I understand the discouraged and disappointed people here who went from the high of our election battle to too many low and petty post election discussions. When someone says they need to leave, or need a break, then I trust they know themselves well enough to say so.
But truth be told, there is also an element of anger in these good-bye for nows. A need to make a statement, and that's OK too. For many, this site was a political home place, and folks want to say why they're no longer at home here. I get that. And I think it serves the site well to hear why we're losing the voices we are.
All that said, for myself, I'm staying. I'm a pragmatist by and large, who rejects much of the all or nothing discussion here. I've spent my career learning to compromise, and if I hadn't, I wouldn't still be successfully self employed after 30 years, including through a couple of recessions, not the least, the grand daddy of them all, the most recent one
Still, if I'm weary, and life has been like sand paper on my soul, I know how to take care of me. I know how to avoid the diaries that will piss me off. I know how to dip in and dip out---no where is it easier than on the internet, where with one click, you've escaped! Try that at a bad dinner party or family get together.
I was not surprised by the resurgence of angry liberals here after the election. I see it as a sort of huge release of swallowed fear and voice that had muffled itself in efforts to not wake up with Mitt Romney as president.
Whatever you want to say now, this site DID COME TOGETHER to re-elect Obama, and as many members of the house and senate as we could. We were a whirling dervish of fund raising, canvassing and phone calling. We shared and educated each other about the polls, which ones made sense, which didn't. I don't know what I'd have done without y'all in this last election year.
So as ying is to yang, now there is a counter swing---the freedom of some to say the things they felt they could not when the stakes were so high. To be expected, imo, particularly when we go without a sustained deep breath from the election to the "fiscal cliff."
I want to make it VERY CLEAR, that I do not want a repeat of 2010 and the lead up to it here. For those who want to tell me, again, that it was not progressives who lost us that election, I believe you. I believe that those here full of anger with the president, plugged their noses and voted in 2010. But spirit is an ephemeral thing. You can't clock it, or poll it, or say it how it works towards outcomes. And it does not thrive with a plugged nose.
The Democratic party lost its spirit in 2010, and I think that's inarguable and MUCH bigger than this site. Why that happened, I don't care to argue about. I only know I don't want it to happen again.
So. IF, as the weeks and month pass by, I see this site headed in a downward spiral of negativity that beats down the spirit as we approach 2014, I too will leave. Knowing myself, there will be no diary about it, I'll just fade away, on to greener pastures. And then maybe I'll fade back in some day. Either way, whether I go or stay is not the point.
For now, I'm staying. Which is not to say I won't be other places too, I will be, and I have been. But this is still my political home. And I hope there are others like me who are going to hang in there with me. This site needs every one of you who is willing to fight for some perspective and balance.
After all, there ARE fights within our party that must be addressed. Are they always addressed here in substantive way? No, sir. Lately not even most of the time. Pre-election, almost all the time. Sometimes the passing show needs time to shake out,
to acquire its balance. And patience is necessary.
Finally I want to say this. To bjm and Mets, and any one else who needs to break free and breath some fresh air, I say, you go! Explore, experience, learn. I deeply respect your voices, and will miss them here, and keep my fingers crossed that it's temporary, and that you will return. Hopefully soon. We need you.
For the rest of us who are staying, how can we do this better? Sux or rox, or in-between, how can we challenge ourselves to language that encourages, rather than discourages conversation?