Listen up, little grasshoppers, and I will pass on an insider's rule of journalism: Always pay attention when a columnist goes after someone aligned with his own ideology. First, it tends to be well-informed. Second, it raises the credibility of the columnist, showing a willingness to police the views of his or her own side.
I mention this because I often disagree with the views of Michael Gerson, but was impressed by his mid-summer column dissecting the views of a confederate of Sen. Rand Paul who was into celebrating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.