Ramesh takes me to task:
In an otherwise good post, Ross Douthat refers to "the great right-wing pundit civil war." Maybe we'll have one after the election, but the current fight is not yet nearly as big or bitter as the divisions over Colin Powell in 1995, the First Things controversy in 1996, the Bush-vs.-McCain contest in 2000, or even immigration in 2006-7.
Hey - I wasn't being entirely serious there! Can't a guy overstate the case a little? (Besides, I wasn't even born in 1995.)
Meanwhile, the latest skirmishes in the, er, great right-wing pundit Pennamite War - Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker's twin volleys in praise of Christopher Buckley, saint and holy martyr - almost incline me to switch over to the "don't let the door hit you on your way out" side of the argument, if only because Buckley's endorsement of Barack Obama (and subsequent exit from NR's back page) didn't strike me as precisely the sort of intellectually-serious self-critique that conservatives ignore at their peril. (Noonan and Parker's own critiques of Sarah Palin do fall into that category; Buckley's foray into Obamaphilia, by contrast, struck me as more of a jaunty, self-dramatizing stunt.) But rather than wading back into the debate, I think I should listen to the reader who wrote in, after my spate of posts on the subject, to remark that "criticizing other pundits for ignoring the issues in favor of criticizing other pundits is even more meta, boring, and petulant than other pundits ignoring the issues in favor of criticizing other pundits," and just let the whole thing drop for a while.
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