This election - and this website - is not about you

Last week we had a series of diaries about what people thought of this web site.

This week we have a series of diaries decrying or defending individuals who diary and post here.

Here's my two cents -- this election is not about you.  And it sure isn't about this website and what you or anyone else have said.

If you thought that politics is about yourfeelings with respect to what's been said about the primary or your diary or posting, well, think about the feelings of:

- The parents who were up all night with their young child who may have an ear infection.  The child has been crying and pulling at her ear and has been difficult to comfort. A fever has been creeping up. But the family doesn't have health insurance and doesn't want to take the child to an emergency room, wait for hours, and then have a huge bill to pay.

- The spouse of a soldier who is on her or his third tour in Iraq. You thought this would be over years ago and maybe you really supported the war at the start. But once you realized that the American people had been lied into the war, you knew you wanted your love home. It's tearing you apart and you've long been scared that she will come home deeply injured or killed.

- The woman who found out she is pregnant and it is a pregnancy that was not planned nor wanted. Perhaps the woman is more a girl than a woman and didn't use birth control effectively because the sex education she got only talked about abstinence or she was just a typical teenager who thought it would never happen to her. Or maybe she's a woman whose family has huge economic challenges and another mouth to feed just won't help them deal with them. Or maybe the woman has a medical condition that makes the pregnancy especially dangerous.

- The parents of a child who just graduated from high school and plans on going to college, but the money looks really impossible right now.  They saved some money but the stock market has plunged. And in any case, the loan market has become more difficult. They remembered the very low interest loans they had available, but these are just not there for middle-class people anymore.

I could go on and on, but keep this in mind - this election is not about who said what to whom on this little website.

Politics is about making choices about things that matter. One of two people will be our next president. We know that these two people have very different views about what to say to those people who are worried. One thinks they are whiners, wants to keep the war going, cares nothing about access to higher education, and would like to restrict choice.  The other wants to promote national security by caring about economic security and by changing our foreign policy.

If you want to do something that matters, then get off line sometime. Go and volunteer. And if writing truly is your thing, put your smarts to work by writing letters to your local paper that are aimed at helping elect someone who will change the course of this country -- unless you think things are really going well under Republican rule and that the sorts of folks I've written about don't deserve a change.

Tags: 2008 election, issues, meta diaries (all tags)



Thanks for reestablishing perspective! eom

by Liberal Monk 2008-08-01 05:39AM | 0 recs
This diary -- and your lecture -- is about you

on what your opinion is on how others should be conducting themselves and what others should be behave just like those you criticize.


Instead of lecturing us, why don't you go door-to-door in a red neighborhood and lecture them?

I believe we all have a pretty solid idea about this election.  And the last time we checked, the position of "parent" has already be filled, so the audition is over.

by dcrolg 2008-08-01 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: This diary -- and your lecture -- is about you

I for one appreciate somebody taking the time to remind us that we have gotten seriously off track in the last couple of weeks. Criticizing the OP for trying to inject some rationality and civility into this site is stunningly off base.

by wasder 2008-08-01 06:11AM | 0 recs
Political process has never been clean

It was never intended to be -- "rationality and civility" reek of genteel aspirations and paternalism.

I believe the passion shown over the past period and multiple diaries is exactly on-base because it indicates the emotional involvement and depth of belief.  They care enough to participate; don't judge them on how they should participate, they're adults.

I find support of this diary stunningly condescending.

by dcrolg 2008-08-01 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Political process has never been clean

Dude or Dudette--you are mistaking smear-mongering, trollery and generalized mischief making by certain people hell bent on dividing us with passion. If people did argue and discuss like adults there wouldn't be the need to remind people of the bigger picture. But if you really want to wallow in the lowest common denominator zone as we have been in there is nothing to stop you or anyone else from doing so, as you well know.

by wasder 2008-08-01 06:48AM | 0 recs
I might have misunderstood

but I don't think the diarist was criticizing emotional involvement and depth of belief. I think s/he was saying that the level of discourse had deteriorated into personal spats, and all that wonderful energy and passion was being wasted.

