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Tilting at Windmills

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January 28, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

BILL KRISTOL WATCH, WEEK 4....Not to get all obsessed by this, but is Bill Kristol a boring columnist, or what? This week's thesis: Bill Clinton has been injecting race into the Democratic primary. Now that's a fresh, untapped subject. I mean, no one else has even mentioned this in the past few days, assuming of course that you don't count every single reporter and pundit on the planet, both in print and on the airwaves.

Are they actually paying him for this level of banality?

Kevin Drum 1:19 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Comments

If there is a God, then why is there George W Bush? Hmmm? Or Bill Kristol, for that matter.

Just these two evil morons by themselves prove the non-existence of a just and loving Dog.

Posted by: craigie on January 28, 2008 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

If they're paying him for banality, they can at least claim to be getting their money's worth. It's not every day you run across a value like this.

Posted by: R. S. Buchanan on January 28, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

As a big Obama supporter, and in light of Kristol's record as a prognosticator, I acknowledge that his statement that this "could be the week that Obama upsets the Clintons" is downright frightening.

Posted by: Rumpus on January 28, 2008 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

What's the difference between what Kristol says and what Kevin said earlier today. Doesn't it bother you that you guys are on the same page? What an outrage, Clinton referred to the fact that Jackson and Obama are both black!

Posted by: Mutaman on January 28, 2008 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

He didn't refer to it; he "inferred" it.
Subtle man, that Bill.

Posted by: Kenji on January 28, 2008 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

bill has not entered ubtil hillary wins

Posted by: calipundant on January 28, 2008 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

oops, that should read:

bill has not entered until hillary wins

Posted by: calipundant on January 28, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

They're paying him $5 a word for that level of banality.

Posted by: A different matt on January 28, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

This man's predictions have been wrong so many times, it's a true wonder why he has been hired to be a columnist on The New York Times. It's as if there is a disconnect between the petty and trivial back-and-forth of trying to appease a certain political "clique" in the high circles, which ends up playing out in major institutions in the country, and the rest of the uninterested public has to be caught in the crossfire. Really, there are more relevant people than Bill Kristol. And fuck the neoconservative victimization strategy, they deserve pariah-status.

Posted by: Boorring on January 28, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Kristol is just trying to establish a reputation as a "reasonable" conservative with readers who are unfamiliar with his oeuvre as an insane, war-mongering hack.

He'll turn up the stupidity later on during the general campaign. The strategy might be good for a few thousand votes in Florida among older moderate Jews who still look to the Times.

Posted by: F. Frederson on January 28, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin's charge is fair. Kristol is writing about this topic later than most. Of course, his column runs only once a week, so it's hard forhim to be cutting edge.

Bill and Hillary Clinton's racializing of the campaign deserves all the attention it's getting. The Clinton's were supposed to be on the side of African Americans. Toni Morrison famously called Bill Clinton the first black President. What a dramatic turnaround.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 28, 2008 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

By far the best explanation for Kristol's NYT tenure (and Jonah Goldberg's continuing presence at the LA Times) comes from John Emerson at the Seeing the Forest site:

"When a legit publication features someone like Kristol or Goldberg, a clear message is sent about what is expected and what is permissible. Movement Republican plants are turf markers, rather like the illiterate commissars holding high positions in Soviet universities or the thugs sent from national headquarters to oversee mobbed-up union locals. The media are free, all right, but they still have to give the Republicans a voice and a veto. The stupider the mouthpiece, the clearer the message -- it's not really possible to pretend that either one of these guys was hired for his talents. And everyone else in the organization will get the message about what the management wants."

Emphasis added by me, because with that statement Emerson nails the motives of the New York Times. No one working there, no one, is under any delusions Kristol got the job based on the quality of his work, so the message about the kinds of stories and slants that the NYT management wants on its pages comes across loud and clear.

Posted by: a1 on January 28, 2008 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Sources reveal that Kristol also has a planned column coming up about how Mitt Romney has been relying on his personal wealth to help his campaign, while John McCain seems to get some popular mileage out of his heroic status as a veteran and POW.

I'm a bit disappointed that Kristol did not mention in his article that Bill Clinton was in fact himself a former president of the United States. The media is supposed to keep us informed about the candidates, a little background information might be in order.

Posted by: sweaty guy on January 28, 2008 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

As a big Obama supporter, and in light of Kristol's record as a prognosticator, I acknowledge that his statement that this "could be the week that Obama upsets the Clintons" is downright frightening.

