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We always hurt the ones we love.

Or the awards we love, as the case may be.

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a way that they could have made it any worse, and utterly failing.

“Made what any worse?”, you ask?  Feel free to catch up here and here.

I’m sure the internal logic of the “No Awarders” was that if they actually gave out a Hugo to a “Puppy”, it would just encourage further participation from their ideological opponents next year.  What I think they failed to realize is that, to an extent, it didn’t matter what they did; they were in a no-win situation.

The argument of the Puppies has always been that the game is rigged, and that the folks controlling it would rather burn down the Hugos as a whole than allow anyone else to play in their sandbox.

So “defeating” them by making sure not a single Puppy won an award, and in fact issuing as many “No Award” categories as have previously been issued in the entire history of the Hugos?

Yeah, you still lost.

Hell, you picked the worst possible way to lose.

You countered bloc voting with even more bloc voting, and you did so not simply in rejection of the Puppies’ willingness to manipulate the system but also in support of your own manipulation of it.

Best case scenario, long term, would have been to work within the system, vote your conscience, and that would likely have seen at least a few Puppy wins, yes, but there were only a handful of categories where the Puppies dominated, and even there there were some deserving candidates.  Then, once that was done, quietly work to change the rules so that voting blocs have a harder time manipulating the awards, even though the results probably won’t be what you hope for.

Second best-case would have been to “No Award” the whole kit and caboodle.  Yes, you’d still be kicking the wrongfans out of the trufan’s cafeteria table in some bizarre repeat of the sort of high school cliquishness that we were (hopefully) all grateful to escape, but you’d have applied your scorn to the proceedings themselves.

But no, you didn’t go that route.

You instead chose to confirm literally every accusation that the Puppies have been leveling against you for the past few years.  You not only engaged in even more blatant vote manipulation than the Puppies themselves, even more demonization of your opponents, you went ahead and voted down the party line, applying your scorn not to the way the system can be manipulated, but to those who manipulated the system… while manipulating the system to your own ends.

I’d tear my hair out, if I had any.

This smacks of that whole “No bad tactics, only bad targets” nonsense that strives to drag every debate down to into the mud where only the dirtiest fighters can win.

Of course, no matter what happens they still come out of it covered in shit.