I bought my first computer in the year 2000 and promptly signed up for the internet. It was dial up then with no opportunity for broadband where I live until 2007, and that was DSL. So except for a couple of periods of maybe 3 weeks during that time, I have been slowly getting more addicted to it. Spending increasing time to the point now, I don't do much else when there is a minute of free time.
In 2006, I posted my first blog comment on Talk Left and it was only a sentence/ I became more and more enthralled with political blogs from then, commenting mostly on newspaper articles at Wapo and other likewise mainstream publications such as weekly magazines.
These were the Bush years, and being liberal and having become politically aware and active since the 2000 election battle that ended with the Supreme Court decision of Bush v Gore, it was an exciting, if not enraging time for liberals on the web. There was much agreement and a sense of commraderie opposing the Bush/Cheney crime syndicate, right on up to Obama being elected the first black president.
But sign of trouble in the Netroot paradise began to surface during the primary bitter fight between the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Obama one. It was very surprising to me and cause much stress and angst to be having bitter and even vicious arguments on blogs with people who I had so much in common with. I was an Obama supporter, but mostly because he had pretty much sewn up the nomination in March of 2008. I would have been satisfied, at that point, to support Clinton, or about any of the fine field of dem candidates to go against the GOP one.
But those on the Clinton side felt they had been cheated and launched into not only a lack of support for Obama, but even taking up sides with the republicans. It was baffling to say the least, but still I kept on going with being active in left wing blogs. And after Obama was elected, that PUMA period seemed to slow down quite a bit and things somewhat returned to normal. But not for long.
Early on, some left blogs began second guessing Obama on people he was appointing to political positions in his coming administration, and even some folks that were advising him in the transition.
This increased even more when Obama was sworn in, and began the sausage making progress of enacting legislation. And soon became a cacophony of sorts when even the slightest compromise with the republicans would send the bulk of the netroots into convulsions of outrage and disappointment. These people of the left had voted for and campaigned for obama and he owed them the totality of what THEY wanted him to do.
Then came the Health Care Reform year long battle. And be sure that mistakes were made by congressional democrats and Obama. It was a bloody and bitter fight with tea baggers and disappointed liberals. Especially when it became clear that the much desired Public Option, or a government run health insurer would not for lack of votes in the senate, become a part of the final passed HCR bill. That is when the democratic party split down the middle, or not so much down the middle, but a tiny sliver of it I belong to would not join the hordes of rebellious liberal ideologues on the web and began to condemn and oppose Obama as being a sellout to their cause. I am a pragmatic liberal that accepts reasonable progress when that is all we have the votes for. Which is almost always a function of the supermajority of 60 percent needed in the senate for anything, or most things to pass.
I have belonged to one blog called Balloon Juice, mostly for the past 3 years, and just about exclusively for the past year or so. It's owner, a former republican has valiantly, imo, held out for nuanced debate and reason, over the will of the netroot nation of dem bloggers, for as long as he could, I guess. And even on this blog, in had become a daily struggle for those of us to insist on debate with facts to oppose a dem president. It was a losing battle, and I had known that for some time. And had several times in the past year stated that when John Cole, owner of Balloon Juice gave in to that demand of ideological purity, and forsake to a large degree, common sense and reality based debate, that I would leave immediately his blog as a regular commenter.
That day arrived two days ago with a post slamming those of us who had been doing what we had always done, insist of fact based and wholistic reasoning, not only over Obama, but in general. So it was time to leave and I have. It is also time to take a break from the internet altogether for at least a month, and maybe longer. So my broadband will be shut off on Tuesday, but I will turn in my modem on Monday.
I spend way to much time on line, and have known it for awhile, and reading blogs no longer is rewarding, when all there seems to be are psychotic republicans and neurotic democrats populating them, or at least the overwhelming majority
I plan to go into my photography of nature more, and build artistic picture frames for my Hummingbird photos to sell. And let all the poison that has accumulated from bitter rivalries on Balloon Juice to melt away with peace and time. There are still a number of people there I think highly of and consider friends, and I will miss them. And John Cole too. He is a decent and honest man caught in a world of craziness. And when that is the case, no one can hold out forever. I will never return there however, and not likely become a regular commenter on any blog. But we shall see. I will be checking this blog every week or so at the public library computers to see if anyone is reading this or other stuff, and will post small blurbs on how things are going. Till then. Later Alligators.