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Friday, November 10, 2006

Thanks, Mike Stark 

When we flew to Boulder in October, we sat next to a Virginia university professor on one leg of the trip. We chatted about politics and when I heard he was from Virgina I said, oh yes, Senator Macacaca vs Jim Webb -- he was stunned that someone from a prairie city in Canada knew about Allen, his racist history and his pro-Confederate ideology, and was rooting for Webb to win.
The reason I knew about it, of course, was because of the blogs.
The reason they knew about it -- as Steve Gilliard sees it -- is because of an ex-Marine law student blogger named Mike Stark:
Webb was going to lose this race. It was just that simple. He was underfunded, Allen was seen a presidential contender, and there had been a contentious primary. Things were so bad between Webb and black politicians that one of the leaders in the legislature endorsed Allen.
Then came Mike Stark.
Macaca set the stage. His bullying of a Webb campaign worker on video spread from the blogs to cable news to broadcast news. But Allen still had a lead and much good will.
The Webb campaign wanted no part of Stark, they wanted to fight with clean hands. And if they did, well, Webb would not be senator-elect. Even now, people are saying "oh, he was just showing off"
My simple response to that is shut the fuck up. Jim Webb is a senator because of the question he asked Allen in August. He asked him, on camera, "have you ever used the word nigger?" He said no, and then the election became a debate on Allen's racism. Not for a week, but for the entire cycle. Allen's sick racism shone through because people remembered his open contempt for blacks. He was one of those racists who called people niggers in rooms full of white people.
No MSM reporter was going to ask that, in any form. The right would have exploded. But once that was on the table, the MSM ran to daylight with it. Because there was so much to work with.
Then came his discomfort on finding out about his Jewish heritage. It really freaked out the media. The more you knew about Allen, the weirder he was. Beating his siblings, hanging a noose in his office.
Oh, yeah, then he decided to parse Webb's war novels.
Oooops.
Because it allowed other people to do what Webb wouldn't, discuss his military service, including winning the Navy Cross. Reminding people that Allen was a bully and a coward.
And in the last weekend of the campaign, Allen's goons beat Stark, then had him dragged out in handcuffs. Why? It sucked the air out of the room. As they tossed the former Marine and law student around for asking about Allen's sealed arrest record, they put the coda on Allen as bully for the world to see.
What was especially funny was the "help" the right bloggers gave......Mike. Their video and pictures proved his case. I think Cheetos rots the brain.
Webb won a tight race because the dynamics changed. And they changed because of a video and a question.
Harry Reid owes Stark a Thank You -- as do we all.

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