Wednesday, March 29, 2006

No More Caricatures

Rob Anderson -- writing in The New Republic (!) -- has the best take so far on the Ben Domenech controversy:

Domenech deserved to be let go; but in the course of celebrating his demise, liberals have missed the real lesson of this entire episode. Instead of hiring a conservative, the Post hired a caricature of one; Domenech's blog would have been less a product of Red America and more a product of what Blue America understands Red America to be. More than anything else, the sad saga of Ben Domenech reveals just how simplistic Blue-State elites have become in their understanding of American conservatism.

Thank you, Mr. Anderson. Someone finally gets it. Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and Sean Hannity do not embody American conservatism, and certainly Domenech doesn't. They're shrill caricatures whose stocks-in-trade are to provoke outrage and anger (from liberals as much as conservatives) instead of debate. I've always thought the alleged Red-Blue divide, though a convenient shorthand, papers over very real complexities in politics and philosophies and contributes to the reduction of both sides to caricatures. But if the Post wishes to continue the Red America blog -- and most signs indicate it does -- then it would do well to pick a real conservative, not the cheap cartoon version of one. Folks might just be surprised by how reasonable conservatives can be.

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