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Hello Fellow Kossacks,

After further discussion, a fellow Kossack and I are beginning to develop a base full of Democrats and progressives who are interested in bringing a productive dialog into the progressive dialog and fight.  Mind you, the goal of ours, like everyone on Kos, is to elect Democrats, ideally progressive Democrats.

However, our goal here is to place emphasis on the more ideal and practical approach to politics, which consists of diplomatic discussion, productive activities and discussing how IT can be used in innovative ways to bring activism to a level that invites new voters to register as Democrats and vote for Democratic candidates.  Instead of yelling at these potential voters, liberal or conservative, inviting dialog without throwing the target under the bus is the approach.

In other words, if you are looking to speak with conservatives, understand where they come from, what their views are in detail and how they might apply to the dialog that can be discussed amongst us progressives on Daily Kos.  Granted of course we cannot change all conservatives, it's more likely for them to vote for Democratic candidates so long as people make the case for the candidates in as less of a partisan way as possible.  Basically, we're asking people to defend their views honestly.

If you are progressive, then you should prove it.  If you want to be in the fight for progressive activism, then you must be ready for debate or willing to learn.  We cannot afford to lose additional seats or not win additional seats in 2014 if we on Kos are too busy spending time venting on President Obama not being liberal enough or saying, "Oh, this district is not liberal enough."

Folks, the November 2012 presidential election was over but that doesn't mean we aren't going to focus enough on 2014.  I am not going to sit around and twiddle my fingers, shoot Nerf missiles and moan and groan on the Internet for no purpose other than just venting while other Republican U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senators continue to obstruct President Obama's agenda, which actually went off to a good start in the years 2009 and 2010.

This is not what the Knowledge Democrats group is about.  We will be active on Daily Kos but we will open the dialog to any who actually want to be practical, rather than yell at each other and debate who on Kos is more progressive.  Again, remember, the goal on Kos has been and always will be to elect Democrats.

As far as actual topics the Knowledge Democrats will cover, they range from the following:

*Covering all races in the country, local, state and federal.  No district or state is left behind, no matter how red it is.  We're not going to wait for the DCCC, DSCC, DNC, Democracy for America or anyone else to start a 50 state strategy.  

*Discussing how IT can be used as a means of communicating and bringing the cause of activism.  This means of course we don't want just Internet tools, we want innovation engines.  This includes us thinking of ways to communicate more aggressively and even productively.

*Focusing on issues and concerns in general for citizens in states as far as how their associations and organizations should be improved.  For instance, take a look at the EDD (Employment Development Department).  This is an example of a poorly run state organization which while serves as an important resources for the unemployed to receive benefits, is the worst organization for communicating in all the state of California.  The EDD may use Twitter and You Tube but it's internal and overall communication is flawed to say the least and the website is horrible as far as concise and sufficient enough information and resources for those unemployed to get back in the work force.

The Knowledge Democrats movement is started by me in response to my recent efforts covering the Congressional race between Rep. Darrell Issa and Democratic challenger Jerry Tetalman in California's 49th Congressional District.  Tetalman is an example of a Knowledge Democrat, one who while being very progressive, still is not that much of a partisan compared to a number of other Democrats who ran in races in 2012 and in previous years.  We need productive progressive dialog.

A few videos of Jerry Tetalman should give you an idea of what the Knowledge Democrats are going for:

To get an idea of how productive dialog can exist amongst progressives in the Knowledge Democrats movement, look no further than to George Lakoff:

Anyway, if you are interested in joining the Knowledge Democrats group, feel free to message me on Daily Kos's messaging system, my e-mail at or post a response here and I'll contact you for further details.

Remember, what's our real goal in 2014?

No, it's not to give Barack Obama the short end of the stick.  It's to elect more Democrats to Congress and hopefully progressive ones.

Originally posted to pipsorcle on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:08 PM PST.

Also republished by Knowledge Democrats.


If the Democratic Party wins the House in 2014 and either keeps or expands the majority in the Senate, how are you going to celebrate?

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| 13 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good luck (0+ / 0-)

    I hope you have the emotional sensitivity of a rhino's skin to handle the hate thrown at you by non-progressives.

    They are viscous and unrestrained here.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:15:38 PM PST

    •  viscous and sticky (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      maybe also vicious...

      •  they have yet to release a dyslexic proof (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        spell check.

        And I can't see my misspellings with red arrows and neon lights.

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:24:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And they are thick here (0+ / 0-)

        so it works.

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:38:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They're more overly emotional than anything (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        augustin, Pluto

        I've dealt with hate my entire life and it's not even personal.  No matter how much emotion people on Kos release, I remind those I debate with that they are accomplishing nothing.

