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Link Bait

In his very first opinion column for the New York Times, young, Internet-bred conservative Ross Douthat brings the concept of "link bait" to the Times's online opinion section -- by making the most absurd statement imaginable just to get attention. Think I'm exaggerating? Here's the headline of his inaugural offering: "Cheney for President."

Six hundred words later, it's clear he's not serious. He certainly isn't saying he wishes Cheney were president. He's just musing about what it would have meant for the Republican party for Cheney to have run and lost. He argues that it might have jolted the conservative movement into rejecting the "particular strain of right-wingery" that Cheney represents: "a conservatism of supply-side economics and stress positions, uninterested in social policy and dismissive of libertarian qualms about the national-security state."

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 28, 2009; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Opinion Watch  
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I thought his argument had merit--in the Krugman v. the banks sense, of the Republican party swallowing a tremendous setback in order to thoroughly purge the toxic assets (in other words, Cheney's entire hardline viewpoint).

Posted by: whizbang9a | April 28, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

That Cheney is still a free man speaks volumes about the inability and unwillingness of the law enforcement community to uphold the law. Face it, Bush, Cheney, Addington, Feith, Gonzales and the rest of the criminal cabal will never face investigations or prosecutions. They are the RULING class and as such, are above the law. Hopefully, sooner or later, we citizens will change that. And the change will be quite dramatic. Especially for the war criminals.

Posted by: davidbn27 | April 28, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly why I didn't follow the link. I hate that s***.

Wasn't this pioneered by Slate? In addition to their proud "contrarian" bent, they always seem to have the most ridiculous or salacious article titles that are rarely ever borne out by the conttent of the article. It's why I've stopped reading them.

Posted by: unojklhh1 | April 28, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

unojklhh1: click the link, his OP-ED is pretty good.

Posted by: vanprey | April 28, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing (and discouraging) how many readers seemed to think the headline was serious.

Posted by: herzliebster | April 28, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I think it was Swift who pioneered the literary form that Froomkin is now calling "link bait."

Posted by: blipper | April 29, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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