I don't think there's any doubt that Clinton's a mortal lock now. On the brighter side,

The Giants probably won’t beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

At least I have a Tom Brady defeat as a consolation prize.

Posted by: Killjoy on January 28, 2008 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

Are they actually paying him for this level of banality?

Kevin, maybe you should address the substance of what Kristol said instead of merely insulting him? I'm not going to go in depth about the deep and profound things Kristol said in his article. But let me point out that one of the complaints from you and other liberals was that Kristol would simply be saying the conservative viewpoint and not the liberal ones. But in fact his views on Clinton's race baiting speech that Obama, just like Jesse Jackson, won because he's an African-American, was pretty liberal.
Kristol wrote: "What do Jesse Jackson's victories two decades ago have to do with this year's Obama-Clinton race? The Obama campaign is nothing like Jackson's."
Compare this with Joshua Micah Marshall at talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/064892.php
"Bill Clinton's statement about Jackson's victories was, while accurate, highly misleading on something like three or four different counts."
Pretty similar right? Or Matthew Yglesias at matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/01/which_to_believe.php
"After all this time being told by the Clinton campaign that Barack Obama is some kind of closet Reagan-worshipping right-winger, it's a bit confusing to be told that he's the second coming of Jesse Jackson, too."
Or what you said: "I don't like dog whistle racial appeals when Republicans do it, and I don't like it when Bill Clinton does it."
See? In fact, Kristol's view on Clinton's race baiting speech was very liberal because it is just like other liberals Joshua Micah Marshall and Matthew Yglesias and yourself. He believes that race did not play a role in Obama's victory. If Obama was white, he would've won too. If the Democratic primary was five percent African-American instead of fifty percent African American, Obama still would've won. Obama won because of the content of his character and not the color of his skin.
So weren't you wrong when you said Kristol was just a conservative propagandist? Isn't he really more liberal than you thought? Food for thought.

Posted by: Al on January 28, 2008 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

This week's thesis: Bill Clinton has been injecting race into the Democratic primary.

I don't actually want to read it, dude, so gimme the lowdown: we're suppose to invade Bill Clinton, right?

max
['And liberate Hillary, too, I expect.']

Posted by: max on January 28, 2008 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

Whereas Krugman's "Rebublicans are meanies" remains always fresh, doesn't it?

Posted by: am on January 28, 2008 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think the NYT is paying Kristol to be what William Safire was for them: A reliable conduit for Republican leaks. Writing skills or even coherency weren't the reason he was hired, he's there because they think he has access and will be able to leverage it.

Posted by: rick on January 28, 2008 at 4:58 AM | PERMALINK

This is the NYT for geez sake. Any one of us could have written that piece at the computer after a little googling.

He's not putting any effort into the column, or maybe he's just a bad writer. Either way, it's time to use that escape clause in the contract, Mr. Sulzberger.

Posted by: kim on January 28, 2008 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

The man is certifiably insane - ignore him.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 28, 2008 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Drum,

Obama's whole candidacy is built around creating illusions, and avoiding scrutiny because he'd be found lacking. It is an elaborate game of "smoke and mirrors" that the media has fallen for. You, too, fell for it and got "off the bus" the other day. I hope you are not complaining because that is the "monster" that the media have created: The "untouchable candidate." At this rate, the Dem party is setting itself up for a rude awakening if they do the unthinkable and nominate Obama, whose record and resume is so thin that he'd already been laughed off the stage he had been a first-term white Senator from Illinois. He is benefiting from the "soft bigotry of low expectations" and has been given a pass on shady dealings, policy positions, and claims that would have attracted vigorous scrutiny for any other candidate not named Obama.

Posted by: dcshungu on January 28, 2008 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Coming Kristol columns:

Iran Needs to Be Bombed Now

The Growing Military Threat From China

Why the US Can Easily Afford the Iraq War

Posted by: bob h on January 28, 2008 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

He's like that kid on "Mad Men" who has an entre in an exclusive club because he's a Dyckman, so the ad agency keeps him on.
Maybe Kristol's got some kind of juice that got an easement for the publisher on one of the 'hamptons. Who cares? It's not like anyone's reading him seriously.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on January 28, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, those nasty Clintons. They had that racist Bob Johnson speak for them. Johnson had to know that it is only OK to bring up past drug use by white candidates but he brought up Obama's use of "blow" anyway. (Remember all the talk about Clinton's trying marijuana or George Bush's probable cocaine use?) According to the MSM if you call Obama young and articulate, that is racist, too, because those are code words.
If you think the fact that he couldn't be bothered holding even one substantive meeting of the Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs (which he chairs) suggests that Obama can be lazy, do not say it aloud or you will be branded a racist!
If you are troubled by the fact that Obama bought his house in 2005 when the market was strong but paid $300,000 BELOW the asking price while the Rezkos bought the lot next door for full price you better not talk about it, because, you know....

