Further to DougJ’s catch of this morning: last night I actually found myself reading (why, oh why, dear FSM?) the McArdle post in question, a bit of fappery in which she paraded her above-the-fray disdain for the idea that the Obama administration might take action to clean up a mess the Republican rump plans to deposit on his lawn. (No linky ’cause I’m not in the business of giving any hint of value to McArdle’s employers/enablers.)
It’s really a sad effort, in which McArdle attempts to compose a ~1,600 word piece on the failure of governance implied by a discussion of a platinum coin on the US balance sheet without seriously implicating anyone other than President Obama. She does make a couple of nods in the direction of “both sides do it” faux-balance, chiding the Republicans for their role in the last debt-ceiling debacle and noting that the GOP side of the aisle seems even less prepared for the consequences of actually blocking the measure this time around.
But those are head fakes. She reserves the full blast of McArdle scorn (as always,
queue cue Denis Healey’s “savaged by a dead sheep” line here) for Obama in particular and the Democrats in general (whodathunkit!). A sample complaint: Obama’s election campaign went pitiably small (an argument that relies on ignoring most of what Obama discussed on the trail), and that he and his party simply ignore the “fact” of federal over-spending.
I’m not going to do my usual obsessive 4,000 word fisk on all the failings of fact and logic that permeate this, as so many of McArdle’s effusions. Life is too short; I’m on (self-imposed) deadline; and frankly, the slow erosion of McArdle’s career makes the task less pressing, at least to me. The Daily Beast ain’t The Atlantic, and you can see the impact the difference in audience makes. I actually waded into the comment thread on the post in question (the shallow end — didn’t have the stomach or the time for the deep dive) and there were plenty there heading for Red State territory.
I’ve no doubt that McArdle is unlikely to want for a reasonably well-paying gig for the indefinite future; she’s pretty well situated on the Wingnut Welfare railroad. But there is a big difference between those who intone their harmonies inside the Wurlitzer and those who play out a bit, and it seems to me that she’s heading the wrong way on that particular arc. Could be wrong, of course, and constant vigilance and all that. But really, there are bigger fish to fry (looking at you, BoBo, et al.).
So, in the interest of everyone’s time, let me here just take note of the fact that McArdle’s calculator is performing as well as ever. Her post’s coffee-spray-on-the-screen moment came on reading this gem:
For a while, Democrats could pride themselves on being the reasonable ones. Now they, too, are choosing words over math. “We don’t have a spending problem,” President Obama apparently blithely told the Speaker of the House. Which is technically true . . . if we’re willing to raise the government’s tax take to north of 50% of Gross Domestic Product. [ellipsis in the original]
Err. Read more →