You may recall that back in 2016 when Trump started slicing through the Republican primary field that a group emerged in D.C. which called itself ABT, meaning anyone but Trump. The group represented a bunch of Republican diehards who thought that Trump was too vulgar, too stupid, and too inexperienced politically to be a national candidate for the GOP.
In fact, the real reason that there was opposition to Trump from within the GOP was because he didn’t owe the Republican Party any favors and if he became the nominee, he wouldn’t necessarily give them any access or any important roles in his campaign.
One of the leaders of this resistance to Trump was Bill Kristol, whose father Irving, was one of the founders of something called neoconservatism, which was an offshoot of the Democratic Party largely focused on a very militaristic foreign policy and a refusal to apologize for Viet Nam. Irving Kristol promoted neoconservative ideology as the editor of Commentary magazine, a right-wing, Jewish monthly op-ed publication which claimed to be ‘independent’ but in fact took money from the CIA.
Bill Kristol of course went to Harvard both for his B.A and PhD degrees. He did an internship in the Carter White House in 1970 and was bitten by the public interest – D.C. career bug. After some university teaching gigs, he came back to D.C. in 1985 and has moved easily between media spieling, magazine editing and conservative advocacy ever since.
Remember Sarah Palin? She couldn’t recall the name of a single newspaper she ever read when she was interviewed by Katie Couric in 2008. The interview took place because she had just been picked to be the GOP candidate for Vice President by John McCain.
Maybe Palin never read a newspaper, but she still managed to criticize the ‘lamestream media’ every time she opened her mouth during the 2008 campaign. She also didn’t see any reason why the government needed to fund scientific research and of course it goes without saying that she was a staunch supporter of gun ‘rights.’
What was the name of a recent GOP Presidential candidate who believes the media is the ‘enemy of the people,’ who also knows that Anthony Fauci’s science is based on lies and who will never, ever back off from 2nd-Amendment ‘rights?’ Isn’t that a guy named Donald Trump?
When Trump started shooting his mouth off in the 2016 GOP primaries, it sounded to me like he had dusted off a Sarah Palin speech from 2008, updated it slightly and was good to go. He also began using Palin as a supporter and ardent promoter during the campaign.
Who should we thank for taking a little-known Governor of the 3rd least populous state and getting her chosen to run in 2008 with John McCain? None other than Bill Kristol, who first met Palin at a 2007 luncheon she hosted at the Alaska Governor’s mansion for Kristol and some other right-wing noisemakers who stopped off in Juneau to briefly disembark from a cruise.
Kristol had been staff chief for Vice President Dan Quayle – the one who couldn’t remember how to spell the word ‘potato’ and Kristol was often referred to as ‘Quayle’s brain.’ But if we’ve learned anything from Trump, it’s that literacy isn’t a necessary requirement to sit atop the Executive Branch.
Six months before the 2008 vote, Kristol publicly broke with Palin, announced he was withdrawing his support because she had ‘failed’ to educate herself sufficiently to be a credible figure on a national, political stage. In other words, Bill Kristol finally figured out what everyone else knew about Palin within a week after McCain added her to the ticket, i.e., she was just too friggin’ dumb.
When all is said and done, just about anyone can survive in D.C. by hanging around, making a phone call to this one and that one whenever something happens for which the media will need two 30-second sound bites – one from the Left and one from the Right.
Along with doing sound bites on various media shows, Kristol now has a new attention-getting thing, the Republican Accountability Project, a website that ranks every GOP Member of Congress based on whether the member ‘stands’ for democracy or tries to ‘undermine’ it. Courageous, pro-democracy members include Liz Cheney, Susan Collins and Adam Kinzinger, while the ‘coward’ group includes Lauren Boebert, Josh Hawley and of course Marjorie Taylor Greene.
The ratings for each GOP member are based on statements made about the January 6th Committee, votes on impeachment and votes on other issues supporting the narrative of an election stolen from Trump.
There’s only one problem with Kristol’s attempt to promote more reasonable and responsible attitudes into the political narratives currently favored by the GOP. The problem is that much of what Kristol believes represents alleged attacks on democracy happen to be narratives that were first injected into the public discourse by someone who he hoped would be elected the V.P.
Know what? I really wish that Bill Kristol would demonstrate the slightest degree of humility, shut the f*ck up and disappear.