Kristol Nicht

In a hilariously absurd post, the #nevertrump fanatic David French declined to be the nominee of Bill Kristol’s new political party. French is prone to drama so this is pretty standard stuff from him. I take some pride in having spotted him as a loony-tune a long time ago. I could just tell he was, in the mold of Glenn Beck, one of those guys who careens from one cause to the next, always overdoing it in a quest for grace. In a better age, these sorts were turned into missionaries and shipped off to Africa.

That said, I’m a little surprised that Kristol’s scheme has been such a disaster. He is a smart guy and a very connected guy in the GOP. He has been a made-member of the Bush crime family for decades. His ideological inclinations may not be my cup of tea, but I respect his IQ. He had to know that going third party was suicide. He may be willing to commit suicide for his cause, but unless your name is Mohamed, it is not easy to get volunteers for your suicide mission. As a result, I assumed he was up to something else, like leveraging access to Team Trump.

Even smart guys screw up and smart guys who think they are smarter than everyone tend to make big mistakes. There is also the fact that Kristol is no spring chicken. He is 63, which is not ancient, but that’s when some men start to slip. I’m not saying he is ready for the home; it’s just that he is not going to be as politically nimble as he was twenty years ago. There’s also the fact that he has been in the bubble for a long time and his connections to the currents of American life are now entirely indirect.

He and many other neo-cons seem to be trapped in 1995, unable to appreciate that the world has changed, the culture has changed and, most important, neo-conservatism is not so “neo” anymore. Their ideas all seem dated and out of sync with 2016 America. Listen to Kristol or his half-orc sidekick John Podhoretz talk about America and it’s as if they just awoke from a twenty year nap. They keep repeating the same slogans from two decades ago as if the last two decades never happened. It’s cringe inducing.

That’s probably the biggest error Kristol made in his attempt to unhorse Trump. The Bill Kristol brand of conservatism was a horrible flop that nearly killed the Republicans Party and turned the word “conservative” into an epithet. In 2000, conservatives had full control of government for the first time in a century. Instead of rolling back the welfare state, they expanded it and launched into a massive war with Islam that we still can’t figure out how to end. We have been dropping bombs on Muslims for a quarter century now and things are worse.

People can be forgiven for thinking that maybe these neo-cons were never all that conservative. You can only scold people for so long about your principles before they expect to see you act on those principles. It seems like the only principles the neo-cons hold dear are the ones that allow them to take a powder when it is time to take on the Left. The last time conservative won back any ground against the Left was in the mid-90’s. Since then it has been a long bloody retreat.

There’s also the issue of tactics. Kristol’s claim to fame was the purging of Pat Buchanan and the remaining paleo-cons from the party. His trick in the 90’s was to bait them into saying bad things about Israel or the Israel lobby in Washington. Many fell for it and were tarred as anti-Semites. That made throwing them out of the party an easy task. There’s nothing that strikes fear in the heart of the Republican like being called an anti-Semite. They would rather be associated with pedophiles like Denny Hastert than tied to someone who is an anti-Semite.

Trump is too smart for that and he is very pro-Israel in the typical American spirit. Most Americans support Israel because they are Christian and they see the Israelis as the underdog, facing a billion lunatics who want to murder them. That’s Trump. He does not have deep thoughts on the subject, but he instinctively backs Israel. Having spent his whole life working with Jews in New York real estate, he is very comfortable around Jews.

Finally, I think Kristol, like many neo-cons, has forgotten the whole point of their movement. It was always intended to be a sales pitch. It was an effort to stitch together the various strains of American conservatism into a political force that could win elections. To their credit, it worked quite well, but it failed to deliver anything more than hollow election victories. In the end, a viable political movement has to deliver and 85% of GOP voters tell pollsters that their party has not delivered.

It’s the old saying from the drug game. Don’t get high from your own supply. That’s what happened with the neo-cons. They started believing their own sales pitch and soon forgot that it was just a sales pitch. They stopped thinking about the practical reality of politics which is that the coalition that wins expects to get something for it. The neo-cons got swank offices and additional quarters added to their public pension, but the spear catchers and water carriers of the party got nothing. Pleas to ideological purity are not going to work on people who feel burned.

