Kristal is a good sign that Kos & Co have really struck a nerve.

        The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

        by semiot on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:33:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (none)
      I thought that particular quote was a compliment. I mean, really. Why be civil in the face of such horrendous hypocrisy? Now, we don't want to run around like Zell Miller challenging everyone to duels because, frankly, that's just stupid. But, civility for its own sake? All civil, all the time? No. Sometimes the truth just isn't civil when it's used against you, right-wingers. Suck it up. That's reality.

      "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

      by catnip on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:20:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Daily Standard piece was diaried earlier today (4.00)
    here, with 70+ comments, if you're interested. The posts were split between "ignore the bastards" and "hit back with cites from the right-wing sites," with a very few who wanted to actually address some of the criticisms.

    Appreciated your posting Gilliard's reply, which I think sums up how most of us feel about this kind of manipulative and deceptive diatribe.

  •  They're just trying to generate some traffic (4.00)
    for their site. Compare the stats.

    They look more and more like a Cocker Spaniel barking at a Great Dane when they talk about stuff like this.

    And that's today...

  •  "Dem Strategy for Dummies" (4.00)
    1. If Repubs say we're making a mistake, we're on the right track.
    2. If Repubs say we're being reasonable, we're making a mistake.
  •  I would'nt use the Daily Standard (4.00)
    to wrap my dead fish in! My dead fish deserve better. What a wacko....Murdoch=Fox backed piece of trash led by Bill Kristol..enough said.

    Hmmmm...that feels good.

    "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

    by alnc on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:03:14 AM PST

  •  Written by a blogger, btw (4.00)
    In any case, I actually am concerned after reading this piece about It doesn't seem like they're keeping any metrics on what they're doing, testing ads, etc. Sounds like a very insular group, too.
    •  Beautiful...great link! (none)
      I was looking all over my "history" file to find this article, I read it earlier today. It presents almost the same exact argument as the Standard piece, almost as if they were both working from the same outline.

      (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

      by doorguy on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:30:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh yeah (4.00)
      they're scared. The contrasting quotes by "moderate democratic strategist after DLC strategist" were just precious. The guys who had to sell the working class out to the corrporations just to get 2/3's of the money the Republicans enjoy are mortified that a concerted effort to reach the people comes up with more money and energy. Makes a guy say hmmmmm.

      Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:55:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  tonight on CNN! (4.00)
    The excessive passion, the intemperate remarks, and the strange world views of people who obsess about politics.

    haw, haw!
  •  My favorite part... (4.00)
    But unlike an actual ward committee which has its meetings (mercifully) in private...

    What exactly is their idea of Democracy? Elite power brokers convening secret meetings to manipulate and exploit the masses?
    •  That's what it is from the perspective of (none)
      The Daily Standard.  
    •  uh (4.00)
      He's an arsehole and a twit, but I actually thought it was the one good line in the piece.

      He's saying something like this:  "At least you don't have to see the sausage being made at a real ward committe meeting due to the smoky backroom corruption."  

      "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." --George Orwell

      by markymarx on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:37:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, but... (4.00)
        I took it as an endorsement for secrecy and lack of transparency in "democratic" politics. Out of the mouths of morons come oxymorons.

        ...Freedom is on the march. Straight to the gas chamber. this is infidelica...

        by snookybeh on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:15:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, and That's His Intent (4.00)
        They're trying to set things up like what happens at Daily Kos dictates what the party does, and then they'll either get some wingnuts to start planting diaries or they'll just scrape the bottom of the barrel with examples of some of our own home-grown wignuttery and say, see, this is how wacky the Democratic party really is, that U.S. Senators will coddle such crazy people because they need their money and don't want to be criticized by them.  

        They're going to try to treat blogs like we're the publications of the "Southern Heritage" organizations that publish gussied-up white supremecist crap with the occassional guest article from Trent Lott or John Ashcroft.  

    •  country wisdom on dkos (4.00)
      I interviewed some very old East Texans a few years back for a book I wrote. One man talked about the days when one guy in a small town just told the others who to vote for(like a single person ward committee) and others went along. He shook his head and said,

      "Nowadays, every tub sets on its on bottom."

      This is dailykos to me. Lots of information, lots of individuals with their own ideas. Lots of support (I can say I never get any 4 ratings when I talk to Texas Repub relatives, that's for sure.)LOTS of energy and rant and cusswords, too - the glorious messiness of real democracy. Sorry they don't get it - well, not sorry, because it is a mighty force.

  •  And Speaking of (4.00)
    bullshit, Kevin Drum had a nice little essay on the subject.

    Consider O'Reilly's signature schtick, the "No Spin Zone." What does he mean by this? I propose that "No Spin Zone" is merely an FCC-friendly translation of "No Bullshit Zone." O'Reilly is claiming that for at least a few minutes each night, you, the viewer, will not bullshitted. And yet, there's a meta level here, isn't there? Because this is itself bullshit. What's more, there's a level above that too: namely that both O'Reilly and his audience know that it's bullshit. And they don't mind.

    This, I think, is a key characteristic of bullshit: not just that the bullshitter knows he's bullshitting, but that the bullshittee also knows it. He may know it for sure, or he may just suspect it deep in his heart, but part of the essence of bullshit is that both sides implictly recognize that the statement in question is, in fact, bullshit. In this way it acts like a compact between spewer and receiver, a shared secret that brings them closer together. Thus the piquancy of bullshit, as well as its popularity.

    Social Security Privatization is Welfare for Wallstreet

    by CaliBlogger on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:53:19 AM PST

  •  Tell that guy (4.00)
    he can go Cheney himself

    on the Senate floor

  •  The Whinning started with David Brooks... (4.00) the end of January.  When Dean earned the DNC Chair.  They couldn't believe that failed to intimidate the Dems [through the battered spouse syndrome] into taking Frost or Roemer.

    Then a couple of others picked it up, including Barone; and then thing really blew up with Gannon and the AARP smear.

    It's funny, over the last few years Brooks has insisted that the Goopers aren't bigoted [he used to say Sully wouldn't be one of them, if they were], yet he and his ilk have never, not once, denounced the gay baiting from the party.

