The Democratic Dictatorship of Daily Kos

Warm greetings, caucus99percent.com, and thanks for having me!

I've recently been informed by the anonymous admin Demo-gods at Daily Kos, to whom I’ve contributed 154 articles over the past two-plus years, that I would no longer be welcome to publish there. There was no explanation, no message to thank me for the hundreds of thousands of page views and shares that my articles — they’re called diaries amongst Kossacks, or site members —have generated, without a penny’s compensation. There was just a stone-cold orange skull and crossbones on my profile page to inform me I’d been “bojo’ed,” or banned for life in Kos-speak.

My crime? In the wake of former president Barack Obama’s failure to endorse upstart New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress, I published a diary calling him out for it. Obama is universally revered at Daily Kos, and how dare I, especially as a black man, oppose him?

OK If Democrats Do It

My “crimes” during my two years at Daily Kos were myriad, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see this coming. For shits and giggles, I even went so far as to poke this stick in their collective eye to mock their Russia obsession and hasten a departure that was long overdue.

I didn’t do my homework before joining DK. I just assumed after years of reading the occasional DK diary that the site welcomed all progressive points of view, and that there were certain things that all progressives could agree upon. Not arming child soldier armies was one of these things.

The Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA), signed into law in George W. Bush’s last year in office, bans US military aid to countries whose armies conscript children. In 2010, Barak Obama began annually invoking CSPA’s “national security” waiver so the US could keep arming some of the world’s worst child soldier offenders, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia and South Sudan. Hillary Clinton, to whose office the waivers were addressed, accepted them every year of her tenure as secretary of state.

As Daily Kos’ mission is “electing more and better Democrats,” I assumed “better” meant not supporting child soldiers and so I wrote my very first DK diary, “Hillary Clinton: Love, Kindness and Child Soldiers,” so that Clinton supporters would know one of her darkest deeds and perhaps consider backing Bernie Sanders instead. Now, this was during the still-hot 2016 Democratic primaries. It was right around the time DK founder Markos Moulitsas, aka “Kos,” issued his infamous edict banning serious criticism of Clinton after March 15. I didn’t know about this, as I was new to the site. I had no idea I’d just stumbled into a pack of rabid hyenas howling deliriously, “We’re with her.”

Mental and Moral Gymnastics

The attacks and the flags — DK’s way of keeping everyone in line — were immediate. The average Kossack is capable of Olympic feats of mental and moral gymnastics in order to excuse all sorts of inexcusable misdeeds, so long as the perpetrator has a “D” and not an “R” after their name. Remind a Kossack that Democratic presidents waged nuclear war against defenseless cities, bombed millions of Koreans and Vietnamese to death, attacked Serbia in service of NATO’s “credibility” and bombed more countries than George W. Bush and you’ll get flagged, banned or at least roundly ridiculed and derided by liberals who think endorsements from former death squad ambassadors are welcome if they help win elections.

I witnessed an exodus of some of the brightest and most progressive voices from DK. Many of these recovering Kossacks fled after publishing masterful diaries, like this one from Mass Southpaw that remains the definitive case against Clinton. Daily Kos is a much poorer place for their absence, but their loss is our gain. And by backing Clinton, who lost to that man, Daily Kos will forever be inextricably tied to the biggest loser in the history of political loserdom. If anyone even remembers DK, that is.

When Democrats don’t win, things can get ugly at Daily Kos, like when Kos himself posted a diary celebrating when retired coal miners lost their health insurance because, well, they voted for Trump and were reaping their black-lunged comeuppance. “Don’t weep for these coal miners,” was Kos’ misanthropic message. “This is what they wanted!” I now understand why most Kossacks don’t use their real names on the site. Pseudonyms are great for face-saving anonymity. They can serve as lifeboats for those lost and adrift in a sea of shit. I’ve never used one.

“More and Better Democrats”

“More and better Democrats” kept playing in my head. I knew that the Democratic party will never be a party of peace and justice so long as it remains the socially progressive branch of the Big Business Party, aka the Earth Destruction Party. Both Democrats and Republicans support business as usual, that is, the corporatism and militarism that perpetuate social, economic and environmental injustice. But at Daily Kos, pointing out similarities between Democrats and Republicans will get you bojo’ed. So will even a hint of advocacy for third-party or independent candidates, no matter how progressive they are. I was once slapped with a days-long time-out ban simply for asking what would happen if I wrote an endorsement of Jill Stein.

