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.
(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...