MODUS OPERANDI: As an Atlantic blogger, McArdle still complains about statism, but half-heartedly (“I just can’t get that excited about the complaint that the Bush administration wants to spend taxpayer money on people with bad mortgages. The government spends amazing amounts of money on amazingly stupid things”). Continues to assert that government health-care programs unfairly favor the old and sick. Has endorsed Obama while complaining: “I wish he wouldn’t tell me things that I can’t possibly believe.”

WHAT TO EXPECT: Will renounce Obama when it is revealed that he once laughed at a Richard Pryor routine with anti-Semitic content.

ANN ALTHOUSE (Althouse; althouse.blogspot.com)

ORIENTATION: "Moderate" Democrat who disapproves of nearly everything the Democratic Party does

TONE: Free-associative

FUN FACT: Reduced to tears at a libertarian conference at which libertarian issues were frankly discussed: "I am struck by how deeply and seriously libertarians and conservatives believe in their ideas." Later, a liberal blogger defended Althouse, who then attacked the liberal blogger ("you obviously believe I simply fail to believe strongly enough in liberal and left-wing principles").

CANDIDATE: No coherently stated preference

STUPID/EVIL RATIO: 80/20

HISTORY: University of Wisconsin Law School professor; author of numerous articles and papers, including "Thelma & Louise and the Law: Do Rape Shield Rules Matter?" Began blog in 2004 with posts about law and reality-TV shows; denunciations of Democrats, including John Kerry ("boring us to death over the next 8 months"); and praise for Bush ("I feel a strong connection to this man and what we've been through together"). Complained that Democratic campaign literature was "always trying to scare me about things that are about to happen." Over time, Althouse's style has become more eccentric. She analyzed at length a Hillary Clinton video, finding vaginal significance in its use of onion rings. She noted the prominence of a large-breasted woman in a group photo of bloggers posing with Bill Clinton, and suggested that readers puzzled by her mention of this revealed a "willful blindness to the criticism of Clinton." She also began frequently posting her drawings and photographs. Voted for Obama in Wisconsin primary because his "growing power allowed me to cast off my resignation," but has since posted quotes and cites mostly critical of Obama.

MODUS OPERANDI: Favors piquant reversals, e.g., complains about sexism mainly when she perceives it among liberals ("Atrios managed to summon up worse misogynists [in his comments section] than [anti-Islam blogger] Charles Johnson did"). Defended Justice Alito: "Where are the passionate, Brennanesque liberals of yore, who really believed we have rights?" Frequently posts comments at unsympathetic websites ("Really, why are you writing for [The New Republic] when your diligence and comprehension are at such a low level"). Gleefully attributes baffled reactions to the power of "the Althouse vortex."

WHAT TO EXPECT: Something—a news photo, a quote, a gum wrapper on the sidewalk—will annoy her and she'll go to McCain, especially if he runs with Romney. ("I think they look great together. They seem to loosen each other up.")


CHARLES JOHNSON (Little Green Footballs; littlegreenfootballs.com)

ORIENTATION: Anti-Islamo-everything

TONE: Unrelenting

FUN FACT: Coined the terms idiotarian and anti-idiotarian for, respectively, people who don't think like him and people who do.

CANDIDATE: None, but prone to close late and reliably anti-idiotarian (i.e., Republican)

STUPID/EVIL RATIO: 40/60

HISTORY: "fixed my flat from this morning and got out on the bike. riding for 15 minutes and pow! fss--fsss--fss--fsss. yes. another flat." This kind of lower-case personal reminiscence, interspersed with media and tech reviews, were Johnson's bailiwick at LGF until 9/11. A week later, considering a National Review denunciation of Islamic terrorists, he wrote: "I agree totally—something I never imagined I would say about an article in the National Review." Quickly outstripped the Review in conservatism, denouncing the Johannesburg Earth Summit ("generated between 300 and 400 tons of garbage"), the "NEA's pomo multiculti agenda," and "the left-wing extremism that dominates U.S. college campuses." But he's really a single-issue voter whose bugbear is terrorism, and who will support any foreign adventure purporting to fight it. Was an early supporter of the invasion of Iraq ("Stability Is the Last Thing Iraq Needs") and has his eye on Iran ("Iran's Manhattan Project Still On Track"), and on America, too: was pleased by a 2004 poll that showed 44 percent of Americans believed the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of American Muslims ("that's not going to make the moonbats among us feel very good"). Johnson was delighted by the results of the 2004 election ("Moonbats . . . packing your bags and heading to Canada to escape the evil Cowboy Chimp's imperialistic regime"), but was dismayed by the returns in 2006, especially when Muslim Keith Ellison was elected to Congress ("They'll be celebrating in Gaza tomorrow").

MODUS OPERANDI: For this election cycle, Johnson has interrupted his traditional Muslim-watch more often than usual to run pieces critical of Obama ("Obama Fools Mississippi") and Clinton ("I doubt the crying tactic will work very well with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad"). Fairly quiet on McCain, but insists that "I know who I want to vote against: the Hillary-Obama Appeasement Complex."

WHAT TO EXPECT: More reverse jihad, a late McCain endorsement, then still more reverse jihad.


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