That Never Trumper Bill Kristol has sided with CNN’s Manu Raju in the aftermath of Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) referring to the reporter as a “liberal hack” last week is not exactly shocking, but the way he went about it provided more than a few chuckles for those of us in the cheap seats who thought his response was a case study in accidental self-owns.
But before we get to Kristol’s self-owning tweet, let’s first recap what led to it.
On Thursday, Raju followed McSally in a Senate hallway to ask her if the Senate should “consider new evidence as a part of the impeachment trial?”
McSally responded by saying “Manu, you’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.” When he asked her if she wasn’t going to comment, McSally repeated, “You’re a liberal hack,” before walking into a room. It appeared the door to the room she walked into was being shut as Raju stood there waiting for an answer.
CNN launched a full-scale assault on McSally in response, but she didn’t back down.
“I’m a fighter pilot, you know, I called it like it is, and that’s what we see out of the mainstream media, especially CNN,” she told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in an interview later that evening.
She’s right, of course, but Kristol, who has never met a CNN journalist he didn’t like, rushed to Raju’s defense anway. “If it’s liberal to hold public officials in our liberal democracy accountable for doing their job, then I guess I’m liberal,” he tweeted:
McSally calling a reporter a “liberal hack” for asking a question, and then taking high fives from today’s “conservatives” for doing so, tempts me to say: If it’s liberal to hold public officials in our liberal democracy accountable for doing their job, then I guess I’m liberal.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 17, 2020
We should note that this was not really about “holding public officials accountable” as much as it was about gotcha questions because “Orange Man Bad”, but you probably knew that already.
A few conservatives weighed in by pointing out the obvious …
The first step is always the hardest Bill
— Rob Eno (@Robeno) January 17, 2020
Yea Kristol it’s been obvious for a while now.
— Pat McCaig (@McCaigPat) January 17, 2020
Actually I’ve thought you acted more like a Liberal than a Conservative for a long time.
— John Betts (@JohnFromCranber) January 17, 2020
But the thread was overwhelmingly full of liberals welcoming Kristol to “the dark side”:
— Leslie McCarthy (@LeslieM3355) January 17, 2020
It's funny, I always think of you as a liberal. I think it's time to join us! #McSallyIsAHack
— Cathy Voisard 🆘 🌊 (@ZPoet) January 17, 2020
Welcome to the dark side, we have cookies!!!
— Fiona Hill's Cat (@FionaHillsCat1) January 17, 2020
Welcome. We're nicer on this side
— CaliGirl 💔🍑 (@alliegata) January 17, 2020
Welcome to the team.
— Heather's a new liberal hack (@featherty) January 17, 2020
Welcome to humanity Bill
— GREYBOY (@DJGREYBOY) January 17, 2020
The jokes just write themselves.