The post election split is nothing new. Might seem hard to believe but The Daily Kos used to be considered an important leftist blog during the George W. Bush years. Leading up to the 2004 defeat of John Kerry and reelection of GWB, it grew to become one of the bigger online voices for leftists.
As a community they worked to elect and support many (what they believed to be) progressives like Sherrod Brown and Dennis Kucinich, or put progressives in places of power like Elizabeth Warren and Howard Dean. And of course getting Barack Obama elected as president. At the time, it looked like the left was making inroads.
However, reality began to set in for many of us after the Democrats assumed power. We saw the progressive politicians abandon their fighting personas and adopt a baffling insiders game. Even Dennis Kucinich, who I would argue was the most legitimate out of that group, embarrassingly tacked way to the center during his terribly advised, short lived presidential run.
I think it speaks for itself how the rest of that group of progressives turned out playing the insiders game.
However, the issue I am getting to at here is there was a segment of the online left, including the owner of The Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas (Kos), refused to see what was coming even though it was clear. Some eventually came around at the end of Obama’s term, but others, like Markos, blindly stood with the group of progressives he and others worked so hard to elect and put so much faith in. That was the birth of the Warren Democrat. Not because they stood for anything, but because they followed Warren blindly and she dragged them right to the establishment Democrats.
The entire time they never realized their circle was increasingly more liberals and centrist, which should lead them to believe they were the ones who had changed, they believed they were staying consistent. More troubling, they started to attack the left and allies (who would mostly go on to become Bernie 2016 supporters) for being too left. Basically they were mad at the left for not coming with them and Warren when we saw all the flashing red lights. This is the Daily Kos you have known for the last decade.
What is happening now is no different. Leftists will also peel off to the right eventually too, like Cassandra Fairbanks or Shirtless Pundit did in 16. You can see that happening right now. Most of us will grow and evolve our positions but stay anti-establishment left, which I believe is the consistent position through all of this. The FTV more or less sped up the sifting process. Some will eventually realize they were mislead and were attacking the wrong people, but others will blindly support certain politicians until the end, no matter how obvious it is they aren’t heading in the right direction and they need drastic pushing.
The truces that have been talked about are nice and I agree the fighting absolutely needs to end as we have more in common than not. However, becoming allies is a stretch. The main problem is one side, from as diverse as Cornell West and Susan Sarandon, believe the progressives in congress are not using their power. The other side has a problem with the progressives getting criticized. They are squarely in the “give them time” or “they can’t do anything” or “they are doing great” camps. So while we should agree to be civil, the idea that we are going to be able to work in unison is highly unlikely. This is an inside vs outside debate that can’t be worked around. Like I said, some will figure it out but others are going blindly into the light of the insider’s game.
You are witnessing the birth of the new Warren Democrats, just insert a new name. This is exactly the same. It will happen again. Personal politics evolve over time, it’s just life. How to know if you changed or they changed? If you look around and 80% of the people and social media accounts you see and interact with are still there, you didn’t change. If you look around and realize you have lost a lot of people in your circle and are now retweeting people who were in a different circle last election it should be fairly obvious. Nothing wrong with change, just don’t attack people for not going in the direction you decided to, and vice versa.