“Owning the libs” has already become a joke among conservatives on Twitter — the phrase “to own the libs” is very often used ironically to slam some of President Trump’s policies — so it’s amusing that the concept has gotten so much attention this week.

Blame Ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Orrin Hatch if you will, both of whom warned against the hollow victory of owning the libs at Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit this week. It sure lit a fire under Bill Kristol:

Yep. And then there was Rolling Stone’s hot and utterly humorless take about the “haunting emptiness” of owning the libs.

Now Haley seems to have inspired yet another think piece on owning the libs, and this time, it’s Business Insider up to bat:

“The new ethos of the American right” — where do they get this stuff?

The expression to “own the libs” is often used as a tongue-in-cheek criticism of obscure but increasingly common right-wing tactics ranging from upending GOP orthodoxy on policy, to throwing your own expensive coffee machine out the window in protest of an ad boycott, to wearing diapers during a campus demonstration.

It simply means that Republicans enjoy to a great degree, sometimes even more than actual policy achievements, opportunities to make Democrats and liberals feel bad or face plant. The conservatives who like to own the libs do it because it feels good and it’s funny.

Let’s bust that first assertion right away, the one about Republicans valuing owning the libs to actual policy achievements; if owning the libs in real life means cutting taxes, reducing unemployment, or confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, we’ll take those over Twitter jokes, thanks very much.

Seriously, why are Rolling Stone and Business insider so concerned about conservatives owning the libs online unless conservatives really are owning the libs online?

You want irony? Here’s Ben Shapiro cautioning against the perils of owning the libs over at National Review …

… while at Shapiro’s own site, The Daily Wire, Michael J. Knowles writes in defense of owning the libs:

Let’s do a quick check of who’s been owning the libs recently and why articles about it are so very, very critical right now:


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