Breaking down the conservative favorites

John Hawkins polls the right-wing of the blogosphere about its most popular columnists:

20) William F. Buckley (14)
18) Jeff Jacoby (17)
18) David Limbaugh (17)
17) Michael Barone (18)
16) Christopher Hitchens (19)
14) John Podhoretz (20)
14) David Brooks (20)
13) John Leo (22)
12) Walter Williams (23)
11) Rich Lowry (28)
10) Peggy Noonan (30)
09) James Lileks (36) — 1
08) Ann Coulter (45) — 4
06) Michelle Malkin (48) — 1
06) George Will (48) — 1
05) Thomas Sowell (58) — 3
04) Victor Davis Hanson (72) — 3
03) Charles Krauthammer (75) — 4
02) Jonah Goldberg (76) — 3
01) Mark Steyn (96) — 24

There’s some interesting things here. First, it seems remarkable that when the 2004 Jewish vote went overwhelmingly for Kerry, a solid 25 percent of the most popular columnists on the “right” – including two of the top three – should be Jewish. Second, it’s even more remarkable that a Democrat, Victor Davis Hanson, should come in at number four. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like VDH and have several of his books, but I do wonder if the bloggers polled have ever read anything but his war-cheerleading on NRO. And, of course, Christopher Hitchens is very far to the left as well. Somehow, I doubt that ten percent of the left-wing bloggers’ most popular columnists lean rightward.

My votes are below. I find it amusing that except for the inimitable Miss Coulter, none of my top five even made the list. I would have voted for Thomas Sowell as recently as two years ago, but he’s slipped quite a bit of late. VDH is one of the better writers, but I realized that I’ve been skipping his column more and more since his repetitive war-cheerleading went from being tiresome to instant REM generation over the last year. Also, PJ O’Rourke and Camille Paglia are still my favorites but neither are actively writing commentary and while I do have two favorite Italian columnists, I assumed they didn’t really count. Do keep in mind that the determinative factor was “favorite” not “best”, because Will, Buchanan, Brooks, Reed and Ponnuru would top my list if it were based on pure quality.

1. Vox Day (the greatest love of all)
2. Fred Reed
3. Ann Coulter
4. Jay Nordlinger
5. John Derbyshire
6. George Will
7. Jonah Goldberg
8. Pat Buchanan
9. David Brooks

It’s really funny to see that the lefties couldn’t even find 20 columnists THEY find worth supporting. Krugman, Hitchens and Alterman, despite their various flaws, are the best of the lot. The left is clearly in complete disarray; the reliably buffoonish Arianna Huffington was nearly able to crack their top ten. She makes Maureen Dowd look astute and educated by comparison.

Who’s your favorite right-wing and left-wing columnist, present company excluded?