Has conservatism just been punked? Not intentionally, no. But it might as well have been.
The New York Times caught heck for its story a couple of weeks ago about Marco Rubio's driving habits. Even Jon Stewart, who typically lampoons right-wingers, ripped the newspaper for its coverage—and for good reason. Out of the 17 traffic tickets Rubio and his wife, Jeanette, have racked up during the past two decades, only four of them were his. Roping in his wife's driving record helped inflate the numbers to make the insignificant story seem at least marginally worth reporting. But it also invited easy parody by conservatives, who noted that, "taken together," Rubio and Pontius Pilate were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ—and that, between them, Rubio and Colombia are responsible for most of the world's cocaine production.
Funny stuff. But as A. Barton Hinkle notes, it also drives home a point many conservatives would, in different circumstances, prefer to dispute.