  •  I'm fascinated by the writng, err, wording (4.00)

    •  'two fawning mash notes'
    •  'As Moulitsas has crowed'
    •  'eschew his embrace.'
    •  'unconstrained by the traditional urge'
    •  'attracts politicians with the promise of money'
    •  ' a surfeit of unseemly commentary on a recurring basis'
    •  'a lengthy post which purported to prove'

    Man, this is poetry, baby, I'm stuck to my seat, wet with active verbs and onomotopea. Ohh, "the mash notes" makes me quiver. Victorian Sex and Blogs!

    Somewhere Ms. Bach, my dreadful 10th grade English teacher, is praising him. Every year she read Poe's "The Bells" to us. "The tintabulation of the tolling of Bells." The ghost of Ms Bach, not Poe inhabits the Daily Standard.

    Rolfyboy6 -Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Rolfyboy6 on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 01:20:10 AM PST

  •  Steves's comments right on the money! (4.00)
    We should stop being polite to those SOBs!

    Neocon's version of the bible's "turn the other cheek" story:

    How to talk to "Peace Activists"

    here are the proper steps of etiquette to take when encountering a situation like this:

    1. Listen politely while this person explains their views. Strike up a conversation if necessary and look very interested in their ideas. They will tell you how revenge is immoral, and that by attacking the people who did this to us; we will only bring on more violence. They will probably use many arguments, ranging from geo-political to religious to humanitarian.

    2. In the middle of their remarks, without any warning, punch them in the mouth.

    3. When the person gets up off the ground, they will be very angry and they may try to hit you, so be careful.

    4. Very quickly and calmly remind the person that violence only brings about more violence and remind them of their stand on this matter. Tell them if they are committed to a nonviolent approach to undeserved attacks, they will turn the other cheek and negotiate a solution. Tell them they must lead by example if they really believe what they are saying.

    5. Most of them will think for a moment and then agree that you are correct.

    6. As soon as they do that, hit them again. Only this time hit them much harder. Square in the mouth.

    7. Repeat steps 2 - 5 until cognition occurs, the desired results are obtained, and the person recognizes the stupidity of the argument he/she/it is making.

    In the future people will wonder why most didn't challenge Bush's excesses
    The truth? Complacency was easier

    by lawnorder on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 02:43:14 AM PST

    •  7. Repeat steps 2-5 until (4.00)
      I call the police and have you arrested for assault and battery.

      it's not necessarily a violent approach to have someone restrained from doing harm to you.

      that's not the same as fighting back.

      And actually, Gandhi did repeat steps 2-5 until the innate humanity of his attacker finally kicked in and Gandhi's side won.

      Of course, he wasn't dealing with total sociopaths like half the sad brainwashed fools at Frei Republik.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 03:03:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Neocon version (4.00)
      Some guy with a long beard is running around town and picking on your friends and relatives. Eventually, he finds you and sucker punches you hard in the gut. In response, you kick him in the shins and knock him to the ground. Satisfied, you run off, grab a couple buddies and get in a huge brawl with his second-cousin, twice-removed. Meanwhile, the guy with the beard resumes running around town punching your friends. Declare victory because he hasn't gotten around to punching you again and you've only gotten a few broken ribs and a black eye from your other fight.
    •  You Missed (none)
      #8. There is no difference in an individual attacking an unsuspecting victim or a group of terrorists attacking a nation of people. It is unacceptable and must be dealt with. Perhaps at a high cost. We owe our military a huge debt for what they are about to do for us and our children. We must support them and our leaders at times like these. We have no choice. We either strike back, VERY HARD, or we will keep getting hit in the nose. Lesson over, class dismissed.
      So, they are advocating attacking an unsuspecting victim, while at the SAME TIME stating that this type of action is unacceptable. And we all know that they put down the boxing gloves when Clinton put the military to use - as he says, we MUST support our leaders, we HAVE NO CHOICE. Idiot.
  •  Don't take it as a Weekly Standard compliment (none)
    For many people:

    ward committee = corrupt urban machine politics

    Don't let them frame us.  Or the description of us.

    The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 03:40:59 AM PST

    •  Actually I think it is a compliment (none)
      The fact that they are trying to insult us means that we have ruffled their feathers.  Otherwise, they would just ignore us.

      You are correct about not letting them frame us, but I doubt anyone here will let that happen.  Don't forget, they also want Markos to "exert a more forceful hand in harnessing that energy".

      Frankly, I would have been more concerned if they had written a complimentary article about us.

  •  Daily Standard Top Ten Reasons (4.00)
    1. line your bird cage with. (no, would probably cause bird flu!!)
    2. cover the bottom of the kitty litter tray (oops, that's cruelty to animals)
    3. use to train your puppy (ouch, that would lead to bladder/bowel disfunction, then mad dog syndrome)
    4. use in dairy farm to aid in excrement cleanup (geeez, there's more mad cows)
    5. use for political science demo in classroom (eeek,more zombies)
    6. use for fire starter (yikes! toxic air polution, plus depletion of ozone)
    7. use for fish wrap (uh-oh, stinks worse than the rotting inserals)
    8. use for hamster cage liner (oh shit, another plague from the fleas)
    9. use for moving puropose to wrap housewares (call the CDC epidemic human reaction)
    (drum roll)
    10. toxic waste placard on all Republican Binders for Congressional Bills, (great cover shot of cross bones and skull)  

    "who is gonna make it..we'll find out in the long run" (eagles)

    by infidelpig on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 03:45:35 AM PST

  •  This is rich! (4.00)
    United States Senator Barbara Boxer has sent the community not one but two fawning mash notes in the past month to better ingratiate herself with the Kossacks

    "Thank you from Barbara Boxer"="fawning mash note"

    These idiots are caricatures of themselves.

  •  We also need to be OUTRAGE by WIFE SWAP (none)
     I really, reallly think that episode or show last night do a lot of harm in painting non-Repubs or LIBERALS.  And this is not CABLE. it is ABC.

    We really should show OUTRAGE.

    find your local dem group link:

    by timber on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 04:36:00 AM PST

  •  When the BIG boys on the playground (4.00)
    start giving you's DEFINITELY time to ignore that advice and keep doing what you're doing (that got them to notice in the first place.)

    dailyKOS is vast Left-Wing Conspiracy with the top and sides exposed. There can be no stronger, more fearsome arrow in the democratic parties quiver. And as to those "wacky" fringe voices? Well, sometimes they're right -- and when they go too far the community does a fairly good job of drowning them out, and since it's all done in public view, we need never apologize for anything that is said.

