Despite the pressure of these anxious days, I feel an obligation to the historical record to note that Babalú has published its 10,000th post. Of these, of course, at least half are derivative, consisting of a few paragraphs from a linked article framed by one or two lines at the top and (rarely) one or two more at the bottom. Still, however they got there, it is a notable achievement, and we may add that they would have reached that milestone even sooner if they had included in the tally all of Babalú's deleted posts. With unexpected candor, Val Prieto appeared to acknowledge as much when he referred to "10,000 actual posts." The use of the qualifier "actual" here has the meaning of "active," implying there are also posts which are inactive, that is, withdrawn from circulation after a brief but (too) eventful run. Indeed, we have rescued several of these disinherited posts and sheltered them here. These rejects are invariably the most interesting because they are the most contentious of Babalú's posts. The outcropping of the unfamiliar, the unexpected challenge, the failure to meet it, the fusillade of obscenity and the closure of discussion are generally what define these posts and the cause of their suppression. When the content of a given thread contradicts or even outruns the post, and the editors feel that they have lost control of it or are shown there at a disadvantage, it is generally consigned to oblivion. Val & Co.'s obsession with having thread mirror post, which it is impossible to do unless you choose and pick your commenters -- which, in fact, they do by means of threats, suspensions and bannings -- makes one wonder why they don't just close the comments period. It would save them a lot of trouble and gain them some respectability; but that would be too transparent and transparency is not their strong point.
In any case I should not be surprised if Babalú's "magnificent cadre" of 16 contributors mustered up 10,000 posts next year as part of the more-or-less loyal opposition, or even surpassed the myriad that it took them 5 years to amass as Bush's unconditional cheerleaders. Val was rewarded for his loyalty to our "great amigo" with conference calls to (staged) Cuban policy meetings and an invitation to this year's May 20th celebration at the White House. There will be no Cuban Independence fete next year if Barack Obama is elected president, though perhaps a July 26th bash. If Val ever entertained hopes of sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom (as Batista did in 1942) or getting the presidential Medal of Freedom for wearing his fingers to "bloody stumps" blogging for a free Cuba, the dream will have to be deferred. On January 20, 2009, Babalú's connection to the White House will be cut, or switched to Lincoln Díaz-Balart's office (if he's still around). Then Val's words against the interests of Cuban people will not be cited mischievously by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, nor echoed by cabinet secretaries in support of the notion that "Cubans don't need money" in the wake of the hurricanes. Other horrors will befall the Cuban people courtesy of President Obama, Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs Greg Craig and future Ambassador to Cuba Wayne Smith. But neither for good (for a change) nor ill will Babalú be able to affect Cuba's destiny.
They have finally realized the real peril after months of bewailing the fact that John McCain is not the man that George Bush is (thank God!). His conservative bona fides fell short of their pristine expectations: McCain was not, to their great horror, a clone of Newt Gingrich or even Fred Thompson. For a while, they even expressed the hope that Obama might defeat McCain, which, supposedly, would guarantee that a "real conservative" would be elected in 2012. Somewhere along the line, however, as they became aware of Obama's Marxist alliances and associations, Val & Co. jumped on McCain's bandwagon and are now riding it to the end. If McCain prevails (as I believe he will), expect several hundred anti-McCain posts to be deleted. Val should perhaps have waited after the election to announce Babalú's 10,000th "actual post."