Christopher Hitchens’ latest Vantiy Fair column uses New York Times columnist Ross Douthat as an example of everything that’s wrong with conservative pundits attempting to piggyback on the support of the Tea Party movement.
He points to Mr. Douthat’s October piece that aims to debunk, point-by-point, common criticisms of the Tea Party (e.g. ” THE TEA PARTIES ARE JUST THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY ALL OVER AGAIN“) as an example of someone needlessly trying to legitimize a movement that, in Mr. Hitchens’ diagnosis, obfuscates real issues and cultivates a dangerous rage in its members.
And while this last paragraph isn’t explicitly about Mr. Douthat, it basically is.
As I started by saying, the people who really curl my lip are the ones who willingly accept such supporters for the sake of a Republican victory, and then try to write them off as not all that important, or not all that extreme, or not all that insane in wanting to repeal several amendments to a Constitution that they also think is unalterable because it’s divine! … A large, volatile constituency has been created that believes darkly in betrayal and conspiracy. A mass “literature” has been disseminated, to push the mad ideas of exploded crackpots and bigots. It would be no surprise if those who now adore Beck and his acolytes were to call them sellouts and traitors a few years from now. But, alas, they would not be the only victims of the poisonous propaganda that’s been uncorked.
The Hitchens lip curl: a damning gesture if there ever was one.