        Seriously, what should be done right now is phone bombing

        Oh and there was a post on Kos that attacked MIT, even though it's one of the most reputable science-related colleges in the U.S.  I knew a fellow Berkeley High graduate (that's Berkeley, CA) that attended MIT.  Said it was a great program.  I'm thinking, all that there was present was just venting.  What good does it do anyone?

        I mean, right now what should happen is that people focus on voter registration drives so we can get more people eligible to vote for the 2014.  The more voters leaning Democratic to register the better.

    •  I know conservatives and non-progressives (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My mom is a conservative Republican herself, growing up within one of the most red districts in the United States: Ogden, UT.  Her brother is a regular Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.  I also debate Democrats, progressives, Green Party people and even socialists regularly and usually I win.  It's not because I'm trying to be superior but unlike others, I work to clarify my arguments without being a dick.

      Even Markos himself would agree.  He used to be a former Republican, from what I understand.

  •  You won't have much trouble recruiting on the left (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    augustin, Pluto

    It's the right where I'd be worrying about finding people willing to have a reasonable debate.

    We do need more of this; I don't mean to be cynical.  The Sunday talk shows, with shouting and japes and interruptions, are awful.  The Presidential "debates" are going downhill:  Biden was right to ridicule Ryan, but it sets a bad precedent.  It's as if the guy who wins is the one willing to give the other the biggest wedgie.

    But a lot of the problem, and the reason I understand Biden's frank impatience with Ryan (however contrived it was), is that misinformed and disingenuous people push pseudoscience. And with that comes all the false-equivalence garbage we've all seen.  Remember R-money telling Obama that Obama wasn't entitled to his own facts?  As if the snappy comeback, not the argument on the merits, wins.

    We need good debate, but there's so much Orwellian horseshit to cut through.  It gets really wearying, which I guess is what it's designed to do, because a stymied debate can mean a lack of reality-based consensus, and a lack of action. A good example of that is the NRA's war on gun science (Salon).

    Broad swaths of society have very low standards for discourse. It's hard.  Like many here I support the effort to have a better conversation, and have tried, but it gets tiresome.  So I retreat and pick smaller, incremental battles.  (Hell, I twice voted for a guy I thought was going to fight the big battles like FDR, and I got an Evan Bayh.)

    So here's some rhetorical strategery, if you haven't head this already:

    In punditry: bombastic beats earnest; sarcastic beats bombastic; and earnest beats sarcastic. (uncertain attribution)

    Good luck, and per comments above, may your/our skin be tough and teflon-y.

    "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

    by dackmont on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:01:52 PM PST

    •  positive discourse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, dackmont

      To a large extent, the very poor political atmosphere you are referring to is due to the election method used.

    •  It helps to listen to George Lakoff (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      augustin, Pluto, dackmont

      Not enough people on Daily Kos mention George Lakoff.  I have NO idea why but people on Kos say they are progressive.

      Look, we don't have to act reactionary like Dennis Kucinich does.  It's possible to be progressive like Jerry Tetalman has become because, let's face it, a reason why not enough Independents (and even conservatives) come to the Democratic Party is because it's too partisan for them.

      In other words, we can't criticize the GOP for being partisan hacks yet become partisans ourselves and have it both ways.

      •  I'll check out Lakoff but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't want us to fall into the false-equivalence trap.  GOP is over the top partisan; our opposing them doesn't make us excessively partisan.  If we let that argument take hold, we've let the GOP set the terms of the debate as "gridlock" as opposed to where we should focus it: their own intractable obstructionism and absurd, anti-science, anti-humanistic agenda.  Check out this diary: The Far Right Has Poisoned Our Political Debate by Andy Schmookler (you'd probably like him: reality-based, tells it like it is, argues on merits, out of patience with GOP but civil).

        "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

        by dackmont on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:49:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't have to abandon progressive views (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          augustin, dackmont

          Look, I come from Berkeley, the same city that Daily Kos was founded in (and where Markos lives).  I've lived in the city well before even Markos and Daily Kos set shop so if there's anything I know about people in Berkeley, they are ready to debate.  No matter what point of view you have, you are welcome but just be prepared to debate at there are quite a number of liberals, progressives and even socialists around.

          Of course, opposing the GOP doesn't make us excessively partisan.  What makes us excessively partisan is when we resort to talking points all the time when on stations like MSNBC and end up not revealing enough facts.  What gets me is that we have all the knowledge on the world with the Internet and I see people like Debbie Wasserman Shultz (who by the way did an excellent job at running the DNC) continuing to talk like every other Democratic pundit.  I understand the need for PR but I want fighters, not robots.

