Daily Kos transitions to General Election footing, The Agonist agrees

Markos says, “It does us no good to keep fighting over something that is already determined. People have voted, and the numbers are the numbers. It’s time to move on and focus on what binds us together.”

I am instituting a subset of their announced policies at The Agonist for the rest of the election season:

  • No attacks on Hillary Clinton using right-wing tropes or sources. I will delete these, and mindless anti-establishment foolery, at my discretion. They are a waste of time and make the reader dumber.
  • Constructive criticism is allowed. We all learn from well-reasoned, well-sourced arguments.
  • No re-litigating the primary. When Sanders drops out and endorses Clinton, pragmatic progressives will do the same. We won’t become a refuge for a bitter “should have” crowd.

I appreciate your cooperation in making what’s posted here as truthful and accurate as we humans can muster.

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Jay is Editor In Chief of The Agonist, veteran and technologist.

32 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Well that just about does it for me. The agonist has gone fully from a free wheeling discussion with a progressive bias to being one more incredibly boring shill for long failed policies.

    • I don’t see how this is much different than how SP handled elections. He always stated that this was basically a dem site and that constructive criticism was welcome.

  • If you’re upset that you can’t post “right wing tropes” then no, this is no longer the site for you.

    I could sit back and let the Agonist become a zero traffic outrage blog, or I can insist on *some* level of journalistic standard. This season, anti-establishment chronic naysayers are carrying Republican water. It’s hard to tell the Bernie fans from the burn-it-down anarchists sometimes. It’s embarrassing.

    You’ve also lost all sense of what the word “shill” really means. You don’t recognize the real ones.

  • Link to a silly meme removed.

    Link to obtuse HuffPost opinion piece removed.

    Comment about “war dragons” removed. Poetic but unsubstantiated.

    Comment about “The Agonist censorship knife is fast and merciless” removed.

    Comment about Hillary being a Republican removed.

    Constructive comments still encouraged.

    • There is nothing wrong with voting green, supporting Sander’s or Clinton. Everyone has a choice and a reason why they support one candidate over another, but in the end I hope everyone comes together to beat whatever bad choice the republicans put up. I don’t see it so much as censorship but more of decorum. Personally I really don’t have a dislike really for Sander’s or Clinton’s platforms and would support either. I like and respect Stein and usually have more in common with her ideas than any other candidate, I just wish that the party had more support between the election years to make it a bigger threat during election years. I would like to vote for Stein, but I’m more concerned in keeping a republican out. I’m glad you are sticking around. 🙂

  • Daily Kos has a history of censorship. During the 2008 Election, no criticism of Obama was tolerated. This time, Daily Kos has thrown its support behind Hillary Clinton.

    It appears censorship knows no political stripe.

  • All you had to do was watch Sunday night’s debate in Flint, Michigan, to realize Sanders isn’t nearly ready to quit” [Politico].

    Pre-judging the outcome? Clinton may win, she may not.

    Thoughtful, Global,Timely? Or too quick off the mark?

  • At the beginning of the election in 2015, Canada’s Justin Trudeau was placed at the bottom in the polls and look where he ended up. I know the political dynamics of Canada and the US are vastly different but one thing the Trudeau Liberals did so well and that progressive Americans can and should adopt is: Keep hammering away at getting people to vote. The Liberals successfully targeted the youth vote and new voters.

    The other thing the Liberals were good at was utilizing social media to the max which progressive Americans should also continue to do.

    Bernie needs to focus on trying to expand his target audience. It is crucial, therefore, for all Bernie supporters to keep talking, keep debating etc. The absolute worst thing to do is to throw in the towel prematurely ’cause doing so will only make Wall Street more arrogant and confident that its corrupt ways are here to stay and will not be interfered with.

    In Canada, on election day, when the last polling stations had closed and the numbers were counted, the Liberals surprised everyone including the pollsters and pundits by winning a majority.

    The people of Canada had spoken.

    So don’t give up, progressive Americans. Miracles have and do happen.

    When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.”
    ― Pittacus Lore

  • Excuse my ignorance (I’m not American and I just returned from a one-year stay in Europe) but I finally decided to find out when exactly the Democratic Leadership Convention is. I was shocked. Here I’m thinking it’s next month or so only to find out that it’s not until the very end of July. That’s almost 5 months. My God, jay, what do you think you’re doing giving up on Sanders. In politics, 5 months is a huge amount of time to change hearts and minds. Don’t be misled by polls as these have been wrong many times.

    If Canadians can do it, so can Americans. I urge everyone to get cracking with the discussions here on the Agonist and elsewhere. Swallow your pride and don’t let censorship herald the death knell of the Agonist.

    • Jay has his firm beliefs, and is pragmatic, as is Clinton.

      Sorry MLK “I have a Dream is out.” The new idea is “We must be Pragmatic and accept Racial Discrimination, and work slowly to change people’s minds.”

