Wingnut Welfare Mamas: The Expanded List

Because I’m trying to avoid doing work tonight, I thought I’d update my list of top wingnut welfare mamas:

-Jonah Goldberg
-Dinesh D’Souza
-Ben Domenech
-Ben Shapiro
-Atlas Pam
-Michelle Malkin
-Bill Kristol
-Armstrong “I love No Child Left Behind! Now where’s my check?” Williams
-Mark Noonan
-Star Parker (only one on the list to go from real welfare to wingnut welfare… quite a journey)
-George W. Bush
-David Horowitz
-Mary Katharine Ham
-Fred Barnes
George C. Deutch, Bush’s pro-creationism NASA appointee
-Daniel Pipes
-John Podheretz
Jay Hallen, the 24-year-old with no financial experience who was hired by the CPA to rebuild the Iraqi stock market

Quite a list we got so far. I’ll say right now that Jonah and D’Souza are total locks for the final top ten. Everything else is up for grabs. Keep ’em coming.

UPDATE: How could I forget Simone Ledeen? Thank you, Mr. Scorpio.


Comments: 58


I gotta insist on Tucker Carlson.

You don’t afford a house near Chuckles’ old video store for speaking truth to power.


Simone Leeden, for obvious reasons….


Tucker is one of the biggest cobags in the history of cobaggery. But I’m not yet convinced of his winger welfare creds. Does Regnery publish his books? Does he get regular payola from the White House to publish favorable columns about No Child Left Behind? Did he get his job because of a famous relative? Was he homeschooled and indoctrinated from Day One to become part of the right-wing noise machine?


Patrick Ruffini — see Brad deLong’s blog.


pretty much anyone at AEI — Charles Murray, David Frum, David Gelernter, Jim Dow 36K Glassman, Irving Kristol — come to mind as the worst

Anyone getting income from RedState.


Since TBogg had a post up about him today, Victor Davis Hanson.


Oh, and since you mentioned him just hte other day. Rick Santorum.


Seriously, Jonah defines Wingnut Welfare. Were it not for his ghastly hag of a mother and the Lewinsky mess, he’d be taking up space in some kind of less-prominent Wingnut Welfare sinecure, like running the photocopier at AEI.


Victor is a wanker, but he actually wrote books that sold.


What about K-Lo? For some reason, we have subjected to her bs in the editorial pages of the Austin American Statesman lately. I thought we were supposed to be a liberal town and the Statesman was supposed to be a liberal rag, but lately we have more op ed pieces from the Doughy Pantload, George Will, Krauthammer, and James Lileks (whoever the fuck he is) than we do from real journalists like Molly Ivins who actually live here. WTF?


Does Herr Field Marshall Krapphammer count?


I think special considerations for hypocrisy should be given to right-wing welfare queens whose punditry consists of attacks on unions, minimum wage laws and welfare programs for the poor.


I’d be highly surprised if Assrocket, et al., Drudge, and the Ole Perfesser weren’t getting some, uh…, “subsidies.”


There’s Peter Wood, NRO author, Encounter Books author, and also Provost of the very fascinating King’s College, which explicitly bills itself as a Wingnut Factory. What makes him especially charming are his views on affirmative action.

He seems to have a pretty sweet gig.


There’s Peter Wood, NRO author, Encounter Books author, and also Provost of the very fascinating King’s College, which explicitly bills itself as a Wingnut Factory. What makes him especially charming are his views on affirmative action.

He seems to have a pretty sweet gig, altogether.


Well at least the Ole Perfesser has a job of sorts. Granted, law prof being the cushiest job on the planet perhaps.

It’s the guys who have no obvious talent, skills, training, etc., who are always wrong about everything, and never ever go away. That’s the hallmark of a real Wingnut Welfare Queen. Obviously they’re being kept solvent by Olin/Scaife/etc patronage. If left to fend for themselves in a true market economy they’d cleaning out the bean warmer at Taco Bell.


Do World Net Daily books count as wingnut welfare? Because:

Hans Zeiger

Kyle Williams


I think one of the criteria should be: is employed because of nepotism. That would weed out some(but not many)of the contenders.


Not to carp, and be a “bring-down,” but ludicrous as Pam is, does she publish? No. She’s entirely a Web phenom, no?

And yet, although Malkin doesn’t pub (yet…), she should be there, I guess because she appears on Fox.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself.

Brad, what are the criteria for the Top Ten? And, now that I self-nauseate by thinking about it, where’s Jonah G’s book?


