But then, even after he got caught publicly gay-bashing and made a smirking "mistakes were made" pseudo-apology to a few blogs, Douthat now has the chutzpah to use his latest Times column to double down, albeit in a more nuanced fashion, on the homophobic rhetoric. He suggests that Pope Francis made a boo-boo by launching a pro-gay trial balloon at the Vatican this month. He's upset that all the money given to the church by wealthy Catholic plutocrats seeking and getting expiation for their mortal sins while dissing unwed mothers has been wasted. Look at all poor Henry VIII went through way back when the pope refused to grant him a divorce and he had to start his own church! The Catholic Church caving now might even de-sanctify Thomas More for all we know.
(OK, so Douthat didn't actually say those things in those exact words, but Times-brand hatred must always be presented as subtext-only for discerning readers with the patience to read between the sanctimonious lines. The class war against the poor under the protective cloak of religion is the tried and true modus operandi of him and his brethren on the "Christian" right.)
You'd think that after being exposed as something more vile than the nuanced and somewhat respected Times pundit he plays at being once a week, Douthat would at least have tried to temporarily change the conversation into something more palatable, like Ebola or the mid-terms. That he did not is a sure indication that he will be keeping his job, despite his moonlighting. He is the useful idiot, the click-bait that the Times keeps around to keep the liberal readers fuming and re-clicking and Tweeting and bringing in all that ad revenue.
Hate sells. This whole mid-term election is based on hate. We are going to the polls based on how much we despise the opposite side of the duopoly. Republicans will vote Nihilist purely because they hate Democrats. Democrats will vote We Suck Less only because they can't stand Republicans.
As much as I try to avoid commenting on Douthat and preaching to the liberal Times choir, I couldn't resist chiming in on his latest sermonette. Here, pending possible later removal by the censors, is my response:
Preserve us from the hypocrisy of paranoid pundits.
Douthat is one to talk about "preserving the pope from (the) error" of welcoming gays and remarried Catholics into the church, when he himself just committed the grievous error of speaking at a fundraiser for the Alliance of Defending Freedom. This is a rabid hate group which has actually called for the criminalization of homosexuality.
Media Matters has the scoop:
"On October 16, Douthat spoke at 'The Price of Citizenship: Losing Religious Freedom in America,' an event held by ADF and aimed at drawing attention to a number of popular right-wing horror stories about the threat LGBT equality poses to religious liberty. Douthat spoke alongside radio host Hugh Hewitt and the Benham brothers, who are notorious for their history of extreme anti-gay, anti-choice, and anti-Muslim rhetoric. The event ended with explicit solicitations for donations to support ADF's legal work."
As Media Matters notes, Douthat tried to preserve his reputation by announcing, when confronted, that he wouldn't be cashing his ADF check. He was apparently shocked, shocked to learn that there was a profit motive going on! But as we know, bigotry and freedumb don't come cheap. There is nothing charitable about right wing extremism.
Somebody needs to make a good act of contrition in an upcoming column. Resignation in disgrace would be nice too.