The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Short List . . .

Posted on | September 19, 2010 | 51 Comments

. . . of Astoundingly Stupid Things No Conservative Blogger in His Right Mind Would Ever Even Think About Doing:

  • Publish posts conflating “neocons” and “Jews” in such a way as to provoke accusations of anti-Semitism.
  • Respond to such accusations by publishing deranged rants against Jews.
  • Get into hateful public pissing matches with Ace of Spades and other cuddly ewoks who never harmed a fly, at least if the fly usually voted Republican.
  • Personally attack Michelle Malkin. (Dude. WTF?)
  • Push that kind of act to such outrageous extremes that one Sunday morning I’m finally confonted with Twitter messages like this:

Now, this is merely the short list, and DoublePlusUnDead tells me the list could be extended ad infinitum. It has not generally been my habit to intrude into other people’s online flame-wars, and no one would ever nominate me as Blogospheric Arbiter of Civility, Decorum and Multicultural Sensitivity.

As I reminded DPUD in a phone conversation today, I ignored the LGF attacks on Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer for more than a year, to my ultimate regret. If I had been paying attention earlier, perhaps I could have done something to prevent CJ from going so completely off the rails. At least I could have tried to steer the situation toward some less disastrous conclusion. As it was, by the time I got involved, the paranoid madness at LGF was already too far gone to be redeemed.

The policy of Rule 2 here has been to link blogs that link us, generally irrespective of their political orientation. A link is not always an endorsement, and I’m way too busy with my own wild-ass adventures to keep track of every other blogger’s wild-ass words and deeds. I’ve occasionally linked such disreputable organizations and individuals as Andrew Sullivan and the New York Times.

Sue me, OK?

Therefore I had only the faintest notion that a certain blogger — who will be deleted from the blogroll just as soon as I can get Smitty to take care of that task — had done all the hideous things (and more) described in the list above.

Sorry. I guess I should have been paying attention.

Dan Riehl has sometimes chastened me for my can’t-we-all-just-get-along attitude toward blogging. Love me, hate me, beat me, bite me, make me write bad checks and call me “Helen” — as long as you link me, I’m OK.

Were it up to me, everybody would be my friend, so if you’re my enemy, that’s your choice, not mine. Even John McCain could be my friend, if he would (a) resign from public office, (b) admit that he royally screwed up the GOP and (c) do something to get his idiot daughter to shut up.

One of the reasons I tend to ignore other people’s problems is that I’m so busy trying to solve my own problems, among them the seemingly permanent crisis in my finances. When I feel discouraged, I do my “Rodney Dangerfield of the Blogosphere” routine — e.g., “Why does Tabitha Hale hate me?” — because mocking my myriad misfortunes is the only way to keep from going stark raving nuts.

The deer are out to get me!

As long as you can laugh at your problems, you’re probably going to be OK. You may be dead broke and living in a cardboard box under a freeway overpass, but if you can still laugh about it, at least you’re not totally crazy. And the most important thing to remember in that kind of situation is this: It’s all your fault.

The minute you start looking around for somebody else to blame for your problems, you’ve bought yourself a ticket on a one-way train to oblivion, and the next-to-last stop on that line is Crazyville:

Good mental health is characterized by optimism and a sense of agency — that is to say, the belief that we are ultimately in control of our own lives. The sense of agency is critical to success and happiness in every area of life, in large part because it is necessary to self-improvement and problem-solving.
Everyone encounters failure and disappointment, but a person who believes that his life is within his own control will respond to such setbacks in a positive, constructive way — analyzing the cause of the failure, seeking ways to improve, determing to work harder to overcome disadvantages and remedy personal deficiencies. A psychologically healthy person therefore must accept responsibility for his failures and shortcomings just as willingly as he accepts reward for his successes and abilities.
While it is true that other people sometimes contribute to our failures by undermining our efforts, it is also true that our successes generally require the assistance of others. Factors which are genuinely beyond our control tend to even out over time. In a free and prosperous society, few people are so disastrously disadvantaged as to have no hope whatsoever of improving their lot in life. . . .
Self-pity and envy are closely associated emotions. If we are not to blame for our own failures, then others deserve no credit for their success. . . .
Paranoia is rooted in the narcissist’s need to rationalize failure, to find scapegoats for his own shortcomings. . . .

Read the whole thing and understand that I’m honestly trying to help people. But it’s hard to help somebody when I’m stone-broke and stressed-out most of the time.

