The higher a monkey climbs the better you can see his …

… agenda. Ross Douthat’s new post may be drawing him more scrutiny than he can bear.

… agenda.

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 &#8212 after all, a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell &#8212 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

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: