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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #28)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:44 AM

53. When did this rule come up?

Last edited Sat May 5, 2012, 05:27 PM - Edit history (1)

While it is Presidential campaign specific I think it resonates at a deeper level and not in a good way. Back in the dark days 10 years ago I remember DU being for the lonely few who thought Democrats should act like Democrats, not Republican Lite. I nearly got my ass kicked at local establishments in Wisconsin for saying I was a Dem, or that Fox News wasn't news. Meanwhile the state and local parties lined up behind those who could raise money and appeal to soccer moms. The Repub Lite approach led to a lot of losses 10 years ago. We on DU were the only ones with the balls to say we were Democrats when mealy mouthed candidates would never speak of big "D" Democrats, and often said they were independents while gaining local party endorsements. This lead a few local DUers, myself included, to take over the local Democratic party. Its been successful ever since.

But now it's Democrats uber alles and do what you're told? Wouldn't that make this site "Democratic Overground"? "Democrats Above Ground"? Or some other word play on "under"? I feel this approach leads to local and state parties also initiating the above "don't challenge our incumbent," policies as we back slide away from where the Democratic wave crested and broke in 2008. This approach would have added to the official state party chorus that thought it was bad to primary an incumbent Democratic Wisconsin State Senator in 2010. But without one important primary victory people would never have heard of the WI 14 or its young freshman Senator Chris Larson. Instead the conservative Democrat he defeated would have sat on his ass and given Gov. Walker everything he wanted last February, choking off the bargaining rights protest movement in its first week .

I know we must consider the practice of Republicans running sock-puppet accounts. Their goal is to sew seeds of discord not by arguing to vote for Romney or Paul, but instead unendingly advocating to not vote for Obama (or the Democrat in question), usually ending with a, "that'll teach the Dems to listen to us," statement.

I've seen the conservative memos outlining this very strategy. It is a real tactic. But it is a desperate tactic of a conservative party devoid of any ideas other than to suppress our ideas and our votes. These sock puppets are easy to spot by an experienced moderator, but banning these obvious plants sometimes leads to knee-jerk banning of all dissent. I'm sure some are questioning my loyalties with this post, being singled out because of my low post total and disagreement with other commentators. As a rule over the years I didn't post on DU if I was working on a campaign. And I was always working on a campaign. The few times I wasn't I only posted when I felt I had something substantial to add (I thought this qualified) and not just my opinion on every topic du jour. If old DU moderators on the Wisconsin boards hadn't stepped to my defense, because they knew me personally, I'm quite sure the ban hammer would have come down on me.

The question comes down to not one single candidate, but rather what kind of party do we want, and this forum as a reflection of that party; free and questioning, or monitored and sycophantic? The DU label always meant swimming against the tides of big money, a resistance to the party machine and comforted insiders when that machine began going against the party's platform and liberal/progressive values.

I say all this as someone who volunteered for and worked for the Kerry campaign in Iowa and Wisconsin starting in 2003, was a organizer of "Draft Obama" starting in 2006 (if you got a call from them there's a 75% chance I talked to you), and was at the Wisconsin capital during the working class uprising last year. I've worked for and won for Dems up and down the ticket and around the country. I do it because our ideals and our values, centered around equality, are stronger than bumper-sticker conservative talking points.

Support those ideals and values and within that framework foster ideas, especially those that are counter to the opinion you hold. That is how we advance causes, beyond what we think can win, and grow fuller movements that Democrats can act boldly on. Shutting down dissent without thought will lead to stagnation in any effort to advance forward.

Thank you for your attention. Obama 2012.

Did I mention I'm from Wisconsin?

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