    Putting grapes back on the vine...

    by PBJ Diddy on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 04:43:38 AM PST

  •  Talk radio. (4.00)
    They haven't been able to manipulate Kos yet, and it's killing them. All of the SCLM cowers at the power of their right wing machine, which can bring money and volunteers out in force as well.  The right has at least a 15 year jump on the blogs with Rush, who we all know restrains the incivility of the right wing zealots, is never to fuel an unsubstantiated rumor or attack based on suppositions alone. </sarcasm>

    The difference here is that monumental inferential leaps are vetted, where on the right, led by talk radio, they are packaged.  If a theory here doesn't hold water, it sinks; there it is moved to Faux News or Ann's column. What scares them most is that we find the truth and the truth will ultimately bury the big lie.

    •  Excellent comment, one of many. (4.00)
      By attempting to diss dkos with specious accusations (the Gannon-Rather diary was excellent, but Barnett compared to one that (allegedly) claimed Bush offed Hunter Thompson), he reveals a deep confusion and fear about dkos and similar sites. As you say, information here is vetted, sorted out, and refined.

      I see the dkos community as resembling a small but determined group of extemely capable people (having the collective knowledge and intelligence of 10,000 or so well educated folks) capable of sharing information and working together without huge amounts of ego getting in the way.

      No wonder they are scared. Dkos  is, in effect, a new and extremely intelligent and powerful organism, with a human soul, and it hates them.

      How to respond?

      Keep doing what we are doing.

      "Go in peace, errant sisters." -Horace Greeley, April, 1861

      by faithnomore on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:05:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frank Rich on the Media , Watergate & Gannon (4.00)
    in toady's NY Times--Gonzo Gone, Rather Going, Watergate Still Here makes some great observations of the role of the press as watchdogs and lapdogs of politicians.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:17:12 AM PST

    •  Thanks n/t (none)

      Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:37:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Loved the article, with one exception (4.00)
      Today you can't tell the phonies without a scorecard. Besides the six "journalists" we know to have been paid by the administration or its backers, bloggers were on the campaign payrolls of both a Republican office-seeker (South Dakota's Senator John Thune) and a Democrat (Howard Dean) during last year's campaign.

      I assume the mention of bloggers working for Howard Dean refers to Markos and Jerome and, if so, in the context it is written is completely unacceptable.  I know we covered this ad infinitum back in January and don't need to do so again here but, there is absolutely no way you can correlate what they did with what happened in the Thune campaign.  

      •  Agreed. I assumed he meant Kos (none)
        and in an otherwise good article his failure to distinguish the role of blogs in Dean's campaign and in Thune's was unfortunate.

        A supportive letter to Rich pointing this out wouldn't hurt.

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:30:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What political class? (4.00)
    If Moulitsas is unable or unwilling to exert a more forceful hand in harnessing that energy, he runs the risk that the political class will eschew his embrace.

    First, I think Kos and we Kossacks have made it clear: we don't want the embrace of the political class. Let the political class beware our thorns if they choose to embrace us. We claim their crown!

    Second, do we even believe in the notion of a political class? Death to the non-existent political class!

    Many of my generation...vowed that when our turn came...we would not quietly acquiesce in halfhearted warfare for half-baked reasons... - Colin Powell

    by hoipolloi on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:24:33 AM PST

  •  William Kristol (4.00)
    is the most annoying talk-show guest ever. That slimy pseudo-intellectual product of nepotism is impossible to watch because he's one of those chuzzlewits who laughs after EVERYTHING HE SAYS. And not just the lame attempts at "humor" - the awkward paperweight-for-brain could be descrbing a cookie he consumed this morning, and he'd still laugh afterwards. It almost makes you wonder what his poor kids must go through when he tries to tell them something serious.

    Billiam - "You see kids, your cat got ran over by a truck. Ha ha ha...."

    Billiam, Jr - "Dad, why is that funny? God, you're such an asshole sometimes!"

    Billiam - "Who taught you that kind of language? Ha ha ha. Now I must beat you, to impose discilpline that liberals want to take away. Ha ha ha."

    Nilliam, Jr. - "I learned it from watching you, and your pal Dick Cheney. Stop hitting me!"  

    Hey, Billiam, and your Weakly Standard - you are not funny, and your magazine is almost as entertaining and accurate as a "Left Behind" video.

    I wish he'd add coloring pages to the Weakly, because after reading an issue of that Shite Harvester I feel like I've been talked down to like a kindergartner. At least in Kindergarten they let you color.

    And we all know most of the drafts for stories in the Weakly are written in crayons.  

  •  LGF = sane and civil? (4.00)
    Just so we're clear on what standard of civility (and sanity) the Weekly Standard wants us to meet, see this passage in the Weekly Standard article, which says of a dkos diary that it:

    almost instantly became the subject of non-stop ridicule in the saner precincts of the blogosphere.

    A link embedded in that passage, which I omitted, takes you to LGF.

    Somebody wake me when LGF conforms to the "tradiitional urge to appear civil."  

    And as for sanity--well, when you see that over on LGF, duck, because pigs will suddenly have taken flight across America.

  •  Great analogy (4.00)
    " Ann Coulter uses the word treason like Alton Brown uses Kosher Salt."

      Rings true with me because when I have had my fill of the "talking points news" I switch over to the Food Channel where there is at least information I can trust!

      Of course here again we have yet another Vermont connection, Alton Brown went to New England Cullinary in Essex, Vermont.

  •  Throw down the gauntlet (4.00)
    I'd put us up against NYT or WaPo any day for fact-finding and issue reporting. We may not have the same "journalistic standards" but those are up for sale these days anyway and that term is meaningless anymore as well. We're even doing the media's job for them now.

    I've got three words for them, "Bring it on!"

    "I am a patriot, and I love my country because my country is all I know."

    by Aragorn for America on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:01:23 AM PST

  •  In the good (4.00)
    old days when the republicans could legally own slaves...they were encouraged to go to church, where the ministers preached to them that good old verse "slaves obey your masters."  It's still a struggle brothers and sisters.
  •  Cheers to Regeneration Man (4.00)
    for getting noticed as an intemperate blogging bastard.

    Jeers to me, for being passed over for that distinction once again.

