A Blogwar Among Indies
Note: Picture on the left is a parody posted on a competitor’s website. I think it’s funny, so it’s been reproduced here. I give Christian Duque full credit for the amateur “photoshop” work done on the image.
So, in this “no time for blogwars”, Duque has continued his front-page assault on this blog and on my credibility as an authority on SG politics, history and the general patterns and strategies of SG elections on the University of Florida campus.
While it’s true that during my time at UF, the indie movement was at its peak in terms of Exec ticket performance or laying the groundwork for its one-in-a-decade victory, the GDIs since Duque has entered the picture have largely declined with a few very notable and laudable exceptions.
I am not suggesting any cause and effect relationship on our influences. I know Duque is very skilled at breaking scandals or pushing certain tactics (to the point of scaring a Student Body Treasurer into thinking his job was on the line). And I admit my SG blogging is more cyclical – but hell, so is my blog as a whole. Oh, and yes, in terms of who backed the winner among the losers, Duque got this one right in backing Progress over O&B. But grabbing 27% on high turnout and splitting a movement that could have won a dozen more Senate seats without the split is nothing to be bragging about, either.
I have 5 categories of posts on the site – personal, beltway living, gator nation, media and the arts, and politics and policy. The latter category, which covers politics, campaigns, and policies on a national and international scale, consists of nearly half of all blog posts; UF-related items are only about 1/4, and not all related directly to SG and its GDI/FBK dynamics. So you should not be surprised if I don’t provide a forum for all the latest hooplas at my alma mater, from election code violations to uproars over organizational meetings. That is not the point of my blog, even if it remains the point of Christian’s.
I have made no pretensions of importance or influence with respect to SG or some higher authority on web traffic. Yes, I have written a book (and soon to be a second) that provides anecdotes and history in a fictional and indirect context, and have a larger historical perspective and record at my fingertips. And yes, I admit that unlike Christian, I have experimented a bit with website design and the use of Google AdSense to expand the utility and readability of my blog.
But I have never pretended to be more than, maybe, an SG historian or indie sympathizer. The label “GDI godfather” was given to me by Duque and others after stories they heard (both the good and the bad) from my good friend James Argento.
And while I don’t moderate comments beyond spam-killing, I have also never promised or announced something like a Q&A and then never delivered. (More on that in a subsequent post.)
Oh, and one more thing you might not know, Christian: I contacted President Sowell in Fall 2004 and offered assistance in shutting down any suggestion that your renegade Voice Party was somehow connected to my own campaign three years earlier.
I did humor Duque and offer advice in 2005 when he was actually running, but I also offered comments to a number of the candidates that year, like I’ve done in my capacity as an alumnus ever since I consulted Jess Johnson in Fall 2003 on the possibility of his candidacy for Student Body President. (OMG, but Johnson was a Greek! LOL.)
And I want to make this very clear – helping Impact (which came in 2nd in 2005) instead of Voice (which came in last place) is not a betrayal of the independent movement any more than supporting Progress in that year or this one. All were and are independent parties, and have some place in the historical legacy of our movement.
I know Duque feels hurt by that, and probably sees it as some kind of personal betrayal, but that was four years ago. Make progress by letting that stuff go.
And yes, Duque, it is “our movement”, not yours. Every one of us who read your blog and countless others have contributed to the long-running effort to challenge, hold to account, and upend the FBK-backed system of patronage and corruption. We might not always hold the best of intentions, and may let certain ambitions or preconceptions hold us back from victory, and we may even pick the “wrong” faction from time to time, but…
You and your blog can’t choose who is GDI and who is not.
That’s what makes being a God-Damn-Independent so great.