The money sentence in Douthat's silly mess:
In the wake of two straight drubbings at the polls, much of the American right has comforted itself with the idea that conservatives lost the country primarily because the Bush-era Republican Party spent too much money on social programs. And John McCain’s defeat has been taken as the vindication of this premise.First: Conservatives are not interested in "comfort." Second, the simple lesson of the past two cycles is something that anyone who has been paying attention since Ross was in middle school would tell you: Lie down with Bushes, wake up with Democrats.
Douthat has never been a reporter. His life has been confined to academia and think-tank punditry in elite precincts: New Haven, Cambridge and Washington. He does not have any scope of experience to write about anything except the opinions of the elite, which are already easily available to anyone with access to NPR. Ergo, Douthat is redundant at best, and allowing him to write this kind of Big Picture analysis is to subject the reader to an arrogant, puerile know-it-all-ism.
Marc Ambinder (an actual reporter) shrugs his shoulders in resignation. Obviously, the thinking at 620 Eighth Avenue is: "If we've got to hire a 'conservative' columnist, make sure we hire one who'll reaffirm our readers' belief that conservatives are clueless idiots."
Kathy Shaidle e-mailed me this column with a two-word subject line, "Lent's over." Thank God for small blessings.