David Kirkpatrick

April 28, 2009

Douthat’s debut

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:39 am

Ross Douthat’s first New York Times column is up. He was formerly blogging at the Atlantic from the right and replaced Bill Kristol as the NYT’s conservative voice.

His first gambit is a little bold in that he’ll likely draw some scorn from the far right looking for any excuse to brand him as a squishy shill imported by the liberal NYT for watered-down right wing views.

Like most of his previous work, I agreed in part and disagreed in part, but overall enjoyed the op-ed. Of course the premise of the column is ridiculous for a  number of reasons. Hit the link for the whole thing. It’s only an op-ed, so it’s short.

From the link:

As a candidate, Cheney would have doubtless been as disciplined and ideologically consistent as McCain was feckless. In debates with Barack Obama, he would have been as cuttingly effective as he was in his encounters with Joe Lieberman and John Edwards in 2000 and 2004 respectively. And when he went down to a landslide loss, the conservative movement might – might! – have been jolted into the kind of rethinking that’s necessary if it hopes to regain power.

December 17, 2008

Greenwald v. Douthat on torture

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:35 pm

The Atlantic.com’s Ross Douthat contributed a very namby-pamby post to the news a bipartisan Senate report directly implicates a large portion of the Bush 43 administration — including the president himself — in the systematic use of torture and de facto commission of war crimes.

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has been covering the report in detail this week and completely takes Douthat to task in this post.

There is no ambiguity in the report and it’s sad to see the right either just ignore it, try to discredit it or even attempt to justify the criminal acts of the Bush 43 regime.

From the link:

The Atlantic‘s Ross Douthat has a post today — “Thinking About Torture” — which, he acknowledges quite remarkably, is the first time he has “written anything substantial, ever, about America’s treatment of detainees in the War on Terror.”   He’s abstained until today due to what he calls “a desire to avoid taking on a fraught and desperately importantly (sic) subject without feeling extremely confident about my own views on the subject.”

I don’t want to purport to summarize what he’s written.  It’s a somewhat meandering and at times even internally inconsistent statement.  Douthat himself characterizes it as “rambling” — befitting someone who appears to think that his own lack of moral certainty and borderline-disorientation on this subject may somehow be a more intellectually respectable posture than those who simplistically express “straightforward outrage.”  In the midst of what is largely an intellectually honest attempt to describe the causes for his ambiguity, he actually does express some “straightforward outrage” of his own.  About the widespread abuse, he writes:  “it should be considered impermissible as well as immoral” and “should involve disgrace for those responsible, the Cheneys and Rumsfelds as well as the people who actually implemented the techniques that the Vice President’s office promoted and the Secretary of Defense signed off on.”

October 27, 2008

Rush Limbaugh killed the GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:57 pm

Good stuff from Ross Douthat.

From the link (and taken from the middle of a longer graf):

For Rush, there are only two kinds of people in Republican Party: True conservatives like him, and “moderate Republicans.” The latter is an ideologically-inclusive category: You can be pro-choice or pro-life, David Frum or Colin Powell, a Rockefeller Republican or a Sam’s Club conservative; indeed, the only real requirement for moderate-Republican status is the belief that the Republican Party needs to reach out to voters who don’t agree with, well, Rush Limbaugh on every jot and tittle of what conservatism is and ought to be.

February 15, 2008

Douthat on Iraq

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:58 pm

Ross Douthat had a great post yesterday at the Atlantic.com on Iraq, the surge and how all that will affect the presidential, and downticket, elections this year.

The meat (don’t let this snippet stop you from reading the entire great piece) of his post:

But the fact that the war effort may be sustainable in the teeth of public opposition doesn’t come close to making Iraq a winning issue for the Republican Party in the ’08 general election. Nowhere in the polls have I seen the sort of turnaround in public sentiment that many hawks seem to assume is taking place. Majorities continue to see the war as a mistake, victory unlikely, and withdrawal as our best option, and the numbers have barely budged since last January. The only number I’ve seen that justifies any conservative optimism is the percentage of Americans saying that the surge is improving the situation in Iraq, which has ticked up to close to 40 percent after being in the 20s at the beginning of the year. But this uptick seems to be primarily a case of the war recovering conservative support; it hasn’t had any effect on the overall pro-withdrawal, anti-war majority.