It's always puzzled me that the Times feels the need to pay lip service to Republican politics, as if doing so will dispel the almost universal (and accurate) perception that it is a liberal paper. The problem is that mainstream conservative voices now are so far off the conspiracy theory deep end that the Times has to resort to oddballs like Douthat who still have a little Republican fire and brimstone, but ultimately are too smart to actually endorse most of the right's crazy ideas wholesale.
Today Douthat makes the party-line argument that Sen. Arlen Spector (
He then makes a vague argument for a new kind of Republican, sort of like what Bill Clinton and Gary Hart were to the Dems of yore, but he admits that none of those exist right now. Anywhere. God am I glad I'm not a Republican right now.
Meanwhile Brooks is over on the other side of the page saying that today's Republican Party has no appeal to young people, urban people, or the upper or lower middle classes. This sounds like more than just a lack of a Bizzaro World Gary Hart.