It’s also hard to help some people when there are other people needing help who are at least working hard to do the right thing. Why should I link somebody who’s ranting incoherently about neocon conspiracies and attacking my blog friends, when I could instead be linking Da Tech Guy or some other good-guy blogger who is busting his ass to make a go of it?

Hell’s bells, I could be praising the brilliance of Professor Glenn Reynolds’ lastest Examiner column, thereby sucking up to a guy who could throw me a crapload of traffic!

Smitty toils diligently, with little praise and less reward, because he truly believes in what we’re trying to accomplish here.

Exactly what that it, we’re not quite sure, but if this Underpants Gnome scheme to take over the entire freaking blogosphere has not succeeded as quickly or completely as I originally hoped, neither has it been a total failure . . . yet. Give us time, and we might go back to zero traffic someday.

In the meantime, however, our insane plot for global Internet domination is an ongoing project and there are limits to how much distracting noise we can tolerate. Once Smitty hits the “delete” key, there will be one less blogger on the blogroll, and all I can say about this unfortunate circumstance is that it’s not my fault.

At least not entirely. Everbody will probably blame me anyway, though. They always do.

Because I suck.

Hit the tip jar, somebody. I’m feeling depressed.

UPDATE: OK, this ungodly mess caused me to postpone The American Spectator column I had planned for Monday, and I was so depressed that I took a three-hour nap.

Let me try to explain something to anyone who is confused: Politics is not 100% of life.

It happens to be what I write about for a living, but politics is not the totality of human existence.

There’s also masturbation, for example. (Hint for guys with masturbation problems: Just think of Maureen Dowd. Problem solved!)

If politics is not the totality of human existence, then someone can be 100% wrong about an important political issue and still not be total waste of hydrocarbons. But why bring Patterico into this?

Suppose somebody (a) disagrees with neoconservatives in politics, and (b) doesn’t like Jews Eskimos.

Hey, it’s a free country. Nobody can force you to like Jews Eskimos., and let’s face it, a lot of people have honest and honorable disagreements with U.S. policy in the Middle East Aleutian Islands. Your ability to turn your political beliefs into persuasive discourse, however, is going to be hampered if every time you lose your temper, you start raving hatefully about Jews Eskimos.

Furthermore, such ill-tempered outbursts could cause people to start asking themselves, “Is this really about politics? Or is this guy a demented sociopath who just happens to have stumbled into political blogging as an outlet for the perverse hatreds that poison his soul?”

Well, there’s no need to bring up Charles Johnson again.

My point is that when you inflate politics out of all proportion in your mind, that’s when you’re in danger of losing perspective and acting like an obnoxious turd. And maybe the basic problem in such a situation is not really political.

Maybe the real problem is that you’re an obnoxious turd.

Or, as I wrote in the comments at DoublePlusUnDead:

“It ain’t about the politics. It’s about the sociopathic personality disorder.”

Peace out. And hit the tip jar. It’s a guaranteed cure for the blogger blues.


51 Responses to “A Short List . . .”

  1. ECM
    September 19th, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

    I saw that conversation wing back and forth on Twitter, and I have to say, though I like DPUD, it was a bit strident and lacking in benefit of the doubt, something that’s sorta becoming the new normal on the right-o-sphere, sadly.

  2. Robert Stacy McCain
    September 19th, 2010 @ 5:39 pm


    To quote my phone conversation with DPUD, I’d been ignoring this problem so long, he felt the need to throw a grenade that would get my attention.

    It worked. And again: Mea culpa. If I had been paying attention, this would not have been necessary.

  3. Bob Belvedere
    September 19th, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, Stacy. You’re a nice guy – stay that way.

    There are so many different kind of folks in this thing of ours that they’re bound to me a few closet psychos, arseholes, and douche nozzles in the VRWC.

  4. Chris is RIGHT
    September 19th, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

    Well, I don’t always agree with you, but I always respect your opinions and vastly superior political knowledge.

    I’m fairly new to the political scene. Is this latest bout of kerfuffles typical, or are Things Falling Apart?

    For what it’s worth, when I first started by blog about four months ago, I think you were one of the blogs I added to my roll first.

  5. Paco
    September 19th, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    I say, who is this Adkins cove?

  6. JSF
    September 19th, 2010 @ 6:14 pm



    The primaries are over and the Right Blogosphere is eating their own. This is worse then a Hip-Hop gunfight betwen the east and west Coasts.

    In Los Angeles, we are dealing with a Top of ticket person who reneged on activists all around the city and I’m trying to bring a BOLD NAME PERSON whose family came from North Hollywood to bring publicity to our people, and now this?!?!?!?