It'll probably happen again, and there's nothing criminal about engaging in it, but there's nothing wrong with politicsmatters trying to nudge us back to constructive discussion either.

by Liberal Monk 2008-08-01 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: I might have misunderstood

Haha, LM. We wrote the same thing at the same time.

by wasder 2008-08-01 06:52AM | 0 recs
We be psychic twins! (eom)

by Liberal Monk 2008-08-01 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I might have misunderstood

As the diarist, I have to say -- Of course I'm not criticizing passion or excitement. That's fabulous!

And disagreements about policy and strategy should be aired. I also happen to think that the discussions can be civil and should show respect for being standards of logic and evidence.

What I'm criticizing is the internal focus of mydd sometimes. This election is not our feelings about other people at this site. It's about policy decisions.

And, I hear that some folks think that I'm being condescending. I certainly didn't want anyone to view my diary as such.  However, I am just not interested in diaries that rehash who said what to whom at this site.  And I guess my diary is meta as well - but only to try to prompt us awat from looking inward toward the real issues at stake for people's lives in this election.

by politicsmatters 2008-08-01 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: I might have misunderstood

I want to thank you for writing this diary, Politicsmatters, and welcome it here.

I'll just add my observation that it seems some here take criticism of Obama way too personally, and it manifests itself in emotional outrage rather than rational discussion.

by cameoanne 2008-08-01 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Political process has never been clean

and sure politics is always a messing business but usually you are not fending off garbage from people who purport to be on the same side as you.

by wasder 2008-08-01 06:51AM | 0 recs
Good points

And a lot of us all lost perspective.

My fear though is: McCain is rising the polls thanks to a long planned strategy, hatched during the prolonged Democratic primary season, to sully Obama's reputation, and in a rovian sense turn all his positive qualities into negatives

There's a time for intense sometimes heated debates about a democratic candidate - but with the republican swiftboats now surging in the water, we all should do what we can to defeat their smears and lies, and make sure there's a democratic president, a democratic congress.

It's not about us as individuals, but MYDD is still a leading progressive blog. Those values are worth fighting for.

by duende 2008-08-01 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Good points

"My fear though is: McCain is rising the polls thanks to a long planned strategy, hatched during the prolonged Democratic primary season, to sully Obama's reputation, and in a rovian sense turn all his positive qualities into negatives"

Wonder who he learnt that from in the Democratic party primary...

by dtaylor2 2008-08-01 12:31PM | 0 recs
You've just outed yourself

OK. So a couple of days you were going on about how Gore lost in 2002

In a recent diary of mine, all you could do is write Jesse Jackson remarks.

Now you're trying to bait the Hillary supporters.

Undercover republicans should try to be at least, what, undercover.

by duende 2008-08-01 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: You've just outed yourself

That was a quite obvious slip on dtaylor's part wasn't it.

by MS01 Indie 2008-08-01 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Good points

I don't know if it was hatched during the primary.  It seems a lot older than that.

The problem, IMHO, is that for the last three weeks the election has been all about Obama.  McCain is talking about Obama.  The "news" media is engaged in a full frontal Obama orgy.  Obama is talking about himself and his campaign.

It's all coming off very cartoonish.  It just looks dumb.  Seriously, how many people like Obama all that much?  Probably a couple million more than like McCain that much.

What's really needed, again IMHO, is a genuine discussion of issues and trade-offs.  The biggest favor the Obama camp could do for their candidate is to start talking about real people and real issues.  But they are advertisers selling attempting to sell a packaged product, it'll be a good month or two before the plan changes.

This already long summer is going to get longer.


by SuperCameron 2008-08-01 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

I read somewhere that the proportion of meta content on a blog is how you can tell when it's in decline. In other words, as the ship is sinking, more and more people post about the reasons why and how to save it, as opposed to discussing whatever its actual purpose was.

After a while, it's no longer fun, amusing or cute to play with the trolls or roll your eyes at the misguided, fake democrats. It's just boring.

