Monday, December 29, 2008

LISTOMANIA. At the Voice I succumb to the classic end-of-year syndrome with a Top-10 list of stupid rightblogger tricks. Since you're the late-show real people, you get bonuses:

#15: Jonah Goldberg Handles Criticism. National Review's Jonah Goldberg kept close watch on the reviews for his book Liberal Fascism, and when he was not praised leapt to his own defense. "I knew I was in trouble when the interview just wouldn't end," he observed of his Jon Stewart appearance, "and I got the sense it wasn't ending because Stewart didn't feel like he 'won' so he had to keep going." Then he whipped out reader e-mails to prove he had actually triumphed over Stewart. Goldberg collegially called the Economist's dis "craptacularly lame," and responded to Newsweek's by quoting in his defense other bad reviews ("even The New York Times and Slate's Tim Noah conceded it's not what they consider an 'Ann Coulter book'"). He kept this up through Christmas Eve, denouncing an old New Republic pan of which its editors happened to remind him. We imagine in April he'll hold a little awards ceremony for himself using statuettes from Happy Meals.

#14: Striking a Blow against Political Correctness. "You're cowards. Not because you fear and condemn a single word. But because you feel that condemnation, all by itself, constitutes some kind of winning argument." The word is "niggers," which Old Punk did not use in a Huckleberry Finn context, but in reference to black people he didn't like. Memories of this brave resistance to the forces of liberal brainwashing may give comfort to its authors in these, er, dark days.

#13: Sarah Palin's Last, Best Hope. When questions of Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's experience came up, The American Scene's Noah Millman admitted "that she's totally unqualified to be President at this point in time," but proposed a possible future-retroactive solution: "If McCain were to die in February 2009, I hope Palin would have the good sense to appoint someone who is more ready to be President to be her Vice President, on the understanding that she would then resign and be appointed Vice President by her successor." The plan might have worked were it offered in the form of a tile puzzle and omitted both Palin's and McCain's names.

#12: Prop 8 Explained. An author at Ace of Spades relates his trouble with gay-rights protesters in Los Angeles: "The group attempted to block an intersection just as I was entering it. They ran in front of my car when they saw that I was almost past them. When I stopped, a couple of them ducked down behind my car out of my view. They were hoping that I would put my car in reverse so they would get bumped and become 'justified' in focusing their rage against me and my vehicle." We understand the Chinese government had a similar explanation for the unpleasantness at Tiananmen Square in 1989, with the significant exception that the Tiananmen Square incident actually happened.

#11: "B" is for Bullshit. When Pittsburgher Ashley Todd claimed that a mugger, enraged by her McCain bumper sticker, carved the letter "B" for Barack into her face, rightbloggers rushed to defend her story even when they weren't sure it was true. One said he deleted his "earlier notes of skepticism" because he was afraid "CNN will quote me when they say 'Even conservatives smell a hoax...'" Others just broke out the champagne over the "potential Pennsylvania Willie Horton game-changer." When it fell apart they drank the champagne anyway, but in a less celebratory, more unconsciousness-seeking spirit.

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