Douthat Doesn't Get Points For Being "Reflective."

Conor Friedersdorf attempts to defend Ross Douthat's tacit acknowledgment that there aren't any good arguments against marriage equality.

I mean, really? That’s your lead? A guy on a panel was “uncomfortable” for “a moment”? Call Drudge and cue the siren! What kind of weird place have we reached when it’s news that a guy, being peppered with the most difficult questions a roomful of smart people can muster, once during a session displays a moment of discomfort? I’ll tell you what kind. We’ve reached a place where a stunning number of folks you see commenting on television or other public venues care so little about the substance of what they’re saying that even when they and everyone else knows their words are utter idiocy, they still refrain from displaying actual discomfort, because to them it’s all a game, unconnected to any sense that words have consequences, or that integrity is partly a matter of challenging one’s own own ideas out of a lingering sense that commenting on public affairs confers some responsibility, and that it is shameful to frivolously and lightly proffer arguments that one isn’t able to defend.


Elsewhere in New York this week, hundreds of makeup slathered pundits spewed forth transparently idiotic talking points on all manner of subjects, without betraying any sign of thought or shame. As yet, the New York Observer hasn’t found that worth remarking upon.

Honestly, Douthat's discomfort puts him at more moral fault than the dumber pundits Friedersdorf is comparing him to. To borrow Friedersdorf's flawed legal analogy in regards to racism, Douthat's political position is taken with "malice aforethought." He knows that, as Scott Lemieux puts it using Douthat's own words, secular arguments against gay marriage are in fact all ones of "bigotry and or custom." Yet Douthat continues to oppose gays' secular right to marry because of his own religious beliefs--a position he apparently realizes is indefensible.

That's worthy of remarking on--at least the people who are "transparently idiotic" don't know any better.You don't get points for being "reflective" if you then knowingly make the wrong decision. We all know he's "reflective"; he's a New York Times op-ed columnist. He "reflects" for a living. How much more credit for being "reflective" is one supposed to get?

-- A. Serwer

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