Being liberals, we liberals often don't have exactly the best sense of where various rightwing Christian leaders stand vis-a-vis each other. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, for example, while still famous and certainly of considerable historical importance, aren't the forces within Evangelism that they once were. So, how much does Ted Haggard matter? Noam Scheiber suggests this graphic as a telling illustration of where he fits in, and I tend to agree. He also has a good joke.
Shadenfreude and hypocrisy aside, though, it's be nice -- unrealistic, perhaps, but nice -- if people took this as an opportunity to learn something. Obviously, the other men in that image with Haggard -- Tony Perkins, James Dobson, etc. -- know him, get along with him, and have worked with him as a colleague, like him, think he's a good man, and so forth. And Dobson and Perkins aren't alone. Lots of people have worked with or for Haggard over the years. He's a widely respected man in this country. Should all those people who know him, and have followed him really so sharply revise their views of Haggard, or should they revise their views of gay people? The latter, I think, though I'm not optimistic that's how it'll play.
Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.