Just a quick announcement: From now on, one of the Atlantic's crack interns will be going through the comment threads at the end of every business day, deleting any comments that run afoul of our comments section's terms of service, which state that "By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable." I've instructed him to err on the side of deletion if he's uncertain about whether a comment crosses the line; I apologize if this has a chilling effect on freewheeling argument, and I especially apologize for not having time time to police the comments (and participate in the discussion more often) myself. If you feel that your thoughts have been unjustly deleted, feel free to send me an email, but in general I hope that this will encourage a greater degree of civility. We'll see how it goes.
Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.