Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ignorance Is Bliss

Megan McArdle takes dishonesty to a new level. She actually seems to think that if she says tea-baggers are grass-roots, we will never discover that they are financed by corporations and led by Dick Armey's Freedomworks. See here, here, here, here, here, and here for a few sources on their relationships.

P. Suderman, husband of Megan McArdle, worked for Freedomworks and still works for a Koch-funded organization.

Mrs. Peter Suderman:

Your memory of how the people in the tea party viewed the bailouts is simply in error; while I supported TARP, there is a very good reason that the House initially voted against it. All of the conservative intellectual figures I know who now oppose TARP also opposed it when it passed; I was subject to a lot of their criticism. You may disagree with them (I do) but the accusation of opportunistic (or racist) hypocrisy is not borne out.

While I'm not particularly a fan of the tea parties, I can't say that I've noticed that the left's grassroots are a shining bastion of rationality. The left has inflated the crazy things that you can find *someone* saying at *any* event and made them the whole of the tea party, which is mostly a bunch of fairly boring middle class people who don't want the federal government taking a bigger share of the economy, and are organizing in a fairly boring way that most people on the left find utterly congenial when it's done in service of opposing wars.

I think the tea parties, like any populist movement, lack a coherent theory of how to govern a large country. But one could equally say that the antiwar protesters lacked a coherent theory of international relations. Did you think they were "unhinged"?

When you say that they didn't care until a black man was president, this is simply false; they cared before. Maybe the tea party would have formed under Hillary or McCain, maybe it wouldn't, but the view that it simply took the tea parties a little while to get their opposition organized is at least as consistent with the evidence. You are treating the most uncharitable possible interpretation as a fact; this is erroneous, and it serves to make any dialogue impossible, just as saying that antiwar protesters "just hate America" is neither accurate nor helpful. When you drag Obama's race into this, you are saying it's opportunistic.

As for the extent to which the tea party is driving the Republican party: care to place odds on actual radical action? (Defunding Obamacare doesn't count; I know YOU consider it radical, but defunding a law which was opposed by the majority of the population is simply not the act of a radical).

You have a persistent tendency to define yourself as part of the "reasonable" sphere, which amazingly skews much farther to the left than the American polity. You are not part of the moderate center; you're firmly on the left, and the majority of the population--even the majority of the educated, intelligent population--firmly disagrees with you.

This seems to be part of a much broader trend in discussing the tea party, where I find the ratio of sheer elitist snobbery to actual content distressingly high. Voters can be wrong without being crazy, unhinged, or otherwise worthy of disgust.

And nary a word about her tea-bagger husband. Oh, she might be forced to add a disclaimer in later. But she will continue to state that the tea-baggers are grass-roots when she knows very well that her husband helped Koch corporations fund, plan and carry out the tea parties.

What a strange time we live in; we are throught the looking glass. The only thing that matters is having enough money and power to get away with all your lies.


Anonymous said...

"All of the conservative intellectual figures I know..."

A very short list of perhaps one?


Anonymous said...

Also, is it just me or do her defenses of the Tea Party sound an awful lot like Douthat's in the post below this one?

Is it possible there's some kind of conservoglibertarian journolist?


Spy Hill said...

Upton Sinclair said "It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it."

This is why debating anything with McArdle is pointless. All you can do is point out Megan's dishonesty, willful blindness and outright stupidity, as Susan does so ably.

Anonymous said...

I tried to wade into the comments over there re: the Wealthy getting the "worst" out of Social Security. Spy Hill is right. I will take my doses of McMegan from a distance from now on.


Syz said...

For a long time, I didn't consider McMegan willfully dishonest. I figured she was just a true believer, drunk on her glibertarian fantasies. But when she writes posts like this - with her husband sitting beside her proving the lie - one is forced to accept that McMegan has not a shred of integrity.

Susan, I salute your yeoman-like work in exposing this fraud.


Mr. Wonderful said...

But one could equally say that the antiwar protesters lacked a coherent theory of international relations.

One could equally say bullshit. This is false equivalency for toddlers. The anti-war protesters, from Viet Nam to Afghanistan, had and have cogent answers to questions put to them about American imperialism, the limits of power, the futility of fighting a guerrilla insurency on its home turf (esp. if the turf is jungle or mountain), and the systematic mendacity that gets us into these hell-holes.

