The main attraction of Daily Kos is that it prides itself on being a reality-based community, and not just another stewpot for ideology-driven narcissists to mutually masturbate each other's egos at the expense of what everyone else is trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, as is always the case, an aspiration is not a definition, and there is always an undercurrent of bitter, irrational, borderline demented commentary that exists solely to serve a political fetish rather than address reality. Usually it fails to gain traction, but every once in a while a giant, steaming FUD turd ends up on the Rec List simply because it's written more intelligently than the usual single-spaced, Caps Locked rant written by a teabagger trying to sound lefty. Well, folks, there's good news and bad news. The good news is the people who subscribe to anti-Obama conspiracy theories haven't been right once. The bad news is that they really don't care.
Most of the bullshit boils down to Conspiracy-by-association. The President met with _____! He included ____ on an advisory body, knowing full well that this person does not share our values, so he must be in league with our enemies! For instance, let's take a look at a Rec Listed diary outright accusing the President of being involved in a diabolical conspiracy to end Social Security - here is the factual "evidence" it lays out, with all the question-begging, unsupported slander, and supposition removed:
1. The co-chairs of the deficit commission met with rich, pro-austerity conservatives in 2010.
2. The commission participated in events funded in part by a pro-austerity organization, but also by such wingnut front organizations as the MacArthur and Kellogg Foundations.
3. Liberal luminaries attended these events, but received less media coverage. And since Barack Obama dictates media coverage, QED.
4. The President refuses to declare plans before hearing from his advisory bodies.
President commission rejected the pro-austerity plan created by the commission co-chairs, but that doesn't mean anything because...well, just because the diarist says so. Yes, that's right - the diarist uses a fact that discredits the entire premise of the diary as proof of that premise. The commission the President supposedly created to cut Social Security refused to endorse the plan of the co-chairs to do so. Interesting.
Yeah, I'm quaking in my boots that Social Security's demise is imminent because conservatives were spoken to, met with, and their recommendations rejected.
Basically, we're subjected to a "one-drop" standard that has nothing to do with reality: One drop of conservative funding going to an event, even if the vast majority comes from legitimate sources, means the event must be avoided like the plague and any liberal leaders who attend are Fifth Columnists involved in a diabolical plots to destroy America.
Here's a slightly saner interpretation: Obama engaged with conservatives and created the "Catfood Commission" so that he could reject their recommendations and make a public showing of defending Social Security. The fact that the commission did reject their recommendations kind of makes this...umm...slightly more credible than the idea that he was on board with cutting the program. Check that, not slightly: It's the one and only interpretation that makes any kind of sense, and anyone who would continue to advance the idea that he wants to gut Social Security is engaging in Flat Earth reasoning contrary to their own evidence, and basically lying through their teeth on behalf of some sick fetish to attack Barack Obama. But it's always Opposite Day in FUDster Land, so in someone's mind, the President's actions in defense of Social Security are simply proof of a deeper and more diabolical conspiracy.
A lot of people (or else a lot of zombie accounts activated simply to promote anti-Obama FUD) Recced a diary that said something completely unsupported by any evidence it presented, and in fact undermined by that evidence. The claims are nonsensical on their face, unhelpful to the agenda they allegedly represent, and completely contrary to any remote standard of sanity and intelligent analysis. I don't know what exactly motivates people to lie and propagandize against liberal leaders like this, but the facts are clear that they simply don't care that they're repeatedly proven wrong.
It seems like the act of attacking someone prominent is an end in itself for some of these people, and they don't really care what it is they're saying, whether or to what extent it's true, and don't have any interest in what the consequences are for people actually working for change (like Barack Obama, and like most Kossacks) or for the people who are benefiting and will benefit in the future from progressive policies. Lying is a cathartic act of violence for some people, and consequences mean nothing.
Let's take a stroll through memory lane of the various deranged cannibal attacks on the President over his first term:
1. He's a social conservative because he met with conservative religious leaders.
2. He's anti-gay.
2. He intends to keep the Iraq War going forever. (I still occasionally see people making this claim who haven't gotten the memo about recent events).
3. Intends to invade Iran.
4. Intends to cut or even end Social Security and Medicare.
5. Will keep us in Afghanistan forever.
These people haven't been right once, and were never justified in making such claims in the first place. They blame the President for the actions of Congress and the media, attribute all positive actions on his part to nefarious ulterior agendas, and will simply never admit they're wrong or accept any contrary information. In fact, the diary noted above specifically credits the Republican Congress with saving Social Security against the nonexistent presidential plot to end it - the kind of lunatic Mirror Universe narrative that could only come from such a mentality.
Is there a pattern we're seeing to this kind of narrative? Does anyone find it ironic that these people keep parroting wingnut propaganda and casting Republicans in the role of the Lesser Evil while portraying the only person standing in their way as basically Satan - a person they do not conceive of having a conscience or any moral virtues whatsoever, despite all evidence to the contrary? The level of unreason and unaccountability in these propaganda diaries at times borders on psychopathic, and I find it amazing that it's even tolerated, let alone rewarded.
There are legitimate differences of opinion, and then there are just people who want to fuck with you and will use any excuse to do so. The diary I mentioned above is very well-written, and does an unusually good job of cloaking what are basically lies and deranged non sequiturs in otherwise straightforward facts that don't in any way support its thesis. On that basis alone, I did not HR it - competent mendacity should be rewarded, because it at least recognizes the existence of reality enough to make an effort to overcome it. But the bottom line is that it's still a despicable, worthless piece of lying bullshit, and any actual Kossacks who recced it need to read diaries more carefully before recommending them. The same goes for all similar diaries, especially in an election year.
The quest for "Better Democrats" begins at home, and starts with refusing to indulge liars, bigots, and political autoimmune disorders that demonize anyone who comes within a country mile of achieving anything for the American people. I have sympathy for people enraged by the status quo, but no sympathy for anyone who thinks that gives them license to be part of the problem.