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Sheehan, Sexism, and the DailyKos

Posted by libhom Sunday, July 22, 2007

I usually try to ignore the DailyKos, realizing that claims in the corporate media that it is a liberal or left blog are laughable. It is a forum for highly partisan, conservative and centrist Democrats. It really isn't much of a place for liberals like me or for people like myself who are not blindly partisan.

However, I had read about how many people there had trashed Cindy Sheehan when she tried to hold pro-war Democrats to the same standards as pro-war Republicans. Now, she is considering an independent run against Nancy Pelosi, if Pelosi does not live up to her responsibility to uphold and defend the constitution by starting impeachment hearings against Bush and Cheney.

I wanted to check out the responses. When someone challenges a pro-war Democrat, the Kos community tends to be hostile. Some have been admirable, most have been hostile, but others have been disturbing.

Rico had an excellent diary supporting Sheehan, but one of the comments who disagreed with him showed a typical bit of male-supremacist ideology when it dismisses female political views and activities as being all emotional.

And it's insulting to most of us to hold supporting Cindy's run for congress as a litmus test of the sincerity and intensity of our desire to end the war or even a remte clue to what any of us has laid on the line. In fact, I ssuspect most of us here don't think of Cindy as a traitor or anything remotely like that -- there are always a few extremists -- but rather an invaluable contributor who simply is letting her emotions rather than her brain lead her this time and won't accomplish anything useful in getting us closer to ending the war by this run.

Another commenter went directly to attacking her as a woman.
The more attention we give her the more she thrives in her lunacy. She's nothing more than an attention whore now, and that's sad. People should just ignore her, and she just might eventually go away and retire like she said she would.

Another DailyKos diarist posed a question as to whether Sheehan would be banned. A commenter went to the old “women just want attention” tactic.
I think 'sideshow' is an accurate description of Cindy's diary. As much as I admire her actions in standing up against the war and speaking her very powerful truth, I find her recent actions to be very passive-aggressive and attention-seeking.

Another Diarist posted on whether or not Sheehan can address local San Francisco issues. This diary posting was amusing, since most of the issues that were listed are dealt with by local government, not by Congress. Some of the commenters' statements were not so amusing.

A woman who does not follow the party line must be stupid or overly “emotional.”
Ms Sheehan never impressed me as being terribly bright. I may be wrong, it's probably elitist - but there it is.

We're where we are now because we weren't "elitist" enough to elect an intelligent President (among his many other faults).

Sheehan may or may not be a smart woman, but what bothers me is her 200-proof emotional response to every issue, every problem, every situation. She shoots off her mouth with all the accuracy of Dick Cheney in a quail field.

When men get involved in political actions, you don't read as much psuedo-psychoanalysis.

Of course, the majority of the people on the DailyKos site did not spew misogynist rhetoric. Most of them were just partisan hacks who will blindly follow any Democrat, no matter how awful. Pelosi's support of devastating corporate-controlled trade deals, her de facto and uncompromising pro-war stance, and Pelosi's fanatical opposition to impeachment mean nothing to them. For most DailyKos commenters, politics is like spectator sports. You cheer for the home team. The consequences for the country get drowned out by the cheering.

However, the misogynistic tone of some of the commenters on DailyKos reflect a tendency of a vocal minority of bloggers to use gender, sexual orientation, or race as a convenient weapon to silence those who disagree with them. If DailyKos actually were the liberal blog community the corporate media says it is, that weapon would be more likely to backfire.

The comments about Sheehan making decisions based exclusively on emotion are as absurd as they are sexist. It has been obvious for months now that independent, third party, and primary challenges are essential if progressives want to counter the right-wing agendas of Phonycrats like Nancy Pelosi. Without electoral challenges from the left, most Democrats will continue to take our votes, our time, and our money for granted, while pursuing a conservative political agenda.


  1. Unknown Says:
  2. Have you read the scurrilous rumours about Kos?


  3. libhom Says:
  4. I have, but I'm not so sure how seriously I'm taking them. The source is someone supporting Hillary Clinton, who is tied with Joe Biden as the most right-wing Democrat in the Presidential race.

    Kos and most of his flock are Edwards supporters and, like most bloggers, don't think much of the Clintons. That, it turns out, is the main grievance the accuser has against Kos.

    Under the circumstances, it is difficult to know how much of those accusations are true. What we do know is that the DailyKos is not for liberals or progressives, especially liberals and progressives who are not blindly partisan supporters of the Democratic Party.

  5. "Kos and most of his flock are Edwards supporters"

    That's why I got run out of DailyKos. Because Kos and his minions were supporting a man who, at the time, was sexing a paid campaign worker, perhaps fathering a baby with her, while Edwards wife was fighting cancer.

    Now, in retrospect, I think we can see that the judgment of the Kos minions was not very good and either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama had a better change of winning the General Election than Edwards did, because Edwards' scandals were not going to survive the Republican opposition research.

    Now, Edwards is before a grand jury in his home town. Great candidate! If only we had nominated him then John McCain would be president right now.

    Now would you like to take back what you said about my supposed biased, libhom?

    OK, then read the letter Kos wrote to his student newspaper opposing ALL gay service in the US military!

    Kos is a "liberal" "leftist" who spent two years training at the CIA. At least that's what he said on an audiotape at the Commonwealth Club on June 2, 2006. Don't take my word for it! Just listen to the audiotape!

    The truth about Kos is all laid out with hyperlinks at the Truth About Kos blog. You can ignore the facts of his sordid past, like the manager of his "family hotel" in El Salvador getting a one million dollar loan guarantee from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, but you can't say you didn't know.

  6. Did ya know that Markos Moulitsas wrote a letter to his college newspaper in which he opposed ALL gay service in the US military?

  7. libhom Says:
  8. Francis L. Holland: I had to go back and research this.

    I am not a fan of the Daily Kos, because it is run by highly partisan, centrist Democrats. In the posting these comments are referring to, I was criticizing the misogyny of that blog.

    I never supported John Edwards. I brought him up to try to explain to Rick why I was skeptical of what you were writing.

    As for Hillary Clinton, she and her husband are loony rightist, corrupt, racist, misogynistic, and heterosexist war mongers who share the exact same political agenda and value system as Jesse Helms, Bull Connor, and Trent Lott. The only reason why they didn't switch to the GOP is that they are still bitter over the outcome of the Civil War. Ms. Clinton also is a militant, Christian fundamentalist along the lines of Pat Robertson and Sarah Palin.

    The Clintons are KKK without (at least publicly) the white robes and dunce caps.

    Ms. Clinton's supporters in the Democratic Party, including yourself, were obsessive and irrational at that time. Pro Clinton blogs were spreading the most bizarre and silly rumors about all the other candidates, especially Barack Obama, and against anyone who didn't blindly support Ms. Clinton. So, I had good reason to be skeptical of any claim on a pro Clinton blog that did not supply independent verification.

    I have nothing to take back. I still have no way of knowing if your claims about Kos at that time were correct.



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