So unfortunately, this site IS about the generic "you," because that's what gets on the wreck list, generates 100+ comments, and satisfies some people's ravenous need to argue. Meanwhile, the real political analysis, insight and news can be found at other blogs.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-08-01 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

Yep, pretty much. Meta gets page refreshes though and lord knows administrators aren't immune to the siren call of talking about themselves (in the meta sense) constantly. Which is why they have little incentive to change things, or even enforce the rules.

MyDD was turning into a joke back in the primaries but I was hoping it would actually swing back around to having diaries of substance. Instead its all she said/he said, grudge matches, rehashing and troll central, mainly because the admins allow it and the general base eats it up. Which is fine, there needs to be an outlet for that as well, but as far as blogs holding forth some weighty political discussion, MyDD ain't it. This site is the soap opera version of Kos.

by upstate girl 2008-08-01 10:03AM | 0 recs
The daytime soap opera,

 not the nighttime.  Lower production values.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-08-01 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website

Your point is well-stated, but also a bit obvious. Of course this election is about bigger issues that troll-rating wars between political nobodies or "girls versus boys" elementary school do-overs.

Your invitation to the squabblers, the McCain surrogates, and the primary-wounded to either take a hike or get behind the candidate is one of the best I've read.

But I'm not optimistic that you receive a positive response. I'm pretty sure that the people to whom you addressed the diary aren't really interested in politics and couldn't tell you the difference between the Democratic Party and the Republic Party.

But I wish you luck. MyDD would benefit greatly if these whiners and squabblers would give it a break.

by QTG 2008-08-01 06:17AM | 0 recs
Of course - if this election was REALLY about helping people and accomplishing things, Obama would not be the candidate.
You chose Obama because of personality, not because he has ever shown the ability to get things done for anyone but himself.
by Marjoriest 2008-08-01 06:35AM | 0 recs
Japanese soldiers...

Kysen put it brilliantly when he compared some people to Japanese soldiers on pacific Islands who, years later, don't know that war is over.

Continue to post lies about a former community activist all you like. You'll probably get trolled and people might even try to argue with you.

Meanwhile, McCain's swiftboats are launching a new war. Remain locked in the past, sealed in solipsistic irrelevance as you will. Don't pretend you're not passively aiding the enemy though.

by duende 2008-08-01 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Japanese soldiers...

Well, I don't think this one was really a good-faith Hillary supporter in the primary wars anyway, its comments are like a computer program set on 4th grade level republican smear talking points.  I love it, it's like a parody of a republican operative and not quite nuanced enough to sound credible.  similar to teh engels

by KLRinLA 2008-08-01 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Japanese soldiers...

That was my simile, actualy, but I have no objection to someone borrowing it.  Or did I just object.  Damn.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-08-01 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Japanese soldiers...

Credit where credit is due. Though I think I read it in a kysen remark too last night - so I'm only receiving stolen goods

by duende 2008-08-01 01:17PM | 0 recs
I know I thought of the same metaphor

before.  Not sure if I ever posted it early enough to take credit.

It's so descriptive, I think we should shorten it somehow.  JSOPI maybe?  Perhaps we can stop having pointless metadiaries about PUMAs (who sound like a serious movement, which they aren't) and instead see pointless metadiaries about JSOPIs instead.  I might even start recommending them again.  Although PUMA does make a nicer acronym.  Roles off the tongue.

by Dumbo 2008-08-01 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

I guess teh great thing about blogs for people like you, marjorie, is that you can communicate without interrupting your mouth-breathing.

by BlueinColorado 2008-08-01 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

I repeat: One of two people will be our next president.  Which one do you want, Marjoriest?

by politicsmatters 2008-08-01 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?
OK, Boyz! What has Obama ever done for anyone other than himself? What HAS he ever accomplished except get elected? Zilch. Zip. But there is all this HOPE and CHANGE. Haven't you learned that things are not accomplished by wishing? People who accomplish things do that by HARD WORK.
Wouldn't it be lovely to have a Dem candidate who helped people without expecting praise and adulation in return?
by Marjoriest 2008-08-01 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

