No one can replace Frank Rich as the greatest op-ed columnist of the recent past, (though Paul Krugman is still going strong and as I mentioned in a previous post was found to be the most reliable predictor of the future among all pundits on either the left or right or in the center).
But two other regular NY Times op-ed writers have been picking up the slack (along with Krugman and others) in ways that are usually amusing, though not so much for Maureen Dowd (who in that same study was high on the list of best predictors behind Krugman—and just to note again conservatives came out at the bottom on their predictions being accurate) in her Sunday column, here.
The other is Gail Collins, who isn't quite as sharp or always as amusing as Dowd at her best, but still knows how to score some points as she did in this piece from last week.
[PS: I don't entirely agree with Dowd's reasoning, but I hear it and part of me agrees. I do believe though that we can become like what he oppose if we adopt the opposition's tactics to defeat them, a danger too often realized in the history I've been alive for.]