I won’t spoil your post-holiday torpor by pointing out in detail that Ross Douthat lectures Democrats and Republicans about being courageous in the coming year and thinks that passing the 9/11 First Responders healthcare bill and repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell during the lame-duck session of Congress was “conspicuously yellow-bellied” because true bipartisanship will only be achieved when Democrats and Republicans make tough choices about the economy. Then we will “return to normalcy.” (“Normalcy” is one of those words that got into the language the same way “refudiate” did; it was a malapropism by President Warren G. Harding, a noted incompetent. It is both fitting and ironic that it has become a watchword for conservatives.)
Here’s an idea for a holiday party: let’s lock Mr. Douthat in a small room with a group of gay soldiers who just got their equality back and let them explain it to him what being a “yellow-belly” is. And then let the 9/11 first responders come to his rescue.