Back in 2004 I knew about dailykos, and I visited when I needed a pick-me-up, but I was not a dedicated user (perhaps I should say addict) as I am today (probably reading 50-75 diaries a day these days). In 2006 I became a much more dedicated viewer, but I still didn't have an account and I just liked to watch from afar. Only this year did I start posting some diaries, but mostly I like to enjoy reading the awesome things others have to say. So in that spirit, I wanted to take a more comprehensive look back at what was going on then, so I turned to archive.org. It's surely not the most satisfying record, they don't have some dates, and kind of frustratingly they don't have November 7th, 2006 (election day) so I can't see the diaries (FWIW, I can go back and look at the main page via entering an old n here: http://dailykos.com/... But still, the links on archive.org work (if you clean them up a bit) and in reading the front page you can get a pretty good idea of the mood. I was completely impressed by the optimism and prescience even in the face of dramatically upsetting results. I hope that now as we are on the brink of victorious jubilation, that we can pause and remember how far we've come.
More on the flip-side
The hope and optimism is a reason I love dailykos. It's a place that's well suited for skeptical optimists such as myself. That's why I think the message of the Obama campaign resonated so well over here, and not so well at some other blogs. Kossacs tend to be more hopeful and optimistic than any other democratic blog I've ever been to.
So of course, we see some of this optimism in 2004, prior to our loss there:
Snapshot, November 2, 2004: http://web.archive.org/...
My election-eve predictions are 311 EVs for Kerry (all Gore states plus OH, FL and NH), a +1 gain in the Senate, and a +7 gain in the House.
I blew 2002, so don't look for a record of great prognostication. I am clearly a much better observer than predictor. I mean, predictions are really just educated guesses, and could bite any of us in the ass.
So sadly, 311 didn't happen, but looking at the polls from back then, that was overly optimistic for sure. For a snapshot of these, take a look at the November 1st, 2004 page: http://web.archive.org/...
Recognizing defeat, Kos was defiant and ready to start on the next mission, from the November 3rd snapshot here: http://web.archive.org/...
The networks have essentially called this one for Bush. There are still votes to be counted, and Kerry better not get it in his head to concede before all of them are counted.
I've always said today was merely a battle in a long war. The GOP built its electoral dominance over 40 years by building a massive, well-funded message, training, and media machine.
We started putting ours together last year.
You all have much to be proud of. But please don't think your job is done, or that your hard work was all for naught. It's not, and it wasn't.
This is just the beginning, not the end. Regardless of who takes that oath next January we still have a war to wage. We won't wage it with violence, but by building a solid foundation for a new progressive movement.
Yes, by building a solid foundation for a new progressive movement... and that's exactly what happened.
I also found this wonderful nugget of a diary, again from Kos that sent chills down my spine (in a good way): http://www.dailykos.com/...
IL-Sen: Obama wins
Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 05:11:01 PM PDT
Meet the new senator from the Great State of Illinois
Very first comment thanks to pocketnines (who's sig line was fivethirtyeight.com then, which maybe had a different purpose then??? I don't get that, archive.org has no record):
Future President (none / 1)
A great, great man.
THE best thing in the Democratic Party right now.
Now how fucking prescient is that? Take a look at the diary comment thread, it's just awesome to look back at it from today's perspective.
So the day after the election (snapshot here: http://web.archive.org/... Kos had another great inspirational post that looks like the vision of the future that has come to pass today. Original diary is here: http://www.dailykos.com/...
Bush has spent the last year blaming all his ills on 9/11 and Bill Clinton. Well, those boogeymen are now done. Bush is now inheriting his own presidency, and he has a serious mess on his hands.
It is our job as Democrats to build our infrastructure over the next four years, first to take out the Republican majorities in Congress in 2006, then to reclaim the White House in 2008.
Yep, and that's exactly what happened in 2006, and what will happen in this year with Barack claiming the presidency. The only exception is that now we close to a filibuster-proof senate (which Kos also hinted at here: http://www.dailykos.com/... and huge majorities in the house.
I'd like to do 2006, but perhaps I'll do that in another diary. I live in California but I'm leaving tomorrow to go canvass in Virginia and North Carolina. I'm coming back on November 5th, that better be a fun plane ride... I hope I'm drinking champagne and not bourbon straight up.