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This title was penned by Kos himself, in the commentary on an article about the new blogroll policy.

Yeah! (2+ / 0-)

People are so fucking moronic on this site that unless you hold their hand and personally guide them to the candidate blogs, they have no chance in hell in finding them!

No thanks. They're going to have to earn their support the old fashioned way -- by working for it.

by kos on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 08:59:16 PM PST

I didn't say it.  I don't think it.  In fact, my opinion is to the contrary.  I think liberal blogs in general, and this site in particular, are a meeting ground for some very bright people.  But Kos' comment does provide me inspiration to lay out some meta-thoughts I've had for a while.

My own view of this site was fairly summed up by Numerian, in the same diary, where he commented:

Big Mistake Kos (0 / 0)

***

If you want to turn Daily Kos into a site that focuses exclusively on electoral politics, that's your business.  I'll come visit you a month or two before every election.  Right now I visit you before any other website every day  because I can read all about politics, science from Darksyde, the markets from Bondad, religion from Pastor Dan, humor from Bill of Maine, the Iraq situation from Juan Cole, non-Drudge news from Huffington Post, the arts from  James Wolcott, and so on.  Sure, some of these writers have their own blogs which I can visit too, and yeah I could bookmark them all.  But Daily Kos is my bookmark for all things progressive.  Your increasing attempts to restrict the content of Daily Kos, now to be extended to the blogroll, pulls the community apart and not together.

***

by Numerian on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 04:22:07 AM PST

A question I have personally struggled with is this: Is DailyKos simply a tool for the election of Democrats?  Or is it part of a people-powered counter-revolution in communications on a par with what talk radio was to the right-wing extremists in this country?  I understand that many here will comment below and tell me something like this:

STFU (+144/0)

It is Kos' blog.  The mission statement says it is to elect Democrats.  Go start your own blog and STFU to boot.

By theaveragekossack on Tuesday Feb 6 at 2:30 PM EST

I don't know for certain if I disagree with those of you who will make those comments.  In fact, your persuasive arguments in this direction have largely led me to silence my own critical thinking on this issue.  However, my personal experience in using DailyKos tells me that the reality of this place is something a bit larger than Kos' mission statement – whether intentional or not.  This is a leftist clearing house for the exchange of ideas, in addition to the overt mission of electing politicians.  I mean, I've met other left-leaning people here.  Exchanged thoughts.  Met on blogs farther to the left to further develop ideas.  Engaged in activism.  Etc.  It is a reality.  Perhaps Kos doesn't like this.  But it is a reality.

I think of things like Mike Stark's diaries.  DailyKos was a loudspeaker for him.  To have an impact in the larger world.  Cracking the mainstream.  It is the power of many voices.  Undoubtedly, DailyKos has become something of an institution.  And a part of that institution's de facto mission happens to be left-wing activism.  And perhaps some of the voices here (mine, and others I've met here) are so left, that we are an embarrassment to an institution like DailyKos, in its efforts to solidify its place as a bankroll and power broker to the Washington elite.  I mean, I find it both exhilarating and frightening, that my own thoughts have, on occasion, been elevated, through the peer review system, to stand side-by-side the words written by (or for) John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, et al.  It speaks to the grass-roots power of this medium.

So in viewing this place as a growing institution with the power that it has, I come to a second issue.  If this place actually holds some notable power as a fund raising and electoral tool to the party currently representing the left, is it wise to have a governing model for such an institution that rests plenary power in the hands of a single man and his appointees?  I was led to this issue by the notable criticisms from others on this blog – e.g., STFU because this is Kos' blog and it is to elect Democrats.  Perhaps they have a valid point.  But it raises the above question in my mind.  If DailyKos is becoming a powerful broker in the political world, should it be run by one man.  Individuals are prone to make missteps and misstatements.  To say stupid things from time to time.  Not unlike Kos has said in the above title, or during the Pie Fights (IMHO).  And my limited education in political history recalls a time when parties were run locally by corruptible power brokers.  I make no accusation here against any blog proprietor.  I simply ask: If a single blog becomes very powerful, is it wise to have a system of governance in that institution that is, in essence, at the whim of an individual?

I guess I am suggesting that in a community of bloggers, where some power is owed to the number of bloggers that visit a site, ought not the community members have some say in the governance of that site?  I know this is a bit of a radical notion, for those who have difficulty looking in any way beyond the concept of private property rights.  But does not the power of DailyKos, to some extent, flow from the very people who visit it daily to read and write and think?  And if so, ought they not have some say?  I am not advocating a democracy here.  But suggesting that their might be democratic models of governance which might better serve a community.  An elected advisory board, perhaps.  A consultive body drawn from the membership.  Maybe ombudsman, with some power to consult on important decisions.

My comments here are, to some extent, dictated by Kos' statement.  I find it disrespectful, if not indicative of a pervasive attitude of the management.  As an anti-war hippie-esque supporter of feminist causes and espouser of an anarchist political philosophy, I have certainly been offended by Kos' statements and general attitude in the past.  And as a reader and writer at The Booman Tribune and MyLeftWing, I am certainly chagrined that these blogs have been shunned by the new look blogroll.  So hold these items against me if you will.  But I ask the above questions in earnest, because I think there are many liberals here with whom I share much in common.  And I doubt that I am the only blogger who has thought out these issues in this way.  I also view the blogroll issue as more important than Kos himself (if you bother to read the story and thread linked above), because I found those like minds at these other sites through Kos' blogroll.  Absent the inclusive blogroll, as it once existed, I would be a less rich person in terms of friends and thoughts.

The Big Orange, as your community is often referred to at these "lesser blogs," is certainly a powerful place in the blogosphere.  But I'd like to think that your lesser blog partners are important too – and that the blogging phenomenon, in general, is worthy of discussing the above issues.

I can honestly envision a country at war with Iran next month, with about a 90% approval rate of the U.S. population, at the merest hint of another Gulf of Tonkin incident as a spark.  I am not making a prediction.  But I would be less than shocked at such an eventuality.  I can also honestly view blogging as an important tool of the people to band together and oppose such misguided policies.  I think highly enough of the tool to offer these frank thoughts, in the hope that these matters might be discussed.

Originally posted to BostonJoe on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:25 AM PST.

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