Thursday, December 23, 2004
Hey, Andrew Sullivan and crew. You've got all these awards for appalling rhetoric, gross stupidity, monstrous pretension, etc. How about some "nice guy" awards?
Here's one suggestion: the Ponnuru award for principled opposition to a partisan position. So named because Ramesh Ponnuru, in addition to being one of the smartest writers on NRO's staff, is among the most resistant to partisan talking points and arguments when he, in his own opinion, thinks they are . . . wrong.
His latest piece is an excellent example of what I'm talking about.
(Clarificatory note: I'm not proposing an award for "maverick" or "contrarian" writing. There are people who almost reflexively take the opposite position to the conventional wisdom, or who consistently buck their party. They don't get an award for that. I'm also not proposing an award for ideological purity - for having "principles" so ideologically rigid that you wind up opposing your party whenever it considers compromise. That's not what I'm talking about either. Nor am I talking about "give the other guys their due" journalism. I'm talking about pieces like the one linked above, or like Gary Rosen's piece in Commentary a couple of years ago saying Bush v. Gore was wrongly decided. Stuff you've got no reason to expect and every reason to respect.)