Who’s banned from Democratic Underground? This guy.

Rant: liberal website can’t handle charges of illiberalism

First things first. Allow me to re-iterate my liberal bona fides: Your humble author on the political compass. Where are you?

I am as left as Gandhi, more than the Dalai Lama, and nearly as left as Stalin, but a bit more libertarian/anarchist than Gandhi and far more than Stalin.

What grave sin can a liberal commit on a putatively liberal forum? Calling out the illiberalism of a significant segment of their membership, which, no matter how one frames it, is called “meta” in the DU parlance. Engage in all the name calling and logical fallacy you wish, but do not talk about the rules.

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. – Chuck Palahniuk

Why not?

Posting privileges for the account arsskeptica have been revoked. See Democratic Underground’s Terms of Service for more information.

This decision can be appealed by contacting the Administrators, who may reverse the decision if they are provided with a compelling reason to do so. If the Administrators do not respond to the appeal within seven days, the appeal has been denied.

Because hey, there’s a ToS to consider. Discussion of delicate sensibilities might offend. Discussion of rules may be disruptive, though of what I can’t even imagine. One post and their whole retrograde house of cards comes crashing down because of one person’s insight and criticism? Used to be that “precious snowflake” connoted something unique, never to be replicated, at least as far as I knew. Maybe I’ve been wrong and it has everything to do with just how incredibly fragile they are.

Why do I even bother sharing this? Because it’s so pathetic it borders on the hilarious. Because honestly, it bugs the shit out of me when hypocrites are hypocritical. Because I’m a blogger, and writing is what I do.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not butt-hurt about the ban, per se. On that front, I should probably be relieved that I no longer stand the risk of encountering the kinds of jackasses that run rampant there (which is not to malign the entire membership…only the jackasses, which are plentiful, and vocal, and mostly dues-paying). I’m butt-hurt because some particularly mysterious jackasses have co-opted an aspect of liberalism, a core aspect, an aspect so viscerally part of what it is to be actually liberal that even serious, knowledgeable conservatives embrace it as an intrinsic part of our democratic republic, no matter how strenuously they try to rebrand it…speech. I get it. I do. Someone else’s right to free speech ends at my right to private property. DU is just that. Private property. Then again, I also don’t go out of my way to brand myself as Liberal with a capital L while making sanctimonious twaddle sacred ground and blocking righteous indignation when confronted with cheap shots that are valued more than substance.

Seriously. I mean, I expect to see the occasional comment I leave not make it through moderation, for example, when I call out a corporate mouthpiece for egregious bullshit on their own website, but banned at a liberal, and I use that term very loosely here, forum for the temerity of suggesting that intellectual dishonesty is far more garishly offensive to intelligent sensibilities than calling it out? That’s just asinine.

And when I look at the sorry state of Democratic party affairs *ahem2014midtermscough* and see the number of self-proclaimed party apparatchiks at DU, I can hardly be surprised if the party keeps seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. The strategy of “sell ’em one thing, give ’em another” will, if they keep it up like they did with Clinton/Obama, and like they keep ducking when faced with Nixon/McCulloch (cf: Michael Brown…that travesty of justice happened under Democrats, but don’t tell them that), will only result in lower and lower voter turn-outs because who the fuck can be bothered voting when the party that will save us just keeps selling us down the same damned tired and over-traveled river. If DU is any kind of decent cross-section of the Democratic Party, the party is soon to be every bit as extraneous and obsolete as the Tea Party.

Maybe there’s a new article series in this: Buffoons of DU. Why not? Everyone needs a hobby, right? To be fair, there are some incredibly intelligent and insightful folks there as well, so when I spot them doing what they do, I’ll be sure to share that, too.

 

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