Enter: Ross Douthat, the new right-wing columnist for the NYTimes. Let’s see if he can do a better job than Bill Kristol.

Today, Tuesday, we have the debut column of Ross Douthat as the right-wing columnist at the New York Times. His column will appear on Tuesdays. He is a younger guy, who has been strongly –and I sense without knowing too much about him– insightfully critical of the Republican/Conservative who are coming across as more and more brain-dead these days.
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His column examines the idea of Dick Cheney running in 2008 instead of McCain, and concludes that the loss would have been even more substantial, but more instructive to the nation than was the Obama contest with our erstwhile part-time maverick.
My comment to Douthat appears below:
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“Dear Ross Douthat,

Welcome to our paper. Your entrance was cleverly conceived –provocative in the way that any “promotion” of Dick Cheney would provoke us all (no great friends of Dick) but powerfully critical of The Cheney Doctrine. And your analysis of the rightwing’s shrinking appeal was insightful.
Clearly we need some serious, un-posturing Conservative/Republican voices in our nation in these parlous times. But it’s hard for me to think of one that I want to read or listen to at the moment.
Similarly, we need those voices right here in our paper –in its own parlous times. William Kristol was a bright man who however proved unable to keep his distance from petty partisanship and the cheap shot –the province,the bread-and-butter, of Limba-ugh and Sean Inanity. These two have now apparently become (God help us) THE default voice of the Republican Party.
As one obvious example of the need for that debate: a man of Paul Krugman’s brilliance and strong opinions needs someone to debate him, rather than those pathetic attempts to dismiss or demean him.
And how about some insistence on the taking of responsibility? Do we seriously think we can bring back “faith and credit” WITHOUT accountability?
Our friend Mr Cheney –as well as his old boss– never had too much luck with the concept of taking responsibility. I’m thinking of Dick’s quail-shooting pal Harry “Buckshot” Whittington who took it on himself to apologize for interpolating his face between Dick and The Quail:–“My family and I are deeply sorry for everything Vice President Cheney and his family have had to deal with. We hope that he will continue to come to Texas and seek the relaxation that he deserves.”
Many of us have different ideas of where Mr. Cheney might “seek the relaxation that he deserves”.

In any event –enter Ross Douthat. Welcome.

–Malachi McCormick, Staten Island.


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