Over the weekend, Dave Weigel resigned as WaPo's house chronicler of conservatives after revelations of his antipathy toward the people he was covering. Tonight brings us the spectacle of Ross Douthat, an ostensibly conservative columnist at the New York Times. Appearing on MSNBC's Ed Schultz show, Douthat proffered precisely zero criticism of anyone or anything liberal. But he did manage to mock Mike Huckabee as "passive-aggressive." For good measure, Douthat suggested that "right-wing" people who question Barack Obama's place of birth are too dense to realize that Hawaii is a state of the union.
The Nation's Chris Hayes, subbing for Schultz tonight, didn't have to strain to elicit criticism of conservatives from Douthat. After playing a clip of Huckabee stating the apparent fact that he polls better than other Republicans against Obama, Douthat opined.
View video here.
ROSS DOUTHAT: I think that's classically Huckabee. It's sort of charmingly passive-aggressive.In the clip, Huckabee criticized no one. What's "passive-aggressive" about observing that one's leading in some polls?
Later, Hayes invited Douthat to riff off a poll that showed 24% of Americans don't think Pres. Obama was born in the U.S.
DOUHAT: There are two ways to read it, right? Clearly on the one hand it's illustrative of a certain kind of paranoia among many Americans, right-wing Americans about Barack Obama. On the other hand, I really think you can overstate the importance of these polls. There are polls every year that show 42% of Americans believe in UFOs.Douthat was interrupted, but his point was clear. Right-wingers: too thick to realize that Hawaii's a state. Ross sounds like the quintessential NYT/MSNBC "conservative": one most interested in ingratiating himself with his liberal masters.
HAYES: Also disturbing!
DOUTHAT: Also disturbing. But I also wonder, if you took that 21% [sic] and polled them and said what percentage know that being born outside the US --
HAYES: Disqualifies --
DOUTHAT: Is a disqualification for the presidency. Or if you polled them and said, what percentage know that Hawaii is actually a state? That sounds like a joke, but-- that sounds like a joke --