Monday, February 21, 2005

Of Moonbats and Leftist Loonies

Trying to figure this out led me on quite a googling expedition — there are hundreds of thousands of hits on the word "moonbat", nearly all of them from recent political blog postings. I kept getting distracted by intriguing phrases, like "AutoRantic Moonbat" and "barking moonbat", and "moonbat central". The challenge was to find anything that wasn't part of the blogosphere. I didn't find much:

    "Moonbat" is the name of a painting.

    A U.S. military plane (a night bomber) was once nicknamed "Moonbat".

    Lots of people have named their cats "Moonbat".

For me, the term made instant sense the first time I read it. "Moon" conjures up the crazies that come out in the full moon, and "bat" conjures up "batty" and all its related terms and phrases. Fits very nicely to those the term is applied to! It strikes me as one of the least contrived of the new words I've run into recently...

Several sites led me to either Little Green Footballs or Libertarian Samizdata (both are great blogs) as the originators. Wikipedia gives the nod to the latter, and just over two years ago:

Moonbat is a pejorative political slogan coined in 2002 by Perry de Havilland of "The Libertarian Samizdata," a libertarian weblog. The term enjoys great currency in the libertarian blogosphere, where it is used to disparage modern liberals, peace protestors, and other ideological opponents. SEE ALSO: Feminazi, Idiotarian.


1. "Someone on the extreme edge of whatever their -ism happens to be." (de Havilland )

2. "someone who sacrifices sanity for the sake of consistency" (Adriana Cronin)

3. "... human whose cerebral cortex has turned to silly putty causing him or her to mentally slide down the evolutionary ladder to the level of a winged rat who is influenced by the moon and wants to suck your blood. Also not-so-affectionately known as a "Democrat"." ( F.A.Q)

4. Not liberals, but leftists. Whereas liberals are patriotic, leftists seek to undermine their national strength. Anti-war protestors, likely to call the US military "nazis," apt to blame the 9-11 attacks on a US government and Zionist conspiracy, are moonbats. Liberals who oppose the war, are not.

5. A poster at the liberal/progressive website Democratic Underground.

Whatever the actual origins of the word, it's a winner in my book...

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