Among the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winners announced Monday is Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker for her commentary on national and world issues. She’s in worthy company on our opinion pages, which also include columns by earlier Pulitzer winners David Broder, George Will, Eugene Robinson, Charles Krauthammer, Joel Brinkley and Leonard Pitts Jr. (Maybe the lesson here is, if you write long enough, eventually you win a Pultizer.)
What I like about Parker is that although she’s a conservative, she doesn’t come at issues ideologically; she has the capacity to surprise. That actually got her into hot water when she wrote disparagingly about Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign and even suggested that Palin resign from the ticket before ruining John McCain’s chances of being elected. Many Republican readers considered that heresy, and she received a lot of hate mail and even threats. Read her column about it here. She wrote:
Some of my usual readers feel betrayed because I previously have written favorably of Palin. By changing my mind and saying so, I am viewed as a traitor to the Republican Party – not a “true” conservative.
Obviously, I’m not employed by the GOP. If I were, they’re seriously in arrears. But what is a true conservative? One who doesn’t think or question and who marches in lockstep with The Party?
When we first started running Parker’s column, we heard from liberal readers urging us to drop it. I’m glad we stuck with her.