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I turned 43 today. In honor of the event I told myself I would so something "reckless" and "ill-advised." Posting political commentary on YouTube seemed to fit the bill perfectly, so that's what I did: I created a video in support of Lawrence Lessig's  Mayday PAC, the "SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs." I can't think of anything more dangerous than posting an opinion on YouTube, so... mission accomplished.

When I was trying to decide whether to post a link to it here (which I ultimately decided not to do, for reasons listed below), I found myself questioning whether I should, and it led me down one of those meta-rabbit holes that everyone hates.

Daily KOS is a partisan site. I'm not using "partisan" negatively, I'm using it in the context of "YES DKOS HAS CHOSEN A SIDE" -- which, you know, duh. Daily Kos is a partisan site with the mission (I am paraphrasing, but Kos has said something to this effect more than once) of electing more and better Democrats. This is a pretty straightforward and simple mission statement. I like the straightforward, no-nonsense presentation of it. It's served the site well.

So based on that mission statement, is it appropriate for me, as a member of the community, to post a link supporting an organization that makes no bones about supporting a Republican candidate over a Democratic one based on a single issue? I'm not a registered Democrat, and I don't always agree with all the positions DKos takes, but I am a member of the community, have been for a while, and I value that community.

The obvious answer to my question is "no," and that may also be the non-obvious answer, but I'm going to speculate more. Follow me after the Great Orange Squiggy of Ultimate Social Justice as I go meta.

(Sorry meta-haters!)

(Disclaimer: I personally support Mayday PAC. This post came out of deciding whether or not posting about that support was appropriate in this community.)

Daily Kos' mission is to elect more and better Democrats. I assume (though it's not a given) that the majority of people on DKos, including the ones who run it, would prefer a Democrat who supports election finance reform over one who doesn't. In that respect, Mayday PACs aim, to increase the number of overall politicians in office who support campaign finance reform, is good.

However, Mayday PAC is specifically nonpartisan and allows contributors to earmark their funds specifically for Democratic or Republican candidates, if they choose. Which means that if Mayday PAC is successful, it seems likely that at some point it will run a pro-reform Republican against a pro-PAC Democrat.

I'm not going to say an "anti-reform Democrat" because that's not necessarily true. It may be the Democrat is in favor of reform but isn't willing to commit to it publically because, at a very practical level, they've decided they need PAC contributions.

It may also be that aside from their specific stance on election reform, they are a solid, reliable, generally great Democrat.

And the Republican candidate the PAC backs may genuinely be pro-reform and be relied upon to vote reform in. He or she may also be in favor of restricting women's access to health care on the platform of "opposing abortion," in favor of cutting public assistance programs, doubling down on dangerous foreign policy decisions... you get the idea.

Which means in a scenario where there is a genuine chance for election reform, there may also be a genuine possibility of losing valued team players on your side based on that single issue.

How does DKos handle that? On one level I don't think anyone can argue the system isn't broken. Citizens United and subsequent rulings have broken it further. There is no single-party fix, unless your dream is to somehow manage a supermajority in the Senate, a solid majority in the House, and a Democratic president--and we've seen in the past that even that can be less effective than you'd expect.

On the other hand, if your mission is to elect more and better Democrats, the "more" part requires not losing the ground you have -- primarying the bad Dems and replacing them with better ones, but not ceding ground to the opposition. And a PAC that actively endorses and gives money to the opposition is not part of that plan.

On the other hand, making gains in a system that is rapidly falling apart due to monied interests may not actually be a gain in the long term.

On the other hand, DKos doesn't support third party candidates. It's focused on the Democratic Party. Why would it consider a PAC that wasnt?

On the other hand...

see? Very meta. I can go round and round and round on this all day. So I ask you all: how does DKos handle situations like this? Is it OK to talk about ideas that may, at least in the short term, conflict with the DKos mission statement? Or is it something that will get your posts sent off to the same farm all the truther posts go to? (A farm where they can run and play with all the other truther posts just like them.)

