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May 26, 2016

Happy Birthday, DailyKos

DailyKos is fourteen years old today. In honor of this, they’re pointing at their birth photo.

It’s changed a lot in 14 years, but hasn’t swerved from its core principles: News and ideas for Democrats, in an open, conversational forum, with a strong commitment to building a community and getting shit done.

DailyKos is absolutely one of my go-to sites. Here’s some of what I like about it:

It is open about its commitment to Democratic values, but it is also fact based. For example, if an economic report isn’t where we’d like, DailyKos doesn’t try to put a happy face on it. It instead tries to figure out what’s going wrong and how it can be addressed. If this means criticizing Democrats all the way up to President Obama, they do it.

DailyKos has remained true to the vision of blogging as a way of democratizing voice. While the site has an excellent staff of paid writers — each of whom has her or his own voice — there are also thousands of bloggers at the site. The site has community-based ways of featuring them on the front page. This gives a real sense that site is ours.

Humor is part of the daily life of DailyKos.

Markos keeps his eye on the ball. The site is about helping Democrats win in order to advance progressive values. In March Markos decided that it’s time for the site to turn away from Bernie supporters doing the Republicans’ job for them by attacking Hillary in nasty, irrational ways. Supporting Bernie is fine. Open criticism of Hillary is fine. More than fine. We need to be alert to her limitations as well as to the ways in which Trump will attack her. But name-calling, personal attacks, or conspiracy theories about Vince Foster at this point will not help the progressive cause. As Markos says, there are plenty of other places on the Web for that sort of thing. So, you’ll still find people at the site fervently backing Bernie, and plenty of criticism and concern about Hillary. But not the sort of angry jeremiad that tears us apart.

The site does not get lost in the presidential horse race. It focuses also on state and local elections.

DailyKos is a fascinating hybrid of commitment and evidence-based dialogue. Here’s looking to many more years of it.

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