Posted by: BernieO on January 28, 2008 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Give the guy a little credit. You're talking about the author of past gems like: President Clinton and Mr. Hyde (2007), Why Clinton "Lost His Temper" (2006), Not Clinton Is Not Enough (1999), Juanita Broaddrick and us (1999), Impeach now (1998), and O. J. trumps Clinton (1997).

Hell, I'll bet Kristol was writing a draft for this article while Jackson was still busy winning those primaries. It must be excruciating waiting for liberal pundits to come around to the truth.

The man was ahead of the curve on Clinton, he was ahead of the curve on getting into Iraq, he was ahead of the curve on Reagan's greatness, and he's still ahead of the curve on Iraq's rapid transition to a peaceful democracy. Don't get me started on our coming invasion of Iran, the coming stare-down with China, or the human clone wars of 2035.

Posted by: B on January 28, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

People around here sure are afraid of Obama, aren't they?

Judging by the comments, you'd think Washington Monthly was a cross-post from RedState....

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on January 28, 2008 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Hemlock,

Apologies. Are we supporting Kristol now?

Posted by: B on January 28, 2008 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

I recently saw a film clip of Kristol predicting that Fred Thompson might be the magic candidate for the GOP. I also remember when Kristol in 1998 predicted that the Republicans would pick up over 30 seats in the House. What a prophet he is. I can hardly wait for the next column of this great seer.

Posted by: Dave Southern on January 28, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Reading columnists is subjective stuff, so it probably is not surprising that Kevin's animosity toward Kristol shades his view and makes him declare his writing banal. Kevin posted about basically the same subject yesterday. Does that make Kevin's comments banal? I don't see why one pundit can't just accept another pundit's opinions. None of it matters much other than to entertain and inform those of us who are interested. I suspect Kevin will be posting about the same subjects this week. Kristol is just a bit ahead of him.

As quoted below, Kristol says some more pointed stuff than most others have said about how significant democrats publicly and privately would be glad to see Obama win. He also offers an interesting prediction about what will happen this week. I thought the whole column was more interesting than most opinion columnists, with the added twist of a conservative being complimentary toward a liberal politician, Obama.

"But it is now clear that putting her in the White House brings a hyperactive Bill back in with her. Who needs it? Liberals and Democrats can get basically the same policies without the Clinton baggage, and in choosing Obama, they can nominate a more electable candidate.

So Hillary’s advantage in the polls will, I suspect, erode. The erosion could be hastened by the expected endorsement of Obama by Ted Kennedy on Monday. It could be helped further along if Al Gore hops aboard the Obama bandwagon later in the week. Meanwhile, Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader during most of the Clinton presidency, is actively supporting Obama. Talk to Democrats in D.C., and it’s amazing how many who know the Clintons well — many of whom worked in the Clinton administration — are eager that they not return to the White House.

This week, the Clinton team will dump every bit of opposition research it has on Obama. We’ll see how Obama responds.

But the moment of truth could come at the Democratic debate Thursday, in Los Angeles. Edwards may have dropped out by then. If so, it will be a one-on-one showdown. Even if he’s there, he’ll be effectively a bystander. Will Obama hold his own?""

Posted by: brian on January 28, 2008 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

The first thing I thought when I saw the first column was "seventh graders write better." There wasn't a complex sentence in the whole thing. At least David Brooks can surprise you sometime. Then our local editor defended Kristol as a balancing addition to the liberal stable of NYT writers. It's amazing that mediocrity is so celebrated now and well paid.

Posted by: elr on January 28, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I hope you are getting paid to read Mr. Kristol's recycled specials. As far as I can tell, he hasn't written anything new in decades.

Posted by: freelunch on January 28, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

I said that Mark Steyn would have been a better, i.e., more interesting, choice for a conservative columnist.