Redstate dot com



Basically, I define wingnut welfare queens as people who:

a.) Have very little talent.
b.) Work in the right-wing media machine, think-tank circles, or the Republican Party.
c.) Are employed solely on their willingness to act as shills for the GOP or wingnuttery in general.

Ann Coulter
Rush Limbaugh
Sean Hannity
Bill O’Reilly


Can we go for a mother/son reunion – Lucianne and Jonah?


From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

I nominate J. Philippe Rushton because:

“…Rushton’s ties to the Pioneer Fund, which he has headed since 2002. Started in 1937 by textile magnate Wycliffe Draper, the Pioneeer Fund’s original mandate was to pursue “race betterment” by promoting the genetic stock of those “deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution.” Today, it funds extremely controversial studies of race and intelligence, as well as eugenics, the “science” of breeding superior human beings. Rushton himself has received over $1 million in Pioneer funds. …”

Well, I guess this is more in the realm of insane racist welfare, but still… A million bucks to write hateful stuff against brown people, well, you can’t really beat that.


What about people who a buckin’ for wingnut welfare? I’m thinking the G***steins and LaShawn Barbers.


Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, and possibly a case could be made for James Lileks.


What about that Vox Day loon? Isn’t he the son of someone with a bit of stroke?


the chickenhawk twins, Matt and Aaron Margolis, plus chickenhawk Jason Mattera, and chickenhawk/virgin Ben Shapiro


Whoopsie Daisies, I see you already have the virgin Ben S. on your list.


If anyone is coming to DC for the January 27 march, you’ll be able to find many of your favorite wingnut welfare queens at this NRO-a-thon:

Bonus: It’s pretty much on the parade route. Dumbasses.


Okay, Brad, I know that you ignored my original nomination of Iain Murray of CEI and America’s Shittiest Website™ (aka the Corner), but maybe you’ll reconsider if you’ll take a few moments to look at the dozen or so posts I’ve written about him here.

And I second the nomination of Hans Zeiger.

Herr Doktor Bimler

I nominate J. Philippe Rushton because:
[…]Rushton himself has received over $1 million in Pioneer funds. …â€?

And provided most of the ’empirical findings’ underpinning The Bell Curve. Money well spent.


Mister BradRocket,

“Did he get his job because of a famous relative?”

Actually, Maybe.

but you’re probably right, insofar as he’s not in complete lockstep with the white house.


Tucker and Coulter are Linnean type-specimens of a distinctively noxious pest, the ‘Trustifarian-Conservatarian’ (preppy dead-head subspecies). I grew up with a number of these assholes and believe me, this is not a hybrid but a group that breeds true assholes down the generations. They resemble traditional European monarchists, full of public piety and strictness and private self-indulgence — ie., straight bullshit, leavened with unmasked scorn and hatred for the hoi polloi.

Limbaugh does not fit the ‘welfare mother’ description, but he is their patron saint.

People pick up on what I’m putting down,
down at every laundromat in town, now,
while they are washing you can here that sound, now,


I think Dubya should be in the top ten, since he’s the ultimate state of wingnut welfare, isn’t he? He’s a talentless shill who only got where he is by boundless nepotism, has done nothing but seemingly fail upward, and has gotten away with what would otherwise be crimes against humanity because of all the other wingnuts you’d otherwise put on the freaking list.


Maggie Gallagher

wasn’t she outed at the same time as Armstrong?


Wouldn’t the shorter list be who in the right wing machine is NOT a recipient of wingnut welfare? I’d actually be curious to know who is not benefitting from that whole deal and still manages to make a decent living.


Don’t forget Fred “Mr. Surge” Kagan himself — who is not a professor anywhere, but while on AEI’s payroll gets to call himself a “Military Historian”.

A title that the whole Kagan family appears to believe is their inheritance.

There’s an AWFUL lot of incest on this wingnut list as well.


The Ultimate Wingnut Welfare Queen…

… has landed every job he’s ever had because of his father’s influence and his family’s money.

… has been shielded from the consequences of his persistent and repeated failures by the same combination of influence and baksheesh.

… is the darling of his subsidized compatriots in the Wingnut Welfare system; friends who have consistently over-inflated his meager abilities to make themselves anf their movement look good.

… is so deeply entrenched in an historically and morally ignorant form of pseudo-Christianity that he believes he speaks for god, that personal belief can reshape reality, and that dire consequences of his bad decisions are nothing more than god testing his faith.

… lies, tells half-truths, ignores or denigrates inconvenient contrary evidence in an effort to advance the right-wing cause.

… flies into a petulant rage when his ideas are challenged and personally attacks the challengers.

