What The Hell Is A Moonbat?

January 29, 2007

I cruise a lot of blogs.  You really don’t need to visit too many before you run into this word on virtually any right-leaning blog out there.  A lot of those sites hardly go a day without talking about some ‘moonbat’ did, or is doing, somewhere.  In fact, there are bloggers using it in their handles, and even whole sites dedicated to it.  As widespread as it seems, the term is used almost exclusively on the Internet.  So what does it mean?  According to wiki:

Moonbat (also “barking moonbat”) is a term often used as a political epithet. Some Iraq War supporters use it to insult opponents like Noam Chomsky and Pat Buchanan. More generally, it is used as a pejorative for extremists, especially those who believe in conspiracy theories.

Some sites that use the phrase often, like LGF, actually have their own definition:

moonbat – An unthinking or insane leftist — in other words, most modern leftists. Moonbat can also be used as an adjective, e.g. a moonbat professor. According to the Wikipedia entry for moonbat, the word was coined in 2002 by the Editor of Samizdata, Perry de Havilland, and was a variation on the name of radical British activist and columnist George Monbiot. Originally, the term “moonbat” was intended to be more politically neutral, and described wackos on the left and the right, but it quickly acquired its current usage of being applied almost exclusively to those on the left. The term also references the moon much in the same way that “lunatic” refers to the insanity-causing powers of the full moon (luna = moon). LGFers occasionally analyze the behavior patterns of various moonbat “species” as if they were actual animals, and even give them satirical Linnaean taxonomical names, such as moonbattus berkeleyensis. According to Charles: “Moonbat was originally coined by Perry at Samizdata, I believe. But LGF probably played a much bigger part in popularizing it.” The entry in the Samizdata glossary indicates that Perry originally coined the full phrase “barking moonbat”; apparently “moonbat” is just a subsequent shortened version of “barking moonbat,” rather than being a pre-existing term that was lengthened to barking moonbat.

I suppose it’s worth noting that the wiki entry has changed since LGF’s dictionary entry was written, and they have since traced the word back to the 19th century.  No matter.  Its just a political slur here in the 21st.  An ad Hominem.  A childish way of projecting inferiority onto others and their viewpoints as a substitute for validating one’s own (in this case, the viewpoint that the Iraq war was a good idea).  No wonder you see it everywhere.

During my travels through message boards and blog comments, I have been referred to as a moonbat many times.  It just makes me chuckle.  There’s something amusing about some poster out there calling people moonbats, who turns around in the next post to spout some rant about how the entire American media is conspiring to do everything it can to make sure that the U.S. loses the war (and by extension, destroy America).  The term has been used so liberally, and has become so watered down that I’m really not sure what it means anymore (hence this entry).  Any of my fellow bloggers want to help me out?

Maybe, the real moonbat is the person who thinks everyone else is a moonbat.

Update:  Good to see I wasn’t the only one who was wondering.  Here’s an old post from Chris Clarke: A token of my affection for my fellow moonbats


 Update: In addition to Moonbattery, there is also Barking Moonbat Early Warning System



  1. Another possible definition of a moonbat is “a smug liberal who adopts a smirking tone without really knowing what he’s talking about.”

  2. Mr. Moonbattery himself? What can I say?

    I’m honored.

    BTW- I saw this:

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Although for the wrong reasons, moonbats might be correct on their uncharitable assessment of our 43rd president.

    So, thinking that Bush is screwing us over doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a moonbat.

    But, If you feel Bush is not acting in the interests of national security when it comes to enforcing the law on the border (which I agree with you on, BTW), why would you blindly assume he was acting with those interests above all others by invading Iraq? And if you didn’t make that assumption, are you a moonbat?

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