Hari Seldon Wants In The Game

As a general rule, I counsel against optimism. In fact, i tell people that the wise course is to imagine the worst case and then figure that to be the best case. That said, there are reasons to be cheerful sometimes. This story floating around the Imperial Capital is one example.

Republican leaders adamantly opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy are preparing a 100-day campaign to deny him the presidential nomination, starting with an aggressive battle in Wisconsin’s April 5 primary and extending into the summer, with a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election.

Recognizing that Mr. Trump has seized a formidable advantage in the race, they say that an effort to block him would rely on an array of desperation measures, the political equivalent of guerrilla fighting.

There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable.

But should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trump’s hard-edged populism. They described their plans in interviews after Mr. Trump’s victories last Tuesday in Florida and three other states.

The names of a few well-known conservatives have been offered up in recent days as potential third-party standard-bearers, and William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, has circulated a memo to a small number of conservative allies detailing the process by which an independent candidate could get on general-election ballots across the country.

Among the recruits under discussion are Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator who has told associates that he would be open to running, and Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who was suggested as a possible third-party candidate at a meeting of conservative activists on Thursday in Washington.

Bill Kristol is not a dumb guy. He is not much of an American at this point, but he is not stupid. His interest in America is only as a source of men and money to attack the Muslims. That’s what neo-conservatism has been reduced to in the post-Cold War era. They will go along with any crackpot scheme that lets them throw bombs at the muzzies.

Still, Kristol is not stupid. He know there’s no chance he could even launch a third party, much less stop Trump from getting the nomination. This is proof of that. He’s hoping to deal himself back in the game with this largely worthless threat. The hope is that Team Trump, through an intermediary, will make nice with these guys, maybe promising gigs in the Leviathan if he wins.

An important component of the commentariat is the fiction of having influence. Kristol get paid largely on the myth that he is a mover and shaker in Republican Party politics. He made millions off taking credit for Sarah Palin being named McCain’s running mate. Trump is putting the family business at risk so Kristol is scheming for a way back in and this is his gambit.

This suggests that the pros are now coming around to the idea that Trump will not only win the nomination, but win the general election so they want in on the action. I have no idea how this game of chicken will play out, but the numbers suggest Trump is in a position to wait and let these guys vent their spleen for a while longer. They want in so he just needs to win and then make a deal.

There’s always the possibility that Kristol has simply lost his fastball. That happens to all of us. He is closer to being worm food now than his prime. The fact he is talking about comical losers like Perry and the near-dead Coburn suggests maybe all of them have lost their marbles, but that’s not the way to bet. Kristol is the Hari Seldon of neo-conservatism and even in his dotage, he probably has more on the ball than 90% of the schemers in the game.

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Terry Baker
Guest

Is it possible that the neocons allied with the GOP because they seemed the most aggressive against Islam?

That it wasn’t conservatism they really cared about? Just whacking the Muzzie’s?

Is my realizing that for the first time a sign of utter stupidity? Help!

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

The acknowledged father of neocons, Irving Kristol–
“One can say that the historical task and political purpose of neo-conservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.”

In other words, having make the Democrat Party to rancid to inhabit, they shifted to a new vessel like a hermit crab having outgrown it’s shell.

Miss Marple
Guest
Miss Marple

Kristol was Dan Quayle’s Chief of Staff, which he got after the original guy resigned under murky circumstances. (I always wondered if Kristol did something to force the guy out.) The Bush people couldn’t stand him because they felt like he leaked everything to the press, and James Baker eventually barred him from campaign meetings. (Dan Quayle in his book Standing Firm said this was because they were intimidated by Kristol’s intellect, but I always thought that passage indicated Kristol had ghost-written the book.) You are right about Trump endangering the family business, and it isn’t just Kristol who is… Read more »

Delbert McClintock
Guest
Delbert McClintock

What does Kristol bring to the table? Nothing. He is over and out. Burned too many bridges to come back.

Severian
Guest

I’ve been saying for a while now that whatever else happens in 2016, the GOP is toast. If they “block” Trump with procedural shenanigans at the convention, he goes 3rd party and wins that way. If he is the GOP nominee, well, Teh Donald is not a forgiving man, and since the Party hasn’t helped him any thus far, he has no reason to help them. Frankly, I’d vote for him just for that — let Andover Prep hold its class reunion somewhere other than Republican Party Headquarters. So long, chumps… the Whigs say hi.

CaptDMO
Guest
CaptDMO

WOw!
Calvinism, to Silent Cal, to the “rules” of Calvinball.

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[…] For those new to this site, I have taken to calling Bill Kristol the Hari Seldon of Republican politics. For much of the 90’s and 00’s, Kristol basically ran the Republican Party. In the Bush years, he was largely responsible for crafting the Forever War strategy that came to define the Bush administration. That disaster seems to have landed him in exile, or maybe he is just re-charging his batteries, it is hard to know, but he is very much back in the game now. […]

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[…] For those new to this site, I have taken to calling Bill Kristol the Hari Seldon of Republican politics. For much of the 90’s and 00’s, Kristol basically ran the Republican Party. In the Bush years, he was largely responsible for crafting the Forever War strategy that came to define the Bush administration. That disaster seems to have landed him in exile, or maybe he is just re-charging his batteries, it is hard to know, but he is very much back in the game now. […]