I have yet to see a tea party demonstrator give a single answer to the simplest question (e.g., "Why are you doing this?" or "What are you protesting?") that doesn't immediately--and I mean immediately--collapse into either received lunatic cliches ("Obama is a socialist") or a nervous retreat into "well, I'm not an expert."

The tea parties HAVE no program. All they have--like dutiful listeners of Rush, Beck, and Palin always, and only, have--is anger and indignation. The charitable thing to say is that those feelings are prompted by legitimate fears. But their behavior alternates between comic and bigoted. So the last thing I feel when I see them is charitable.

Morbo said...

In addition, the Tea Parties are completely non-partisan. So if a Democrat wants to run as a TPer then surely he/she could do so without accusations of impropriety, right?

nate said...

"All of the conservative intellectual figures I know...",

including [citation needed]

The irony that Susan works harder* to point out McArgleBargle's failings for free than McArgleBargle gets paid good money by a (formerly, as they say) well-respected magazine to produce them is... well, it's darn near fatal, is what it is.

*and is funnier, more enlightening, more likable, etc., etc.

stackozone said...

In McAddled's world, "Wishing makes it so". This explains why she can work so hard to explain SHUT UP!

I would say the difference between McAddled and prostitutes, is that one is a highly trained, hard-working professional, and Megan is a well-compensated idiot. But NOT an idiot-savant, cause those people have principles, integrity, and also tend to be REALLY good with figures, none of which anyone has ever accused Megan of having.

freq flag said...

The only thing that matters is having enough money and power to get away with all your lies.

"Same as it ever was..."
--David Byrne

Say, isn't about time for another intellectually intimidating 973-word essay on macaroni & cheese?

Anonymous said...

"If you have to resort to ad hominem, you've lost the argument!"

"If you are disagreeable, I am more likely to hold the opposite opinion as a disagreeable person"

"such is blogging"

Clever Pseudonym said...

"where I find the ratio of sheer elitist snobbery to actual content distressingly high."

Thank you, Megan, for putting, in your own words, exactly why I abhor your writing so [expletive] much.

David in NYC said...

You have a persistent tendency to define yourself as part of the "reasonable" sphere, which amazingly skews much farther to the left than the American polity.

1. Facts and reality have a liberal bias. Sorry, Megan.

2. When asked about policies and programs as opposed to buzzwords like "socialism", Americans are much more liberal (progressive? socialist?) than idiots like McBlargle think. For instance, by a margin of 2-to-1, they think that Obamacare doesn't go far enough.

3. "Polity"? I don't think that word means what you think it does. It is NOT a synonym for "body politic" (I think that's what she wants it to be).

Well, at least she didn't blame it on her calculator this time.

brother yam said...

The Teapartyers are grassroots because the Teapartyers are grassroots.

There, just like McMegan would put it.

Unknown said...

My favorite polling anomaly was back when Clinton was trying to pass health care. When the proposed program was described to people, they liked it about 3-1. When they were described the program similarly but added the qualifier that it was the Clinton plan, support fell to 40%

Anonymous said...

But the majority of Americans didn't like the plan!!!!!! because it means more government!!!

report recently that a lot of discontent was because a lot people didn't think it went far enough

where is megan on this topic?


Downpuppy said...

Oh, god.

I waded into the comments and ended up with some moron who thinks Social Security is a zero sum game, because baseball.

And the other morons love him.

Also too, they have never heard of underfunded defined benefit plans, ERISA, or PBGC, but are willing to educate me.

Time to play some chess.

Anonymous said...

AWS: I had the same question. My list of conservative intellectuals would have to include:

david horowitz
michael savage
randall terry
bill kristol
Rev. Glenn Beck
bill o'reilly
rush limbaugh
rep. mike pence
rep. stephen king
John Podhoretz
Ann Coulter
Michell Malkin
Michael Reagan
new gingich
Dinesh D'Souza
daniel lapin
mark levin
Franklin graham
christine O'Donnell
sarah palin
sharron angle
david frum
steve forbes
phyllis schafly
michelle bachman
sean hannity
jonah goldberg
david vitter
ted haggard

I couldn't include everyone or I would have typing all night.

The conservative movement has an embarrassments of richs, so many great conservative intellectuals gives them a competitive edge and ideas that, if implemented could save the US from the doom of marxism.

- mickster99