If you've been hanging around this website as long as I have, first off, congratulations for sticking around this long.
If you can remember a time when this website was the go-to place for insightful news and thoughtful commentary from a well-informed liberal perspective, then I'd bet you're feeling as disappointed as I am. By now, you've probably been called a race-baiter, a woman-hater, and everything else in-between. Are you fucking sick of it yet? I know I am.
This community was once a lighthouse of reason and common sense, and it can be that again. So, rather than write up some pathetic GBCW diary, I'm setting myself the ambitious goal of trying to steer the conversation in this community back toward the high ground of rational, informed discussion for which it was originally known.
First, however, we must clear up some bullshit. In order for us to do that together, you must follow me below the fold.
You're still here? Great. Now, let's get to work.
BULLSHIT PROPOSITION NUMBER ONE: BILL CLINTON IS RACIST
The basis for this scurrilous slander against the former President began with the following remark from Bill Clinton:
"Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."
This single comment sparked literally hundreds of diaries and comments, all accusing "the first black President" of denigrating Dr. King's dream and being a closet bigot.
Here is the full quote, in context.
See? Wasn't that easy? All you had to do was look at the fucking context and you could see that Bill was referring not to Obama's campaign, his chances to win, or Dr. King's Dream, but to his position on the Iraq War. For more on this topic, please see this diary.
On Daily Kos, you are expected to think before speaking, and check your facts before writing. That's not a site rule, it's just basic fucking sense. If you published anything on Daily Kos regarding Bill Clinton's racism before checking the context of his remarks, you are personally responsible for the diminishing quality of discourse on this website.
BULLSHIT PROPOSITION NUMBER TWO: THE CLINTONS ARE RACIST THROUGH THEIR SURROGATES
Fresh on the heels of the Bill Clinton "fairy tale" bullshit comes this boneheaded comment from Andrew Cuomo.
"You can't shuck and jive at a press conference, you can't just put off reporters, because you have real people looking at you saying answer the question, you know, and all those moves you can make with the press don't work when you're in someone's living room."
Whether or not you think Andrew Cuomo is a racist, the term "shuck and jive" is certainly racially charged. We can all agree on that, right? (If you don't, then please read this diary.)
So, the question becomes, 'Does that comment reflect poorly on the Clinton campaign?' Um, hell no! Cuomo is the Attorney General for New York state, and he has no connection whatsoever with the Clinton campaign, official or unofficial. In the succinct words of Kossack TooFolkGR:
Andrew Cuomo is totally fucked if he thinks he's getting the Democratic Presidential nomination now.
Andrew Cuomo is not a spokesman for Hillary Clinton. It takes about five minutes on Google to establish this fact. It takes eight keystrokes to type "dailykos" into your browser, it only takes six to type "google." Believe it or not, if you commit yourself to doing a minimum amount of research before you react to something, you will actually save yourself (and the rest of us) a considerable amount of time and energy.
If you jumped to the conclusion that Cuomo was speaking on behalf of the Clinton campaign, listen up: before you engage in some knee-jerk shit-talking, first you need to let your fingers do the walking.
BULLSHIT PROPOSITION NUMBER THREE: HILLARY'S WIN IN NH WAS TAINTED BY DIEBOLD TOUCH SCREEN MACHINES
DHinMI skewers this line of theorizing here, so I don't have much to add. However, I will point out that any theory which can be so easily dispelled with a statement like this:
New Hampshire has no touchscreen voting.
... has no place on Daily Kos to begin with.
The rule around here is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. As much as I respect the work of Brad Friedman, a copy and paste from his blog just doesn't cut the muster. Did you do any research of your own? Did you verify your facts with independent sources? If not, then what the fuck are you doing bringing half-finished work to Daily Kos? We don't want that shit here.
BULLSHIT PROPOSITION NUMBER FOUR: EDWARDS IS BEHIND IN THE POLLS BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVEN'T HEARD ENOUGH ABOUT HIM
This is a tough one for me personally, because (Oh, shit!) I happen to be an Edwards supporter. I believe in my heart and soul that John Edwards would make the best president, and I came to that conclusion on the basis of his thoughtful and well-articulated positions on the issues. That does not mean that I can't respect and appreciate the reasons others have for supporting the candidate of their choice.
I agree with those who say that the media is not giving John Edwards a fair shake. However, it does not automatically follow that I want to see a diary on why John Edwards is the bestest candidate ever every fucking time I look at the Recommended List. That's not what the Rec List is for, and in case no one has noticed, all of those Recommended Diaries haven't moved him one point in the polls.
The purpose of this website is to elect good Democrats. Notice that little "s" at the end of the word "Democrat." If and when John Edwards wins the nomination, I don't expect to hear the phrase "avalanche of Recommended Diaries on Daily Kos" in his victory speech. TomP does an excellent job of holding up the flag for the John Edwards supporters on Daily Kos, and I am perfectly content to let him speak for me.
I could go on and on and on and on with this, but I think four examples is enough for now. The basic point I am trying to make with this diary is that when you don't do your homework, you hurt the community. People are leaving this website in droves. If you are in the habit of reacting to something before you have a grasp on the complete context of the subject, then you are part of the problem.
Daily Kos is not and should not become a dumping ground for partisan hackery. Are we partisan? Yes, and unashamedly so. But when we jump to conclusions, fail to do our research, and fly off the handle, we only hurt each other and our community.
Yes, this is primary season. Yes, we are divided over who we think should be the nominee. Yes, there is going to be some friction. But for the love of Jesus and a pony, we have spent far too much damn time attacking each other this year. Edwards opponents are not elitist corporate lackeys, Obama opponents are not racist geriatrics stuck in the past, and Hillary opponents are not misogynist tools of the patriarchy. We have three of the best candidates for president in a generation, and by God, one of them is going to fucking win.
In closing, let me articulate the end-all, be-all proposition of ultimate bullshit on Daily Kos, from which all other bullshit on this website flows:
IF SOMEONE ON DAILY KOS CALLS YOU A JACKASS, THEY MUST BE A REPUBLICAN TROLL.
Come on, people. We can do better than this.