    Coming attractions...Get ready for the great unveiling of the next great Scoop site:

    by BooMan23 on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:14:24 AM PST

  •   dkos Bashed (4.00)
    by conservative commentators?? Imagine that!

    Isn't this a compliment. I would say so.  That they view a liberal "blog" conversation, which includes facts and passion, as a threat. This is much to "populist" for their liking.

    Good news. We are making a difference.
    Thanks to all of you for your hard work.
    I enjoy coming here to find out what the news really is.

    ie. Allan Greenspan.....what is up with his twisted words today!
    Could he be a promoter for the Bush agenda? When was he last
    seen with Gannon/Guckert ;+o Mercy sakes what are those Republicans up to now?

    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:18:37 AM PST

  •  Daily Kos Is Remaking the DP (4.00)
    Well, duh.  Hell yes we are.

    The commentary is silly, quoting one diary (out of how many?) and using it to characterize the entire site.  But the headline... well, of course we are!  

    Otherwise, what's the point?

  •  I am watching (4.00)
    Bush and Sandra Day swear in a lawyer for al-Qaeda as our new Director of Homeland Security.

    My head is going to pop.

    Coming attractions...Get ready for the great unveiling of the next great Scoop site:

    by BooMan23 on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:26:06 AM PST

  •  Since my comment is pretty uncivil... (4.00)
    ...I thought I'd post it at the bottom of the thread, just so as not to offend the likes of Kristol.

    Here's my 30 second wrap up of Barnett:

    "WA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-H-H-H-H-H! We...we...we...want the radio wave to be our ward committee. We...we (sniff)...want politicians only to be interviewed by Hannity and appear on Fox News. (blow). GIVE US OUR PARTISAN TOYS BA-A-A-A-CK! New Media is mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!

    WA-A-A-A-A-A-A-H-H-H-H-H! Mommy, I don't wanna share!"

    Having a toddler really allows you to cut through the crap.

    "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by grannyhelen on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:30:32 AM PST

  •  Civil politicians (4.00)
    I read Drummond's diary on this earlier. I have to say, the piece raises some interesting points, but I don't see it as something to strike terror in our hearts, but simply gives a brief pause to examine our strengths and weaknesses.

    Barnett is right insofar as he talks about the influence of DKos, the vaguely defined overall goal (changing the party and getting folks elected), and the fact that it is all public, all the time. I didn't think Regeneration Man's post was at all looney. I think it is a stretch to suggest there is anything like evidence that shows a direct connection between Gannon and Rather on the TANG fiasco. But it is a credible theory inasmuch as there is clear motivation, a past record (Rove) of manipulation, and unanswered questions about how it all shook out.

    Conspiracy theories that are just plain looney never get any attention--everyone can immediately judge for themselves their merits. Conspiracy theories that are reasonable explorations of available evidence and speculative about questions for which no adequate answers exist, these are the kinds that people get het up about. Why? Because they might be true. The only "evidence" offered to counter them is that belief in them means accepting that the individuals implicated engaged in extremely unethical, probably illegal behaviour. And this is simply not civil.

    (But it might be accurate)

    What the piece points out is that those with an axe to grind will use these "thinking-aloud-not-very-cogently" (TANVC) pieces as evidence of DKos' inherent silliness. Well, so be it. All we need to offer is our record of supporting reasonable, well-researched, well-argued posts and not paying attention to the trolls or the TANVC type posts (unless they morph into the well-researched/well-argued type). A disclaimer on the front page, indicating that we do not believe in censorship, but having said that, do not officially endorse posts unless explicitly indicated, should be enough.

    We can't worry about being critiqued by those who want to see us die. They would find other means if not for the easily assailed TANVC posts. And frankly, if we self-censored, all we would be doing is killing ourselves for them.

    I think the key to all this nonsense lies in the last paragraph:

    Then again, perhaps Moulitsas is trying to usher a different kind of Democratic politician to the fore--the kind of politician who is unconstrained by the traditional urge to appear civil.

    We all know that politicians are all civil. It's their paid consultants who do the dirty work, and their 527s and their other surrogates, using the politicians own funds. I'd rather have politicians who appeared rude at times, but behaved in a civil manner, than all these jerks who appear civil but behave in an ignorant, disrespectful, deceitful, unethical and occasionally illegal manner.

    "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:33:37 AM PST

  •  Some Thoughts (4.00)
    For me, this site embodies a lot of what I appreciate about the democratic party.  I can come here with my perspective, and contribute to the debate, and not much in lockstep on most policy issues.  Sure, this is not a good place for those who worship Bush or whose favorite Senator is Lieberman (or the 'Jollaborator'), but we can have different ideas of strategy, tactics, and policy.  We have a few sanctimonious types, but for the most part there is a sense of humor here, sometimes edgy and sometimes gentle, and we are typically not afraid to joke about ourselves, something I never, ever see the Rush/ Freeper /Rethug crowd able to do.

    One of my favorite things in watching the democratic convention is seeing the crazy cacophony of people, with a look much like America.  The RNC looks like some sort of white fantasy 1950s, almost all white guys in businses suits - you see some minorities, but mostly carefully positioned, you see almost none when the camera roams more broadly.  (Note: I happen to be a white business guy in a suit, but I find a crowd of people just like me to be much less interesting.)

    That said, I think we are contributing to changing the Democratic Party.  All that diversity sometimes leads to our emphasizing our differences over our commonalities, and that has had tragic consequences these past few years.  Sites like this contribute to developing the message, and allow us a platform to get the word out.

    Sure, the whole Gannon/Gluckert theorizing was pretty thin, but it might be the case and its worth thinking about and investigating.  If someone tries to prove it with facts, and those facts are wrong, we'll knock it down before anyone else will.  If those facts are right, we have enough of a platform here that it will be hard to ignore, and it will get out to the mainstream.  (When was the last time the Daily Standard had any kind of mainstream media breakthrough?)

    Finally, a word on civility.  I'm a big believer in it.  I love being civil to anyone willing to be civil with me.  I love real debate, fact driven, and I can easily be friends with people who disagree with me - one of my best buddies in the world is a republican.

    But understand what the rules are, know what your opponents are capable of.  Given Grover Norquists statement about bipartisanship as a form of 'date rape', I would suggest we bring along the mace when we deal with them, and not be afraid to use it.