    Whisky tango foxtrot?!

    I saw the Twitter war (I side with Dan Riehl), but the Primary is over — save the fights for after November 2 and before Congress convenes.

    If it was up to me, bring all the Bloggers to Pink’s Hot Dogs, start the discussion on the line and finish when the last dog is done. We’re Conservatives and pragmatists — commerce should win every time.

    The Tea Party supports commerce, so do Conservatives.

    Also, call me back later today.

  7. Estragon
    September 19th, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    DPUD needs to learn patience. Sooner or later EVERYONE will be purged from the movement . . . but it can’t all be at once, now, can it? A purge has to have priorities, and frankly the sputtering anti-Semitic crowd has been around a long time – but it is rumored that a conservative blogger posted that he does not like tea very much, so clearly he must be immediately hung, drawn, and quartered to set an example.

    If it can happen to a heavy hitter like Karl Rove who has raised over $50 million for Republican candidates THIS CYCLE, most of it for Tea Party backed candidates, including millions for Sharron Angle, how can the average schmuck with a little blog ever be safe from the torch and pitchfork crowd?

  8. Robert Stacy McCain
    September 19th, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

    Is this latest bout of kerfuffles typical, or are Things Falling Apart?

    Fear and Loathing in the Blogosphere is a routine phenomenon. People get stressed-out and go freaky, and flame-wars are a dime a dozen.

    Dan Riehl likes to remind us how Allahpundit had repeated crises of confidence during his early solo-blogger era. He’d get discouraged and quit, then he’d come back and quit again, until finally he gave up and quit altogether, deleting his blog, archives and all.

    I think that was back in the 2003-04 time-frame, when a lot of people still had that Wonkette-inspired Blog Your Way to Millions attitude: “Yeah, I’m so freaking smart that I’ll go from my first post on a Blogspot site to a book deal and a TV contract in no less than six months.”

    As I like to point out, Professor Reynolds hasn’t quit his day job, which should give you a clue idea that blogging as a full-time occupation isn’t exactly a gold mine. Stay steady, post regularly, try to develop a long-term approach to increasing your traffic.

    Also: Newbies should never be tempted to think they’re going to benefit from ripping up a mega-blogger on their own side. That’s why I ignored the LGF problem as long as I did: Why should I risk the wrath of someone as huge as Charles Johnson? It wasn’t until the day after Election Day 2008, when CJ went off on Geller for no apparent reason, that I finally registered a mild complaint. Months of escalation ensued, but it was always All About Charles and his relentless scapegoating of others. I could have just left it alone and ignored it, except that Geller has been a friend for years and CJ’s attacks on her were so grossly unfair and misguided.

    But the LFG wars were an exception to the rule. Most flame-wars don’t go that far. Some people bear grudges — Jeff at PW loathes the very air that Patterico breathes, and vice-versa — but a lot of this kind of stuff just fades away over time. Ace and Dan will eventually kiss and make up, I think, after this Delaware thing plays out.

  9. Paco
    September 19th, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

    But, no, really, who is Adkins? Who’s responsible for the “astoundingly stupid” comments listed at the beginning of the post? Is that Adkins? Or is it somebody else?

  10. doubleplusundead
    September 19th, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    Paco, that’d be Chuck Adkins, or as you may know him Paleo Pat or Angry Pat of Political Byline. I’d tried a few times to get Stace’s attention on what a scumbag Adkins is, but never got a response, so I kinda let things go, assumed I’d been blown off. So now Adkins is in his cyclical self-destruct sequence, and I thought, well, why not now? And called out Stace on his linking and having Chuck on the blogroll. I shoulda tried to email or private message again, but I tend to resort to grenade tossing when I feel I’ve been ignored repeatedly.

    In any case, talked to Stace and things are good and he’s dealing with the issue, Stace is a good guy and a good soldier for conservatism.

    I’ve got more on the whole thing here,

  11. doubleplusundead
    September 19th, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    My intent was never to do damage to Stace, only to Adkins for the shit he’s done to people I respect like Michelle Malkin and Mike Hendrix of Cold Fury.

  12. Vmaximus
    September 19th, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    I hate Right red on red wars. But I am a Moron what do I know?

    Glad to see it is not a blog war.

    Where is rule 5?

  13. wombat-socho
    September 19th, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    #10: You, sir, have your priorities in order. 🙂

  14. doubleplusundead
    September 19th, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    Awaiting moderation? ;(

  15. jefferson101
    September 19th, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    It ain’t just patterico, dudes.