… is so deeply insecure and obsessed with “manhood” that he reflexively takes the most bellicose and extreme positions– including the suggestion that others should be sent to kill and die for symbolic reasons– just so he doesn’t appear weak.

That’s right, hands down, the biggest Wingnut Welfare Queen of them all is George W. Bush.


Let’s not forget Liz Cheney (the other daughter). Although apparently now on hiatus after giving birth to her 5th child, she managed a vault several years ago into a position as Deputy Secretary for Near East Affairs or some such bogus thing.


There is a related story on Unclaimed Territory about the extraordinary amount of nepotism in right wing “intellectual” circles. See


30. Rush Limbaugh

Charges: It’s hard to believe this repulsive shit fountain is even human, until you remember that we share 70% of our DNA with pigs. Then again, to be any more hypocritical Rush would actually have to be a member of another species. After the Democrats took congress in November, Limbaugh said he felt “liberated” because “I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don’t think deserve having their water carried,” essentially telling his listeners he’d been lying to them all year. The dittoheads didn’t mind; that’s why they listen.

Exhibit A: If someone had taken a shotgun and blown Rush’s head clean off while he was wobbling his bloated body back and forth in an inconceivably cruel mockery of Michael J. Fox, whom he accused of faking his Parkinson’s symptoms for political effect, it would have been the greatest viral video of them all.

Sentence: Parkinson’s disease, of course, triggered by oxycontin abuse.


7. Randall “Duke” Cunningham

Charges: A shameless, filthy monster of corruption. This “hero” inspired Top Gun, but cried like a little bitch when he was finally busted for being a wanton congressional prostitute. Holds the record for most bribe money accepted by a representative in the history of Congress. Literally wrote up a bribery “menu,” listing sums to be paid for defense contracts: 10% for the first few million, with discounts for more. Lived on a yacht called the “Duke Stir” that was paid for by a defense contractor. Cunningham steered a contract aimed at protecting U.S. troops from IEDs in Iraq to the guy who let him have champagne ‘n’ hooker parties on his boat, trading the safety of American troops for a sweet after-prom party.

Exhibit A: Started a shoving match with a Democratic congressman over sending troops to Bosnia, then ran away and was found crying in the coatroom.

Sentence: Shanked by fellow inmate using “Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham Fighter Ace Kalinga Style Buck Knife,” complete with the Congressional seal on it, sold illegally through his website for $595.


1. Malkin has indeed published–her plea to set up concentraton camps here in the U.S. for the “undesirable elements” is one of the major factors that launched her into the upper echelons of the wingnut welfare system.

2. Marc–right-wing intellectual is an oxymoron. Or, perhaps more accurately, it is a chimera in that no such thing actually exists.


Sorry, can’t help myself.
39. Lee Raymond
…everybody knows this Exxon-Valdez cretin… How does he qualify to be a welfare wingnut?

Appointed by Bush to chair a committee to “lead” Americas Alternative Energy Future, which is oil-billionaire code for “hinder.”

His $400 retirement settlement wasn’t enough.


No love for John Stossel?


Ladies and gentlemen, I really think a cold-eyed, randian, objectivist, un-compassionate examination, foresaking all soul-destryoing altruism and using only Aristotelian logic and scientifically deducible facts, must force us to the conclusion that kingubu is right: George W. Bush is not only the Queen Bee among Wingnut Welfare Queens, he represents the gold standard.

Lets face it, although lesser contenders may have overcome severe personal shortcomings to achieve their vaunted status, all but the Dear Leader have an unfair advantage in the sweepstakes: a minimal proficiency in the English language.

Transmuting an ability to write high school level “why the patriotism and the free enterprise system makes America the best country in history” essays into an upper-middle-class lifestyle is one thing. To achieve supreme executive authority over the world’s only superpower based on nothing but a faux-good-ol’-boy persona and family connections is an achievement that may never be repeated.

I would also like to propose an offical motto for “The Ownership Society”: We Hire the Handicapped.

I offer these thoughts to you in a purely cold-hearted selfish way.


Sometimes the biggest is the least obvious. I nominate GW “Shrub” Bush.


I know she’s a has-been already, but what about Peggy Noonan? And Anne?


Max “exterminate the brutes” Boot.

Ralph “blood and guts” Peters.


I nominate Chris Hitchens.

For a while he was able to ride by stretching facts, pulling obscure names of Iraqi clerics and power players and concocting some creative connections. But stretching will only go so far.

For the past year, Hitchens has proved to be a great source of material for delirium researchers.