  •  Where do we begin . . . (4.00)

     The hypocrisies of Gingrich; the dirty tricks of Rove (perpetrated on Reps, too:  See, e.g., McCain, 2000 Primary); the hyperbolic and inflamatory language of Coulter, Hannity, Savage, Limbaugh and that whole coven of crazies; the lies and ineptitudes of Bush and Rice; Bush's "bully little war" that no 101st Fighting Keyboarder would think of literally joining in; the surplus-gone-deficit; DeLay's power-grab in Texas (and its influence on Congress; the fact that more people voted for Gore in 2000 and only a bare majority (so it's alleged) voters went for Bush in 04 [mandate my ass]; a tort "reform" act to screw over injured citizens; a bankruptcy bill as Captiol Hill largess for big bank and credit card companies' campaign contributions; the "Swift Boat Veterens"; Alberto Gonzales; using the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln as a prop (that, in the end, couldn't be used in '04 campaign commercials as hoped by Rove due to all the battles and American deaths in Iraq since the summer of '03); "Bring 'em on!" . . .  and on and on and on.    

     So, some web log (or, uh, "blog") gets set up and cunning (and sometimes not so cunning) and ticked-off Democrats, Progressives, Independents and, yes, disgruntled Republicans (1) report and exchange news and information as they can find it or dig it up (among all the Michael Jackson coverage; (2) vent their spleens about what knaves and fools people like Bush, Rove, DeLay, McConnell (not high enough in our Rogues Gallery, IMHO), Frist, House Speaker Sock Puppet, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Woodruff, Blitzer (the list goes on, and on!) are; (3) advocate for, and strategize on, and compare notes regarding, and argue among ourselves about the best way to handle and "push-back" this irresponsible Neo-Con cancer that's taken over the GOP, and our Country; (4) expose the shameless lies issued from, and continuous stream of screw-ups of, the Bush Admin and ask, beg, cajole, rant about the MSM's utter failure to act as even a semi-reponsible "Fourth Estate."

     And for this, the Daily Standard, and other MSM and MSM-ish print, radio and television outlets dismiss Daily Kos, Atrios, TPM, etc. as so much blather, so much "vermin", so "uncivilized" (as opposed to, um, Coulter?).

     Well, heh, heh, they must be getting scared.  And that's a good thing.  



    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

    by BenGoshi on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:35:33 AM PST

  •  This reminds me (3.75)
    of an episode of The West Wing. It's somewhere in the second season, but I can't remember which one it is (and I don't have time right now to go hunt it up).

    But the thing I'm remembering is when the computer tech brought in to repair Mrs. Landingham's computer is talking to Charlie about having been the cause of the president's shooting. Then he thinks about it awhile, and tells Charlie, "My dad always said that if they're shooting at you, you must be doing something right."

    "Jedoch der schrecklichste der Schrecken
    Das ist der Mensch in seinem Wahn" -- J. W. von Goethe

    by musing85 on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:07:06 AM PST

  •  Mr Barnett seems to have a real problem (3.75)
    figuring out what Dkos really is.
    "like a ward committee" blah blah blah, "unlike a ward committee" blah blah blah.

    Like Mr Bush I am a white man, unlike Mr Bush I have a conscience and a sense of humor.

    What kind of insightful journalism is this? A first year student could have written a better analysis. Maybe he had a tight deadline.

  •  Areopagitica (4.00)
    Well, you can't have this conversation without saying something about John Milton's Areopagitica, one of the first major treatise on freedom of the press. It influenced the arguments of many advocates for the abolition of censorship and is the core of our 1st amendment.

    Whether by accident or design dKos is a high-tech version of Milton's principle that all ideas, no matter how subversive, should be allowed and it will be the community that decides what is right and what is not. The ratings system on this site is a classic example of that.

    There have always been forces that have sought to prevent this basic concept we all took for granted. How ironic that in our modern era this force has emerged in the corporate press itself.

    And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall -- Dylan

    by Rp on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:13:20 AM PST

    •  Yes, individuals propose (none)
      and societies dispose. John Dewey himself couldn't have conceived it better. And let's not forget Jefferson: "Knowledge and free inquiry are the natural enemies of error, and of error only."

      The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

      by semiot on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 10:04:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  another sortie probing for weaknesses (4.00)
    As the possibility increases of this glorious mess really making a difference, these sort of attacks will become more and more frequent.
    And we need to watch out for a massive mistake, too. As we say goodbye to Anchorman Dan Rather, this lesson should not be forgotten. The other side's goal is winning by any means.  
    DailyKos is what it is, in the sunshine--no hidden backroom stuff here. Sure, there are cringe-worthy moments for me as I read some of the grittier intemperate comments or repetitive thoughts. I confess to both of these, just too much to absorb before you want to have to speak up.
    But, it is in the sunshine, for all to see.
    This is fundamental to the power of this community.
    No one is running or hiding. No one is double-speaking or offering up a fog of language. No one is saying there is a secret handshake or blood oath. There is no donation minimum to gain entrance.
    The fact that it is affecting political discourse is one of the finest, purest of all democratic principles. Hopefully, it will help reshape Democratic party actions.
  •  this is actually a good thing (4.00)
    if a few readers of the Daily/weekly Tool come by here, they will see for themselves what this site is really about. Sure, they'll see some Rethug bashing (mostly confined to attacks on the truly evil ones and some clever snarking).  But mostly they'll see serious discussions of important issues, with contributions from the whole community.  The uniqueness of this site is in the community diaries and the shared/symbiotic knowledge.  

    If they are smart and openminded) (and many of those readers ARE), they're going to go deep into cognitive dissonance.  Cause DKos is not what they've been told.

    That may be a tiny crack in the wall of their ignorance.

    •  good point. (none)
      What's that saying about bad publicity is still publicity?

      I think a lot of Republicans would be surprised about the quality of this site; they might even get hooked on the truth!

      George Bush vacations in Texas; he LIVES in Denial.

      by Joon on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 02:16:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lies, Lies, Lies... (4.00)
    Announcing that these folks are lying about something is about as interesting as saying "hey...the sun rose this morning."

    Nevertheless, here's a so-far uncommented upon lie from the above quoted passage in Barnett:

    He [i.e. kos] wants to ... empower a more reliably liberal Democratic party.