    Allahpundit sent me an email threatening to ban me once, because I tried to use the word “revolution” in a post, and it went to moderation.

    Being of an inquiring mind, I ran three more posts, and found out exactly what word had sent it to moderation.

    Sadly, the subject I was talking had nothing to do with either Ron Paul or anything that was going on in the United States. But you can’t say “Revolution” (upper or lower case) at Hot Air, without being a bad boy. FWIW, I was talking about Muslims at the time.

    But he cussed me out fairly well in an email, and threatened to ban me.

    Whatever…..I know when I’m not wanted, and if he didn’t bother to read the posts that set him off first, which he didn’t, he’s not only hypersensitive, but inept.

    As is patterico. Goldstein’s a bit oversensitive too, actually, but patterico and Dan Riehl are into it now. And I’m on Dan’s side, FWIW.

    Patterico doeth protest too much, methinks.

    Just to note. The Right Wing blogosphere is not what forms my opinion, but I usually find out who supports it.

    Way too many people on the net think that they are making opinions, and usually they are just confirming them.

    Present company excepted, be it noted. At least I get actual reporting here, instead of recycling of that reporting.

    Which is why I occasionally remember where the tip jar is located around here. I hate the whizzing contests as much as anyone does, and both sides annoy me by doing it, but I do have an opinion as to which one has the right of it, most times.

    Better to ignore the ranting from the peanut gallery, actually. But I’m sympathetic to those who can’t do so.

  16. Randy Rager
    September 19th, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    Adkins is at it again? HFS, I thought he learned his lesson after he slandered Mike’s dead wife to the point that Mike nearly fired up the Curb Stomp Express.

    I do believe he needs his Innnernuts privileges revoked.

  17. doubleplusundead
    September 19th, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

    Yep, Randy, I didn’t forgive, and I didn’t forget.

  18. ak4mc
    September 19th, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

    Oh, that Adkins.

    And I’m afraid even that doesn’t remind me enough of the facts to enlighten Paco but so much. The Mike in this case is ColdFury, IIRC. Maybe searching those names will bring up the answer.

  19. Paco
    September 19th, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    Thanks, Double Plus.

  20. JeffS
    September 19th, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    Re #15, jefferson101: I’m with ya. The Patterico-Protein Wisdom pi$$in’ match got a bit too much for me, as did the “sensitivity” of some bloggers. I enjoy reading their opinions, mind you. After a while, though, it’s difficult to sort out the personal issues from the opinions.

    I suppose it’s human nature, and we just have to deal with it. But, dang!!!

    And I hate blog wars, I really do. People with thin skins should not be blogging. It took me a while to figure that out.

    Psychos like Adkins, meh, it’s better to ignore them. That’s what they really want, the attention. So a big thanks to doubleplusungood!

  21. doubleplusundead
    September 19th, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

    And again, I do apologize to Stace, I did feel bad about calling him out after I got off the phone, I shoulda tried to email or private message Stace again before I started lobbing grenades…note that’s mEssage…private massage is Al Gore’s thing…or at least he’s been trying to make it his thing.

  22. JeffS
    September 19th, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    Got a deer car whistle you can loan Stacy, D*2+ud?


  23. doubleplusundead
    September 19th, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

    Bwahahahaa, I so ought to send Stace deer whistles. I usually just try and be careful when driving in the countryside and try and watch for them, especially at night. It happens though, even my late grandfather hit one in the mid 90s, and he was damn good at spotting them, totaled the car…thankfully he was unharmed, though slightly annoyed about the whole totaled car thing, as you can imagine.

  24. Alice H
    September 20th, 2010 @ 3:19 am

    If I had been paying attention earlier, perhaps I could have done something to prevent CJ from going so completely off the rails.

    God complex much? 😉

    When was that particular piece of work ever completely on the rails?

  25. Dan Collins
    September 20th, 2010 @ 7:08 am

    I ain’t kissing no Ewok.

    Oh, you mean Riehl.


  26. » Keeper of the eternal blame
    September 20th, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    […] Words of wisdom from Blogospheric Arbiter of Civility, Decorum and Multicultural Sensitivity Robert … As long as you can laugh at your problems, you’re probably going to be OK. You may be dead broke and living in a cardboard box under a freeway overpass, but if you can still laugh about it, at least you’re not totally crazy. And the most important thing to remember in that kind of situation is this: It’s all your fault. […]