Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


I’ve been slowly getting up to speed on all the blogosphere biz but still not quite there yet. By pure luck or coincidence I got to see DailyKos at its worst. I read many blogs and remember very few authors. Over at Kos I read all of Meteor Blade’s stuff and that’s about it (the Kos frontpage is a joke). Imagine my surprise when I read a diary about the banning of a very well known diarist who uses TocqueDeville as his/her handle.

I’ll let a part of TocqueDeville’s GBCW diary do the talking.…


Lastly, a lot of people have been suggesting that I must have been warned. Let me be clear: I was never warned. I was just suddenly locked out.

If Markos had simply asked me I would have been more than happy to clarify my position on the record. I would have explained my true intent and the whole bit about gross negligence and put all this conspiracy business aside. But instead I was just locked out. That is a lot of power for one individual to have over another. And that’s one of the reasons I haven’t asked to be reinstated and would not accept it if it was offered. I will never allow someone to have that kind of power over me again.

This point offers a nice segue to something I’ve been wanting to say at Daily Kos for a long time though: Don’t call this a community.

Imagine if everyone were to have gotten together 6 years ago and said, we need a community website for progressive Democrats that we can use to organize, raise money for our candidates, and spread our message.  How do we want to do it?

Now imagine someone stood up and said, “I have an idea. Why don’t we create this website. I will run it and provide the servers. For doing so, I will run ads and get all the ad revenue. Sound fair?”

“We’re still listening”, someone replies.

“I would also, of course, have complete and absolute authority over who can come, and who can stay. I will set the terms of the site, and I will set the rules. If someone breaks my rules, or even if I just get the sense that someone has broken the rules, I will banish them into the aether, never to be seen again. Still listening?”


“And most importantly, I will decide what gets printed on the home page. It will be my sole discretion who gets to speak and who does not. And to top it all off, since I will be the owner of the site, the site will be named after me – “Daily Me”.”

What do you think the response would have been? I’m pretty sure that people would reject that proposal and secondly, I’m pretty sure that this individual would be excluded from any future meetings of the steering committee.

That is what Daily Kos turned out to be. It is a disturbing model for a progressive community. I’ve always had a problem with it. But my abrupt banning draws it into focus for me again. At some point, progressives need to think about a truly open source model for online community organization. One that reflects the values and principles of democracy and fairness that all progressives share.



  1. nrafter530

    and for that matter, the entire liberal blogsphere, are an oasis for those who can’t bear to face reality.

    It’s funny, my brother met the newest member of Congress, Scott Murphy, in Washington this week and he asked me what should I say to him and I tempted to say “stay away from DailyKos and OpenLeft”

    There are times when I think if people like Chris Bowers take over the party, I’m better off a Republican

  2. A spiffy diary.

    Oddly enough, I haven’t been on DKOS for a while, but caught this grand GBCW. Bob Johnson has a pretty crushing reply here, where there’s a brief reminiscence about the primary wars.

    De Toqueville was apparently banned for suggested that the government might have ‘let 911 happen’. Apparently there is a rule about this, buried somewhere in the guidelines.

    To be honest Spiff, I see a lot of hardcore vitriol on DKos, mainly due to groupthink (I get flamed like hell if I don’t agree with any particular party line, and got posted a long essay about how most Americans wanted to kill Brits on sight) but it tends to be from the left. I/P is almost impossible there these days. Economically you’ve got to be a Krugman fan. And on LGBT issues you’d better bring your identity politics along as well.

    Still, it’s worth visiting now and then, especially if you fancy warming yourself up with some flames (which of course they all call falmes these days).

    What I was amazed to see was the number of people saying you had to obey Kos because he’s ‘the Chief’, he ‘owns this site’; an odd mixture of sycophancy and self censorship for the top progressive blog.

    I guess sole proprietors, even benign ones like Kos, create an automatic hierarchy of favour seeking and brown nosing from below.

    Shame this site is a collective. I could do with some bigging up.  

  3. Not too long ago, Fark made its Great Format Change. And Lo there was a Great Gnashing of the Teeth and Many TotalFark Subscriptions were tossed into the wind and there was a mighty migration.

    Prior to the run up, there was an effort to step up Moderation. A lot of regular users who’d been around a while got nailed and booted. And Lo there was a Great Gnashing of the Teeth.

    So, in a great fit of pique, was born. And it’s been like Fark’s retarded and much more foul mouthed little brother. The debate didn’t improve much, but there’s certainly a lot “cock breath!” and “ass munch” in the threads, and random nudity and porn posted. Which is apparently were the ingredients that was long missing from Fark.

    I get sort of a kick out of folks who say that they’re done with Fark, and then go so far as to copy as much of the format as they can, and try to recruit folks to come to their party, because it’s going to be sooooooo much better. Because there’s bewbs! And butts! And you can totally cuss! And it’s, like, light years ahead of those LOSERS at Fark! Yeah!

    But, they have to reference the site and the goings on, and more than a few folks who are at banniNation, have come back to Fark with alts and smuggle “news” back.

    It’s kind of a sad little party. And it reminds me of getting kicked out of the Cool Kids party for peeing in the punch. And then stomping off muttering.

    Are there cases for abuse in bannings from privately owned sites? Certainly. One of the risks that you run. Oh, that pesky of “Terms of Use” thingie that most folks seem to ignore like boilerplate on divorce papers.

    And likewise, when folks sign such things without really looking, Lo there is the Gnashing of the Teeth. That’s a very familiar sound, and it’s clattering from yon post.

  4. There is an evolution in public forums that needs to occur.  I’m still curious what it will look like, but we keep getting examples of what failure looks like and, that, is a start.