Posted by: DBL on January 28, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

only commenting 'cause i love to type the words "wingnut welfare."

Posted by: dj spellchecka on January 28, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Whereas Krugman's "Rebublicans are meanies" remains always fresh, doesn't it?"

It's certainly always true. And they keep putting new meaning in it (100 years of Iraq occupation, another filibuster of children's health care, etc.), so it is always fresh.

Posted by: David in NY on January 28, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I was looking thru Forbes top 100 list; Bill Clinton had a web rank of 5 a press rank of 2 and a tv rank of 2.

Its no wonder what he says gets repeated ad nauseum and sometimes not with the result he may have intended.

Posted by: Ya Know... on January 28, 2008 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Right on. Kristol is being paid for ruminating and tossing up the same old fur-ball. Why do all conservative arguments boil down to the same tired formula: "We want to keep all the money and power. To heck with humanity"? And this is an "idea" that requires untold miles of newsprint and media hours? How do you make that pathetic mantra interesting? Obviously, Kristol can't.

Posted by: Diderot on January 28, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on January 28, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: brian, everyone's favorite faux-reasonable conservative concern troll, wrote: Reading columnists is subjective stuff, so it probably is not surprising that Kevin's animosity toward Kristol shades his view and makes him declare his writing banal.

He then went on to write I don't see why one pundit can't just accept another pundit's opinions, not realizing or not caring how revealing that statement is about him.

Posted by: Gregory on January 28, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Kristolnacht is on Ritalin. That was part of the Times deal. The old Crazy Bill is dead. Now the Times needs to hire Rush, Drudge, et. al.

(BTW the paper gets smaller and smaller and, since a hedge fund put its directors on the board, it wants to go all digital. Digital papers survive by "hits" and Kristolnacht delivers.)

Posted by: Dr WU-the last of the big time thinkers on January 28, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

For all you guys who hate Kristol and think he is dishonest, here he is standing up for Obama on Fox News Sunday:

JUAN WILLIAMS: It is the case that I think that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton surrogates have racialized this campaign, and they’ve made Barack Obama into the black candidate. That’s what Mara is talking about going forward.

The question is if you look at, for example, you know, Latino voters, Jewish voters, especially in the big states, and of course, white voters in general, how are they going to react to Barack Obama now that he’s no longer seeking to transcend race? . . .

BILL KRISTOL: He is seeking to transcend race. . . . This is totally unfair to him.

WILLIAMS: This is not unfair. He is seeking to transcend — and what he did last night was he went back to the uplift message and transcending race. But when he was in South Carolina . . . [h]e played for the first time as a black candidate to a black constituency. That's what happened in South Carolina.

KRISTOL: That’s just unfair. [Obama] was resolute in not playing that card. Now, the Clintons tried to make him that. What’s he supposed to do, say I’m not black or something like that? . . . He has run the most race-blind campaign of any candidate, black or white, in modern times.

Posted by: brian on January 28, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

brian, like you, Kristol has a long record that proves he's dishonest. Your 2 p.m. post doesn't exonerate Kristol, and it's only one more notch (who but you is talking about "hate"?) in your well-worn bedpost of dishonesty.

Interesting to see a GOP partisan like yourself leaping to the defense of a dishonest neocon tool -- but I repeat myself -- like Kristol, though.

Posted by: Gregory on January 28, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK
....here he is standing up for Obama on Fox News Sunday.... brian at 2:00 PM
All Republicans are standing up for Obama. They think he will be the easier to defeat. They're probably right. Kristol is a rabid neo-con who has called for more war, more blood, and a more radical Republican Party. The more he pontificates, the more his accuracy approaches zero Posted by: Mike on January 28, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

I just spent the past 20 minutes or so looking through various blogs like this at all the rantings about Bill Kristol having been given a regular column in the NYT. The recurring them is how irrelevant, stupid, banal, etc. Kristol is. It's interesting, considering how irrelevant, stupid, and banal he is, that he gets you all so riled up. That the mere presence of his words on a page could cause you such angst.

Posted by: Johnny on January 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Disagreeing with you does not make a person dishonest.

Mike,

I suppose some one has a record of Kristol's predictions, which might not be good. I'm not sure others would necessarily have a better record. Think of all the folks here who said the surge would be a failure and increase the killing and that Iraq was in an intractable civil war. As soon as the idiots at NBC studied the issue and decided to call the Iraq situation a "civil war," they were proven wrong. Kristol has advocated very aggressive policy in the middle east and elsewhere, which of course is the root of the hatred for him here. But I think if you objectively listen to him, you would conclude he is honest. He is frequently critical of republicans and sometimes complimentary of democrats. How many pundits fall in that category with respect to their treatement of their side and the other side?

