You know what would probably settle at least 90% of the fights that erupt here?
A function for users to simply ignore another specific user's comments--to "hide-rate" them for themselves, but not for anyone else.
There are people here who I can't say don't contribute to the site, or to progressive politics, or to the Democratic Party as a whole, but damned if they don't grate on my nerves.
And we've all run into them. People whose comments may be valid, even necessary to a particular discussion, but who just rub us the wrong way.
I play a number of MMOs, and one of their saving graces is the "/ignore " function. This lets you put someone in "time-out", temporarily or permanently.
Let's be honest. Most of the fights that erupt here are just personality clashes, nothing more. There's nothing deeper than "He's a jerk!" or "I don't like her!", no matter how much our egos cling to the idea that so-and-so said such-and-such and it was SOOOOO WRONG!!! and had to corrected.
I'm certain I'd be on some peoples' ignore lists, and I've got at least half a dozen candidates who would land on my own on the first day an ignore function were to be implemented.
An ignore function would restore a semblance of civility to the site and it would reduce the ability of some folks to bully others into submission.
And, I know, the counter-argument is that we should all control ourselves. Please. Look at this place. Seriously, look at it. When even front-pagers have been banned because they got embroiled in a personality tangle, there's a problem. When Kos himself declares, like the Prince at the end of Romeo and Juliet, that "All are punished!", there's a problem.
It'd give us the happy medium of a personal hide-rate--so we as individuals no longer see an annoyance's comments--without getting into public fights over what is and is not hide-rateable.
Anyway. Food for thought.