The Village Voice has managed to get lots of links today, primarily from conservative blogs, by providing The Official Village Voice Election-Season Guide to the Right-Wing Blogosphere: A confederacy of dunces. It must be taken somewhat tongue in cheek as the subtitle (A Confederacy of Dunces) certainly dominates the views expressed.
Beyond the subtitle, conservative bloggers, if they took this seriously, could certainly disagree with the rating by Stupid/Evil Ratio. All blogs receive a combination score adding up to 100, suggesting that those who hold different opinions can only be stupid or evil. There’s also a problem with the idea that stupid and evil are inversely proportional to each other. There are some conservative blogs which I would prefer to give high scores for both stupid and evil, while others deserve much lower rankings in both.
I do not believe many are taking this very seriously, or feeling terribly insulted. For example, Ann Althouse writes, “Roy Edroso puts a lot of work into this thing, and it would have hurt my feelings if he’d left me out. So don’t cry for me.”
Protein Wisdom does take this a bit more seriously, writing “It’s wry, amusing, and demonstrates perfectly the left’s contention that if you disagree with them, you’re either stupid or evil, or some combination of both.” Considering that this was my immediate objection to the article (assuming it is taken seriously), I hope that most readers realize that the view that everyone on the left can only see those who they disagree with as stupid or evil is no more accurate than The Village Voice’s inherent claim that those they disagree with are stupid or evil. (This is not to say that there aren’t far too many on the left who do believe this. There are blogs on the left which also deserve high scores for stupid and evil.)
The article only mentions a tiny number of conservative blogs, and I wonder if those who are not mentioned are happy or if they follow Ann Althouse’s thought process and feel terribly insulted. I suspect most don’t really care either way. If they are only including a small number of conservatives, their choices are a bit unexpected. Besides including Ann Althouse (a “Moderate” Democrat who disapproves of nearly everything the Democratic Party does and who voted for Obama in the primary) they include “Lipstick libertarian” Megan McArdle who also supports Obama. There is far too high a percentage of Obama supporters in this article to consider it a real guide to the right-wing blogosphere.
Megan also does not take this too seriously, writing “Apparently I’ve made Roy Edroso’s hate list. Honestly, I feel like he could have done better. My friends offer more biting and incisive criticisms. Even when sober. But of course, it’s an honor just to be nominated.” Strangely, among the criticisms of McArdle is one of the reasons I read her blog:
As an Atlantic blogger, McArdle still complains about statism, but half-heartedly (“I just can’t get that excited about the complaint that the Bush administration wants to spend taxpayer money on people with bad mortgages. The government spends amazing amounts of money on amazingly stupid things”).
Doctrinaire libertarians can be so boring to read as their take on any issue is predictable (regardless if they are right or wrong). Some libertarians cannot differentiate between the truly evil things government might do from the more trivial as they rant against government inspection of meat with the same degree of vitriol as they protest the Iraq war. Even worse, many so-called libertarians defend the Iraq war and even the Patriot Act.
The Village Voice describes McArdle as a previous supporter of the war, which would decrease my respect for her, but I do find it of interest when she does show less concern for the more trivial examples of statism and tries to look at the big picture instead. Of course that would have to be a trait which differentiates all the libertarians who are backing Obama from their more doctrinaire counterparts, as well as from the many libertarians who are impossible to differentiate from conservatives.