Bill Kristol, noted anti-Trumper and partaker of liberal billionaire cash, has currently been relegated to a failing blog (which I won’t link to) and sporadic appearances on MSNBC. Once a mainstay of the (neo)conservative movement, he gave all that up to chase Amy Klobuchar around and promote the election of Democrats post-Trump.
Does that mean one can’t be a conservative and oppose aspects of Trump and his policies? No, there are many people who manage to do that without losing every bit of their integrity. It does mean that if you stump for liberal Democrats who are promoting socialism and abortion up to and including birth, you can no longer claim to be one.
Kristol once famously rooted for a coup against Trump, because if anything says conservative, it’s calling for un-elected bureaucrats to subversivly remove a newly inaugurated President.
Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 14, 2017
Kristol’s support for the Iraq war is also something of a religious tenant to him, and it’s been said that Trump’s criticism of it in 2016 was the breaking point.
After Donald Trump criticized the Iraq war in a Republican primary debate, Carlson said Kristol was “as angry as he had ever been in public about anything. Kristol denounced not just Trump, but anyone who didn’t join him in denouncing Trump.”
That plays heavily into an exchange he recently had with Bernie Sanders and I’m just here rooting for injuries.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 19, 2019
Have you apologized to the nation for your foolish advocacy of the Iraq war?
I make no apologies for opposing it. https://t.co/rw22Ovs4d9
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 25, 2019
Nope. I dislike quasi-Stalinist demands for apologies. I've defended and will defend my views on Iraq, and Syria, and Milosevic, and the Soviet Union, and more, as you defend yours. How about a real debate on U.S. foreign policy–I'll ask for no apologies!–on a campus this fall? https://t.co/AdC0CelINz
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 26, 2019
There’s several aspects of this that are interesting.
In regards to the Democrat party, Kristol wants to have his cake and eat it to. Sorry bro, that’s not how it works.
When you get in bed with crazy people, don’t complain when they drool on you and steal your wallet. And the idea that a nearly irrelevant fossil like Kristol is going to out maneuver the majority of the Democratic base that loves Sanders’ policies is a pipe dream. In a fight between a politically homeless grifter like Kristol and a Democrat icon like Sanders, Sanders wins that fight handily.
The mistake of many in Kristol’s shrinking orbit was to decide that personal animus revolving around Trump’s lack of decorum outweighed the actual governance of the country. Do I wish he’d be a bit more strategic in how he lashes out at enemies? Yes, because I don’t buy that ever word Trump utters is helping his cause. I think he has the capacity to be much more popular than he is. Regardless, I also recognize that conservative judges and wins on policy are far more valuable long term than some false notion of decorum in a historically ruthless town like Washington D.C.
Kristol might argue that it’s not just the issue of decorum but that it’s also an issue of moral failings. To me, that plays as a faux excuse. Trump is hardly the first Republican to have affairs and Kristol has had no problem supporting others with prior issues with morality. Heck, his business partner, Charlie Sykes, has been married three times and cheated on his wife with a co-worker. Kristol is also a normal guest on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which includes two hosts who committed adultery with each other in one of the weirder public spectacles in media. Spare me the selective outrage on past affairs, even though I agree on a personal level that Trump certainly isn’t a Saint.
As to Kristol’s continued shilling for the Iraq war, I think there’s some nuance there but he continually chooses to have none. It’s possible for someone to argue that the initial march to war wasn’t necessarily improper. If Kristol just stuck with an “I made mistakes, but I think we did the right thing at the time” line of response, he’d come across as much saner. Instead, he treats the Iraq war like a holy sacrament.
Has Kristol ever admitted he was wrong about anything, even partially? I can’t think of any instance. And that’s really the core problem.
Trump is President today because “Republicans” like Kristol were so arrogant and so incompetent that the public just said “screw it, we are done listening to you.” That’s the grand irony here. Kristol hates Trump with every fiber of his being, yet his wing of the party holds the most responsibility for getting him elected.
To see him slap fight with Bernie just highlights Kristol’s failures even more starkly. He’s moved from one party that can’t stand him to another party which is quickly learning they can’t stand him either. Maybe it’s time for him to look in the mirror? But he won’t. He’ll continue to flail around completely oblivious to the fact that his influence has waned and that no one wants lectures on the supposed wisdom of bombing Libya anymore.
I want to see these two fight it out with pool cues on the Lido Deck. https://t.co/oNhJjsBfOD
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) May 26, 2019
I’d buy tickets to that.
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