The title of this diary comes, as many of us know, from a beautiful Bible verse.  It also happens to be the title of President Gerald Ford’s memoir.  Now out of print, the book tells the story of a mediocre Presidency marked for history by one salient act of forgiveness — the pardoning of Richard Nixon.

The circumstances surrounding Nixon’s resignation are in some ways similar to those we currently find at Booman Tribune.  In 1974, America was full of hatred for a President who had turned on them when they needed him most.  Similarly, our community here at Booman is up in arms about Markos, our former leader whom we believe unconscionally rejected the women of his site in favor of macho egotism.

Now, let me state at the outset that I’m a strong opponent of both the Pie Fight ad and Markos’s reprehensible comments.  If you don’t believe me, see here, and here, and here, and here, and some of my comments at Kos which is being upgraded to a new server right now and can’t be reached.  Convinced?  Okay.  Because now I’m going to attempt to do what Armando tried and failed to do — try to temper the hatred around here.
Markos fucked up, big time.  He made an ass of himself toward the women and thinking men on the site.  He didn’t apologize properly and never will, because he doesn’t get the plight of women in America and in the Democratic Party.

BUT…and this is a big BUT.  Markos happens to be responsible, more than anyone except perhaps Joe Trippi and Aziz Poonawalla, for the explosion of the blogosphere as the enfranchised voice for American liberals.  Markos gave us — ALL of us — a voice in a party which until recently only paid lip service to many of us.  He and his site remain the first line of defense against the bureaucratic and power-hungry forces that currently run our country and our party.  None of this has changed simply because he is unconscionably stupid about the single biggest issue of the Democratic Party.

This hatred expressed toward a member of our own side — it’s poison, poison.  It reminds me of the environmentalists back home in Flagstaff who demanded the resignation of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, the greatest environmental politician in American history, because he maintained a pumice mine on his property.  Was Babbitt wrong to maintain the mine?  Yes, of course.  Did his idiocy on this issue negate all the good he’s done for America?  Not at all.

I’m not asking anyone that has left to go back to Kos.  That’s your choice.  What I’m asking is that you recognize that Kos, like Babbitt, is human and flawed and at times horribly stupid, but still a great man and the last best hope of our movement.  I’m asking that this site become not the Anti-Kos, but a sister site, with a different focus, a different style, but the same mission: to reform America and the Democratic Party.  I’m asking not that we forget what Kos has done, but that we FORGIVE him.

When Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, it was an extremely unpopular move.  Surely Nixon didn’t deserve it.  But AMERICA deserved it.  America NEEDED it, so we could move on with our lives.  With one stroke, Ford drained all the poison from America and returned us to nationhood.

Anger, then as now, is a normal reaction.  But it is time to remove the poison from our hearts by forgiving Markos for his actions.  Our movement, our community, our selves are at stake.  Now is not the time to kill.  It is a time to heal.

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