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The Deacon's Bench

Well, who’da thunk? The New York Times has just hired a new columnist that fits that description.

And he’s under 30.

Take a look:

The New York Times has hired Ross G. Douthat, a 29-year-old conservative writer and editor at The Atlantic, as an Op-Ed columnist, nearly two months after ending the yearlong run of another conservative columnist, William Kristol, officials at the paper said Wednesday.

Asked when The Times last had such a young columnist, Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor, said, “I don’t think ever.”

Mr. Douthat (pronounced DOW-thut) has written a popular blog for The Atlantic and articles in the magazine, as well as being a senior editor there, and he has had articles published in other publications. He is also the author of the books “Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class” (Hyperion, 2005) and, with Reihan Salam, “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream” (Doubleday, 2008).

His writing steers away from partisanship — he frequently criticizes Republicans — or doctrine, showing a concern for income inequality that is usually the terrain of more liberal writers. On abortion, he said in an interview, “I’m sort of a squishy pro-lifer,” interested in finding areas of compromise. He initially favored the war in Iraq, but later opposed it.

Elsewhere, Rod Dreher is beside himself with glee. And a member of The Atlantic staff is singing his praises, too.

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