It’s not easy for me to admit that Gail Collins is my favorite columnist. How can I enjoy reading someone I disagree with on so many issues? That’s easy: she writes with a smile. She cares deeply about ideas, but cares more deeply about the people they impact. She is loyal to her political party (unlike, for example, Paul Krugman, who prefers to throw Molotov cocktails; see his latest post). She has a sure eye for the perverse behavior for which human beings are famous. Yet she writes about human depravities as if their very existence revealed the possibility, perhaps even the necessity that their opposites will triumph. Things like gentleness, goodwill, and justice.