So it is with Conor Friedersdorf and the question of whether Sarah Palin's supporters are motivated by ressentiment. Julian Sanchez argued so last week, offering little more than a highhanded rehash of the ancient Adorno/Hofstadter psychoanalytic putdown of conservatism -- "status anxiety," blah, blah, blah -- which required in response that the knife be thrust to the hilt. ("When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way.")
It happened that Sanchez had linked Conor Friedersdorf's guest-blog at the Daily Dish, Palin-Hater HQ since the day she was announced as John McCain's running mate. And today Friedersdorf returned to the subject with the telling assertion that Sanchez's critics merely prove that he, Conor, was right:
When the Rebuttals Prove Your Point(Is "noteworthy" a synonym for "tautological"?)
In the last couple days, Julian Sanchez and I wrote posts arguing that a vocal group on the right are engaging in what Mr. Sanchez terms "the politics of ressentiment." . . .
It is noteworthy that both of us used the words "inferiority complex" in our posts . . .
Indeed, explicit in our posts is the assumption that their "complex" is irrational. "Mark Levin, a man intelligent enough that he needn't have an inferiority complex," I wrote, "for some reason adopts the rhetorical style of the classic insecure bully -- juvenile name calling, constant self-aggrandizement, vituperative outbursts." . . .Read the whole thing, or don't, if you wish to avoid the annoyance. In his first two paragraphs, Friedersdorf employs six first-person singular pronouns, a giveaway of his narcissistic purpose, his objective being to demonstrate his own superiority to . . . well, everyone, really.
Conor is engaged in the politics of aspiration, aiming to win acceptance by the elite as a certified intellectual, a pundit. This requires that he shoulder the heavy burden of fiercely defending his own reputation. It won't do to allow Sanchez to one-up him and steal his thunder. Therefore "I . . . I . . . I . . . I . . . my . . . I."
Sanchez's argument was wrong, but it was at least interesting and eloquent in its wrongness -- a lively read, no matter how infuriatingly smug its underlying assumptions. By contrast, the writing in Conor's posts (both the original and its sequel) is lifelessly leaden, weighed down by a stultifying self-seriousness.
Conor's arguments aren't actually about Sarah Palin or her supporters (or Matt Continetti's defense of Palin). Conor is arguing on behalf of Conor: Take Me Seriously, Dammit!
Good luck with that.
UPDATE: Via Instapundit, we find Ann Althouse engaged with another Daily Dish problem: Is you is or is you ain't Sully? Under fire from Lachlan Markay of Newsbusters, the former pseudo-Sully Patrick Appel responds:
Lachlan Markay pretends that my doing research for Andrew is the same as Lynn Vincent writing Sarah Palin's book.Well, don't that beat all? There was never any deception involved in Lynn's collaboration with Palin, and it is the question of deception -- How much surreptitious work did others do under Sully's byline? -- that is at issue here. Ah, remember those halcyon days when Sully excoriated Rick Bragg for employing uncredited stringers?
Rick Bragg's self-righteous and self-pitying defense of his dubious journalistic methods appears to have been the last straw for some others at the NYT."Dubious journalistic methods," said Sully, who now employs ghostbloggers to perform mere punditry -- and then goes on vacation, leaving his erstwhile alter-ego to defend the practice!
Glenn Greenwald's sockpuppets must be laughing themselves silly over this . . .