Posted by: brian on January 28, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it appears the quality of fact-checking the NYT is every bit as thorough as it was at those right-wing rags that Kristol has labored for over the years. He wasn't edited then, because he was the boss; he's not edited now because ... why is that, exactly?

Posted by: Long Memory on January 28, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Disagreeing with you does not make a person dishonest.

Not inherently. But serial dishonesty in the expression of that disagreement does. As I said, you, and Kristol, have a long record of dishonesty. It's dishonest of you to ignore that point and pretend, in your usual faux-reasonable concern-troll fashion, that the issue at hand is merely disagreement. Thank you for debasing yourself yet again while proving my point.

Posted by: Gregory on January 28, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose some one has a record of Kristol's predictions, which might not be good.

Oh, I don't know about that!

"Evidence that Iraq may have aided in the horrific attacks of September 11 is beginning to accumulate...." -- Feb. 2003

"He’s [Saddam Hussein] got weapons of mass destruction. At some point he will use them or give them to a terrorist group to use….Look, if we free the people of Iraq we will be respected in the Arab world…..That’s too bad. Most of Europe is with us. And I think we will be respected around the world for helping the people of Iraq to be liberated." -- Feb. 2003

"The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably."-- April 2003

"I think there's been a certain amount of, frankly, Terry, a kind of pop sociology in America, that, you know, somehow the Shia can't get along with the Sunni, or the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq has always been very secular." -- April 2003

“The sounds one hears emanating from the Arab Middle East are the sounds, faint but unmistakable, of the ice cracking. Though long suppressed and successfully repressed, demands for liberal reform and claims of the right to self-government seem to be on the verge of breaking through in that difficult region."-- Dec. 13, 2004.

Posted by: Stefan on January 28, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Another winner by Kristol:

"Last week the Bush Administration's second-term bear market bottomed out." -- November 2005.

Posted by: Stefan on January 28, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Stephan,

Interesting, but underwhelming list.

He was clearly wrong on WMD (along with lots of people on both sides), wrong about Shia/Sunni relationships at least in the short term in Iraq, wrong so far on Iraqi involvement in 9/11, and a year too early on the bottoming out of the Bush administration. Most of the rest are too early to tell. I assume when he referred to the "battle" of Iraq and Afghanistan, he was not referring to the conclusion of the military effort, so he seems correcd on those issues. If Iraq turns out well, he surely will be right about respecdt around the world.

I don't spend time keeping track of all Kristol's prognistications, but when I listen to him, he sounds open and honest. You folks just disagree with his opinions. I assume he was right about a few things. I assume he predicted Bush would win re-election. He predicted Hillary would have trouble. He predicted the surge would produce positive results. So, like most, his accuracy is an mixed bag. I suggest folks lose the hostility and either ignore him, or listen to him and decide whether you agree or disagree with him.

Posted by: brian on January 28, 2008 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

William Kristol is a total loser. I can't believe anyone pays any attention to him anymore.

Posted by: Leslie on January 28, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Kevin, you're always linking us to articles by the ever-so-smarmy Joe Klein. Well, as far as I'm concerned, "Joke Line" is as patently dishonest as they come, whereas Bill Kristol is merely completely delusional.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 28, 2008 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

He was clearly wrong on WMD (along with lots of people on both sides), wrong about Shia/Sunni relationships at least in the short term in Iraq, wrong so far on Iraqi involvement in 9/11, and a year too early on the bottoming out of the Bush administration blah blah blah

So yeah, when it came to the greatest strategic issue of the decade he was wrong about whether the war should be fought, wrong about the rationale for the war, wrong about how the war would be fought, wrong about how long the war would last, wrong about what would happen because of the war, and wrong about how history would judge it. Other than that, great record!

Posted by: Stefan on January 28, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

You have him nailed on a few things, but you go too far in claiming he was wrong on whether the war should be fought and on how history will judge it. You also may go too far on what would happened because of the war (depending on whether you mean short term, where he was wrong, or long term, where it is too soon to tell).

