Kathleen Parker

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Kathleen Parker is an American journalist, identified as center-right, whose column was syndicated in 1995; she writes regular pieces for the Washington Post and USA Today, and appears on Chris Matthews' show on MSNBC. She started the column in 1987, while a staff writer for The Orlando Sentinel and joined The Washington Post Writers Group in 2006. Her columns are featured on Townhall.com.

She received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, with the citation

Awarded to Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post for her perceptive, often witty columns on an array of political and moral issues, gracefully sharing the experiences and values that lead her to unpredictable conclusions.

While she is often identified as an American conservative, she writes that the "America is neither left nor right but centrist."

Centrists -- who may be broadly defined as fiscally conservative, socially libertarian-ish -- have been relatively quiet as "patriots" have made threats, building armies of "hunters" to bring down RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) and DINOs (Democrats in Name Only) or creating online "leper colonies" to post the names of those who, for example, dared speak out against Sarah Palin.

The latter was the creation of Erick Erickson, founder of RedState.com, recently hired as a CNN commentator and famous for calling retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter a "goat-[expletive] child molester," among other similarly trenchant observations.

Thusly do hyperpartisans become mainstream.

It's fine to be angry about bad policies; it's fine to hold politicians' (and journalists') feet to the fire. But it is not fine to demonize dissent and cultivate rage. We should know by now where demagoguery leads. [1]

Following the passage of the March 2010 health care reform legislation, she wrote that in spite of polls saying the majority of Americans were opposed to federally funded abortions, regardless of President Obama's executive order, they would happen under the new legislation.[2] She has been criticized, by the Media Research Center, for "her compulsive failure to make it through a column without bashing religious conservatives."[3] This, in turn, linked to James Dobson's criticism on her writing that the U.S. Republican Party needs to reduce the influence of the Christian Right. Dobson said,

Whatever she once was, Ms. Parker is certainly not a conservative anymore, having apparently realized it’s a lot easier to be popular among your journalistic peers when your keyboard tilts to the left. She writes that “armband religion” — those of us who “wear our faith on our sleeve,” I suppose, or is it meant to compare socially conservative Christians to Nazis? — is “killing the Republican Party.” Lest readers miss the point, she literally spells it out. The GOP’s big problem? G-O-D.


Ms. Parker cites the election of Barack Obama as evidence that Americans no longer care much about the moral-values issues that have historically driven conservative voters to the polls. [4]


  1. Kathleen Parker (21 March 2010), "America is neither left nor right but centrist", Washington Post
  2. Kathleen Parker (28 March 2010), "Federally funded abortions are in our future", Washington Post
  3. Tim Graham (3 December 2008), Kathleen Parker Can't Help Herself, Newsbusters.org blog of Media Research Center
  4. James Dobson (25 November 2008), Dr. Dobson: 'We Won’t Be Silenced', Family Research Council Action