I did this after the 2006 mid-terms, but it got buried by the server outage. I'm doing this now, before Tuesday's election not only so that I can place this out here free of server problems, but because, win or lose - and I expect us to win on many fronts - the sentiment holds true. This is a pretty long diary (as most of mine are, for those of you familiar with my hurricane diaries in the summer), but please read and bear with me... I think it's important - but then again, I wrote it, so of course I think that! :-P
I want to take this opportunity to thank Markos Moulitsas for providing this forum to all of us. I have several points to make on this so let me break it down point by point...
- I'm not being presumptuous by thanking Markos before we vote. Obviously, we're in pretty good shape. But we've got a tough road to 60 Senate seats. And Prop 8 is a tight one in California. And I'm not even willing to presume an Obama win yet. But, win or lose, this forum has clearly made a difference. Would some of the candidates in extraordinarily tight races - Hagan, Martin, Tink - be in these races without the financial and communicative support of this forum? The same may possibly be said for Obama, given the dKos support for him in the primaries. That may be overreaching given what a superb candidate Obama is... perhaps he would have made it this far with or without us. But it is plausible that Obama wouldn't be here without the dKos support.
- I also want to be clear that I'm not heaping praise solely on Markos. The frontpagers (SusanG, DarkSyde, BillPM, KagroX, brownsox, mcjoan and the rest of the crew) are indispensibly critical to the success of dKos. And, of course, so are all of you. Just look at some of the diaries of late. Lots of people struggling with various issues in these tough times, and the dKos community steps forward with support and advice. This community has become a focal point for exchanging views, ideas and advice for many. But... while Markos is now but one cog in the machine, he is, nonetheless, the founder of this blog.
- Markos has a keen eye for combining pragmatism with idealism. That is, he has made his opinions clear on various subject matters. He is unquestionably and unabashedly progressive. Yet, when the demographic situation demands, he will take the "best" option. For example, though most of us here at Daily Kos have a great fondness for the likes of Senators Webb and Tester, we'd be fooling ourselves if we tried to classify them as ultra-progressive. But, look, the likes of Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich aren't going to get elected in Virginia or Montana. Markos got under some Kucinich fans' skin when he made this point on the front page a couple of days ago. But this is, as I read it, precisely his point... We are in it to win it and we will back the "best" candidate. That is not always the most liberal. This is an extraordinarily pragmatic, intelligent approach that has and will continue to win us more and more seats. And if getting seats means putting up ultraconservative Dems in ultraconservative districts/states, well, then, that may be the best we can do. And it will at least give us an extra vote in the caucus to control Congress. Brilliant strategy!!
- Markos has also taken heat for the pseudo-violent rhetoric like "breaking their back". This is supposed to be a thank you to Markos, not a defense. But they are one in the same... because Markos is correct, and his approach to this is just one little ingredient that will help further the progressive cause. I completely understand that here in the compassionate, progressive world there may be some discomfort with such harsh language towards the opposition. However, I would remind you that those we oppose consist of a group of people whose policies have favored torture, bloodshed of our own soldiers and those in foreign lands (soldiers and innocent civilians alike), while their economic policies have put millions of Americans out of work and thrown many on the streets, and whose social policies include serious government intrusion (be it on same-sex relationships, women's rights, privacy issues, etc). These "forces" must be defeated to the maximum extent possible. And in order to assure that they do not return to power, they and their supporters must end up totally demoralized. That means beating them, politically, into a bloody pulp. Markos is correct on this point and, to that end, is to be commended for having the balls to be so brazen about it.
- Markos has also championed issues which do not, in an absolutely direct way, impact him. Obviously, I believe the general issue of civil rights connects us all. So, the rights of one group are, indeed, tied to the rights of another. But it is very easy to ignore the rights of one group if you do not fall into that group. Markos has recently and repeatedly championed on the front page the effort to defeat Proposition 8 in California and the ballot initiative to restrict a woman's right to choose in South Dakota. These issues do not, in a precisely direct way, impact Markos. But he understands the full breadth of the progressive movement and never hesitates to champion these causes. And, as a side note, I'm baffled by the diarists who have called him out on not giving enough attention to this. What?!?!? This isn't the No On 8 web site. He can't dedicate the entire page, 24x7 to this issue. We have a zillion candidates and issues to support. Markos has given ample attention to these issues. And as a gay man myself, who will soon take advantage of our new-found rights in Connecticut, I can't thank Markos enough for the front page love he's given these issues.
Bottom line... I want to use this diary to express my appreciation for what Markos has done here. I also want to thank the rest of the frontpagers and all of you in the community, but this is ultimately Markos' baby. And I don't like to ask people to 'rec' my diary... but I'd humbly ask you to 'rec' this one to be sure that Markos actually sees this. your 'rec' is your 'thanks' to Markos. And I won't leave a tip jar as I'm not doing this for the good mojo. I want Markos to know that his hard work and efforts are appreciated. This community is unquestionably making a difference one election, one race at a time. And that, in turn, is shaping the future of this nation... giving us all hope and opportunity. And, from the start, this has been Markos Moulitsas' brain child.
[Updated] ...just a couple of typos corrected. No change in content. It's KagroX, damn it, not KangroX... sorry KagroX. Thnx to everyone for "signing" the virtu-card.