Wankeriffic – the top ten wankers of the decade

Courtesy of Atrios:

Friedman possesses all of the qualities that make a pundit truly wankerific. He fetishizes a false “centrism” which is basically whatever Tom Friedman likes, imagining the Friedman agenda is both incredibly popular in the country and lacking any support from our current politicians, when in fact the opposite is usually true. Washington worships at the altar of the agenda of false centrism, and people often hate it. Problems abroad, even ones which really have nothing to do with us, should be solved by war, and problems at home should be solved by increasing the suffering of poor and middle class people. Even though one political party is pretty much implementing, or trying to implement, 99.999999% of the Friedman agenda, what we really need is a third party catering precisely to this silent majority of Friedmanites.

Truly great wankers possess a kind of glib narcissism, the belief that everything is about them while simultaneously disavowing any responsibility for anything. The important thing about an issue is whether it proves Tom Friedman fucking right, but if it doesn’t we can just move on to the next big thing that will prove Tom Friedman fucking right. If you advocate for wars that go a bit bad, well, it’s not your fault. If only Tom Friedman had been in charge everything would have been great.

Such wankers are impervious to criticism because they’re always doing battle with straw critics. They never remember what they said last week, and assume you won’t either.

The rest of his list is entertaining – including his commentary on Andrew Sullivan who I’ve long thought is one of the worst commentators on everything except sexuality; Sully is utterly incapable of understanding the American left and tends toward a mindless and fact free centrism.  When he’s right, he’s right, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Lots of people like Sullivan. I met him once while having drinks with young Ezra Klein. Seemed nice enough. His views are certainly a wee bit less repellent than they used to be, perhaps he’s laying off the minty-fresh testogrease a bit, though when I read his blog I react how I imagine people do when they read this blog: it’s kinda boring and he doesn’t write much. I at least have a comments section where occasionally a wise thing is said, and I’m the one who gets no respect! Still he occasionally finds time to weigh in on the “Are Black People Stupid?” question that he’s long been fond of.

As we get higher and higher on this list, I get more tired even as the wanking of the wankers becomes greater and greater. One could waste a lifetime writing about the wanking of Andrew Sullivan. I’m starting to worry I have.

As with most of Atrios’ writing, it’s worth your time to read the whole thing.

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