      Please let the Loyal Peasants know their place, and have them vote for Clinton. The Revolting Peasants are voting Saunders (Hope) then Trump (If you want a Republican you might as well vote republican). Some Peasants believe the Saunders/Clinton fight is fixed, and are bypassing the Saunders step, their vote is already Trumped.

      Jay, please explain how Clinton (Supporters Lean Elite) can win against Trump (Supporters Lean Blue Collar). Bullet points would be preferred.

      Unless your plan to ban dissent is a clever move to generate controversy and generate more traffic….which would be brilliant.

      • Keeping the promise of the Sanders campaign alive to sell ads and newspapers is what a big chunk of the media is doing right now. If you’ll notice, we’re not even running ads at all this season.

        Bullet point one: Clinton has the support of 80%+ of registered Sanders supporters in the event she gets the nomination.

        Bullet point two: Trump has 1/3rd of the Republicans. Outside of that 1/6th slice of the electorate, his favorability numbers are terrible. Polling says you’re either for him or against him, and most of the other 5/6th are against him. His own party is running ads against him. Well, like Sanders, it wan’t really his party to begin with. Trump is not going to rock the vote in the general.

        Bullet point three: Polls don’t really bear out this “Bernie or Trump” idea. Only about 10% of respondents are even expressing that notion, and many of those won’t follow through. A larger chunk will just be discouraged and not vote at all. The biggest chunk will vote Hillary.

        Bernie would be great if any of his math worked, or if he weren’t literally judged the least bipartisan Senator on the whole ranked list, or if the general public was behind him. Since I want to see things actually get done, I’m glad Hillary is in position.

    • It might seem like a long way off, but there is a lot of historical precedence for Sanders already throwing in the towel. He’s 200 delegates behind, a gap no candidate has ever caught up on. Hillary herself fought a large deficit 8 years ago; this time she has a lot of Obama’s demographics on her side. Sanders is going into seven straight losses today and next week, by which time a full half of the delegates will have been decided. He really has no shot, even if he gains double digits in every remaining state.

      Jeb Bush *could* have stayed in hoping the polls were wrong.

      This isn’t just my opinion. See 538, who have an excellent track record. Sanders fans are the only people not acknowledging what’s basically a mathematical certainty, barring lightening strike.

      • Ooops. Lightning just struck. . . . Clinton just lost Michigan, a must-have state for Democrats in the general election, and won Mississippi, a complete loss.

        • This has been called one of the worst polling errors in American history.

          Clinton still gained delegates yesterday. If polls had been accurate, a Dem voting bloc that chose to try to influence the Michigan GOP vote would have been in her column instead. It was a pretty serious strategic mistake on the part of those voters.

          I’m not sure Michigan is a “must-have” given how many independents and GOP voted on the Dem side. It is probably not the bellweather it’s been in past years, especially for future closed primaries.

          But yes, he won the state. It’s good for his narrative.

  • Well, drop “thoughtful” and “timely” from the masthead. How thoughtful is it to require lockstep in a forum that is supposed represent intellectual inquiry and honesty. What’s the point in participating in an echo chamber? As for “timely,” even if this policy of nonthinking censorship were accepted, the timing is premature. According to the FBI, there are scores of agents looking into what HRC did with secure documents. The poor IT guy who set up her private server cut a deal to testify and we know who the target is. This or other factors could have HRC sidelined at any point.

    The most disturbing aspect of the suggested policy is this — HRC is largely responsible for the total disasters in Libya and Syria. This is beyond dispute. 250,000 Syrians are dead and maybe 100,000 Libyans. A legitimate question is – will HRC do for America what she did for Libya and Syria?

    It’s not OK for Trump to deliberately incite a few fistfights at his rallies (and it is not!) but this site must fall in lockstep for HRC even though her policies resulted in the deaths of over 250,000 Libyans and Syrians.

    • Legitimate criticisms of policy are welcome. Benghazi, emailgate, murder theories, Rush Limbaugh quips and “wall street sell-out” talk are not. There’s an anti-Hillary piece on the front page right now.

      That Libya and Syria are America’s fault dismisses the actions of the leaders of those countries. The mass murder of protesters is one of my personal criteria for intervention.

      We sat on the sidelines for Rwanda and Darfur. We left Somalia in a state of not being a state. Not every military action is neo-colonialism. Humanitarian intervention is sometimes warranted.

      Assad, ISIS, and a dozen other Sharia-loving groups bear most of the responsibility in Syria. Russia has dropped significant munition on non-extremist towns. “Lockstep” and “her policies resulted in the deaths of over 250,000” are hyperbolic to the point of illogic.

