Saturday, December 19, 2009

More evidence (as if more were needed) that Conor Friedersdorf is a narcissist

Arguing with a narcissist is pointless, because the narcissist doesn't really care about the merits on either side of the argument. The ultimate point of the narcissist's argument is his own superiority (cf., Charles Johnson).

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
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 . . .
(Is "noteworthy" a synonym for "tautological"?)

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 . . .


  1. I would suggest that both of those guys read Herbert Schlossberg's discussion of 'ressentiment' in Idols for Destruction, starting on page 51.

  2. So... You're telling us that One-N's "crucible of public discourse" is a gapin' crater, huh? Pardon the "politics of schadenfreude"... But peerin' over the edge (er, not that One-N has many peers, mind) and surveying the wreckage... it rather does smack of exaggerated victimhood goin' down, and it's sort of funny.

    Look, I don't give a damn whether he's a narcissist or merely a literary onanist... it's what he isn't... and that isn't is convincing. Not just him - it looks as if the New Squish aren't gathering much support except from media enablers on the Left. (Can you spell NPR?) How pathetically base of grassroots Conservatism to overlook such cast pearls. Will we ever recover with the likes of Palin and Rubio and Bachmann on local and national tickets?

    I think so. Principled libertarian conservatism is very attractive

  3. Leave Frieder Conorsdorf alone! I'm serious!

  4. Conor, enables the fiction that Sullivan is sane, and not utterly deranged, He has proven he is so bereft of understanding of Constitutional principles it's not even funny, which is a prerequisite for writing for the Daily Beast (re Megan McCain, Nicole Wallace, et al)

  5. Actually, the literary relationship between Appel and Sully (and I ain't askin about any other kind --- DADT) is more like the literary relationship between Ayers and O!