It isn’t just that The New York Times holds an editorial view that favors expansive immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens. They are dogmatic about their views. The paper’s editorials on the subject don’t opine, they rant. Only rarely do they even deign to publish a dissenting opinion on the op-ed page.

Perhaps it’s because all of the editors decided to take vacation this week (Manhattan can be pretty steamy in mid-June), but Tuesday’s New York Times blog site features a piece by one of the paper’s regular columnists, Ross Douthat, that is refreshingly honest and in-touch with reality.

In discussing the politics of immigration, Douthat makes a keen observation. “At the grassroots level of both parties, the politics of the issue are simply more fraught, and the advantages of the pro-legalization position less obvious, than the elite consensus tends to assume,” he writes.

Writing in perhaps the most elite of the elite media, Douthat nails the essence of the debate about immigration policy. Contrary to what one might perceive from the editorial page of the Times, the immigration debate does not pit good versus evil, or compassion versus mean-spiritedness. Rather the debate pits the social, political and economic elite in the United States against ordinary Americans. Douthat makes it clear that these ordinary Americans come in all varieties: Black, white, Hispanic, Democrat, Republican, liberal and conservative. In other words, immigration is yet one more manifestation of how out of step Washington and Wall Street are with the concerns, interests and daily lives of most Americans.

It’s what FAIR has been saying all along, of course, but it’s nice (and utterly surprising) to see that analysis confirmed on the website of the nation’s “newspaper of record.”