The Corner

Deep Breaths, Everyone!

Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker take up the Christopher Buckley business today. In her Palin-centered column, Peggy says those “whose thoughts lead them to criticism in this area are to be shunned, and accused of the lowest motives,” and then cites Christopher’s resignation from his NR column as an example. Peggy is a busy person, so I suppose she hasn’t had time to notice that Kathleen Parker’s columns ripping Sarah Palin have appeared on NRO. That David Frum has aired his discontent with the Palin pick on NRO. That others of us–Ramesh and even me (between my occasional bouts of rhapsodic gushing!)–have criticized aspects of her performance. And that other writers on NRO have stuck up for Palin and pushed back against the critics. It’s called debate. Now, I regret how some conservatives immediately question the motives of the critics of Palin, but it’s equally regrettable that Noonan, Parker et al are portraying most conservatives as irrational thugs. It makes you wonder: Who is really being overly emotional and deeply unfair in this intra-mural conservative debate? Which brings us naturally to Kathleen Parker’s column today. Read and judge for yourself. Is this calm, cool deliberation? Or hyperbole worthy of a peeved e-mailer? (By the way, I hate that Kathleen got any abusive e-mails at all; it’s a very unfortunate part of the world of the web. But hate e-mail goes both ways. I wouldn’t want to live for a minute with, say, Kathryn Lopez’s or Jonah Goldberg’s in-box on any given day.) Finally, on Christopher, I already addressed it here. But he proffered a “sincere offer” of resignation of his column that he had taken up temporarily while Mark Steyn was on hiatus. It struck us as a win-win: Chris would get out of a column we thought he wanted out of; we’d get Mark Steyn, who had recently returned to writing, back on our back page. We never imagined Chris would feel he’d been “fatwa-ed.” In any case, Chris is still on NR’s board, and is welcome to write pieces for us going forward, which I’m hoping he’ll do after everyone, very much including the Noonans and Parkers of the world, takes a deep breath.


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