Walking The PlankQuite a few things have been happening in left blogistan while I was pre-occupied with (and still worried and depressed as all hell about to the point of total breakdown) other personal matters, one of which is a big fight between a few A-list bloggers and The Plank, the official blog of the fishwrapper known as The New Republic. The A-list bloggers in question are Kos and Jerome while a few others were mentioned in passing such as Gilliard and Jane.
While Greenwald, Billmon, and Ms. Shakes parses the whole flap overall, I also share their contention with TNR's Jason Zengerle whom posits the idea -- along with the greater MSM -- that all of left blogistan marches in perfect goosestep to Kos, including me. Nothing pisses me off more when somebody puts words in my mouth or claims to know me better than I know myself so it's with great pleasure to remind idiots like Zengerle and the MSM that Orange Incorporated (e.g. DailyKos) got whacked from my blogroll a long, long, time ago. I don't take orders from Markos anymore so than I would of John Aravosis or his hip-twin Atrios.
What I find rather heavy-handed in this whole affair is the exact the same thing Billmon does -- that the establishment Democrats, TNR, and their poster-boy Joe Lieberman have discovered just how threatening Kos and left blogistan is to their stranglehold of power and that they've decided to take a page out of Herr Rove's Betriebhandbuch (the Swift Boat Edition) and tapped Zengerle as their blogistan hatchet man with forged e-mails to boot.
Despite this idea of Kos being some online equivilent to R. Lee Ermey that whips the hides and bellows into the faces of his lesser Blog-Maggots has been thoroughly destroyed, that doesn't mean that other A-list bloggers and their henchmen (or former henchmen, as the case maybe) aren't trying to do just that and I'm not flogging the Aravosis/"Big Girl" dead horse again, either. I'm talking about Ezra Klien's guest blogger Neil The Ethical Warewolf that brought some food for thought to the table ...
What's scary here, for the purposes of netroots Democrats like you and me, isn't that Jerome broke the law. It's that he gave bad advice to people who trusted him, in exchange for secret payments from outside parties that benefitted from his bad advice. And it was bad advice. Take a look at Bluepoint's chart, and note that Jerome was touting Bluepoint on the far left side of that chart, just when it first hit the market. That's a pretty disastrous investment. I don't know whether Jerome knew, or whether he cared, that the advice was bad. (I was no genius in those days, but I knew enough not to invest in companies that went public by a reverse merger into a shell, which is what Bluepoint seems to have done. It's a very bad sign when the only way a company can go public is by merging with another company that has nothing to its name but a ticker symbol.) Even if he was trying to give good advice and just screwed up massively, there's the fact that he was taking secret money for doing so.
... only to attract Armando who proceeded to take a large shit in the comments section without even leaving a Wal-Mart smiley (consolidated from a comment by Petey):
Did you check with Ezra before you chose to post this? The site does bear his name. ... Your slimy post reflects on you and on Ezra. ... I know what I think I you after this. I think you are a piece of crap. ... Only a slimy idiot would make that type of argument - someone like Mr. Neil.
Is Armando using Freeper-esque strong-arm tactics via bringing up Ezra's name in order to silence or influence the content on another blog? Sure looks like it to me ... and if he is willing to do that, perhaps other like-minded people among the A-list blogs are pretty common. I mean, with my blasting of Aravosis lately, perhaps it wouldn't surprize me to find ... well, nevermind. Me and my big tin hat ...
But Armando's tune sure changed when Ezra responded, defending Neil to a degree:
Neil did not write this post. He wrote a different one.
This post is very good. I agree with it.
Only to turn around and take a swipe at Ezra, Neil, and Shakes when Amando wasn't getting his way as the debate progressed:
I don't know if Neil, Ezra and Shakespeare's Sister are trying to be cute or if they really do not get it.
If anyopne thinks Ezra's post resembles Neil's then they either are not being hoinest or are not very discerning.
I understand that froendship with Neil is leading them to be reluctant to criticize what Neil has done, and that is nice of them.
And ironic as all hell.
Amando using the word "ironic". Wow. And having the audacity to claim mutual friendship among Neil, Ezra, and Shakes as indicative of bias when it wasn't that long ago that the Kossacks were circling his wagons when he was "outed". Gimme a fuckin' break ...
Neil invited Armando to drop the personal smears and actually articulate his problem:
Second, I'd like to ask Armando to explain what exactly in my post is outside the space of argument that Ezra has established. I think that Armando misunderstood my argument from the beginning, felt some outrage (which would have been warranted if I'd been arguing what he thought I was arguing), and is now trying to justify attitudes he held while he was mistakenly outraged. To which I say -- don't worry, man, this happens.
Armando takes another shit:
Listen I'll take it.
We agree. My apologies.
No more equating Markos with SEC violations, deal?
No more feeding the Right Wing beast - we on the same page.
No more inflammatory setups that smear people's integrity - right?
Ok, I apologize for misunderstanding your nuanced and subtle point - caveat lector - it was made so well.
Apologies are difficult you are right. so I'll apologize to you.
Sure doesn't read pretty contrite and humble to me. But Armando's implication that friendship among Shakes, Ezra, and Nail is indicative of bias made Ms. Shakes haul off and knock him senseless:
Hmm...I'm wanting to say, "Don't be an ass; if you'd ever read my blog, you'd realize that neither being nice nor not playing with matches near my bridges are not among my fortes," but I'd better wait and see if that's okay with Ezra and Neil before I do.
In the end, I agree with Billmon's overall assessment that this thing is idiocy but it's that special kind of idiocy that tends to attract bloggers into the mosh pit instead of either repulsing them or consigning them into sitting back watching the battle royal go on with a mirthful smirk. The latter is what I choose to do now because, it's becoming apparent that, as these blog wars go on and intensify into this November and into 2008, there's going to be no shortage of bloggers walking the plank -- be that a plank of TNR's and the MSMs own Swift Boating mendacity or the credibility plank jutting out from underneath the blogger's own eyelids.
I predict a mixed bag of both so keep the Jiffy Pop handy.