Friday, June 19, 2009

Conor Friedersdorf: Hammered on Multiple Fronts, Threatens Dan Riehl

The Big Baby at Big Ideas has refused to engage the substantive points at my post, "Conor Friedersdorf: Small-Minded Narcissist." In his own posts, Mr. Friedersdorf makes provocative assertions, and then he whines when you call him out on them. He then accuses others of "ad hominem" attacks as if that relieves him of the responsibility of defending his allegations.

So to be clear: I'm not attacking Mr. Friederdorf "
against the man." I'm arguing "descriptively" against his behavior, which is objectively childish and selfish. His small mindedness is also objectively demonstrated by making what would be playground copycat allegations:

It's quite a paranoid theory you've developed. But it is unsupported by any evidence. Should you take the time to converse with me like a gentleman, I'll happily engage your substantive arguments, and I think you'll find that your wrongheaded assumptions about me will change.
Actually, to say I'm "paranoid" is a claim that itself needs to be substantiated by "evidence." And of course, the "theory" in question at my post is itself a logically-derived claim on Mr. Freiderdorf's arguments. It's a method of substantive debate. Ignoring the argumentative power of my claims doesn't make them go away.

But frankly, Mr. Friederdorf is not known for much intellectual firepower.

Cranky Conservative eviscerated him at this post, "
How Do You Like Dem Apples?" I got a kick out of this passage:

I wasn’t really going to comment on the 3578734895723894569783th (give or take) debate on “real conservatism,” this time involving RS McCain, Dan Riehl, and Conor Friedersdorf, but after reading Friedersdorf’s take, I couldn’t help but think of that scene from Good Will Hunting.

WILL: Of course that’s your contention. You’re a first year grad student. You just finished some Marxian historian, Pete Garrison prob’ly, and so naturally that’s what you believe until next month when you get to James Lemon and get convinced that Virginia and Pennsylvania were strongly entrepreneurial and capitalist back in 1740. That’ll last until sometime in your second year, then you’ll be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood about the Pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.

CLARK: Well, as a matter of fact, I won’t, because Wood drastically underestimates the impact of –

WILL: “Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth…” You got that from “Work in Essex County,” Page 421, right? Do you have any thoughts of your own on the subject or were you just gonna plagiarize the whole book for me? Look, don’t try to pass yourself off as some kind of an intellect at the expense of my friend just to impress these girls.

Friedersdorf, again, ends up making it all about him! After being thoroughly schooled by Cranky Conservative at the comments, Friederdorf has the temerity to demand a retraction!

I should have chosen my words more carefully ... I do thank you for alerting me to the error, and apologize for my imprecision. However, I think the rest of my comment stands, and refutes the argument in your post. I wish you’d correct your mistake as readily as I’ve fessed up to mine.
Cranky Conservative responds beautifully:

You fess up to a blatant misreading of McCain, and that means I am supposed to “correct” a mistake that I did not make? In the very body of the post I said that I did not think you were stating that Kirk is the sole authoritative voice of conservatism. As for the remainder of the post, I stand by the analysis. You haven’t offered up anything more meaningful than name dropping.
But note something else: If Friederdorf can't win an argument on the merits, he'll make implied threats - which, in the case of Dan Riehl, means that he'll mention the publication of private e-mail communications to get you to STFU. Here's the comment from Mr. Friederdorf:

Time and again I have addressed the substance of your arguments, while you've responded with little more than ad hominem attacks. I have unfailingly refrained from responding in kind, kept the confidence of private e-mails you've sent me, and otherwise excerpted far more material from the folks I'm criticizing than you do in a typical blog post on your own site ...
So, readers can discern the pattern: Friederdorf loses an argument. Then he alleges you've slandered him with ad hominems. Then to ice the cake, he'll hoist the maganimity of NOT publishing your e-mails as some kind of macabre badge of debating honor.

And here's the thing: Friederdorf argues like a lefty! Not only is he enthralled with the leftosphere's "
association with academia," but he smears and threatens with the best of its representatives.

