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What You Should Hate / August 7, 2009


You never know what bizarre creatures you’ll stir to action when you go after a corrupt beast like Megan McArdle. But what I saw after my expose on McArdle in yesterday’s Alternet was like sending a bathyscaph down to the deep ocean floor and stirring up the encrusted rot: suddenly these H.P. Lovecraft creatures swim into view, monsters whom you never knew existed–giant bear-trap jaws with little mosquito lamps dangling in front of their teeth…

I’m going to share two such creatures who wrote me yesterday in defense of their heroine, Megan McArdle. First, a creepy rightwing midget named Matthew Vadum.

You may recall Vadum from a Daily Show segment last year, in which the fat little waffentwerp accused ACORN of giving crack cocaine to poor blacks in return for their votes. Vadum became the national laughingstock–the male equivalent of the squatty little nerdette who carved a “B” in her face and blamed it on evil Negroes. Welp, here’s Vadum’s letter he sent me yesterday:

Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 15:18:19 -0400

From: Matthew Vadum <>

Subject: What a loathsome, disgusting, unethical, malicious, moronic, ugly personal attack.


What a loathsome, disgusting, unethical, malicious, moronic, ugly personal attack.
First, Megan McArdle (whom I know personally but not well) is her own person. You can’t hold her responsible for the actions of her father.

Second, doing work for the government doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a parasite, collectivist, statist, socialist, elitist, or corrupt.

Third, the argument that she is trying to protect her “privilege” is just Marxist class-warfare claptrap.

Grow up.

Senior Editor
Capital Research Center
1513 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036-1480
“Grow up”? Them’s big words coming from a guy who looks like he just freed himself from a trash compactor. The good news is that Matthew Vadum knows 7 adjectives. And what adjectives! The bad news–for Megan, at least–is that if this is the best she can stir up to her defense, then these are even worse times for libertarian free-marketeers than I’d thought.


Rev. Moon at his “coronation”

Vadum was joined in his fight by an angry Moonie, who sent me a Moonie-esque threat (Moonies are big on kidnapping) from her Moonie newspaper:
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 10:16:42 -0400
From: Amanda Carpenter <>
Subject: Megan McArdle
Hey, Mark. I write a daily column for the Washington Times and want to do an item about your recent article about Megan McArdle. I was hoping you could explain to me the rationale for bringing her father into your disagreement with her policy positions. Why did you think this was necessary? Feel free to call me directly at the desk: 202-xxx-xxxx or email back. Hope you are doing well.
The years I spent in Berkeley were good for something, and that something was training on how to deal with all the street freaks and cultists like Ms. Carpenter. Here was my response:
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2009 09:28:23 -0700
Subject: Re: Megan McArdle
To: Amanda Carpenter <>
Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I was busy this morning as a guest on MSNBC. As you can imagine, the life of a celebrity journalist is quite hectic.
You say you’re from something called “Washington Times”? That’s hilarious! Moonies defending libertarians! If Rev. Moon wants to interview me, have him contact me telepathically–your boss is The Messiah, I’m sure he can manage it. Otherwise, fuck off back to your swamp.
I have no idea what kind of strange goblins to expect pounding on my email window, but I’m pretty sure it will not be boring. The thing that’s starting to irk me is that I think these Establishment ass-sniffers really believe this line about “it’s wrong to bring up her father.” It’s like we’re all still in a civics class, and there are rules you’re supposed to follow–because the substance of the debate isn’t nearly as important as following the polite rules of the debate. Violate those rules, and you’re out. This obsession with following polite civics-class rules–from the left with Ezra Klein to the freakish-right with Amanda Carpenter– only confirms our worst fears about the mainstream media today: it’s just an entrenched, corrupt Soviet-style nomenklatura looking out for its own interests, a place where the elite sticks its kids to look after their business interests as their offspring mouth all kinds of bullshit about free markets or defending the vulnerable uninsured American underclass. The point is to protect the nomenklatura’s privileges, and talking about one of their member’s privileged/corrupt upbringings threatens to blow the guild’s stranglehold.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

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Add your own

  • 1. ggg  |  August 7th, 2009 at 9:28 am

    holy shit I just had an orgasm from that retort to that smug times ho. niiiiiiiiice!