Well, I did vote for Jill Stein, not once, but twice. I had to hide this fact while I was a Kossack for fear of reprisals. “Kossack" is an appropriate member moniker. Like the Cossacks during the Russian revolution, Kos’ followers militantly defend the old guard elite against progressive challengers and change. They’ve called me a Trump saboteur, a Russian stooge, a purity troll and much worse, and that’s before they knew I actually voted for Stein. A few Kossacks have risen to my defense, but they’ve mostly done so via private messages because they fear the consequences of speaking publicly. Vladimir Putin can only envy such self-censorship!

It wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time, Kos, like so many of the centrist hawks hawked on his site, was a bonafide progressive. In those heady early days of political blogging, Daily Kos was a relevant force for positive progressive change. Once upon a time, Kos called Óscar Romero, the Salvadoran archbishop and champion of the poor and oppressed who was assassinated in 1980 by a US-backed military death squad, his hero. If he were alive today, Romero would be sickened by what he saw on DK.

Today, Daily Kos is increasingly irrelevant. It has lost almost all credibility as a progressive voice, especially after the mass exodus from DK during and after the toxic 2016 election season. Increasingly, progressive Kossacks realized that “more and better Democrats” only meant more and not better. Daily Kos supports candidates for political expediency, not for what is good and right. It definitely does not believe in democracy. Kossacks cheered when Democrats sued to keep Raph Nader — who they still falsely and ignorantly blame for the George W. Bush presidency — off the ballot in 2004. They were giddy when Jill Stein was arrested for demanding access to debate Obama, Clinton and the other corporate-owned Democrat candidates. Kossacks are certainly "Big D" Democrats. But they're piss-poor democrats.

GBCW

Democracy means more participation, not less. It means alternatives to the two branches of the War and Wall Street party. It does not mean freezing out, bullying or deriding those who don’t toe a very narrow line of incrementalist orthodoxy. It does not mean red-baiting or giggling gleefully at every sophomoric flagging, every unwarranted time-out, as if these purported punishments actually hurt. Maybe they do sting the armchair politicos at Daily Kos. Those of us with other publishing and life options laugh in their pseudonym-masked faces. DK can ban whoever it wants, but the word is out — Daily Kos is a joke, and a bad one at that. I've been asked why I write there by editors at other publications, and I've noticed more of my submissions are accepted when I leave DK out of my resumé or bio line.

In Kos-speak, this post would be my GBCW, or “goodbye cruel world.” I’ll miss some people at DK —subir, Meteor Blades, TomP, SandraLLAP and the folks at Adalah, Black Kos and Political Revolution are among the handful of truly progressive voices that come to mind — but the overwhelming majority of Kossacks are an insufferable part of the problem; that is, the perpetuation of a political system that is ultimately leading humanity toward destruction. My final parting advice to them: Learn not to confuse the big “D” with the little one. Stop being the second-most enthusiastic capitalist party. And understand that there is nothing progressive about supporting candidates who favor war and corporate greed over peace and human need.

Brett Wilkins is a freelance author and journalist and editor-at-large for US news at Digital Journal. His work, which covers issues of war and peace and human rights, has recently been published or cited in Counterpunch, Common Dreams, The American Conservative, Antiwar.com, Oxford University Press and Cornell Law School Death Penalty Center. www.brettwilkins.com

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mimi's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic
Good Night and Good Luck.

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0 users have voted.
Wink's picture

didn't jump to
@Steven D
another site. I know he doesn't buy in to the kos b.s.
Imagine the number of MB followers that would follow him elsewhere!

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4 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

Then you wont give DKos hits when you link to YOUR work.

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15 users have voted.

and welcome. I left immediately after the edict and have never really gone back. I hear what goes on there from those who can stand to go there and it ain't pretty. They're as fascist as Trump really, and not much better than he and his most rabid fans. They're just like the people they revile the most and blame ALWAYS for everything wrong in this country while completely ignoring reality that is the rich against the rest of us at the end of the day, no partisanship about it for our owners, whatever works is good for them. Just like Tea Baggers to me and I grew up with them so no thanks on Baggers from the other "side."

This is also a great place to learn. I did learn a lot on the Kos and I won't regret starting out there as it brought me here. But there's certainly no going back to that for me.

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22 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@lizzyh7

Red state was. And Rachel has become the very thing she used to say Bill O'Reilly was. Notice that when Bill was the one being crazy he had the number one show? Guess whose show is number one now? Funny coincidence? I think not.

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21 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

Brett Wilkins's picture

@snoopydawg I always say, I'd bet my left testicle that if I turn on Maddow she'll be blathering on about Russia this or Russia that. I stopped watching a long time ago.

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10 users have voted.

@Brett Wilkins @Brett Wilkins
do with your winnings?

i mean ... who needs a second left testicle?

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5 users have voted.

Sigh

thanatokephaloides's picture

@UntimelyRippd

i mean ... who needs a second left testicle?

Any male whose surname is DeMedici.