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RDittmar
Member
3 years ago

One of the many things the GOP should be thankful to Trump for is the chance that he’s given them to take a mulligan on the Iraq Attack. When I started following politics right around 1980 the GOP could as always be relied upon to be spineless and craven in all matters domestic, but they still had that cache as the grownups when it came to foreign policy. I think they won a lot of elections because of that and when Dems like Clinton did get elected it was due to the feeling that it was OK to put foreign… Read more »

Eminencefrontman
Eminencefrontman
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

When Dick Cheney and the rest of the (as you so aptly put it,) Bush crime family throw their tantrums about Trump they need to be reminded of the law of unintended consequences. Had there been no Iraq war, there would have been no Obama hope/change, and had there been no Obama there would be no Trump. Sometimes the cure is worse than the sickness. When the Bushies declined to endorse and Jeb said he was sitting this one out, that was the greatest endorsement Trump could get.

Severian
3 years ago

The bubble continues to fascinate me. I still have no idea how deep the rabbit hole actually goes. What actual information — hard data — goes into their decision-making process? Or is it really just a case of not being able to see beyond one’s paradigm, like a Ptolemaic astronomer still fiddling with epicycles and retrograde motion post-Copernicus? The thing is, it’s not just the political class — there are a gazillion bloggers who assure me that Trump can never win, never, because he just called some Mexican judge a Mexican or whatever it is this week. At some point… Read more »

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Dismal stuff. I don’t think that would have flown with any corporation I ever dealt with, certainly not as late as 2013. Of course, a couple of the companies were one step ahead of a sheriff’s sale for a while and they couldn’t waste time on that sort of fluff.

The format is lame and bloated and it should have been obvious at the time that the ideas were 20 years out of date when the thing was published. The world changed and they missed it.

Member
Reply to  Lorenzo
3 years ago

I’m convinced that another dirty little secret about the GOP is that they don’t really care about winning the Presidency anymore. Sure they’ll win it now and then when the Left really screws things up and all but hands it too them, but they don’t really care all that much about it. Their real power comes from all the gerrymandered seats that they have in Congress. That insures that their donors will always have a seat at the table once the earmarking commences. Worse comes to worse, if there’s a Democrat in the White House then all they might have… Read more »

el_baboso
Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

I was going to try to critique the GOP report and gave up. I imagine that a Democratic strategist reading this would just laugh. Bad strategy supported by bumper sticker statements masquerading as tactics.

Doug
Doug
Reply to  Severian
3 years ago

Well here is an interesting little tidbit, if these guys are not betrayers and right wing marxists, I don’t know what you call them. Remember they control both houses of congress: “In the true Orwellian fashion now typifying 2016, a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth has been quietly introduced in Congress – its lack of fanfare appropriate given the bill’s equally subtle language. As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight, however, the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue… Read more »

Won\'tSubmit
Won\'tSubmit
Reply to  Severian
3 years ago

Let me try:
Kristol rabidly hates the French and uses this caper to slyly give them a bad name … :))))

Doug
Doug
Reply to  Severian
3 years ago

Ol’ Remus had a pithy comment about this post over at the Federalist: http://www.woodpilereport.com/html/index-416.htm ‘The Federalist – If forced into a choice between Clinton and Trump, I will prefer Hillary Clinton. This is a painful choice, but the need to live to fight another day is why conservatives should adopt a Hamilton Rule if, God forbid, the choice comes down to Hillary and Trump. My hands almost could not type those words, because I think Hillary Clinton is one of the worst human beings in American politics. But Trump will be worse. Morally unmoored, emotionally unstable, a crony capitalist of… Read more »

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
3 years ago

“Kristol Nicht”.

All I can say is, “That’s good.”

Eskyman
Member
3 years ago

Well said & argued.

One small point that wasn’t mentioned: Trump’s daughter Ivanka became a Jew and married into a Jewish family. So The Donald has Jews within his family.

So I’m pretty sure that he is in no way anti-Semitic.

Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai
Reply to  Eskyman
3 years ago

That’s probably the only reason they haven’t been calling him anti-Semitic. Otherwise you know they would.

el_baboso
Member
3 years ago

They would rather be associated with pedophiles like Denny Hastert than tied to someone who is an anti-Semite.

That one goes in the Z-man hall of fame. Interesting that the Democrats didn’t try to tie the Haster pedophilia albatross around the Republicans’ necks. I’m not too sure how to read that particular set of entrails, but I don’t think that the omens are good.

Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai
Reply to  el_baboso
3 years ago

Child molestation is one of the great traditions of our federal government. They all do it, democrat and republican alike. It’s in everybody’s interest to get that stuff off the front page and down the memory hole. Anybody here remember the Franklin/Boys Town Scandal from the late 80s/early 90s? Didn’t think so…and speaking of Nebraska and Washington DC, it was the current Jr. Senator from Nebraska that was running the Congressional Page program back when Denny was getting his pedo on.
http://salem-news.com/articles/december292012/boys-town-scandal-tk.php

GlennDC
GlennDC
3 years ago

Well, Z,
The Donald, when he wins, will be 70 when he takes office,same age as the great Sir Winston Churchill was when he lost his re-election in ’45, and 5 years older than Churchill was when he took over to lead England to victory. So age is no excuse for the nichtness of Kristol… Perhaps you over estimate him?

Severian
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Kristol and his fluffers remind me of just about every liberal arts professor I’ve known. First they start out actually believing that they teach kids to “think for themselves;” it’s just a yuuuge coincidence that the self-thought thoughts that get As all line up exactly with the prof’s biases. Then they start arguing that teaching is “inherently a political act,” so they go out and actively preach their biases. A few more years pass, and by now all their students know exactly what to say to ace the class, and their junior colleagues are even more “radical,” so they honestly… Read more »

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

There’s also the matter of being right wing fringe cultural marxist light. It is quite a contrast to the Traditional Right. Then there is the insurgency of the Alt-Right. Maybe they have those nice digs and fat juicy paychecks, but the Kristol-nok’s are surrounded and out numbered. The real cultural marxist will throw the pukes under the bus so fast their heads will spin once their useful dupe status ends. Trump’s accession with seal that fat sooner or later. Add in the cold anger of the dirt people. Kaput! Neo con’s have a lot in common with the Kenesien’s, not… Read more »

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

I heard about French as Kristol’s proposed stalking horse to draw votes from Trump. If there was ever a cockamamy idea, worse than Romney as ordained surrender monkey of the neocons don’t know what is. It is incomprehensible these guys can take themselves as serious. These neocon’s are mental fucking midgets. They are a worse disaster for and have caused more damage for America than the psychopath in a pants suits and the chocolate emperor combined. Look at Rove, are you kidding me, that inept political clown is the definition of being such an idiot he don’t know he is… Read more »

CaptDMO
CaptDMO
3 years ago

Try to avoid confusing, or conflating, American Jews with very much involving Israeli defense of
Mid East sanctuary from “religiously” inspired um…Political Scientists.

Doug
Doug
3 years ago
Anon
Anon
3 years ago

>they expanded it and launched into a massive war with Islam that we still can’t figure out how to end It almost sounds like you either forgot 9/11 or think America shouldn’t have begun ‘dropping bombs on Muslims’ but what exactly would you rather have had Bush do, invite Al-Qaeda to peace-talks? Don’t you think the Jihadist element in Islam declared war on the West? The seeds were planted when the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder visited NY in the 50’s and was horrified to see (for example) men and women engaging in ballroom dancing. The Muslim’s Brotherhood founder explained that Islam’s… Read more »

Anon
Anon
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

So if you’d been the President back then, would you have not bombed the Taliban in Afghanistan? After all, they willingly hosted Al Qaeda. Would you have said “let’s not start bombing Muslims now over something a handful of Saudis did. Instead, I’ll think up some diplomatic/economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia”? Seriously? You’d have been a laughing stock if you’d done that. What the Bush administration got wrong is they thought there’s enough support for democracy to make nation building viable and while they initially made it harder for Muslims to move to America, they eventually made it easier, with… Read more »

Anon
Anon
3 years ago

There’s one war I really would like to see Trump end, and that’s the war on “Climate Change”. Time was, we’d sacrifice a virgin to the weather gods. Now we sacrifice billions of dollars. That’s called progress.