Well, there was that whole time he was a community organizer, and there's plenty of legislation with his name on it. There's also no sign that he expected praise and adulation. He received it, but I'd like to see your evidence that that is why he's spent most of his life as a public servant. Come to think of it, if you're so holier-than-thou, what exactly have YOU done for the world that's so wonderful?

by Cincinnatus 2008-08-01 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

Which one of the two do you want as president?

by politicsmatters 2008-08-01 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

TR'd for the 'boyz' crack.

by MS01 Indie 2008-08-01 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?


Yeah Obama is pretty lazy, huh?  Yeah, Harvard Law School, Chairman of Law Review, lets see, community organizer (that sounds really easy), lawyer at top firm (those places, one has to bill out like 200 hours a month, at least, and if you are not a lawyer, you don't even know what the fuck I am talking about).  What else, running his campaign, speaking, traveling, meeting with millions of people, Foreign leaders, several countries, determining policy, deciding on VPs, working out...yeah, that's not hard work at all.  Real lazy.  And he's been doing this for quite a while, most of us would have passed out from exhaustion a while back.

I like that you said that, it shows a lot about your understanding of what hard work is, which is obviously absolutely nothing.  Keep making ridiculous statements, we'll keep laughing.  Oh, and McCain takes weekends off, what a lazy fuck

by KLRinLA 2008-08-01 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

Some of these chairborne jihadists need banning.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-08-01 10:59AM | 0 recs
How about I tell YOU why I choose Sen. Obama

rather than YOU telling ME about MY decision.

I choose Barack Obama because he wants to promote transparency in government.

I choose Barack Obama because, based on the way he has conducted his campaign, I believe he knows how to set a goal, create a plan to achieve that goal, and execute that plan despite the firestorm of distractions around him.

I choose Barack Obama because the majority of contributions to his campaign come from people like me rather than from federal lobbyists.

I choose Barack Obama because it is his plan to move us closer to universal healthcare.

I choose Barack Obama because well-respected, experienced economists judge his economic plan to be the better choice.

I choose Barack Obama because he recognizes that it is past time for us to repair the failing infrastructure in this country (which has an added benefit of creating jobs).

I choose Barack Obama because I am tired of the United States being viewed as the gluttonous, arrogant, ignorant, swaggering, bullying brat of a nation by the rest of the world, and I agree with his vision of how we can regain the world respect that we've lost over the past seven years.

I choose Barack Obama because of his understanding of the history of, and current situation in, the Middle East. (This one's not even open to interpretation. To support his opponent on this issue is to admit to being a fool.)

I choose Barack Obama because he has actively opposed the privatization of Social Security.

I choose Barack Obama because he supports a woman's reproductive rights.

I choose Barack Obama because I have a 16 year old who wants to go to college instead of Iraq.

And I choose Barack Obama because I just watched him ask for courtesy and respect for three young men who are heckling him at a town hall meeting. Beyond that, he didn't have them removed from the audience, and I believe he allowed one of them to be the first to ask a question.

Those are not all of the reasons I choose Barack Obama; there are others. However, I can assure you that it's not just because of his personality. I mean, sure, he seems like a nice guy, but so does his opponent when he's not running for office. Personality is not enough.

And politicsmatters, I apologize for posting such a long, off-topic comment in your diary, but I'm tired of other people telling me why I'm supporting Senator Obama.

by Liberal Monk 2008-08-01 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: How about I tell YOU why I choose Sen. Obama
All very worthy goals. If I thought for a minute that Obama was qualified or capable of doing any of these, he would be MY candidate. Don't you think a teeny resume would be a bit of a qualification? Don't you feel a little queasy as he pretends he is already the president? At his thin resume? At his strange and dreadful friends? No doubts? Good for you.
I am afraid of what he might do to the country and the world..... or NOT do.
by Marjoriest 2008-08-01 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: How about I tell YOU why I choose Sen. Obama

