Three different people sent me links to Ann Althouse's spectacular flameout today, so I feel like I have to post about it. Althouse, who previously distinguished herself in the left half of the blogosphere by bashing a young woman for the sin of having breasts, has, among other things, criticized a young female Reason editor for smiling too much and Ron Bailey for not smiling enough. (Damned if you smile, damned if you don't! Women can't win.)
Althouse's substantive contention, such as it is, seems to be that people who advocate federalism and limited government should have to prove that they aren't racists because federalism has been used for racist ends in the past. Because you can't just advocate for abstract ideas without some connection to how they play out in the real world, you see. Libertarians who point out that expanded concepts of national government power have led to a lot of bad consequences in the real world, too (witness the Raich decision, or, for that matter, the Fugitive Slave Act) are apparently invisible to Althouse.
Fortunately, they need not be invisible to you. Ron Bailey, Radley Balko, and Virginia Postrel all do an excellent job of addressing Althouse's bizarre meltdown. (Of course, Althouse turned it into a "diva battle.")
Incidentally, this whole spectacle is very amusing in light of Althouse's recent attempts to butter up the right half of the blogosphere by campaigning for "conservative diva" status and the like. She asserts that she has little in common with social conservatives and finds libertarians scary, but somehow expects her hawkishness to carry her through. I think she's finding out that an anti-feminist social liberal who believes in nigh-unlimited government power and the war in Iraq is going to have problems finding a comfortable ideological home.
I also am very curious to hear what Glenn Reynolds thinks of her characterization of libertarians as mentally and morally defective nutjobs. But that's because I love blog wars.
Special Bonus: there's a feminist blog war going on right now, too.