As if Ross Douthat's weekly column weren't enough, he now spread out to the regular conversation column with Gail Collins. She normally shares this column with David Brooks in a very weird format where she plays the role of a little lady in need of being enlightened by a big smart man. Now that Brooks is on vacation, Douthat substitutes for him.
Douthat's and Collins's debut column is titled "Are Liberals More Corrupt?" The title alone begs the question of why anybody would claim that this is a liberal-leaning newspaper. They could have asked, of course, "Are Conservatives More Corrupt?" or at least "Which Party Is More Corrupt?" But no, our liberal paper par excellence has no interest in exploring even the possibility of the Republican corruption.
In his response to Collins's vapid questioning, Douthat plunges into theorizing about a vague possibility of liberal corruption. There are no actual facts this "journalist" can offer. All he gives us is this truly bizarre conservative reasoning about how the very existence of government fosters lobbying. Lobbying is bad, hence we have to reduce government to reduce the effects of lobbying. He never stops to consider, of course, that a reduced governmental control will allow companies to do whatever the hell they please without even wasting time and energy proving their case to anybody. Besides, taking out the government in order to reduce corruption is like cutting off your head in order to avoid having to buy hats.
Another scary thing is that in an article about governmental corruption there is not a word about the incredible extent of corruption we have seen under the Bush administrations. Has Douthat heard the words "defense industry"? Did he snooze through the Hurricane Katrina debacle? Is he really so out of touch or is he following the well-known sales technique of "fake it till you make it"?