Ten Miles Square

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April 13, 2012 8:37 AM Crowdsource Duncan Black

By Henry Farrell

Duncan Black – aka ‘Atrios’ – is trying to identify the wankers of the decade, and finding that reliving the trauma is hard.

I’ve been a bit jokey about the difficulties of writing the wanker posts, but in truth it has been difficult, though not because it’s hard work or similar. The ESCHATON DECADE has been a pretty fucked up decade, a time when this country stopped even bothering to pretend to live up to many of its supposed ideals. We go to war and kill lots of people for no good reason, elites have eliminated any accountability for themselves for criminal wrongdoing, we’ve tortured and assassinated people, and the response to massive economic suffering and related criminal fraud has been to give lots of free money to the people who caused it all. And one premise of his blog is that all of this shit happens, in part, because of the fucking wankers who rule our public discourse. Paying too much attention to it every day can be bad enough sometimes, but reliving it all again is actually a bit painful.

I don’t know how you could deal with this stuff without being jokey – it both helps you deal with the anger and gets the point across better than frustration and rage. Then, I don’t understand how he’s been able to do this day in, day out, for ten years either. Which is why I’m suggesting that people give him a hand.

We have seen seven of the ten wankers of the decade so far: in order, they’re:

9th runner up Megan McArdle.1
8th runner up Richard Cohen.
7th runner up Diane Sawyer.
6th runner up Jonah Goldberg.
5th runner up Lord Saletan.
4th runner up Mark Halperin.

This leaves three wankers yet to be chosen. I would be startled if Thomas Friedman isn’t one of them (surely, he has to be odds-on favorite to take the grand prize). I’m also hopeful that Charles Krauthammer won’t be overlooked. But there are many others who are surely worthy of consideration, and volumes and volumes of material to be gone through, all likely to cause anger and increased blood pressure. Hence my suggestion: I encourage CT readers with the time and inclination to document the very worst atrocities of likely nominees, with hyperlinks and all, so as to help ease the anguish of Duncan Black’s trip down Memory Lane. The comment section is yours.

1 McMuddle must be disappointed with her poor finish behind Richard Cohen. Perhaps she’ll find consolation in the publicity for her forthcoming book, “PERMISSION TO SUCK, about “how risk aversion is sapping America of its core strengths.”” (We all have permission to suck, but Comrade McArdle abuses the privilege).

[Cross-posted at Crooked Timber ]

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Henry Farrell is an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.
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