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There has lately been an alarming rise in diaries and comments that seek to impugn (without evidence) the motives of those they disagree with on various issues.

Yes, there's the impeachment stuff, but this nasty rhetoric is also rampant in the primary war diaries.

This points to a serious breakdown not just on civility, but in the ability of people to properly debate various issues. As such, it presents a serious threat to the integrity of this site.

I much prefer it when the community moderates itself, and for the most part it does a good job of this. The libertarian in me prefers it that way. But sometimes, self-moderation isn't enough. I'll act swiftly and mercilessly when I'm pushed into defending the effectiveness of this site. And at this moment, my patience is wearing thin.

Reasonable people, including progressives, can disagree on many of the big issues we face today -- from which candidate to support in the primary, to whether impeachment is the best way to hold this administration accountable, to the merit of gun control or free trade agreements, to how to handle immigration, to whatever else faces our nation. As a site, we strive to provide a safe haven for debate on these matters without it getting -- as has happened of late -- so damn ugly.

This is my one and only warning on the matter. I'll try to be an optimist and hope that this is the last time I'll have to address it. I won't let this site become as nasty as your typical usenet forum, and those who encourage that sort of environment should consider themselves duly warned.

Update: And no, Bush won't cancel the next round of elections to remain in power. That's about the most ridiculous conspiracy theory I've seen in a long time. Some people on our side can be just as "out there" as the "black helicopter" crowd.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:30 AM PDT.

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