"Strange and dreadful friends." What is this, Tolkien?

by Cincinnatus 2008-08-01 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: How about I tell YOU why I choose Sen. Obama

I know I am being foolhardy in giving this sort of rant the attention that it craves but the Obama has done nothing meme really gets me worked up. What must somebody do to be "qualified" Marjoriest? This man has been a law student, a law professor, a community organizer, a lawyer, a state senator, and a US senator. What else could he have done in his 47 years to make you satisfied?

by wasder 2008-08-01 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: How about I tell YOU why I choose Sen. Obama

He should have LET HILLARY WIN for starters. Or maybe not be black. <snark>

by upstate girl 2008-08-01 09:59AM | 0 recs
Ding ding ding!

Racism pure and simple.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-08-01 11:02AM | 0 recs
Well obviously

he hasn't written the Declaration of Independence like Thomas Jefferson at age 33.  The guy simply is a slacker.


by Khun David 2008-08-07 10:14PM | 0 recs
Okay, the resume is posted.

I posted what will probably be my only diary ever. It addresses your concern about his possibly having a "thin resume." It's not pretty, but I don't do diaries, so I don't know all the tricks to make it look nice. The substance is there, though. If you really want to correct your misunderstanding about what he's done, it should help.

Look, Senator Obama can't help that he looks presidential as hell, and he can't help that the rest of the world recognizes leadership when it sees it. I don't know why his being admired and respected around the world is something to be counted against him.

I have no idea what you mean about his "strange and dreadful friends." It amazes me that there aren't people from his past on television 24/7 telling us all what a fake he is and how he screwed them over or dumped their sisters. I remain flabbergasted that the shadiest person the Republicans can find to link him to is his minister...his freakin' MINISTER. Most of us only wish the worst person we had associated with in our lives was our preacher.

I'm sorry that you're afraid of him and what he wants to do (or not do) with our country, but that's about you, not him.

And the thing that makes me queasy? The thought of Senator McCain as the next President of the United States.

by Liberal Monk 2008-08-01 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: How about I tell YOU why I choose Sen. Obama

Did you go through a checklist on Sean Hannity's site while you wrote that comment?

by MS01 Indie 2008-08-01 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: This election and this website not about you

Thanks polticsmatters for the important reminder.

Politics matters. Policy matters.

One-upmanship, I-told-you-sos, and snarky comments don't matter.

by LakersFan 2008-08-01 10:04AM | 0 recs
Way to cut through the bullshit!


by Purple with Green Stipes and Pink Polka Dots Dem 2008-08-01 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

Exactly.  Well said!

by Renie 2008-08-01 10:41AM | 0 recs
Why are we assuming no one here is doing anything?

I find that a little presumptuous and insulting.

Not only am I an active volunteer, voter registrar AND election judge, I'm using a vacation day to work the GE this year.

Just because people blog, diary or comment frequently doesn't mean that's ALL they do. I might even go so far as to call that a stereotype.

by Its All So Goofy 2008-08-01 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

With respect, PM, every election is about every voter.  People vote their values and their interests, and often those interests conflict.  There is nothing wrong with voting those interests or discussing them.

Not to impugn your diary at all, but there are other sides to each of the situations you described.  The desires of the parents of the soldier in Iraq, in this case, are likely to be in direct conflict with the desires of the soldier himself or herself, and the spouse who may be glad to be able to pay a few more bills because of the deployment.

The desires of the poorer college student for federal assistance are in direct conflict with the desires of future taxpayers and private capital markets.

The healthcare issue is moot in this election.  Both Obama and McCain have plans and strategies that are directed primarily toward improving service to those who are already insured, well-off, and healthy.  As has been stated by the advisers of both candidates, the health care needs of the poor, unhealthy, or disabled are too expensive to deal with right now.  I think it's a bullshit situation, but here we are none the less.

