HOUSES, POX ON. The really great thing about the Daily Kos versus New Republic war is that the more each side opens their mouths, the worse you think of them. Markos's initial impulse to stay silent in the face of Chris Suellentrop's allegations seemed sound. Suellentrop didn't really have the goods. Let some time pass and the goods would either surface or not and there was nothing worth saying about it. But then Jason Zengerle started spinning a rather implausible conspiracy theory. Folks were rising to Kos' defense, but then Kos chose to ruin everything by penning a laughably self-regarding response (as I've been muttering around the office, the only real scandal in Kosland is that Markos is a bit of an egomaniac, but I assume you'd have to be in order to succeed in creating a massive online community) in which the key metric for judging TNR's degree of progressivism isn't their warmongering, but . . . their opinion of Markos.

As of late afternoon yesterday, I was ready to declare TNR the winner on points for having been less embarrassingly ridiculous about this, but then this morning I saw Lee Siegel's contribution to the debate explaining that not only Markos but "the blogosphere" generally is -- wait for it, emphasis will be added -- "hard fascism with a Microsoft face." Because, of course, Mussolini was well known for posting strident critiques of his political foes on the internet. Or maybe that was Hitler? Franco? Who knows. And what's soft fascism anyway?

The most regrettable element of the whole thing is that it seems to have distracted Siegel from his Kos-esque determination to wage jihad against Malcolm Gladwell which, to me, reeks of hard fascism with a Microsoft face. Perhaps others will disagree. Personally, I use a Mac, so my fascistic efforts to silence my enemies by subjecting them to criticism in public fora all come with a human face.

--Matthew Yglesias

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