Ultimately I decided not to post the link, and post this instead, since I thought this question was more interesting (and, for me, more useful) than the video...


Mayday PAC is:

14%3 votes
71%15 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
4%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
9%2 votes
0%0 votes

| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
    - Edward Young

    by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 07:47:32 AM PDT

  •  let's see how much this diary will be ignored ... (0+ / 0-)

    so, who is the Republican, Mayday Pac supports? Is it just that one or several and what do we know about that Republican's other political view points?

    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

    by mimi on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:44:08 AM PDT

    •  I don't think they support anyone yet. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi, Catte Nappe

      Right now they're in stage one of their plan -- essentially gathering funds to see how many candidates they can support in 2014 as a "trial run." As far as I know they have endorsed no one yet.

      However, when you make a contribution on their site, you can earmark your contribution to either Democratic candidates only, Republican candidates only, or make it a general contribution.

      So right now the conflict is potential rather than actual -- it will probably occur, but is not now occurring.

      The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
      - Edward Young

      by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:53:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Other: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Johnny Q

    If option number one

    in pretty much the same boat as third party candidates. Not appropriate for discussion here.
    is the official muzzle given to people who comment, post diaries or read here, who might dare to think they have their own ideas about candidates they want to support and do not necessarily are in agreement with whatever candidates this site's owner and his staff think are appropriate to support, I lose my interest.

    If we can endure thousands of pooties and hundreds of snarkies and millions of non-political jokes and heart-breaking pleas concerning personal issues are tolerated to be posted here, (as a very good intention to draw and build community and viewers) I think that it would be an inappropriate to muzzle  comments on candidates some are thinking to support that are not "officially approved".

    Some people still come for the policies, you know ...

    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

    by mimi on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 09:01:42 AM PDT

  •  Navajo told me I am a loner and apparently (0+ / 0-)

    I am very much one, especially in your diary's environment.

    Well, ignoring, staring down, silencing through non communication won't work on the long run. And it causes hate as well.

    But let them make that experience themselves. I made my point.

    Thanks for writing the diary. The experience to see what happens to it, is what I needed to learn.

    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

    by mimi on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 09:08:17 AM PDT

    •  Well, I don't know... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi, Catte Nappe

      ... I don't know that it's accurate to say this diary is being ignored exactly. A lot of people post a lot of things here and people tend to pick and choose what they want to pursue. Some topics get pursued a lot, others not so much. Some of it has to do with when you post, a lot of it has to do with how passionately the potential reader feels about the issue you're discussing.  A lot of readers just don't care about meta issues -- not out of malice, but just because it's not what they want to read about on the site.

      (Which is why I put "meta" in the title -- it serves as fair warning, so people who aren't interested can move on.)

      I suppose it's theoretically possible that people are deliberately snubbing the article for some specific reason. I don't know what that reason would be, though. On DKos it's a lot more likely for you to get downrated or get caught in a pie fight than it is for people to just shun you.

      It's a lot more likely that today people are more interested in news articles about Hobby Lobby or guns than they are in a discussion about the nuances of whether a specific topic is appropriate in the greater context of DKos' mission.

      The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
      - Edward Young

      by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 09:24:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You wouldn't be the first (0+ / 0-)

    Other's have written favorably about them.
    Lawrence Lessig's Mayday PAC Meets Its $1M Goal In Thirteen Days
    Why is MAYDAY.US and Lawrence Lessig not Supported at the GOS ?
    “We cannot ignore this corruption anymore.”

    But you do raise an interesting conundrum. I voted with the "It's like Planned Parenthood" comparison.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 10:11:27 AM PDT

  •  Happy Birthday! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a Mayday PAC supporter, so there are a few of us here. Not sure how a strong push for it would be received.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

    by TracieLynn on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 10:17:02 AM PDT

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