One of the rules of OP/ED bloviating is that if you disagree with another contributor to the editorial page, you never mention them directly.
Calling them out by name is unheard of.
Well, David S. Broder, the sultan of intellect free conventional inside-the-beltway thinking, just broke that rule, and calls out the bow-tied one.
Unelected conservative ideologues — such as Rush Limbaugh and George F. Will— can mutter in frustration, but Republican politicians recognize what was written here as long ago as last Dec. 2: “If the Republican Party really wanted to hold on to the White House in 2009 . . . it would grit its teeth, swallow its doubts and nominate a ticket of John McCain for president and Mike Huckabee for vice president — and president-in-waiting.”
Matthew Yglesias makes much of this, but I disagree.
This is not a sudden abrogation of the rules. Instead it is a conflict between two rules:
- The unwritten first rule of the op-ed page — you do not talk about other writers on the op-ed page
- John McCain is a straight shooter, and a good guy, and we love him.
In critiquing John McCain, George Will simply joined the Ancient, Hermetic, and Occult Order of the Shrill, and you are supposed to call out the “shrill” ones by name.