Resisting the tide of “liberal blogger men” who “are thrilled with the New York Times‘ appointment of 29-year-old Atlantic blogger Ross Douthat to replace William Kristol on the op-ed page,” Katha Pollitt (Nation, 3/18/09) contrasts the fact that “Douthat is best known for his conservative Catholicism (abortion is murder, frozen embryos are children, contraception kills romance),” with such Times-approving quotes as “‘Smart move,’ says Matt Yglesias. Ezra Klein and George Packer agree he’s ‘brilliant.’ At TheNation.com, Chris Hayes calls it a ‘fantastic choice,’ and Eyal Press looks forward to ‘thoughtful commentary.'”
Examples of such “thoughtful commentary” include Douthat “on those pesky WMDs“: “It goes without saying that [Saddam Hussein], too, is busy trying to acquire a nuclear bomb, to supplement his extensive collection of biological and chemical weaponry.” Additionally, Pollitt finds that
Douthat seems unusually averse to engaging with women intellectually, even on perennial topics like abortion and birth control, where you’d think we’d bring something missing to the table–like an interest in our health, well-being, happiness, longevity, pleasure and ability to have some control over our lives. Instead, he engages Slate‘s Will Saletan on whether contraception would prevent enough abortions to make it worth expanding government funding.