Before his apotheosis as the Second Coming of Kristol, I hadn’t paid all that much attention to Ross Douthat. He was a reasonably literate, mostly non-slavering paleocon, capable at times of astute political observation (defined, of course, as saying something I agree with).
But now that the Times has decided to continue its affirmative action program for wingnuts, Douthat is drawing a certain amount of scrutiny: perhaps more than he can easily bear. Michael Kinsley points out that Douthat is spouting moral gibberish about stem cells, and Brad DeLong has serious doubts about his sexual morals — after all, a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell — and is appalled by Douthat’s frank racism directed at Asian Americans. (You just know that if Douthat were a generation older, he would have been saying the same things about Jews. We’re awfully pushy, you know. And clannish. And nerdy, studying when we should be partying.)
Douthat may handle his new role well. But it’s also possible that he, like the Edsel, will turn out to be a bad product whose demise was hastened by a strong marketing campaign.
h/t Andrew Sullivan