Let’s get this out of the way.
It’s not my place to say this, but you know it, I know it, John knows it, and all the circle-jerkers at the Atlantic know this too, despite what they say: there’s no way Ross Douthat would score a New York Times gig if he weren’t a conservative.
There’s some shit you just shouldn’t eat and I’m not eating this.
Sorry, folks, but no one wins from this kind of blatant quota-ism
Update: If there is a God, we will all rot in hell if we do not criticize Marc Ambinder for saying this:
I think Ross is the sharpest, most innovative heterodox thinker of his generation, left or right.
Update #2: It’s possible I’m overreacting, given that they’ve already got MoDo. But still, Douthat’s stunning lack of accomplishment makes this a choice that eats away at what little credibility newspapers have left.
Update #3: The Village Voice has a run-down of silly things Ross has written. Now, for the most part, I think that’s unfair. Any blogger will have written all kinds of silly things and many of the things they cite just aren’t that bad. The problem with this pick is not what Douthat has done, it’s what he hasn’t done (worked as a reporter or distinguished himself in any way). That said, this is really asinine:
Last July, I argued that Louisiana’s David Vitter ought to resign his office after he more or less admitted to having frequented prostitutes. I stand by that position. However, if David Vitter – having conspicuously failed to resign – were to face off in a Presidential race against Barack Obama, I would be inclined to hold my nose and vote for Vitter. I don’t think there’s necessarily a contradiction here, any more than I think there would be a contradiction for a culturally-conservative Democrat to simultaneously believe that Bill Clinton ought to have resigned over the Lewinsky affair while declining to regret having voted for Clinton over Bob Dole in ’96. Regretting the passing of a particular moral standard does not require one to always vote as if that standard were still in place.