      • The United States, Obama and Clinton, pushed through a human rights violation against Libya in a half day hearing of the Human Rights Commission. There were no witnesses, just a rush to judgment. Alan Kuperman of the Belfer Center at Harvard did an extensive post action evaluation the hype prior to the UN commitment and concluded:

        “An examination of the course of violence in Libya before and after NATO’s action shows that the intervention backfired. The intervention extended the war’s duration about sixfold; increased its death toll approximately seven to ten times; and exacerbated human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If it is a “model intervention,” as senior NATO officials claim, it is a model of failure. Implementation of R2P must be reformed to address these unintended negative consequences and the dynamics underlying them. Only then will R2P be able to achieve its noble objectives”

        The stated premises of the intervention spurred by Obama and Clinton don’t bear the light of day. Yet, they persevered and got the UN no-fly zone. In fact, this resulted in coordination between NATO forces and Libyan rebels taking them to victory.

        Let’s agree that Gaddafi was a dreadful dictator and that his successors are dreadful as well. Under Gaddaffi, Libyans had medical care, education (foreign if they chose), a $50,000 housing subsidy, and many other benefits. Under the successors, Libya has become a failed state. All of the programs for the people are finished and the place is violent, dangerous, and a failed state.

        This was Clinton’s policy. She arrived in Libya after Gaddafi was sodomized with knife and murdered and said to a CBS reporter there: “We came, we saw, he died.” Then she and the reporter laughed.

        The effort cost the lives of
        100,000 Libyans when the official sources stopped counting. The people live in a new corner of Hell. It would have been over quickly had there been no Obama-Clinton no fly zone.

        President Obama knows it was a total mess. That’s why he tried to blame David Cameron for creating a “sh#t storm” by not policing the place properly.

        Syria was a relatively middle class multi cultural Arab state ruled by the Assad faction. A robust democracy it was not but Christians, Kurds, Armenians, Druse, Shia/Alawite and other minority ethnic and religious groups lived in true peace with each other. Clinton enunciated Obama’s policy which was basically, “Assad Must Go”. (I’ve always wondered how we’d react if some other nation’s foreign minister went around saying, “Obama must go.”) Her central role in fomenting the revolution and supporting the revels is established fact.

        Assad didn’t declare war on himself. Before the rebel effort started, Assad and Erdogan were moving their nation’s closer together through plans of extensive trade and political cooperation. When ‘Assad must go” started, all that changed.

        The rebels were equipped, trained and funded by the US/NATO and the Gulf oligarchies. The front line state, Turkey, supported the Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra. This was no secret. We supported Turkey until just recently.

        250,000 people died who would not otherwise have died because of the Clinton backed rebel attacks on a sovereign state.

        11,000,000 Syrians are displaced who would not have otherwise been displaced as a result of the Clinton backed attacks on a sovereign state.

        There was absolutely no refugee crisis prior to the attack on Syria.

        This was Hillary Clinton’s strategy.

        We are known by our works. These are dreadful works. If it’s morally reprehensible for Bush to wreak havoc in Iraq (a war Clinton supported at the start) then it’s the same for Clinton and others to do so in Libya and Syria. She helped start these efforts, they ended in disaster, therefore, she bears part of the blame. It is hardly a recommending quality for a president and certainly not a quality that merits full acceptance of her as the unchallenged, unquestioned favorite for president.

        There is a lot right her on The Agonist about Syria, well before the issue became prominent and thoroughly documented:

        Syrian Crisis – Original Writing in The Agonist

    • Michael, given much of the stuff you published as editor, man, glass houses. Big ones. Made of that breakaway prop glass.

      You helped kick down and shoot “thoughtful” some time ago and enthusiastically bayoneted its corpse.

        • Looking at your last five foreign policy pieces we have:

          * A piece hailing the strategic significance of Azaz (while ignoring ISIS control of 50 clicks of border),

          * Reporting that apparently there are oligarchs in Ukraine (um, duh?),

          * An early 2014 prediction of imminent Syrian Army victory (doesn’t seem to have played out that way),

          * An end of 2013 prediction of Erdogan’s imminent fall (see above), and

          * Assertions of a reversal in US policy in Syria based on some Hezbollah tea leaf reading (again, see above).

          That’s not so much looking like “thoughtful” to me. More like “serial repackaging of badly understood reporting to fit worldview”. Your pieces are long on rhetoric, short on data and depend fundamentally on the audience’s ignorance and short memory.

  • That Libya and Syria are America’s fault dismisses the actions of the leaders of those countries. The mass murder of protesters is one of my personal criteria for intervention.

    If that’s your personal criteria, you must be really annoyed the US did not intervene in the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict when Israel killed between 2,142 and 2,310 Gazans and left between 10,626 and 10,895 wounded (including 3,374 children), of whom over 1,000 were left permanently disabled.

    Yet, in a question on Foreign Affairs, Clinton never mentioned the Palestinians except to say that they throw rockets at Israel. This woman has not an ounce of empathy left in her.

    What do you find so great about Clinton?

    • It really goes beyond that, given the mounting evidence even from Hillary’s own email trail that the compelling reason for the Libya intervention had less to do with the exaggerated humanitarian crisis than French economic interests in north Africa that were being threatened by Libya.

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