  5. how are ya???? so stoked to see ya.  about this, i dunno.  after what i witnessed last year, i never opened a kos account and really only go there when someone provides a link to something.  on a personal note, kos is not one of my faves for the v. same reason.

    that said – i’m not sure how i feel about that GBCW.  its easy for us to moderate our community here as it is a collective that has active and responsible membership – right now.

    but if we got into the 10’s of thousands of accounts, i would guess that the usual trolltasticness would pop up and – obviously this would be much harder to do. so – its possible that kos is just taking the path of least resistance?

  6. HappyinVT

    this week and have been about as lazy as a body can be.  (I’ve showered every other day, though, an ain’t ashamed of it.)

    I’ve also discovered a computer game (Call of Atlantis) that I’ve been addicted to for two days.  This is the first time I’ve been online since Saturday.  I went over to Daily Kos and saw the GBCW diary; didn’t read the 1900 comments.  I have a feeling I know pretty much how they go.  I did read the 150+ comments in the latest Obama Sucks diary; BTW, as that title proclaims he “officially” sucks now.  I thought he started sucking sometime during the transition.

    I’ve concluded that I’m either not angry enough or left enough to read some of the lefty blogs.  Or, else I’m too naive.  Or, maybe I’m actually more of a realist.  People want a reduction in military spending coupled with a closure of bases that we have around the world.  I don’t disagree with either point but does anyone really think that’s going to happen with Obama’s first budget?  Especially when he’s fighting his own party on closing Gitmo?  And still trying to earn his national security cred?

    I’d like single payer but we’re not going to get it.  Again, too many in Congress barely support a public option.  So I guess that means Obama is supposed to veto anything that doesn’t include single payer even though he knows he isn’t going to get it just to make a point.

    The stimulous bill should have been at least a $1 trillion.  Yep, that was going to happen.  Took three Republicans to compromise to get what we got (which was still slightly more than the president asked for).

    I’m over the release of the pictures kerfuffle.  I really don’t get it.  While I’m not sure I buy Obama’s reasons for keeping them under wraps pending another appeal, looking back I really don’t get the angst over the non-release.  The military tribunals thing is a bit concerning; it will be nice to see what he has to say in the am on this.  I’d like to a get a compare and contrast of the “new and improved” tribunals with the civilian courts.  I also wonder if there is some concern about a jury trial (just try to find unbiased folks to give these guys a fair trial).  You cannot force someone to have a non-jury trial so I have to think that having a military tribunal eliminates the potential taint of a jury trial.

    I’m waiting for the explosion on the left if Obama decides to delay the troop withdrawal from Iraq to coincide with the delayed date of the Iraqi elections.  I think it would be reasonable to perhaps slow down the rate of withdrawal to have more troops than currently planned in Iraq in January but most lefties want all the troops out now.  Obama has already been pilloried for pushing the date back three months.  (You know he really isn’t going to remove the troops, right?  Despite him saying he’d do just that umpteen times before, during, and after the election he really isn’t going to withdraw the troops.)

    I’d really like to see who those on the left who disagree with Obama on a substantial number of issues would like to see in his place.  I cannot imagine the crap he and his staff found when they started going through the files in the various departments.  I’m certainly not saying I agree with everything he’s done or not done (DADT being primary) but I also cannot imagine the demands and considerations that play into every decision that he has to make.  It is naive to think he can close Gitmo just by waving a magic wand.  Or that he can piss out a $1 trillion stimulus package.  Or that he can change the DOD into the Department of Peace a la Kucinich.

    Finally, I’d like to think there is room for both those who question everything government does/says and those who tend to take people (even politicians) at their word.  Despite the Bush/Cheney years and deeds I am more apt to see the good in most folks in Washington so it’s helpful to have someone to give another view.  Unfortunately, the people with that other view are too quick to jump straight into the Obamabot, kool-aid swilling attack mode.  I don’t need the hassle.  I’ve got other games to play.  And, now I’m taking the cat for a walk.

  7. louisprandtl

    the DKos drama that is going for last few days after Tocque got banned for a little line in a long monotonous winding essay. And Tocque fans went crazy…looks like quite a few of them like Inky99 had been canned from DKos. I think Kos went overboard with the ban hammer here, a action which smacks little dictatorial. But then that’s what most ban decisions by single site owner is..

    If you’re a Tocque fan and follow his work, you can still read him at DocuDharma Blog which is Buhdydharma’s blog. Looks like Ed Hornbeck also is involved in that blog. I joined up and thus far it reads interesting.

    Saying which I saw BritKid commenting at DKos. I asked him when he is going again at his Dad’s lair…

  8. rfahey22

    The stated purpose of DK is to elect Democrats; the community is molded to that end, and the assumption is that some lines of discussion are destructive of that end.  It’s not really intended as a completely open community, because the proprietor believes that some topics or theories would interfere with his primary mission.  Whether that’s the case is another issue.

  9. spacemanspiff

    Everybody gets sucked into the petty shit.

    Its why gossip rags and “entertainment news” shows do so well.

    The amount of posts in these diaries is staggering. I haven’t seen diaries on Kos do that in a long time. When was the last time?

    When the DavefromQueens (RIP) drama hit the fan.

    I was all over both of these so you can put me in the “can’t look away” camp.

    Fascinating really. If I ever GBCW’d the Moose I’d probably email my peeps and let them know what was up. Or hit them up in a dead thread. I’m careful about saying I’m going to be gone for a hot minute because I want to be clear about the fact that it is NOT a GBCW.

    So yeah. Great conversation here.

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