Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to get Banned by the Daily Kos

The Daily Kos first billed itself as
a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. … recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum… But it's not a liberal blog. It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory.

Sounds good to me. Then the description goes onto,
This site is about more and better Democrats, not necessarily in that order.

I don’t know how you are going to win elections without more Democrats, especially in this environment, but, they must have some kind of clue.

I used the Daily Kos a few months ago when I had some ideas that needed a poll associated with what I was saying. I blogged under the name Bignerd. I have been blogging at the Huffington Post since August of 2009 under the name Joe the Nerd Ferraro (I was using that moniker long before any plumber guy showed up and stole my idea). With over 1000 fans at Huffington Post, I have been starting to expand a little, Facebook page here, got a nice piece in the Philly Inquirer there… whatever. The Daily Kos was on the list.

I went in with a provocative piece, which is an opinion that I hold about Elena Kagan being SNL‘s Pat. Right up front I led with the idea that I don’t care about this woman’s sexuality. I care more about the emotional support structure she is using, if there is one. Too often sexuality and this structure overlap. I have the opinion that this is a discussable and debatable point. I also think that if the administration wanted to create a sexual smokescreen in the media around this candidate they could seat someone more conservative than another, more known quantity; also a debatable and discussable point.

Within minutes of releasing it on the Daily Kos, I got comments. Most of them were attacking me personally for having written something like this. Well, here’s the link if you want to see what mob rule does… link I hope they leave it up.

I can take it when someone disagrees with me. I can even pretty much take it when they are disagreeable. But what really got me was there was a segment of these folks that wanted me to apologize to their entire site for having an opinion and expressing it. Looking at their commentary, it would have been like thanking the mugger for beating me up. That is a nocando.

A number of people were citing that I had a bunch of negative ratings and no one recommended my diary. That’s ok – obviously a large number of people read it and had a reaction, the purpose of the piece, it worked. The end of the day, even when I apologized to individuals who felt personally offended – some of the piranhas were still attacking. Real tough crowd.

The next day, I figured the way to make it right was to write something more mainstream in their thought process. Show them I am not what they called me the day before. There were a fair number of people who read and commented on the second piece as if the previous day never occurred.

Even more read it and were amused enough by the poll I put up to answer in some of the goofy categories.

But alas, the stalking horses attacked within an hour, again demanding an apology for having written something that soooo offended them that they, the keepers of purity of thought, must hammer the thinker down. My response, straight from the mouth of my Cousin Wanda, coated in a thick Italian accent, TOUGH NOOGIES. Here’s the link and you can think for yourself - link.

By the end of the day, I was banned.

On one level, it is pretty funny.
  • Kagan as SNL’s Pat
  • Rahm Duct-Taping a naked Rove to Ken Starr
  • A bunch of really up-tight hyper-moralists trying to and succeeding in shutting me down.

On another level it is a problem.

This is a site setting itself up for “Better” Democrats. I don’t know how one defines that. I don’t understand how one enforces that. When I was joking on the Huffington Post about this banning, someone suggested that I contact “The KOS” and plead my case. I replied that “The Kos” is probably a good egg, but I don’t know if I want to be associated with a population that acts like this.

What I have experienced is an echo chamber that allows posters to call one another vile and unprintable names. Is that what being a “better Democrat” is about? (I’d rather be a better human anyway.)

I look at the political scale as a circle that when you get too far to the right, you have bent to the furthest reaches of the left. Both have hyper-moralists with no problem purging those with different opinions. These are not people who really believe in the American Idea of free speech. And that’s ok, as the site is owned by the Kos, he’s paying for it, he’s getting the ad revenue from it. It is his business. We all know about the Citizens United Ruling.

If the site is still really about getting D’s elected, here a newsflash:

Dems will lose if you try to make everybody think like you.

There are 300,000,000 people with even more opinions of what the world looks like. As a Democrat who has worked in towns with registration disadvantages of 7 to 1 at times, I can tell you that you need to treat people who do not think like you with respect. They may have ideas that may grow on you.

If you want someone to convert to what you think, what will you give on to compromise with them? Part of politics is give and take, not forming a unithought from groupthink.

I will wear my banning as a badge of honor. I still haven’t decided if I will start a Facebook page along the lines of – “I was Banned by The Daily Kos!

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