Mand Ttaca: Naw. 1) Hitchens has a modicum of talent, although drink has corroded most of it. He’s still a decent polemicist. 2) He doesn’t consistently tow the Republican line, which makes his abject apology for Bush all the more shameful. 3) He was not fabricated as a wingnut, lifted out of the primordial ooze and shaped into a shill. Similarly, David Horowitz isn’t on wingnut welfare because he started off as an activist in his own right (although a shitty one). 4) Hitchens isn’t being paid off, and he doesn’t really need payola or jobs from right-wing magazines. I mean, he’s the one who basically decided to stop writing for The Nation.


The Kagan children merit a very special place in Wingnut Welfare Hell. Aside from the fact Frederick and Robert and both exceedingly lame and the fact that Frederick will go down as an enormous failure for having contributed to thousands of deaths in Iraq and expanding a winless war, brother Robert gets the special Stanley Cup Trophy of Neocon Welfare Wingnuts since the European mocking slime bucket actually lives in Bruxelles with his family. (Of course, we hate Old Europe, which is why we elect to live here. But don’t tell that to the Red-staters who buy my shit though.)


I think some of the suggestions here are a little off target. You have to consider what this person would be doing if they weren’t on the WW dole. Jonah Goldberg is what I consider to be the archetype. He’s not a particularly talented writer, but he’s no where near the level of the language challenged WND writers regularly mocked on this blog. He’s a sloppy, careless thinker and writer and more than willing to ignore reality to push the right wing line. The only reason he’s where his is now is that he was in close proximity to the Lewinsky tapes.

Contrast Goldberg with Victor Davis Hanson. He’s done some well respected and innovative work in his area of specialty: ancient Greek warfare. It’s when he tries to link that to the present is where he goes off the rails. John Derbyshire has written a copule of well reviewd books on the history of mathematics. Christopher Hitchens, whatever you think of him now, is a talented writer. The Powerline guys and Reynolds are practicing lawyers. Limbaugh’s a special case. He wouldn’t be nearly successful as he is if he wasn’t braying the conservative talking points. But he does have some talent: he has a great radio voice and his show is a pretty slick production. His money comes not from conservative donors, but from advertisers.

So before you nominate someone, think whether this person would be a low level corporate drone if they hadn’t somehow fallen into the wingnut welfare machine. (No offense intended to fellow low level coporate drones.)


Of course GWB is the Top Queen in the Wingnut Welfare Queen ranking. He’s their Dear Leader, after all; they all recognize his total lack of accomplishment while simultaneously seeming to be a man of accomplishment.

Seriously. It’s like performance art or something. Andy Kaufman would be amazed.


What, no Condoleeza Lies-a-lot?


David Gelernter’s hardly a wingnut welfare queen: he actually has some serious cred in his area of expertise (parallel computing) and even some of us liberals who work with computers a lot are sympathetic to his moderate partial ludditism (nothing like programming one of these computer suckers to make one hate the beasts!). Actually, while Gelernter’s always been a conservative, I long thought (maybe just based on what I know of his opinions of technology) of him as a conservative per se — i.e. someone who wishes to be cautious about change — rather than as a winger of any particular sort. When did he drink the neo-con kool-aid? Did the Unabomber’s bomb damage his brain or something? Or was he always an AEI fellow-travelor politically? Are his politics a matter of him being good in his area of expertise and related matters but silly outside of computer related things? At least he’s not silly about computer related things like the techno-glibertarians are …


Bay Buchanan. Would we even know she was alive if not for Pat?


[…] Why, hello! It’s Dinesh D’Souza! No, no, no … it’s not a bad time at all. Do come in, Dinesh. Hey gang, guess who’s here? Dinesh D’Souza! We were just talking about you, Dinesh! […]

These days, those days

Star Parker’s gotta make the top ten list, for her history of going on welfare and then trying to get rid of it for those who are still poor.

Another notable individual is Leonard Peikoff. He’s an Objectivist wingnut, a follower of Ayn Rand. Objectivism isn’t the same as regular Republican wingnuts, and may not be as bad, but there’s plenty of similarity. Ayn Rand, of course, was a self-made woman, which is part of the reason why she was so insistent on the concept in her “philosophy” of Objectivism.

And with her philosophy of selfishness, she never did get around to becoming a mother, and so she designated Leonard Peikoff as her philosophical heir. Peikoff wasn’t the first guy to have a chance at being the heir; Nathaniel Branden had a shot at it, but he blew it by disagreeing with Rand about a few issues. Peikoff agreed with Rand so completely that Ayn Rand decided to make her the heir. He gets the royalties on Atlas Shrugged, and he gets to be the spokesman for Ayn Rand’s opinions for his whole life. Really, would anyone care what he has to say if he weren’t in the Ayn Rand Institute:?


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