Severian
3 years ago

Speaking of getting high on your own supply, check out this lunacy from Ace of Spades. They’re going to replace Trump at the convention, because this will help unify the GOP to beat Hillary? Ummmm…what?!? He seriously claims to believe that GOP voters — who expressed their clear, overwhelming preference for Trump over about 17 other Establishment guys (and Carly Fiorina) — would just fall in line and vote for Paul Ryan or Tom Cotton or whoever. How does that make even the tiniest shred of sense? I thought bloggers, at least, still had some slight connection to the real… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Severian
3 years ago

So you’re still reading Ace of Spades so no one else has to? I’d really be interested in knowing the story there. I used to go there every day because most of the writers there were pretty egregious smart asses and almost always good for a laugh or two. I remember when the Trump train left the station they generally just blew hot and cold about him – taking pleasure when he was scoring points against the Left and cringing when he was particularly tin-eared – all perfectly reasonable and understandable. Then one day that Ace posted some bizarre humor-free… Read more »

Severian
Reply to  RDittmar
3 years ago

Yep, I still check in occasionally (the things I do for you people!). It’s like watching someone lose his mind in real time. My take is that Ace got himself mentioned in National Review a few times, got on Fox News once or twice, and now considers himself part of Conservative Inc. (though I’m sure he sees himself as the principled outsider who keeps the party hacks on their toes with his hard-hitting blog fu). I’d put a question to him, and all the “I’ll die for my priiiinciples!!” types: What, exactly, is the case for the Constitution? If representative… Read more »

Notsothoreau
Notsothoreau
Reply to  Severian
3 years ago

The problem for voters is that the conservatives have no principles. They promise to oppose Obama and work for smaller government. They get elected and you might as well have put a Dem in office. It’s why Renee Ellmers lost. (And I knew they would spin that as Trump’s failure after he endorsed her. ).

Notsothoreau
Notsothoreau
Reply to  RDittmar
3 years ago

I mostly agree with Severian on this. Ace became buddies with Rick Wilson and for a time, you could be banned for saying bad things about Rick. I have wondered if Ace got some money to cover the costs of his lawsuit. Mainly, he just wants to be one of the big guys and he sneers at the Dirt People as much as any liberal. I like to point out how he said Idaho was full of white supremacists that would go for Trump. When they went for Cruz, he shut up about it. And let me just say it… Read more »

Severian
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

“Tipping the waiter” is right! Every time I wrote a “you know, Candidate X ought to consider doing so and so” post, I’d joke that the candidate should call me… but then I got to thinking about it: An extra $25K or so a year would make a huge difference in my quality of life, but Zuckerberg probably has routine business lunches with that kind of tab (and Hillary probably gets that or more in Chinese “donations” to the Clinton Foundation every single day). Obviously our penny-ante corner of the internet isn’t worth even that, but really, what’s Ace of… Read more »

joe_mama
joe_mama
Reply to  RDittmar
3 years ago

You nailed it. That is exactly what it was for me. I assumed it was either money or some manner of pathetic pride. Ace always came across as a wannabe establishment. Maybe he knew a few people, had a few connections, but was a hanger-on at best. The way he would endlessly name drop Breitbart for instance was a big tell. I think he desperately wanted to be in the DC/NY in-crowd and being remotely pro-Trump would put the kaibosh on that.

It’s a shame, as the moron-horde were some of the funniest commenters around.

Notsothoreau
Notsothoreau
Reply to  Severian
3 years ago

I am still friends with some of the commenters at Ace but I find him unreadable these days. About the only thing he got right is that hatred of Trump is a class thing. It’s why he can’t stand Trump. And I get that the folks in power want to stay in power. They can if they play the game.

Lulu
Lulu
3 years ago

Now French is saying on TV that his wife’s family received a threatening phone call from someone purporting to be from the Trump organization. But he says he made his decision not to run before he knew about the phone call.

In the photo with this article he looks like some loopy old coot who was just found locked up in a family attic::

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/06/07/david-french-blames-donald-trump-for-intimidation-provides-no-evidence-to-back-that-up/

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

Been watching this whole Alt-Right, verses Traditional Right, verses Neocon, verses Cuckservative, verses Cultural Marxist Light battle, I can’t but help but sense a fundamental cultural revolution of another kind is underway… that in itself is pretty sublime. I’m a more traditional right/jeffersonian agrarian kind of guy, if the lights went out tomorrow I’d be happier than a pig in shit. But I like the insurgency of the Alt-Right, some of them guys are firebrands. Some stuff they come up with goes right by me, but the stuff I do grok, it gets right down to the meat and potatoes.… Read more »