Yesterday a widely read diary by Dreaming of Better Days shared an exchange she had with a fellow Kossack, who didn't understand a reference she made to being "done" in reference to the Debt Ceiling deal and the prospect of cuts to Medicare. The Kossack with whom she had the exchange assumed she was merely frustrated and urged her to fight on, in rather urgent terms. DoBD, however, was referring to a highly personal situation in which her very survival depended on the results of these negotiations. And, in doing so, she reminded all of us about the real stakes of politics. Politics isn't really about who's elected next time, it's about who lives and who dies.
DoBD got some unbelievably graceless and cruel responses from a few posters, including one remarkably callous accusation of "Quitter." But one poster today has outdone even that cruelty, accusing her among other things of "cancer gamesmanship." It is an intolerably sociopathic display.
We argue here all the time, and things often get personal. But some things should be beyond the pale, and one of the sweetest, kindest people ever to grace this community should not be subjected to such bullying. Please review the comment I've highlighted and give that commenter your feedback. Maybe the administrators will notice.
MORNING UPDATE: It is very gratifying to see such an outpouring of support for dear DoBD from the community. She is one of a very few people I would describe as the best of us, and the pain her life circumstances bring her did not need to be added to by creeps on this site. I know she is happy to see so many people standing up for her.
In a larger sense, I hope people take from this shameful episode the lesson that cruel bullying behavior on this site cannot be permitted and must be stopped. The political gets personal, but there have to be limits if we are to maintain a place where we all want to come. The ugliness at this site has already driven away far too many fine folks. The organized nature of such bullying, which has only grown and worsened over the past three years or so, makes it far worse than the previous lone asshole type we used to have to endure. Some commenters have worried that diaries like this one could worsen the problem, and I suppose that's true. But if we can't publicly shame the most egregious offenders, what can we do?
Thank you to everyone who read, commented, and gave the commenter highlighted above your feedback. The two upraters have removed their recs and apologized for making a mistake, so that should be noted for their benefit. The poster has lost a lot of mojo but at this writing still has not achieved skull-and-bones status he deserves. So if you want to register your feelings about out-of-bounds bullying behavior, spare a donut from your box until he does.