    Kos has repeatedly said (very unfortunately, IMO, but there it is) that he is not at all about making the Democratic Party more liberal, just more partisan and effective.  

    Tho' it's worth paying attention to what your political foes are saying about you, it's also important not to get too hung up on it.  You can't expect them to tell the truth.  That's a lesson we Greens learned a long time ago.

    Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

    by GreenSooner on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:18:44 AM PST

  •  Short of calling... (none)
    ..a Civil War, it won't do. Light the stakes!

    Beauty is itself a cure for psychological malaise. James Hillman | The soul's code.

    by oratorio on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:30:00 AM PST

  •  Kudos to Kos (4.00)
    for ignoring their calls for an interview. I'm a pr guy from WAY back, and the practice of walking into enemy territory (especially in print) is one that should be judiciously avoided. Several comments above have made this same point.

    This is not necessarily true in live broadcast, however, as Jon Stewart showed so effectively on Crossfire.

    The thing I love about dKos is it's amazing civility -- driven mostly by the effective ratings system. I've abandoned almost every other site because they're up to their eyeballs in asstrolls.

    •  HEY! Bill Kriston said no language like that! (none)


      Those willing to sacrifice their etenal freedom for temporary freedom are worthy of neither freedom nor security.

      by TheGryphon on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:12:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very Smart Move (none)
      A word of general advice to Democrats everywhere is DON'T GO ON IDIOT/BIASED TALK SHOWS AND DON'T GIVE INTERVIEWS TO RIGHT WINGERS!  Congratulations to Kos for understanding this.  The bastards will just make stuff up and lie while taking any response out of context.

      There is a very important point.  It is possible to tell lies at a much faster rate than it is possible to untangle those lies.  (This fact needs a name like maybe: "Serial Liar Advantage".) It makes no sense whatsoever to attempt to engage pathalogic liars (Republicans).  That is why talk radio/tv is so effective as a Republican propaganda tool.  By the time the liberal has untangled the first lie, several more will have been asserted, left unrefuted, and then time is up with the lies left in the air.  Just don't go there.

      Of course if there were any real journalists this wouldn't be the case, but forget it.  They are all "neutral" to pro-Repug, but the "neutral" is really pro-repug given the formant.

      Civility?????!!!!!  What planet has this ass-wipe been living on??!!!  The Republicans killed civility since, oh about 1992....

  •  I Got Yer Incivility Right Here, Pal ... (3.80)
    Right the fuck here ...

    "Ahhhh, go fuck yerself!"

    Vice-President Dick "The Dick" Cheney to Senator Patrick Leahy on the floor of the U.S. Senate, 22 June 2004, the day that the Senate passed the "Defense of Decency Act"

  •  We Need to Be Thinking (4.00)
    about ways we might successfully be attacked, marginalized and confined. We need to keep our minds open to the possibility that successful opposition may demand some behavior changes of us some time in the future.

    Of course we begin from a position of exclusion out of the RWCM, so in that area the opposition only needs to maintain.

    On the other hand, blogs like any grassroots groups are not the easy targets that politicians and top-down institutions are. Some of the same traits that make the Rapture Right consistently troublesome to liberals will make the blogosphere troublesome, and difficult to squash, for the right.

    And blogs are somewhat safer against smear campaigns than other types of grassroots groups, including Christian faiths, because they're not aggressive recruiters.

    But we do need to remember that nobody and nothing is invulnerable.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 07:54:38 AM PST

  •  Wards (none)
    I'd rather be a virtual ward committee than an actual Ward Connerly.
  •  Athenian Democracy (none)
    Everything out in the open--it is a wonderful place here.  The nuts, the brilliant, the dull the great writers--everyone can have their say.  The truly good ideas stay and gain traction--the rest goes away.

    Kos is a true Democrat and believer in our system to let this site run free of virtaully any intervention.

    Kos even takes his shots here on his own forum from his own supporters--in public for all to see.  I think Kos is the greatest.

    Stick all those backroom bloggers--especially the stuffy Tory Hugh Hewitt and his condescending Vox Blogi, or whatever super-duper Latin phrase he uses to allow some limited linking to other blogs he deems worthy; stick those guys away in their smoke-filled backrooms.

    This is Democracy.  How I love this site!  And it is free!!

    •  ...except that nothing is non-public (none)
      The Athenians could easily make private remarks to one another during public discussion -- but here, everything must be shouted to the entire agora, or left unsaid.

      Perhaps the dKos community could benefit from being more Athenian. A dab of software would give the option to reply without shouting.

      Consider decentralist solutions -- more choice, stronger communities, less dangerous power.

      by technopolitical on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:33:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I must have hit upon the truth with my diary (none)
    The White House has not mentioned it and this Weakly Standard hit-piece on the Rove/Bartlett/Stone forging and drop to Burkett IGNORES all the salient points and without even trying to debunk it, calls it conspiracy theory.

    Then Congressman Hinchey repeats the theory that Rove did the TANG Forgeries, Hinchey gets three short interviews and the Corporatist Media drops it like a hot potato WITHOUT giving him the full Cynthia McKinney Treatment.

    You know what that means don't you?

    I was right and the White House DID forge the TANG Killian memos and Stone dropped them to Burkett on March 3, 2004, after Nydia Stone sweet-talked the old guy into believing her.

    Hey!  Today is the one-year anniversary of the Dirty Trick!  The Big Drop at the Houston Livestock Show!

    •  Even if you have this one right (none)
      I still doubt Stone did the drop.  Why risk it?

      Doesn't mean he didn't hire the person that did the drop.

      Coming attractions...Get ready for the great unveiling of the next great Scoop site:

      by BooMan23 on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:31:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stone was betrayed once in 1992 by a (none)
        sub-contractor on a dirty trick.  He would never risk being blackmailed that way again.

        He wore sunglasses and turned around and left without saying a word to protect himself.  Plus Burkett has a history of mental problems and could easily be discredited--even before he changed his story and has since stuck to his Lucy Ramirez and Unknown Man version.

        There were OTHER people at the Livestock Show--they are probably there at this year's--so Burkett and OTHER WITNESSES could ID the Unknown Man--whoever he is.

        Most important, except for 1992 when he was betrayed, Roger Stone's M.O. is to work alone or with Nydia on a dirty trick.  Remember, your wife is exempt from testifying against you.

