Ross Douthat Goes Off NYT Reservation with Faint Trump Praise

April 27th, 2017 7:09 PM

The New York Times version of political diversity is that even if you are a scorned "conservative" you can still be tolerated on their pages but ONLY if you are resolutely anti-Trump. A supposed conservative was recently hired by the Times but read this description about him in the very first sentence of this April 12 Politico story:

One of the loudest voices against President Donald Trump from The Wall Street Journal's editorial pages is decamping for the competitor across town.

Bret Stephens, the Journal's deputy editorial page editor, will be The New York Times' newest op-ed columnist, both papers announced on Wednesday.

And in case you still haven't figured out the main reason he is allowed to write at the Times, Politico emphasizes the point again:

Stephens, who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, emerged throughout the election as the Journal's resident anti-Trump conservative, often clashing with other big names on the right like Fox News host Sean Hannity.

This puts him comfortably in league with "conservative" David Brooks who often sounds like a deranged (paid) Antifa anti-Trump protester. Until recently Brooks' "conservative" mini-me columnist at the Times, Ross Douthat, remained comfortably in the anti-Trump camp as well. However, on April 26, Douthat put his employment at the Times in jeopardy when he wrote a column that dared to broach some very faint taboo praise of President Trump. 

Let us now read his political heresy that could not only terminate his job but cause David Brooks to place a ban on him from attending all future Bruce Springsteen concerts in It Could Be Worse:

The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency have not been exactly what you could call successful, by the standards that one would normally use to judge such things.

Sorry Ross but I don't think leading with that caveat will clear you of your Thought Crime so could you lay it on a bit thicker in the anti-Trump department before we get to your heresy?

Trump is the most unpopular president of modern times. Important areas of the executive branch are barely staffed or functioning, the White House is in a state of low-grade civil war, and the bungling, pratfalls, conflicts of interest, weak attempts at propaganda and brazen lying are all, well, not normal, as the self-styled “resistance” likes to say.

Nice try, Ross, but I think your quick snark about the self-styled "resistance" is enough to earn you a trip to Room 101 at the Times. Now on to your heresy: the very faintest of praise for Trump which absolutely cannot be forgiven:

First, the economy is still O.K., still creating jobs and growing. Before Trump’s election there were good reasons — in market data, not just media conventional wisdom — to expect that his ascent to the presidency would drag the stock market downward, and tug the job market down with it. The fact that this hasn’t happened, that instead the Obama-era expansion has continued, means that the Trump administration has thus far cleared one (admittedly low) bar, and achieved a level of semi-competence that persuades investors to invest and consumers to keep spending and businesses to hire. That’s a good thing, it was not guaranteed, and we should hope it lasts.

Okay that was barely discernible praise of Trump so...OFF WITH HIS HEAD! On to the next heresy:

Trump’s personnel choices have improved. For a time it looked as if his administration would have some reasonably competent people in its cabinet but that the White House itself, the zone of crucial decision making, would be reserved for cranks and cronies. But since the swift departure of Michael Flynn from the National Security Council, Trump’s immediate circle of advisers has, well, normalized to a certain extent.

Sorry but anything less than a full denunciation of Trump is...INTOLERABLE!

Trump does have two real achievements to his credit, two campaign promises kept. One is the successful nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The other — a more provisional win, but still a striking one — is the rapid falloff of illegal crossings on the southern border, seemingly driven more by the mere threat of tougher enforcement and increased deportations than by any dramatic policy shift.

AIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!! Bad enough to imply that confirmation of Gorsuch was a good thing but hailing a steep decline of ILLEGAL crossings is beyond the bounds of tolerance. Don't you know that the only permissible phrase is "UNDOCUMENTED crossings?"

Pinch, please punch this Thought Criminal in the paunch!