  • 2. Tommy Jefferson  |  August 7th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Why Megan McArdle? Her father was obviously a very successful American Fascist.

    Is she following in his footsteps? I’d never heard of her before this hit piece.

    Genuine free market advocates oppose fascism just as much if not more than socialism.

    I imagined people who read Exile had a basic understanding of the differences between socialism, fascism, and anarcho-capitalism.

  • 3. Gaucho  |  August 7th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Don’t worry Tommy, the Atlantic Monthly would never allow a hardline anarcho-capitalist anywhere near their premises.

    You can safely bet on corrupt nomenklatura.

  • 4. Rick  |  August 7th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    eXile Book 2: Loathsome, Disgusting, Unethical, Malicious, Moronic, Ugly Personal Attacks?

    I might lose the “moronic,” though, it’s a little unfair. Not everybody can inflict pain, shame and suffering with the truth, except maybe with crude observations of physical ugliness (so keep the “moronic”?). I think Ames’ underlying premises were sound, though: a solid chickenhawk claim. How dare grandfathered-in degenerates speak to people in financial distress?

    The politicos don’t seem to get another Ames’ premise, that the world is a clusterfuck of braindead, corrupt unfairness. They can only associate it with vulgar Marxism, which they consider discredited. That’s beyond the conventional Romerocon/Libtard debate, but it’s a critique I’m increasingly gravitating toward. It has its very liberal (Marxist inefficiencies) and very conservative (corporate inefficiencies) aspects.

    The highest paid Americans are investment people who not only fuck the economy, but are repeatedly shown to do WORSE THAN RANDOM CHANCE, in the markets. I’ve read that in several books now, not quite able to accept it, but WORSE THAN RANDOM CHANCE, yeah. So much for your Ayn Rand wet dreams.

  • 5. Dan F.  |  August 7th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Nice work Ames, this is no time to kowtow to cult shills or neocon propagandists.

  • 6. hyperbolus  |  August 7th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    You’re absolutely right: these bourgeois hypocrites are dedicated to policing the rules of the debate in order to protect their entrenched elite privileges. We need a revolution to overthrow them, and gulags to discipline/retrain them.

  • 7. Seryoga!  |  August 7th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Mark! Pizdataya statya blya! Bei etih suk!

  • 8. oxymoronic  |  August 7th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    @3, Is an “anarcho-capitalist” something like a “libertarian slave driver?” (Well, if they could ever manage to score any wage slaves . . .)

    “Libertarianism, by contrast, is a theory of those who find it hard to avoid their taxes, who are too small, incompetent or insufficiently connected to win Iraq-reconstruction contracts, or otherwise chow at the state trough. In its maundering about a mythical ideal-type capitalism, libertarianism betrays its fear of actually existing capitalism, at which it cannot quite succeed. It is a philosophy of capitalist inadequacy.” – China Miéville

  • 9. Matthew G. Saroff  |  August 7th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Actually, you are wrong.

    McArdle is not a libertarian, she is a full blown Randroid, hence her old posts as “Jane Gault”.

    The idea that a person would infiltrate the government to personally profit and destroy government is consistent with this ideology.

    So, she is evil, but not a hypocrite or inconsistent.

  • 10. wengler  |  August 7th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    The pearl-clutching caused by the exposure of hypocrites is delicious. Mr. Ames, keep up the good work.

  • 11. RedBastardGod  |  August 7th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Randians are a dime a dozen in DC. Through their careers they are totally dependent on the federal government, directly or indirectly, and all they do is complain incessantly how bad government is. I loathe them.

