Many people have complained that due to the protracted Democratic primary election campaign, we are failing to focus on our general election opponent, John McCain. To some extent, this complaint misses the point: those of us supporting one candidate or the other are doing so because we think that it puts the Democratic Party in the best position to capture the White House and reverse the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration. But to some extent, it's well-taken. Writing diaries promoting one candidate over another or commenting on how the nomination should be decided -- and I freely admit that in the short time since I've returned to this site under a new handle, I am as guilty of this as anyone -- is easy, fun, and not directly conducive to defeating McCain.
So I am proposing a voluntary tax.
About the McCain Tax
The way the tax would work is this:
If you are writing a diary that gives your personal take on the nomination, or that slams one or another candidate, but that does not represent a substantial novel contribution to general understanding of the state of affairs, then you should pay a "McCain tax." That is, you have to dig up some information that will be helpful towards defeating McCain and post it with that diary.
 I believe that "substantial novel contributions" like those of poblano and pocketnines should be exempted from having to pay the tax, because these diaries have already done enough work to benefit the community's understanding of the primary system, and we needn't further burden such efforts.
The McCain Tax Treasury
I have created a page on DKosopedia called McCain Tax Receipts to hold these "payments" until they are ready to be spent. Once the nomination is settled, we will then draw upon these "tax receipts" to defeat McCain. (If you don't have a DKosopedia page, create one, using the link at the upper right.)
The McCain Tax is voluntary, but I hope that people will strongly encourage one another to pay it. It is one way to show that one has one's eye on the ultimate prize, as well as the nomination fight.
Purpose of the McCain Tax
The tax has two purposes. First, we're raising needed "revenue," where that revenue is the information we need to defeat McCain. Second, like any tax, it will tend to suppress the production of that which is being taxed. That's good. If you have a primary campaign diary worth posting, you can, but you should be willing to "pay" a little extra towards our common goal. If your diary is not a substantial novel contribution, and you're not willing to pay your McCain tax, perhaps you should think twice about posting it.
We can discuss whether the McCain tax needs to address McCain directly. My feeling is that it doesn't. Factual information that can be used to cost the Republicans money by slamming another GOP candidate, or the Republicans themselves, is also useful. But taxpayers shouldn't make it too easy on themselves: if you're blogging about the Democratic nomination, you should be willing to pay your tax in that same coin.
Where to File
The best place to file one's McCain tax is probably one's tip jar. Everyone reads it, after all, and showing people that you have your eye on the prize is one way to remind them that, even though you are slamming one candidate, you recognize that we are all on the same side. If you are making a contribution to our understanding on the order of Poblano or PocketNines, your tip jar may want to proudly proclaim: "McCain Tax Exempt."
My first installment in paying my own McCain tax may be found below.