To which Tyler Cowen responded that Lind:
In one sense, I suppose it's true that conservatives have a more natural bent for satire. But the determining factor is - as Tyler suggests - sensibility, not policy. That is to say, much of the best satire - and Juvenal is a good example in this regard - rests upon the conviction that man is a fallen beast. The best days are long-gone, succeeded by an age of vulgarity, hucksterism and idiocy. The world is rattling along in a handcart; destination hell. One may rage against this or one may step aside and observe man's descent with a raised eyebrow and a half-amused, half-horrified grimace. See Evelyn Waugh for chapter and verse.
In that respect a Juvenal or an O'Rourke (or a Mencken) is conservative, even reactionary. And so too is Thomas Frank. He too believes that the wrong road was taken and that, if only the clock could be wound back, the people might be urged to prove themselves something other than witless boobies. In that sense, he's also a conservative in sensibility even if he'd reject the label in terms of practical policy. There was a time, he seems to think, when matters were more artfully and justly arranged. An Edenic paradise in which we romped before it all went so horribly wrong. O tempora, o mores indeed.
That belief is what distinguishes the angry - or sorrowful - satirist from a publication such as The Onion. The Onion, marvellous though it be, is essentially about humour, not satire. It aims to amuse, not to draw blood. It doesn't believe, the way the angry satirists do, that we live in uncommonly stupid times. This belief, of course, sits more comfortably with a conservative disposition. The left, after all, still remains more likely to believe in the possibility of progress, even of perfection, than the right. Raging satire tends to take the view that the people are fools, governed by knaves, that, in Mencken's famous phrase, "Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." In other words, the satirist occupies the middle ground - kicking the ankles of those who govern and the heads of those who are (mis)-governed. I'd guess Frank fits into this scheme too, since rage and despair are the satirists' friends.