I suppose that thread was unlikely to last very long from the start, given the political overtones. At the start it was a relevant, skiing-related thread and remained so longer than I expected. There were some light political comments, and I suppose two words in my reply (within that thread) added to that. But for the most part it stayed on the subject of skiing.
A little background for the newer members: We have a long-standing rule that topics must remain on-subject in the skiing-specific forums. The reason for this is we have had some very nasty flame wars, particularly on the subject of politics -- hostile threads that severely hurt the vibe of the these forums and spilled over into many other threads (animosities between individuals became very strong and affected all interactions between them). We even tried having a dedicated Political Discussion forum, which lasted a few months before becoming a combat zone.
This kind of political topic (what the Kerry thread became later, not just what it started as) is allowed at EpicSki, but ONLY in the Supporter Lounge -- it is a perk for supporters of the website who want to discuss a wider range of issues with other members of this community. Most any topic is open for discussion there, but only skiing related threads are permitted in the skiing-specific forums. Since most people come to EpicSki for ski-specific info/discussion, the majority of people have made it clear to me that they prefer skiing forums to include only skiing threads (to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and make the forum more useful).
Last night the tone of the Kerry thread shifted suddenly and dramatically to that of an aggressive political rant, not a discussion of Kerry playing on the ski hill. These new posts (one in particular) took the thread from the gray area, to the way over the line area. I could (and perhaps should) have moved it to the lounge, but since most people in the thread would not have been able to follow it over to the lounge, that seemed a little unfair.