So I’ve had a lot of people lately ask why I keep going back to DailyKos, and why I keep getting banned, and still going back for more.? Well, here’s the back story – super meta alert, but there’s some hilarity if you click through.
Most people assume the 2006 US Senate primary in Ohio is where all the bad blood came from, and yeah, there’s plenty of that.? But the real reason, I am quite certain, is the 2005 general election in the UK.
As we all know now, I worked for Labour’s 2005 re-election campaign in the East Midlands as a visits coordinator.? In spring 2005, Markos was the flavor of the year for the Guardian-reading hard left of Britain, especially since the Iraq war was being litigated loudly during the election.? So it was no surprise to me when I turned on my computer in the Nottingham Labour Party office one rainy spring morning to see Markos was hired by the Guardian to blog on the UK election.
The surprise was that the Guardian assumed that Markos would know what he was talking about.? Markos’ grip on electoral reality in the US is pretty jaundiced by his leftiness in the first place, but his knowledge of the UK political system generally, let alone the landscape in 2005, was literally nothing.? It was all about Iraq, all the time. Never mind the Tories were still widely despised, the election would be fought on local issues, and Labour was on it’s way to keeping a massive majority.? For Markos in 2005, Tony Blair was a great Satan, and the UK election would prove his contention that Iraq war politics would govern all, sweeping out all the evil doers, including the two term prime minister of a country whose politics Markos knew nothing about.
Markos made his total ignorance of the UK electoral system pretty obvious from his first post.? Little things, like which seats were marginal, how the parliamentary system works, local issues in parliamentary constituencies, silly campaign tactics like hey, where are all the flags and posters (which is simply not done in the UK).? Stuff like that.? And really big things, like thinking somehow the Lib Dems would manage to win enough seats on anti-war sentiment alone that they’d form a government, despite never having polled above 20% in oh, 100 years.? I’d link to some of them, but I can’t find the blog anymore.? I’m pretty sure all parties involved are happy to see the posts gone.? They were that bad.
So I created a Guardian commenter account for Markos’ blog, using my own name, from my Labour Party office (I even got permission from my boss), and made sure I was the first commenter on every one of his posts, pointing out the obvious flaws in his analysis. – of course in my own, ahem….lovable way.? Just about every one of Markos’ posts was a big fat meatball down the middle of the plate – it was like taking candy from a baby.? I would read the posts aloud in the office to my Labour colleagues, who would just laugh, hard.? “This guy is taken seriously by you Yanks?” they would ask in disbelief.
Here’s the fun part.? The UK is in another time zone.? Five hours from the east coast, 8 hours from the west coast.? Which means that by the time Markos’ own readers in the US were reading his posts, they were littered with British commenters asking who the hell is this Markos chap, and why on earth did the Guardian pay him to treat the Guardian’s readers like stone idiots.? Maybe they would have ripped Markos to shreds without my help, who knows, but I was quite happy to give them that little nudge, and let them know that at least one Yank wasn’t buyin’ what Markos was sellin’.? And the Brits took it from there.
Now I don’t know for sure, but I would wager that Markos, to this day, is still enraged by it all.? There are no people further left on the political spectrum, perhaps in all of Europe, which may mean all the world, than Guardian reading Brits.? And Markos made a laughingstock of himself before them, constantly, sometimes on a daily basis.? And I helped.? He must have thought I woke up at 3 am in Cleveland just to torment him.
Perhaps I enjoyed that a bit too much, sure.? But I was hired to help Labour win.? And anyone who knows how I fight a campaign knows that I leave precisely nothing to chance.? If I can get in there and fight for my guy, that’s what I’m gonna do, and I don’t care who’s standing between me and my candidate winning.? The fact that it was Markos, well….that just made it a bit more delicious.
So that’s probably why Markos Moulitsas despises me, and so do his minions.? Now, why do I keep going back to his site, despite knowing he’ll come down on my ass like stink on shit the second he gets wind of it?
To prove a point.
Point being that in any given spare 15 minutes in front of a keyboard, using my own name, every single time, I can get my stuff onto the rec list of his private playground, even as he and his minions lie in wait to make sure I don’t.
I’m funny that way.
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