The Village Voice's Roy Edroso has one of those end-of-the-year listicles up, recapping a year spent monitoring the right wing of the political blogosphere, culminating in an accounting of their most dubious pronouncements of 2008. The big hits are there: The Dark Knight as stealthy proof of the wisdom of the Bush Doctrine, the "Whitey tape" (look for Rick Warren to finally reveal this at Inauguration!), the Campaign To Save America By Never Tipping Waiters ... it's truly a cavalcade of whimsy.
Naturally, I have some issues. As the New York Times' Chris Suellentrop points out, the notion that Fred Thompson would emerge as a dynamic savior of the Republican Party was promoted by "plenty of mainstream pundits." Michelle Malkin's campaign against Dunkin Donuts was a riveting example of stupidity, but largely lacking in impact. But the strangest inclusion, by far, is this complaint against Megan McArdle:
#3: A Megan McArdle Christmas.
The Atlantic's Megan McArdle saw one upside to the financial crisis: "It may break the rat race of constantly ratcheting consumption, which has surrounded most Americans with nice things that don't really make them happy." Later she provided readers with a "Holiday Video Game Guide ("[Mario Kart for Wii] comes with one Wii wheel, but I recommend getting at least one more for multiplayer; we have four") and a "Holiday Gift Guide: Electronics Edition" ("You don't want [the Sony Blu-Ray] player if your television is smaller than 40 inches"). Well, she didn't say these things made her happy.
My point of view on this is perhaps skewed, seeing as I'm acquainted with McArdle, but I'm not terribly comfortable in lumping her in as a member of the monolithic right-wing blogosphere. In the first place, it seems to me that inveighing against "constantly ratcheting consumption" and the race to procure "nice things that don't really make [us] happy," is apostasy to dyed-in-the-wool free-marketeers. But more to the point, I fail to see how making this suggestion in November and then, three weeks later, providing a "holiday Gift Guide" (at a time when we strive to relearn how giving gifts to others can bring happiness) constitutes a significant gaffe. If that's a "Top Ten"-worthy mistake, I'd have to conclude that, on balance, the righty blogosphere had a pretty good year!
Of course, I got this funny feeling that I was repeating myself! And sure enough, it turns out that I've defended McArdle from these sorts of associations before! Well, maybe McMegan has somehow ensnared me with her Siren-like libertarian charms. Or maybe, Roy Edroso has himself a little crush to which he's not copping!