          I suggest you read my interview with Jerry Tetalman to get some insight:

          •  Agree completely -- I will check out your rec'd (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            reading, and I'm sorry for coming off as a buzzkill/cynic ... didn't mean to project my disenchantment with popular discourse onto your attempt to raise it!  (Yet that's more or less what I did!)  It needs raising badly, and what you're doing as WAY better than being all disillusioned.  There is hope:  people do like being talked to as adults, which is a good part of why Obama won twice.  thanks...

            "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

            by dackmont on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:50:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No apology needed but appreciated (0+ / 0-)

              I'm in the profession of business analysis (focusing on IT/Software requirements, analysis, etc.) and it is in my nature to be knowledge based and to provide insight and information to those who can use enlightenment.  Of course, I debate but I never call people names nor try to be superior.  I just think, given the knowledge we have in the world, why is it we don't apply it but insist on getting frustrated instead?

              Since I mentioned IT, a number of Kos people mention to me that IT people are neoliberals.  I really doubt these people have worked in IT or even Silicon Valley because I know and have met with a number of IT people who are liberal and progressive (at the company Zendesk in San Francisco, it's VERY liberal there).  Hell, even Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been a loyal Obama supporter since 2007 and when I make a post about her on Kos, people are literally ripping me for doing so.  Seriously, she was the first female engineer at Google, gave a lot of input to the Google Maps and other applications on Google which people on Kos use themselves.  Then of course, Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff is liberal and he co-chaired Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.  Cloud computing is more environmentally friendly and uses less energy.  God, we say we're better than Republicans yet how are we going to bring more people into the Democratic Party if we are going to be partisan?

              I think progressives really need to define and re-define what it means to be such.  Is there a real difference between being extremely liberal versus progressive?  The way I see it, being progressive means you have a lot of liberal view points but you also think into the future and always work to find ways to improve things.  In order to do the later, you need knowledge.  Knowledge doesn't always come in a political view point but even if it does, you simply can't shut the mind off to something you disagree with.  If you disagree with someone, why not understand why they are disagreeable.

              I mean, you have a former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly who is a progressive but is a complete ass because he is not diplomatic and most of his time, he was going after Mayor Gavin Newsom for the most ridiculous reasons, even though Newsom is liberal (not a moderate as a number of people  claim he is) and is the one who started the whole gay marriage movement in the first place.  Newsom was much better as a Mayor than Willie Brown but not enough progressives in SF want to give him a chance.   Sometimes I think they're just thinking more into emotion.  

              And you wonder why we can't win in red districts.

  •  I like what you are doing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dackmont, Neon Vincent

    ....and wish I had the temperament to do so, myself.

    I imagine in 30 years or so, there will be structural changes in the US that will wash these issues away. That must happen because there are structural flaws -- like the slave-owners constitution that confers no human rights or protections against exploitation or propaganda -- that holds them firmly in place. Another structural flaw is monopoly ownership of public-owned broadcast with no Fairness Doctrine in place. Not to mention the privatization of the Federal government.

    As for partisan politics, I have to agree with David Kearns on that:

    The polarization of politics in the US is a myth.

    While the parties have amplified their rhetorical venom against one another over the last decade, and while they have become more intransigent on policy questions that divide them, over the last few decades both of them have occupied positions increasingly off to the right, as measured on the spectrum of politics in developed nations over the course of the last 100 years.

    There is no Left at all in the US political establishment.

    Further, as surveys of popular opinion on key issues demonstrate with regularity, the two parties now stand well to the right of the electorate.

    In my view, you're dealing in a synaptic void.

    I admire your willingness and vision. For my part, I must have a better return on my investment -- if I were to make one.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:13:15 PM PST

  •  And when you get depressed because (0+ / 0-)

    commenters here get to call you a nut job for promoting progressive values here and get uprates what are you going to do?

    Great idea but this is not the place for Progressive values. I've had to give way too many virtual hugs to Progressives on their way out here. Anyone remember Anonymouse?

    This is the place where Progressive hope goes to die.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:48:36 AM PST

    •  Promoting constructive dialog, progressive values (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      Daily Kos is a great web site with a huge user base, but the signal to noise ratio is abysmal!

      That's why pipsorcle and myself are trying to start a new movement from the ground up, using a better community web site organisation. The Knowledge Democrats movement is based here: Knowledge Democrats project. We are only getting started and we are still organising things.

      Since I am the project host, I will ensure that things are organised in a way that ensure high signal/noise and action/talk ratios. Although I am myself a progressive, is not necessarily a progressive web site, but it is a web site were we'll do our best to foster a constructive dialogue for the sake of our whole society!

      This is the place where Progressive hope gets revived!!

      You are very welcome to join us and give our project a try!

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