May 18, 2003

· Politics

Behind the curve but gathering momentum, Patrick Ruffini joins Michael Totten in some absurd hand-waving about left- vs right-leaning bloggers. Patrick believes that Glenn Reynolds, Steven Den Beste and the troglodytes over at Little Green Footballs “are all beautiful prose stylists.” I think Patrick needs to broaden his range of reading so that he has a more solid basis for stylistic comparisons.

He also presents us with a pure example the kind of empty “Oh why is the left not more like the right?” pettifoggery that’s been on the rise lately:

it’s probably true that, advocacy-wise, lefty bloggers make the most of their limited traffic by being very party line on Bush and most domestic issues. The “righties” aren’t. About the only things they’ve been consistent on is France and Saddam, and both issues are declining in importance. While the liberal bloggers tend to be good liberals, the conservative bloggers don’t tend to be good conservatives … Tacitus always seems somehow apologetic about linking to FR; the Left isn’t similarly concerned about linking to DU or quoting it authoritatively.

That last sentence is a marvel. I propose that from now on, this kind of thing be known as the Higgins Manoeuvre in honor of Henry Higgins’s song, “Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man?” in My Fair Lady.

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I am Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center. Learn more.

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