  •  Hey! (none)
    I gave the ZERO that pushed that Phil Donohue douchebag into the hidden comments!!


  •  We don't need no steenking civility (4.00)
    To borrow from a late 18th century graffiti artist in Boston:

    "Damn Fascist Republicans! Damn everyone who won't damn Fascist Republicans!! Damn everyone that won't put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning Fascist Republicans!!!"

  •  Frank Rich in the New York Times (none)
    It's a great article so well-written it's worth reading just for the prose alone. But perhaps a correction is needed for the text I emphasize.

    Today you can't tell the phonies without a scorecard. Besides the six "journalists" we know to have been paid by the administration or its backers, bloggers were on the campaign payrolls of both a Republican office-seeker (South Dakota's Senator John Thune) and a Democrat (Howard Dean) during last year's campaign. This week The Los Angeles Times reported that Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration, "taking a cue from President Bush's administration," had distributed fake news videos starring a former TV reporter to extol the governor's slant on a legislative proposal. Back in Washington, the Social Security Administration is refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests for information about its use of public relations firms - such as those that funneled taxpayers' money to the likes of Armstrong Williams. Don't expect news organizations dedicated to easy-listening news to get to the bottom of it. [...]

    To thine own self be true - W.S.

    by Agathena on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:30:07 AM PST

  •  Civility (none)
    Much of the commentary here is summarized by the comment "fuck civility". I won't argue that civility is good or bad -- I'll instead argue that incivility alienates.

    If you just want to socialize with people who agree with you, then by all means, enjoy yourself with clever new ways of demeaning those with whom you disagree. But if you want to change the world, change people's minds, then incivility will hurt you. Nobody respects a mudslinger. The instant you use an obscenity, you have lost all hope of reaching anybody but those who already agree with you.

    Moreover, incivility is an undisciplined act of personal gratification. Sure it feels good to smear the bad guys with verbal excrement. But are you here to feel good or to change the world? I won't condemn anybody for indulging their feelings. I will ask everybody, why are you here? What do you hope to accomplish? The answers to those questions dictate your evaluation of the merits of civility.

    •  It's the 'roid rage... (none)
      We can't help ourselves, apparently, since we are a "ward on hyper-steroids."

      I agree with you, though. I do think we can be tougher as a party in dealing with the GOP. But to win back voters who should vote with us but don't, we need to stop calling them stupid red-state idiots.

      As for how we treat each other, I find this site to be so much more civil than any other blog I have ever posted on. People so often abuse the anonymity provided by the web that I stopped posting on blogs until I found dKos.

      "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

      by mrboma on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:40:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you're saying... (4.00)
      that Rush Limbaugh and the rest have convinced nobody of their views.

      Some forms of incivility can alienate. Clever mockery and ridicule, on the other hand, is a powerful rhetorical tool for winning over the undecided and reinforcing a message.  

      The key is knowing when to use incivility.  This is the proper forum.

      You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably. - Jon Stewart to Tucker Carlson

      by eyelessgame on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 10:08:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rush the impotent (none)
        No, I don't think that Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and the like have convinced anybody of anything. I think that they have reinforced the beliefs of those who are already true believers. I will concede, however, that Rush might be successful in pushing right-of-center people further to the right. But reasonable people are alienated by his kind of talk. I would blush to consider the possibility of people in the political center reading dKos -- some of the comments here are certain to offend such people and push them into the arms of the right -- except, of course, for the even worse right-wing blogs.
    •  serious response (none)
      OTOH, incivility makes for a more effective argument than civility.  At least for the definition of civility being used here.  The minute you start looking at the research that's been done into motivation and attribution theory you realize that people are thinly disguised monkeys and that power, status, and self-confidence influence them far more than logic.  

      Yep, that's cynical and depressing, but the evidence is clear and overwhelming.  The most accurate predictors of how highly people value things are the ones that are the ones furthest removed from logic and reason.  This is where incivility comes in.  If you're "civil" to someone who is abusing you, it indicates that you are accepting a lower status.  Period.  They will continue to abuse you and any carefully constructed airtight arguments you might have literally won't even get heard.  Not by the bully and not by the bystanders, who will (correctly) perceive the bully as having higher status.  The cliche logic of standing up to schoolyard bullies is firmly grounded in half a century of painstaking and solid scientific research.  

      Note that it's possible to undermine bullies merely by standing your ground without fighting back (see Gandhi for the canonical example).  But if you examine what Gandhi really did you'll see that he was "civil" only in the sense of not hitting back, and also that his ability to stand his ground was based on absolute self-confidence which in turn had a lot to do with overwhelming superiority of numbers.  The fact that the independence movement was strong enough to unflinchingly absorb any blows the British dealt it had as much to do with its eventual success as any "shame" that the British eventually felt.  That said (in monkey politics) "We are so much stronger than you that we not only refuse to submit but we can absorb your violence without even bothering to attack you in return."  

      If it hadn't been for that ability to absorb abuse without capitulating even one little bit we would never heard of our skinny little hero.  Without that unshakable strength and the higher status that resulted, shame would never have entered the picture.  

      IMHO Gandhi's real moral standing derives from the fact that he was confident enough and credible enough to get his followers to stand their ground without tearing random Britons (or each other) limb from limb.  Think Boxer Rebellion times a thousand as an alternative scenario.  Gandhi went slow and righteous instead of hitting back and plunging the Raj into civil wars of dubious outcome, and got his way sooner and with far less bloodshed than he (presumably) would have otherwise.  And when you look at how bad things got afterwards during partition, that's when you really see what an amazing and powerful accomplishment it was.  

      Which brings us back to self-confidence.  When people talk about "civility" nowadays they're not talking about an absence of vitriol or cuss words.  It's a code word for submission.  The Weekly Standard wants kossacks to be more submissive.  No dice, guys.  Those days are over.  We don't have to engage in violence to win, but we don't have to submit either.  We're already perfectly civil in all the ways that count and letting someone tell us that we aren't is just capitulation.  It's purpose (in monkey politics) is to establish a pecking order, not to make an argument on merits.  

      Mockery, in particular, is some amazingly effective shit.  

      P.S. for a relatively painless and politically oriented introduction to how some of this stuff works, I recommend "Why Societies Need Dissent" by Cass Sunstein.  