Wink

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1 user has voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

'round here we call that a merit badge. Welcome.

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CB's picture

You are in very good company here. Most of us wear our as a badge of honor. It takes courage to stand up for truth and honesty in politics.

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snoopydawg's picture

We c99ers are not only being blamed for all the disruptions on ToP during the primary, but apparently we were Russian plants going back to last decade before Trump even decided to run. Apparently we got people to trust our bonifides by being critical of Bush and his policies, but then our real reasons for joining the site became exposed when we started criticizing Obama and his policies. Being against the illegal invasion of Libya? Russian bots just trying to say that Barry was just as bad as George. Have a problem with drones dropping bombs on weddings, funerals, hospitals and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians? Russian bots trying to sow dissenting opinions so people would see that they were both war criminals.

Yep. I'm serious. I've seen people saying this there. But a few people do miss our voices. Especially the ones who wrote lots of diaries.

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21 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

smiley7's picture

@snoopydawg

can confound the best minds. I am disappointed to have seen multiple accusations over time on Top that c99 is a site for conspiracy theorists written by people i enjoyed there.

Oh well, beyond my paygrade.

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17 users have voted.
Brett Wilkins's picture

@snoopydawg I guess we can't let it get to our heads. Maybe they'll get it one day, but I fear it will be too late. The social, economic and ecological destruction wrought by Republicrat corporate imperialism has brought us to a precipice and the DK ethos is helping to push us over the edge.

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Wink's picture

@Brett Wilkins

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5 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Wink @Wink

is that it doesn't arbitrarily ban conspiracy theorizing. Here all angles can be studied and considered, and some people will consider some of them more probable than others, and that's just fine.

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5 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

dkmich's picture

Love it.

I posted at dailykos from 2004- 2016. I wasn't bojo'd, I quit. I couldn't stand the gangs, thugs, beatings, and arrogant and immature behavior of the people and admin a day longer. Like Cass, I deleted all my emails, diaries, whatever of mine I could get my hands on. I would rather be dipped and fried than to leave anything of mine behind and within their grubby reach. On the rare occasions when dkos stupidity reaches new heights and someone says, omg go look - I might. When I do, I can't the believe the mindless drivel. I also can't believe that some people have so little pride that they are still there choking down their words. c99 and the gang that went to Reddit maintain a connection. OPOL, DallasDoc, EkHornbeck, and BobSwern blow in and out of here too. There are others but I think you get the drift that dkos has ceased to exist for most of us. lol, MB even came by once or twice, but I think he thought better of it being on dkos payroll. Then we had Sabir sent here strictly for the purpose of trying to convince this group to vote for Hillary. He got more respect from us than the other trolls from there that came for that purpose, but in the end, blue no matter who is never going to fly here.

Well enough about dailykos. Welcome to c99. I hope we will see you more often, and you'll have more time to chat when you come.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@dkmich Then we had Sabir sent here strictly for the purpose of trying to convince this group to vote for Hillary. He got more respect from us than the other trolls from there that came for that purpose, but in the end, blue no matter who is never going to fly here.

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14 users have voted.

The drama of the deep state in full factional meltdown makes Mario Puzo look like a dime store hack.

Brett Wilkins's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger Wait, subir did that???

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4 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Brett Wilkins

and amusement.

Personally, I consider it one of C99's finest hours.

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8 users have voted.

The drama of the deep state in full factional meltdown makes Mario Puzo look like a dime store hack.

Brett Wilkins's picture

@dkmich Thanks, dkmich!

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WoodsDweller's picture

Is dKos still around? It's dropped off my radar. I don't have the emotional involvement many here have, I never registered over there, just lurked. There were some good environmental diaries there, but it's a big Internet and there's no point chatting up some girl who isn't interested in you, or offering your words to a site that has a different agenda, or trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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I like this world. It's not perfect, but everything I love is in it.

lotlizard's picture

“This Modern World” has become totally monotonous — Trump bad, Trump mad, Trump sad, all the time.

It’s a shame, but as others have said above, when you need a paycheck, the situation is what it is and you do what you have to do.

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snoopydawg's picture

@lotlizard

I can't scroll fast enough through that area of the front page. Even when I stop to read the comics I can't understand what the hell its saying. The funny thing about the site is that they are blaming things on Trump that Obama started and they never mention his roll in one. When I see one I scare my dawgs because of my outburst. Poor things. I should put them in the bedrooom when I'm reading the site.

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4 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

Wink's picture

welcome to the party!
I wrote something about Hillary's "granny panties" that was my third strike.
I missed it for a few months, as there were some great writers there, but rarely visit these days unless someone here posts a link. Enjoy C99!

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8 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

Nice to see you.

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