We’re not sure where it’s written that Jonathan Chait has to remind us that he’s basically just a douchebag, but it seems to be a rule he’s determined to live by.

Yesterday, he decided to do it by accusing conservatives like Ben Shapiro and Charles C.W. Cooke of being big fans of “Trump’s racism”:

Chait concludes:

The conservatives could make a case for supporting Trump despite his racial politics. Instead they present his racial politics as a point in his favor. One day, after Trump is gone, they will make it out that they never liked the racism. But the stink will cling to them nevertheless.

Something stinks, all right.

Cooke understandably took offense to Chait’s smear:

In New York magazine, Jonathan Chait proposes that “Trump: Maybe,” my essay on the impending election, was in fact “National Review’s endorsement editorial,” “a proxy editorial,” “a final statement of the magazine’s assessment of the president,” and a “sub-rosa Trump endorsement.” It was not. This claim deserves a correction.

I understand that the idea of a person’s writing exactly what he thinks — rather than writing whatever his party needs him to write, minus only those positions that might threaten his job as a writer or his vested interest in charter schools — is an alien concept to Jonathan Chait. But that’s his problem, not mine. As National Review has made abundantly and unavoidably clear, the essays on the 2020 election that were featured in the last issue of the magazine represented the views of their authors alone. They were not editorials — and, indeed, they could not have been, given that they all had different conclusions. The magazine’s editorial on the question, which was published in the same issue and clearly marked, is here.

But as far as a correction was concerned, this was apparently the best Chait could muster:

Defending yourself from an absurd and malicious smear is not a “weird tantrum,” Jonathan. But being the tool behind the absurd and malicious smear is most definitely something to be ashamed of.

Did he, though?

Pepperidge Farm remembers:

Better hold your nose next time Chait comes around!

Last word to Cooke:

The substance of Chait’s essay, is, as usual, nothing more than an extended smear coupled with his usual penchant for misrepresentation and conspiracy theory. Which is another way of saying that . . . it’s an essay by Jonathan Chait.

We couldn’t’ve said it better ourselves.