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What Happens When You Refuse To Stop Digging


Tom Scocca has been performing the unenviable yet sometimes hilarious task of reading Ross Douthat’s bloggy attempts to argue out from the massive logical holes dug in his columns. I like this first quote, which perfectly encapsulates Douthat’s overriding theme — i.e. that to engage in moral reasoning means “agreeing with Ross Douthat whether or not he can actually offer any defense for his claims”:

But if you do think abortion is wrong (as I do, of course), then this dependence on the practice constitutes a deep corruption at the heart of elite life, which undercuts at least some of the happy news about the upper class’s post-sexual revolution stability. And an elite that was more morally serious about sexuality and its consequences would be willing to confront this problem directly, instead of ignoring the issue and/or sneering at the anti-abortion cause.

Or, we could consider the possibility that some people have “confronted this problem directly” and found that it is not, in fact, a problem at all, almost as if Ross Douthat has not been appointed the nation’s moral arbiter. Some may have even figured out that they shouldn’t really have an obligation to take the moral posturing of people who support criminalizing abortion any more seriously than they seem to take it themselves. Certainly, disagreeing with Ross Douthat does not constitute “ignoring the issue.”

Perhaps even better is Douthat’s latest argument that running people out of town on a rail is a much more noble American tradition than respecting fundamental rights:

Would Friedersdorf and others really like to live in a world where the two-thirds of Americans who oppose the project just had their sentiments ignored, because of the bigotry woven into the anti-mosque cause?

The rather obvious answer:

Is this a rhetorical question? Here’s one in return: how do you get onto the New York Times op-ed page without a sixth-grade civics education?

Would I like to live somewhere where people are allowed to practice their religion, even when two-thirds of the general public would deny them that right if they could? Hell, yes, I would, Ross Douthat. That place is called America. Love it or leave it.

Why, some of us consider the upholding of fundamental rights against majoritarian sentiments “interwoven with bigotry” as being rather proud moments. I am, however, looking forward to Douthat’s vigorous attack on Citizens United, although perhaps once majorities are no longer interwoven with bigotry they don’t always get their way…

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