And all of this points back to the orignal points at issue between myself and Mr. Friedersdorf - and apparently many others on the right: Conor Friedersdorf is a "faux" conservative. He can be aligned him with a group of postmodernists that I've identified as "neoclassicons."
Dan Riehl characterizes these same folks as "worldly, nonreligious conservo-libertarians." Robert Stacy McCain just calls out Friedersdorf for his pathetic "intellectual scam."

I'll have more later. But in the meantime, look forward to Mr. Friedersdorf showing up here in the comments section, where he'll (1) avoid the argument presented, and (2) attack me personally while alleging ad hominems.

I've never e-mailed him, so he won't be able to threaten me with that one.


repsac3 said...

You know what I like best--especially in light of the "disgusting misogyny post" (or is it only disgusting when it's scatological misogyny?) post from earlier today-- is the way Dan feminizes Conor, in his " I Just Met A Girl ..." post.

Speaks volumes, that.

crankycon said...

One correction, based on your previous post on Boxer: that's Doctor Crankycon, thank you very much ;)

Conor said...


What exactly is your argument? As I said, I'll happily engage it. Lay forth and single sentence that is a substantive assertion. I'll address that very thing.

Conor said...

sorry, that should read "any single sentence."

Ben JB said...

Donald doesn't really do all that much in terms that you might call "substantive"--he does make a lot of assertions, but he doesn't really bother with the whole argument-to-back-up-his-assertions, and usually, his assertions are flat out wrong.

I remember the first time I heard of Donald, when he made the hilariously wrong assertion in reference to the gay marriage debate: "Bestiality? I've been blogging about this issue for months, and I can't recall the word ever being used by conservatives, or anything close to it." ( ).

Then there's his recent statement of belief, which he liked enough to post twice: "it's my personal belief that radical left-wing ideology is the greatest threat to the country today." ( ; ).

So, assertions--check. Substantive--not so much.

Donald Douglas said...

Mr. Friedersdorf:

"Ignoring the argumentative power of my claims doesn't make them go away."

And that would be the "paranoid theory" you kind of just, ah..., avoided. You might address your penchant for alleging ad hominems as well.

And, most of all, write a post about it and link here. Otherwise, you're nothing more that a comment troll and link whore...

Ben JB said...

This from the man who called me a fool rather than engage me in discussion. (At the very least, Donald, you should've told me why I was being a fool re: history mattering.)

Conor said...

Look man, if you want me to address your arguments, just state one clearly enough for me to respond!

repsac3 said...


You seem like a good guy, and you write far better than I do... So--perhaps because you do write far better than me, and are expressing a vision of conservatism that doesn't get enough exposure, besides (where as my liberal viewpoint, however well or poorly I express it, is a dime a dozen)--I have to suggest that you not bother with those who fail to treat you with the respect you deserve.

Write good posts, and by all means engage folks who disagree with you, but skip the ones who have nothin' but trash talk and ad hom to offer. If they can't play nice, they aren't worth your time, and worse, they're distracting you from those who are...

(For the record though... Dan (the "real" man) Riehl was right about the source thing... Even though you more'n'likely accurately quoted Levin's rant(s), you should've provided a link to the audio or text transcript, so folks could read it for themselves, in full context, from an unbiased source. While you may well be an honest guy, there are plenty of people who take snippets out of context, and offer a particular interpretation or "willful misunderstanding" that doesn't jibe with the full-context facts. I'm just sayin'...)

Old Rebel said...

Dr. Douglas,

You accuse Mr. Mr. Friedersdorf of arguing like a leftist. Do you mean he invokes the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center against those who out-debate him?

Mark Harvey said...

The Leftinistra never argue or debate on substance ever. Why? Because they have none to offer. Their arguments are solely based on emotional nonsense and alleged facts with no substantiation.

A mere scan of the comments from them is all telling. Then the veiled threats arise and if you don't submit, you are the evil one.

Poor things. No wonder their lacky in DC is having so much trouble.