When I arrived at Daily Kos, probably sometime in 2004, I used to tell people that what was written on these hallowed pages (and yes, some of us consider much of what is written here as hallowed writing), might get reported in the mainstream--this was even before Markos encouraged us to refer to them as the traditional media--weeks or maybe months later.
This was real cutting edge stuff, which made this place so special. How cutting edge? Very cutting edge.
Katrina produced some of the most blistering writing I'd ever read. How many of you remember the series of diaries by a long departed diarist named Flip Floss called, "Put the Ni**ers in the Superdome"? I do.
During those desperate days, I said, and it's still true, I don't know how I could have survived without Daily Kos. I survived because there were other heartbroken kindred souls all looking for answers. We got them here.
It was a great place then, and I have no doubt that despite the best efforts of some to shout down opinion which they may find odious or not fully supportive of the administration, ultimately the truth will always percolate to the surface.
Barack Obama photo journals are lovely. But pictures are only a small snippet of a very large and complex story about the Democratic party, Barack Obama and his trajectory for the nation.
And as we waited out the bleak Bush years, we had this grotesque government which was the ideal institution to place our rage. And rage we did.
Then came elections, primaries and things became a bit more heated in these parts, but there was still some sort of civility. We all seemed to be united in a common goal of electing a Democratic president though we all had our favorites, some sense of order prevailed until. . .
A group of dedicated Hillary Clinton blogger/supporters, led by a blogger named Alegre went on a writers strike to protest the increasingly bitter divide between them (the Clinton supporters) and the supporters of Obama. I would say in retrospect, this was a foreshadowing of the current angry climate in these parts. Like so many others, they never returned, and this is a shame.
Then we elected Barack Obama. And momentarily we were all dazzled with the enormity of the audacious achievement. Things started to deteriorate when many realized that perhaps the new president was not going to deliver on some of the bedrock objectives of his campaign.
As some of you know, I'm like a doctor (though I'm not a doctor). My specialty is healthcare. I know that the new legislation has some serious problems that we need to fix right away or the patient will suffer and might even die. We can't and shouldn't run from this truth. I also know that others feel there has been a lack of bold leadership on things like domestic surveillance, DADT, closing Gitmo, regulatory reform, and most recently the nomination of Elena Kagan. Though on Kagan, I hope and believe she will be a solid progressive. But as I said, I'll defer to the experts on these matters.
There have been a bunch of triumphs which have made us a better nation, and no one should take all that this administration has achieved for granted for a single minute. But they can and must do better. And it's our job to make them live up to the expectations of Americans, like so many of us who campaigned, and contributed to making the dream a reality.
So as my friends say to me quite frequently, get to the point.
There are myriad points. A big point is that there is a huge amount of fine work being showcased here. The diaries by Fishgrease are just the latest example of Daily Kos being way ahead of the curve.
A second point is that those of us who feel it is our responsibility to pull the administration from the left are not going to shut up and sit down. We're going to continually and relentlessly challenge this government to uphold progressive ideals and always do better.
When the DNC/OFA campaigns for Blanche Lincoln, you can take it to the bank, we're going to call them out on it. I can assure you that TomP can scream as loud, if not louder, than anyone around here.
We're going to wage a high intensity battle to make healthcare a right not a privilege. We're going to remind people that despite reform, healthcare costs are exploding and healthcare continues to be a privilege for those who can pay. This is not the change millions of Americans can believe in. HIR is a tiny first step. Better than nothing. But how tragic with a Democratic president, Democratic Senate and House, "better than nothing" is all we can say about it.
If Democrats suffer large losses in November, it will not be because they tried to do too much. It will be because the administration sacrificed real progressive values on the altar of the misbegotten nonsense of bipartisanship.