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.

16 thoughts on “Hari Seldon Wants In The Game

  1. Pingback: Bill Kristol is the Hari Seldon of Republican politicsHigh Quality News | High Quality News

  2. Pingback: Checking in on the Encyclopedists | The Z Blog

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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 worried.

  6. 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!

    • Neo-cons were basically Trotskyists. They hated Stalin more than they loved anything so their singular focus was fighting Soviet communism. After the Cold War, they shifted to anti-Islam, seeing that as the next great enemy of the people.

      • Zman, I just don’t buy the idea that neocons are “anti-Islam”. Frankly, judging by the results of the last 15 years, one can make a much stronger case that they are pro-Islam. Look at all the middle-eastern regimes that have been targeted– the overwhelming majority have been secular governments that kept Islamists in check through most of the 20th century. Most states throughout the middle east are either (a) failed states with different factions of Islamists fighting one another, or (b) states run by Islamist regimes. So on a political basis, we must conclude that the Neocons are strongly pro-Islam.

        Instead of defining the neocons by the enemies they are choosing, a smarter way to look at the neocons is to examine their Trotskyite roots. Trotsky simply believed in globalism and continuous revolution, and when it comes to promoting global chaos and revolution, Islam’s ideology of nihilism and conquest proves very serviceable. Furthermore, states with majority muslim populations are very convenient starting points for global revolution; Islam is highly sectarian, and Muslims have a 1400-year-history of violent internal struggle that is easily exploited and manipulated. Of course, the neocons couldn’t care less how many muslims die in the process, so if one simply focuses on body counts, one can be excused for thinking the neocons are anti-Islam. But it’s worth noting that on a percentage basis, many more non-muslims are being targeted for destruction in the middle east than muslims. For example, in 1987, there were 1.4 million Assyrian Christians living in Iraq. Today, that population is rapidly approaching zero. So we see that neocons are promoting Islam not only politically, but from an ethnic cleansing perspective as well.

        Finally, Islam has a long and rich history of perpetrating war and terrorism against the infidel; so, shoehorning muslims into western states is a wonderful way to undermine and destabilize those states and throw them into chaos. This of course requires a continuous degradation of international borders and promotion of “religious tolerance” and muslim refugee welfare schemes in the west. Which is, of course, exactly what we are seeing today in the US and Europe. None of this is a coincidence.

        • Man I wish we had an “edit” button for these posts.
          To clarify, the fourth sentence above should read, “But today, after 25+ years of neocon middle eastern policy, most states throughout the middle east are either (a) failed states with different factions of Islamists fighting one another, or (b) states taken over and run by Islamist regimes. So on a political basis, we must conclude that the Neocons are strongly pro-Islam.”

          • I don’t know, their efforts in the Middle East look like their normal incompetence, to me. These guys are cosmic screw ups to a man.

          • Incompetent? I just don’t see that. They are certainly attaining their objectives as I outlined them. Occasionally they experience a setback or two– Egypt for instance hasn’t worked out exactly the way they wanted, although it has been destabilized sufficiently that eventually they’ll get the desired result. Maybe you are mistaking waste and inefficiency for incompetence? That’s a rookie mistake. These are people that spend other people’s money and send other people’s children into the meat grinder– they couldn’t care less how sloppy they look as long as they keep moving the ball down the field.

          • Thanks, this has been my view since 2003, they have achieved almost everything they wanted, the only exception is Iran.

          • Iran has been run by Islamics since 1979; that counts as a “win” for the neocons. My guess is the neocons have talked tough about Iran for 30 years simply to keep the Saudis on side; a bunch of posturing with no meaningful action except economic “sanctions” that didn’t hurt anyone who mattered inside Iran (and arguably actually benefited them via lucrative black market smuggling arrangements). Now that the Saudis are losing their grip on regional power, it has freed the neocons to finally end the charade and embrace Iran. The “negotiations” with Iran were the most one-sided in the history of international diplomacy for a reason. And it isn’t a coincidence that Obama and Hillary’s right-hand women are both Iranian.

    • 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.

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