The questions about how history will judge the war and whether it should have been fought are obviously to be determined in the future. I was reading something very interesting the other day (sorry, can remember where) discussing how presidents simply cannot be judged in the present. The difference being that true history is written when the outcoume is known, not while present perceptions control and people don't know the outcome. The principle obviously applied to Truman (who was ridden out of town), also to Reagan (who was under-appreciated), and even to Kennedy (overrated in many respects, but underrated in terms of being able to keep from screwing up and starting a nuclear war - even if he blundered into the situation in the first place - he apparently had he good judgment to resist the crazy advice of generals to start a war).

Johnson is another example of a president who will be treated much more kindly in the long view of history, because he successfully legislated on the greatest social/cultural problem of American history, even at his own political peril. Very few, if any, other presidents have done that. He largely screwed up the Vietnam War, but over time I think his civil rights accomplishments will outweigh his Vietnam failures.

Posted by: brian on January 28, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Boy you guys sure don't like it when a contrary voice gets into the New York Times. I can't help but wonder if Kevin Drum isn't just a bit jealous, as the already well known and widely respected Kristol becomes just that much better known, and Kevin must still content himself with relative anonymity.

Posted by: John Reagan on January 28, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

dcshungu, I am going to take the bait and respond. You said:

"Obama's whole candidacy is built around creating illusions, and avoiding scrutiny because he'd be found lacking. It is an elaborate game of "smoke and mirrors" that the media has fallen for... The "untouchable candidate." ...At this rate, the Dem party is setting itself up for a rude awakening if they do the unthinkable and nominate Obama, whose record and resume is so thin that he'd already been laughed off the stage he had been a first-term white Senator from Illinois..."

That's crap.

I am an independent, no-term white citizen who is not fond of political correctness or other forms of dishonesty, including manipulation of the media, and I happen to think that the ONLY candidate worth his weight in salt, in either party, is Obama. For you to insinuate that HRC's machine is somehow substantive in comparison to someone who is actually campaigning on the idea of reducing the influence of special interests flies jaw-droppingly in the face of everything I've seen from these two.

I agree that Obama's executive experience is not extensive, but only two people in the race in either party can refute the same charge, and their names are Romney and Huckabee. Having decided that neither of them neets my twin test of honesty and judgment, I look to the Dems, where both Edwards and HRC fail on that test, but Obama does not. And believe me, if he did, I'd be here wondering out loud why nobody worth a shit was in the race. But he is honest, he has shown good judgment, and to boot he is able to comport himself with dignity while also being inspirational. I have no idea how any reasonable person could choose HRC over Obama, unless that person has a vested interest in keeping the Democratic Party hypocritical, corrupt and weak.

Posted by: Tim on January 29, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Tim,

I agree Obama is a superior person to Hillary and Edwards, but I think it also is true that his race has propelled him into a presidential candidae and, interestingly enought, the Clintons are trying to use it to torpedo his candidacy. He also have very limited experience and certainly not the type of experience we normally would expect from a president. By the way, your comment illustrates, contrary to what the liberals and the media have been saying all year, how weak the democratic field is. There is no one with executive or long legislative experience. You basically say Obaman is the best because, while he does not have any significant experience, he seems to be honest and has good judgment. I agree he is the best of the three, but what a weak trio.

Posted by: brian on January 29, 2008 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

I assume when he referred to the "battle" of Iraq and Afghanistan, he was not referring to the conclusion of the military effort, so he seems correcd on those issues.

Nope. Here's the fuller version of what he said, in which it is clear he was indeed referring to the conclusion of the military effort which he claimed was over in April 2003:

"We committed ourselves to reshaping the Middle East, so the region would no longer be a hotbed of terrorism, extremism, anti-Americanism, and weapons of mass destruction. The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably."

Posted by: Stefan on January 29, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

brian, your dishonest faux-reasonable concern troll act is tiresome. Despite your dishonest reframing, we aren't talking about differences of opinion with Kristil, save that his opinions are dishonest; we're talking about his record of dishonesty -- such as touting the so-called success of the surge when a) it doesn't exist and b) Kristol pretended Bush's initial failures in Iraq were successes until the reality became too overwhelming to ignore.

I can see why you like him so much, but your mediocre repetition of dishonest GOP talking points only serves to bolster the case that you, like Kristol, have a long record of dishonesty.

Posted by: Gregory on January 29, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Given the paper also employs Maureen Dowd, you can actually accuse William Kristol of banality?

Posted by: DG on January 29, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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