  • 12. Kavuye Toon  |  August 7th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    “Randism as a traumatic reaction to the holocaust: DISCOVERED the link between PTSD and Ideology” is the title of my next book. And the inside is just going to be a series of 200 full color picture of my dog drinking fake blood out of a big wooden bowl

  • 13. Daar  |  August 7th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Goddamn this shit just keeps getting better and better.

  • 14. Nelly  |  August 8th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    The content of civic classes and their rules in the US evade me, but Free Speech should rule, period.
    Congrats to Ames for bringing this up. Plus, it’s hilarious to watch!

  • 15. hyperbolus  |  August 8th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Randism is rather a traumatic reaction (a kind of lobotomized hysteria) to the Russian Revolution, to the spectre of communism. It’s a (pseudo-)philosophy perfectly conceived by the (slightly educated) daughter of a Jewish (petty bourgeois) pharmacist. And Randians are necessarily hypocrites, because (like Christians) they can’t possibly practice what they preach, can’t possibly live “up” to their professed standard of “ideal” selfishness, not least of all because they’re basically stupid. Rand is to philosophy as L. Ron Hubbard (or, yes, the Rev. Moon) is to religion.

  • 16. Jack Reynolds  |  August 9th, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Ayn Rand was a chain-smoking Russian whore who drove her husband to alcoholism and refused to feel guilty about it. I like to think she died alone in a large, cold room, empty except for the chair she fell out of.

    Great to see Ames fucking with the mainstream press. It amuses me to picture a dozen douchey, over-paid pundits googleing “Mark Ames” in search of ammunition for an attack piece and discovering that you don’t hide anything and have driven journalists to nervous breakdowns for their hackery.

  • 17. Schooley  |  August 9th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Ending that reply with “Otherwise, fuck off back to your swamp” made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

  • 18. totalesturns  |  August 9th, 2009 at 11:51 am


    Some guy on 4chan, of all places, summed it up perfectly: Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It’s the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich.

  • 19. Anonymous  |  August 9th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    @8, you’re quoting a **Socialist** as saying that Libertarians are just bitter because they’re doing badly in the present system? I have Socialist sympathies myself, but I still find that exceptionally rich, as pots calling kettles black goes.

  • 20. Anonymous  |  August 11th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    McArdle likes to pretend that she got where she is now by her smarts and hard work. The truth is, daddy got her a job at Ground Zero, which is how she first got wide attention as a blogger. This, in turn, inexplicably landed her professional gigs at first the Economist and then the Atlantic. Daddy is the reason she is where she is today. Leave him out of it? Megan constantly turns the pages of the once-stellar Atlantic into navel-gazing exercises where she carries on and on about the most mundane and uninteresting details of her life. Not to mention that she has, time and time again, claimed to come from a working class background rather than one of privilege, only to contradict herself later by bragging about her expensive education. She shouldn’t be held accountable for her father’s beliefs and actions, but if she wants to drag her personal life out in the open, nobody has the right to complain when it is scrutinized.

  • 21. jim  |  September 5th, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Randriods & Moonies & Bushies, oh my!

    The only thing more worthy of vitriol than a shitheel is a shitheel who sticks up for another shitheel.

    McArdle will always be fondly remembered in the annals of journalism for her dreamy reverie about the possibility of anti-war protesters being clubbed like baby seals with 2X4s.

    Make the bitch pay.

  • 22. Ditka  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    “You never know what bizarre creatures you’ll stir to action when you go after a corrupt beast like ____________.”

    That’s how I like my follow-ups to start.

  • 23. Connors  |  May 3rd, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    That trash compactor line is classic. And was the best comeback to the trite “grow up” charge I’ve ever seen. It’s always hilarious to see unsuspecting outsiders write letters to the eXile expecting some sort of apology only to get savagely beaten and humiliated instead.

    Did either of those clowns write back? Or did you kill them with words?

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