Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Just In: Ross Douthat is Still Silly

Why, you ask, did a wealthy and pampered man refuse to step in when an act of pure evil occurred in his shop, on his watch, and by an ex-colleague? Because he was a moral monster, you might think. Well, as it turns out, no. At least According to Ross Douthat. It is because Paterno like many
good people, heroic people, are led into temptation by their very goodness — by the illusion, common to those who have done important deeds, that they have higher responsibilities than the ordinary run of humankind. It’s precisely in the service to these supposed higher responsibilities that they often let more basic ones slip away.
That right, it was Joe Pa's essential goodness and heroism that led him to allow a serial child raper to continue child raping for nearly a decade if not longer. He has higher responsibilities than protecting children from a child raper. According to Douthat, a rich man giving some small or large percentage of his wealth to create funds, professorial chairs, and buildings that bear his name is the kind of heroism that quails before the minor matter of stopping child raping. The NYTimes ought properly be ashamed of the voice of the turtle they have unleashed on the land.

 Let alone the question does he think that it is actually the case that ignoring great evil is evidence of being either good or heroic? When he writes these hot messes, do you think he actually thinks?


  1. I used to read Ross Douchehat for comic relief, but now that I only get 20 articles from the times he had to go. In this case he is half right, when people get caught up in what they believe is a noble cause they can do some pretty crappy things. Of course then he completely misses the point and tries to justify them doing crappy things because they had good intentions. It's like he is so caught up in the big idea that he doesn't care if someone gets raped. Especially in the case of Penn state where the big iidea was to win football games it's completely wrong

    Kind of reminds me of yglesias where he will say something that kind of makes sense and then draw a completely wrong conclusion from it.

  2. yeah sure but the problem is that Paterno's big idea is winning football and coaching forever. The rhetorical cover he gave this endeavor is building tomorrow's leaders today was clearly a screen and sham as he and others covered fro a child rapist for at least nine years and more likely longer. The little kid and his mom who refused to be cowed are real heroes and, I suspect, neither will ever play college ball.

  3. Good. Point. Paterno did make it about himself, and like you said in your other post. Football is entertainment. This entire Penn state scandal reminds me of the catholic church scandal, people are defending paterno much the way people defend the church

  4. Yeah and, ya know, at some point they are going to regret supporting Paterno. It seems to me that the rottenness of Penn State has go pretty deep and involve more than just this horror show.

  5. And right on que David Brooks splatters santorum all over the pages of the New York times.

    It's the catholic churches reasoning that permissive culture has someone polluted them. I would argue that if catholic priests weren't so repressed they might be less likely to rape children. Paterno had to know what was a going on, it sounds like they fired him but let Sandusky keep going with his childrens charity. The entire thing rally does make me sick.

  6. You know not so much for Joe Pa but for the Catholic Church the child raping is serious slap in the face to the notion of sacramental and sacerdotal channeling of grace. Priest get extra grace via ordination to fulfill their onerous tasks and yet time and again that extra grace fails to work. These failures, not hardly unique to the present, are one of the reasons that all the heretics, lollards, Albigensians, Waldensians, and Prots, relied on anti clerical sentiments when fomenting their rejection of Roman orthodoxy. It's one thing when a man like Sandusky and men like Joe Pa and co fail to be decent moral agents, they are after all just men, but it is another when those gifted with special grace fail.