      The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice. --MLK Jr.

      by radish on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:17:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kristol (none)
    That guy looks like a fucking corpse. Really - he's got this weird pasty skin tone, with a tight shiny forehead and thin lips.

    Kristol looks like a fucking corpse who's just stepped out of the embalming room. I keep trying to look around to the back of his suit, to see if it's got one of those long seams, you know? That's how they often dress corpses, with a one-piece open at the back.

    He gives me the creeps. He looks like a fucking corpse. But when he moves his thin lips to talk, that's when I know he's an undead.

    Was that civil enough?

    "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

    by RubDMC on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 08:36:40 AM PST

  •  What Dean Barnett (4.00)
    is seeing and -- it scares him/her -- is real passion growing in the Dem/Lib/Progressive movements.
    Starting next week: all Kossacks will have to submit to random steroid testing. We don't want that scandal spreading from baseball to the blogosphere. The more you diary, the more you can expect to be tested. We must protect the integrity of this site!

    "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

    by mrboma on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:33:09 AM PST

  •  Awww (none)
    The poor lil right wing hacks are scared of us evil unamerican commiepinko gaymarryin minoritylovin traitors.

    Poor lil wingnut. Someone should give it a hankie before it cries.

    The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

    by cdreid on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 10:01:40 AM PST

  •  A late question to this diary ... (none)
    But if anyone's listening and can answer, please do. I would appreciate it:

    Who is this "Dean Barnett"? I can find no bio. But I can Google the fact that he's interestingly obsessed by dKos and  Markos. This is his 2nd (or 3rd)article with this site and Kos as the subject. Is he just "some guy" who happens to write not too impressively? Another Gannon/Guckert "journalist" with an Evelyn Wood journalism degree?

    Where does the Daily Standard get its "columnists"?

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 10:01:57 AM PST

  •  I think we should show our civility (none)
    by sending the Weekly Standard a "fuck you" note

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 10:36:14 AM PST

  •  This reminds me of the conventions (none)
    And how the Repubs were warning us to be civil (we bought it) and dont attack or the country would think we were a bunch of extremists.  Well we didnt and a few days later they tore us a new ass in their convention.

    We dont need to stop listening to the other side but we do need to stop allowing them to frame the arguments and defining who we are.

  •  Barnett's commentary (none)
    is the dumbest thing I've read in some time.  The agenda is clear: the issue with communities like Kos is the same issue the GOP clearly takes with the country: the freeflow of ideas in a competitive marketplace.  

    That's why Barnett takes offense with Markos' refusal to intellectually police diaries...that's why Barnett takes such great pains to paint diarists and  commenters as overwrought political lunatics.  The GOP has shown, through its attack on universities and other free-thinking educational institutions, as well as its corrupt propaganda assault on America, that free flowing knowledge and thought are the greatest enemies to its political schemes and shenanigans.  It's not surprising that a community like Kos, in which anyone can pretty much post anything with competitive ideas serving as the restraint, are threatening enough to the GOP for a stooge like Barnett to pop up spouting foolishness.

  •  Oh Well (none)
    I have always had a policy of taking things that people who want to destroy my party politically say and.... just doing the opposite. It drives them crazy.

    Civility? So thats the latest helpful hint from the right. What a quaint way of saying 'why won't you just shut up, sit down, and do what you are told?'.

    War is a racket. - General Smedley Butler

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 11:10:49 AM PST

  •  kos didn't let the vote fraudsters take over... (none)
    ... why that's just revisionism... well intentioned but come on... they DID take over the site... kos just refused to help them.

    Big difference!  and it faded away and left some quite good results of documented irregularities and failings of our system.  Documentation that is very useful in the issue of achieving clean elections... sometimes... in the future obviously.

  •  Civility? Don't make me fucking laugh (none)
    Pleas for civility? Fucking please. Yet another attempt to try to make people ignore history, in this case, say 1991-2001...But the problem, of course, is that Google exists as does Lexis as VCRs...We have 11 years of the most uncivil, hateful, vicious, anti-American propaganda attacks and smears against Democrats that has no parallel in history...


    My response:

    Fuck you.

    I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

    by Volvo Liberal on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 11:33:01 AM PST

  •  Coulter and Byrd (none)
    Bobby Byrd had to aapologize that he did not call the GOP Nazis when he went through a list of Nazi acts limiting civil liberties, etc.  Of course, he's been a US Senator for over 30 years.  Meanwhile Ann Coulter calls Democrats traitors on a regular basis.

    Well, the correct response is not an apology.  Byrd should have said that he was talking about perils to civil liberties.  In the past, that path led to the Nazis, sure.  Any individual is free to compare current actions on their own.  IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!

    The are totally out of control.  It is Coulter and Rush, not Bobby Byrd, who deserve the rap on the snout.  This administration may talk about freedom being on the march.  Seems to me, if it is on the march, unfortunately, that's because it it headed away from the USA.

  •  a dKosser to DP (none)
    >> The excessive passion, the intemperate remarks, and the strange world views of people who obsess about politics. <<

    did DP just say intemperate remarks?

    Yeah DP, FU.
    and welcome to the new net age.

    How about that for strange worldview. (Since when DP suddenly become the high priest of 'non strange world view'?)

    On later note.

    Please consider the possibility that all this wingnut article linked to dKos is their attempt to create wave and get traffic/ad click.

  •  civility? (none)
    fuck civility, fuck them, fight fight fight.
  •  If Daily Kos is a ward committee (none)
    then the Daily Standard is a burn ward.
  •  Ouch. Painful reminder ... (none)
    "Of course, they left out the fight between the vote fraudesters and Kos, who didn't let them take over the site. Imagine that battle on Frei Republik. People would have lost their minds."

    Painful reminder of what I thought was a very bad call by the blogosphere. Cannot understand the reasoning behind it to this day. It is hard enough to get a message out to the people re the MSM, but at least if the liberal blogs are buzzing with the message, there is a vital undercurrent that, because it wont quit, creates a higher likelihood that it may eventually bubble thru the cracks into the popular consicousness.

    The silence was a legitimizing one, for an election whose results simply cannot be legitimatized. And much of the suppression has been proven. But the blog chieftains kept the curtains drawn. Now B Boxer and Conyers continue the fight in Congress, but one major element that is missing is the public awareness of what went down and how wrong it all was in election 2004.

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