This image was lost some time after publication.

It only took New York Times official reasonable conservative columnist Ross Douthat three months to turn in his first completely dishonest paint-by-numbers Republican hack op-ed. Did you know that red states rule, and blue states drool?

See, there's been this recession, lately, and it has kinda fucked over a lot of people, around the country. Hit particularly hard: state governments, many of which are facing massive budget shortfalls. The worst state of all is California, which is just basically going to cease to exist in a month or two.

Mr. Douthat notices (or rather he noticed suburban sprawl advocate and anti-rail city scholar Joel Kotkin noticing) that many of the hardest hit states are "blue" states! The entire argument, basically, is that California is blowing up, and Texas is fine, and so therefore Democrats can't govern.

Of course, California (which has, we thought, a Republican governor?) is in so much trouble because they have no property taxes to speak of (the tax having been capped at an absurdly low rate back in 1978) (taxes might've harmed the robust and never-ending growth of their vibrant real estate sector!) and, last we checked, Texas was facing a $750 million shortfall in their unemployment fund until their governor was "forced" to accept something called "stimulus" money from the federal government (money that a majority of governors would like to receive more of!), and finally the entire existence of the deep red deeply fucked Deep South is sort of glossed over, but the fact that his argument is so specious is not even the point. The point is that Bill Kristol could've written something this tossed-off and stupid (though Kristol would not have diplomatically noted that "clearly part of the blame for the current crisis rests with decisions made in George W. Bush's Washington").