04/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Think Again: Conservative? Bad? How About Both?

When I began thinking about doing a column about recent developments on The Washington Post editorial page, I was torn between focusing on its increasing conservatism and its overall badness. The problem, however, is that the two appear inextricably linked. Is the problem with George Will's constant global warming denialism ideological or intellectual? Is David Broder's misinformed love letter to Sarah Palin indicative of a desire to ingratiate himself to Republican Tea Partiers or continued evidence of the deterioration of his ability to apply common sense to political analysis? Was the Post's decision to add former Bush administration official and vocal pro-torture advocate Marc Thiessen to its bevy of pro-torture advocates and former Republican officials more important for its right-wing tilt or its implied contempt for traditional journalistic values? Hard to say, really.

Of course, the categories "conservative" and "bad" are hardly mutually exclusive when it comes to columnists, making the choice a false one. In fact, based on the representation of conservative views at the Post, they often appear to be purposely complementary. One can be a deeply conservative individual politically and still find oneself offended by the constant stream of intellectual insult.

Take, for instance, Mr. Will ....

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