Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Mr. John Carney writes an impassioned defense of blogger Megan McArdle, posting it next to an enormous highly sexualized picture of Megan Fox. Is there something you're not telling us, Mr. Carney?

Note: we know that's not McArdle. But we don't have a good picture of her. So you get the other Megan.)

Try Google, Mr. Carney. It has several picture of McArdle, although maybe they don't make you feel as good. But McArdle's pictures are perfectly adequate and some are even attractive. Although not attractive enough for Mr. Carney's purpose, evidently.

Carney reports that Ezra Klein rushes to McArdle's defense, saying that her anti-government and anti-spending beliefs are logical if the article on her father is true. It's logical if she rejects her father as corrupt. When she does that she'll be clear of hypocrisy charges. We know through past experience however that McArdle has no problem with privilege for some and poverty for others.

It would hardly be the first time a child's ideological path diverged from that of her parent. In that sense, it's not an effort to show that Megan is wrong. It's an effort to discredit her. And it doesn't make any sense. If anything, it makes me wonder whether Megan McArdle is right about everything.

It shouldn't, Mr. Klein, which is why people find it difficult to trust certain pundits. They'll twist themselves into knots to support their kind, and the rest of us are left to deal with the consequences.


SV said...


Well that was fun while it lasted. For a minute there, I thought that perhaps people has wised up know "can't fool all the people all the time". Alas this is not the case.


Susan of Texas said...

Oh, Ezra. How you disappoint us.

SV, I think that once it becomes socially acceptable to criticize someone, there's no going back. I'm not sure we're there, but it seems very close.

Ken Houghton said...

If the only argument against criticizing someone is that John Carney will leap to their defence, I think the phrase "fair game" applies rather strongly.

That coin was deeply debased during its time at Dealbreaker, and it's move to Wingnut Welfare isn't exactly heartening.

satch said...

Mark Ames's expose` of Francis McArdle is interesting from the point of view of irony, but I would only care about hypocrisy if she were a NYC functionary doling out money to her contractor buddies by day, and a libertoonian econoblogger for "The Atlantic" by night. God knows, we all have to tote around some baggage left behind by our parents, and finding out that Daddy was a Randian Moocher may have driven Megan so mad with shame that she adopted the Jane Galt persona hook, line, and sinker as a balm for her tortured soul. Unfortunately for Megan, it has led her to argue points of view that Rand tried to make sixty years ago, and are just as batshit crazy now as they were then.

Susan of Texas said...

McArdle's relationship with her father (and mother) is incredibly important because authoritarians make decisions based on personal needs more than reasoned thought. But that's a complex situation. It's not that her father got rich on public money, it's that McArdle grew up parroting Daddy's rants to win his love and now her fellow authoritarians accept her views as intelligent, thoughtful arguments based on facts and logic when they're based on something else.

Recognizing when other people's baggage is about to screw you over is incredibly important. Most of us learn this intuitively but find it hard to fully believe. Look at the news that just came out about Bush--that he thought he was on a mission from God. I said that a long time ago and some people thought that was nuts, but if you understood the man and how his character was formed, it was obvious that Bush wasn't a friendly, CEO president, he was an authoritarian leader who both hated his parents and was desperate for their love, and that affected all of his decisions.

Chad said...

I really can't understand people like Ezra or some of his commentators. Yes, there is a schadenfreude element to Ames' article, but past that it is perfectly valid to point it out when someone who benefited from a system is now trying to tear down that system. This is especially true for Libertarians, since their entire world view is based largely on assumptions about meritocracy. Discussing their lack of opportunities to actually put their principles into practice - or in other words to experience the world as they want to force others to experience it - is as valid as pointing out that an anti-Semite has a Jewish grandparent or that an anti-intellectual opposed to the traditional college track has a PhD in some field of the humanities. It's background detail, true, but nonetheless it cuts straight to the heart of their ideology.

Susan of Texas said...

He won't risk rejection. He thinks he has too much to lose.