People vote their interests, particularly their economic interests, and will continue to do so.  The voting patterns within the Democratic primary are a prime example of this.  Poorer voters tended to vote for the candidate who represented their interests, and the relatively well-off voted the candidate who promised a payout to them.  Caucuses favor the healthy and well-off and they voted their economic interests.  As a result, we have the candidate we have.

The real purpose of campaigns should not be to advance talking points or to paint caricatures.  Ideally, candidates should have to outline their plans, portray their vision, and make the expected trade-offs clear.  Unfortunately, neither Obama nor McCain are interested in that kind of election.  Most likely because neither believe they could win it.

by SuperCameron 2008-08-01 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: This election

Believe it or not, I thought my vote was about my interests. Should I use my vote to do what's best for those that are worse off than me, even if its against my own self interests? I guess voting is sort of a selfish thing. I get to vote for who I think is best for me. Now "me" might be my family, my wife, my girl friend, my neighborhood, my coworkers, my church, etc. But ultimately its not about everyone else. They get their vote, I get mine.

As for your list, you forgot some people.

-The doctor who put himself through 15 years of advanced education to become successful and wealthy and doesn't like being taxed double, triple or more than what others who make less are taxed.

-The libertarian gun owner, hunting guide that doesn't like a bunch of suits in Washington telling him what guns he/she can buy or what animals he/she can shoot on her own land.

-The homeschooling Baptist husband and wife who are sick of the government telling them how to raise their children

-The self-made branch manager of a major bank that worries about the level of care her family will receive if universal health care is mandated.

Believe it or not, there are counter arguments to progressive positions that our many of our fellow Americans believe in. The cases you present in your OP lend themselves to supporting progressive positions (and Jeez that felt like a guilt trip). But there are others in this country that are in situations/positions/lifestyles, etc that-gasp-favor more conservative/libertarian positions on the issues. So should I concern myself with them when I'm in the voting booth or only the poor, disadvantaged and downtrodden?

by bigdaddy 2008-08-01 07:40PM | 0 recs
Bring it on bigdaddy!

First let me establish an agreed upon foundation for this debate. Didactic?

"The word is often used to refer to texts that are overburdened with instructive or factual matter to the exclusion of graceful and pleasing detail so that they are pompously dull and erudite."

Pretty sure that's what you meant by your "Jeez, that felt like a guilt trip comment."

Other than that, what's with the pretense that you even care about those other people? You care about you. I can't see any motivation other than guilt for feeling selfish that would compel you to cull some talking points on the cheap to complain that you don't have enough money because you think you have to care about everyone else. You don't bigdaddy. You favor more conservative/libertarian positions on the issues. Steel your spine and just state what you believe. You want more money and you want the power and influence that goes with deciding who you give it to. My impression is that a lot of the "me" you talk about, like your wife, girlfriend and church, for example,  require that you dole out some bucks when you're really not getting everything you think that money earns. You can talk about things like that here. Using a blog as a therapeutic outlet is obviously free. Sometimes people feel that not enough people are hearing what they have to say when they call into their favorite AM station. We do. Just be who you are and say what you feel. You're American, you vote, you pay taxes and of course your opinions matter. No one knows who you are. Let it rip!

by Jeter 2008-08-01 11:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Bring it on bigdaddy!

Next caller?

by Jeter 2008-08-01 11:41PM | 0 recs
I thought this weeks purpose of MyDD

was to have some troll mislead as many people as possible regarding Obama's wailing wall prayer.

by OVAH 2008-08-01 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

Not even a a great positive diary can be free of troll jacking and flame wars.


by spacemanspiff 2008-08-01 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

...or a presumptuous, sanctimonious one either

by bigdaddy 2008-08-01 10:59PM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

Engels posted here today and no one even responded. Sad. Have we not learned the lesson of Satryicon? Attention is like water.

by Jeter 2008-08-01 11:46PM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou



I need to go and rec that up!

by spacemanspiff 2008-08-02 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: This election - and this website - is not abou

rankles posted too. It was in Jerome's FP article about Obama's statement on drilling.

by MS01 Indie 2008-08-02 07:41AM | 0 recs


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