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The Best Sentence Ever To Appear In Bill Kristol's 'times'...
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JANUARY 26, 2009
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"This is William Kristol’s last column."
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Well, the President did ask us to put aside childish things.
January 26, 2009 at 10:43am
And, naturally, he didn't write it.
January 26, 2009 at 10:47am
Something tells me Kristol isn't totally disappointed in this, either. Never really seemed like he wanted the job, judging by the quality of his work in the Times.
January 26, 2009 at 10:53am
Keep in mind that there is about a 50% chance that there will be a correction.
January 26, 2009 at 10:54am
As Chris already noted , today is Bill Kritol's last NYT column . But say this for the man, he left
January 26, 2009 at 11:06am
But who will replace him? If they're just going to hire Fred Barnes, then this is not good news.
Are there any weekly or semi-weekly conservative-leaning columnists at work in daily papers outside New York or Washington whom the Times could poach and thereby promote a new voice on the national stage?
January 26, 2009 at 11:16am
The line begs for a followup: "Gentlemen, you won't have Bill Kristol to kick around anymore."
January 26, 2009 at 11:21am
Well, the Poster Boy for the nefarious impact Old White Boy Patri-lineal Network Affirmative Action is history. Thank goodness. Has there ever been anyone who has gotten so far on so little? Well, other than George W. Bush that is...
January 26, 2009 at 11:27am
Jaunty - Hopefully he's not replaced by the Poster Boy for the nefarious impact Old White Boy Matrilineal Network Affirmative Action, the one with the initials J.G.
January 26, 2009 at 11:37am
Yes, Lucianne's darling boy is indeed the Matri-lineal counterpart. Even so, compared to the limp d--k Kristol, Jonah is at least entertaining and audacious...
January 26, 2009 at 12:20pm
I'll say this for Jonah: He's at least capable of writing an interesting paragraph, and he's also capable of maintaining some semblance of a consistent logical argument for the duration of a 1000-word column. That's about the best that can be said of him -- he's certainly as soft in the head as you have to be to call yourself a "conservative" in this country -- but compared to Kristol, that's a huge step forward for the craft of journalism.
January 26, 2009 at 1:26pm
Rhubarbs is off base on the "soft in the head" tag--a very large percentage of the American public describes itself as "conservative"--only a tiny minority goes with "liberal"; and as far as I'm concerned the American public, including and perhaps especially that "conservative" segment, remains the single most powerful force for good on the planet.
Glee at Kristol's departure notwithstanding, the man does have a point here in terms of the important elements of Obama's speech, even if he fails to make it. This was not a "liberal" speech. It was a conservative one.
- Robert Powell
January 26, 2009 at 2:05pm
I say we petition them to hire yard, although I am not sure how the readers will take to some of his, how shall we call them, sexual ruminations.
January 26, 2009 at 2:45pm
No, Mr. Powell, you will find that it is you who are off base. (Insert Darth Vader breathing sound here.) With the notable exception of opposing communism, American conservatives have simply been wrong about every important question in the history of the republic. And I say this as someone whose ancestors have usually been on the conservative side of American politics, from the 1640s to today, so it's not triumphalism to say so. My great-great-etcetera grandfather, for whom I and every other firstborn male in my family for two centuries has been named, was wrong to fight for the King in the Revolution, and it's been downhill from there in terms of conservatives getting the important questions right.
But I do draw a difference between politically elite conservatives, like Kristol or Goldberg or the entire GOP establishment in Congress, who are in fact either exceedingly stupid or actually anti-American, and the broad public that identifies as "conservative" in the same way that the nearly identical percentage of Americans who cannot name the four Gospels call themselves "Christians." Most people are just softly authoritarian conformists is all, and if the cryptototalitarians on the political right had called themselves "liberals" instead of "conservatives," so would the minority of the public who prefer to align themselves with established authority.
Just because the American public has at its best been a historically remarkable force for good, it does not follow that the minority who call themselves "conservative" are saints or geniuses.
January 26, 2009 at 4:33pm
Rhubs: I would have never pegged you for a potential United Empire Loyalist progeny. Imagine, if your ancestor had run off to Canada, you'd be quoting from the collected works of Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie or Charles Tupper. But then again, Upper Canada was the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to ban not only the slave trade, but slavery itself - and this was done upon the arrival of its first Governor, John Simcoe, in 1793 ... himself a monarchist and an anti-American. Not all was wrong, therefore, with the "conservatives" of yore.
I have said this before; and at the risk of sounding like a scratched CD, or a waterlogged iPod, it bears repeating that the labels "liberal" and "conservative" have no intellecutal coherence in modern American politics. There is nothing "conservative" about the radicalism of the "Contract with America" or about the neo-con project to remake the world in America's image; Rove is a base Machiavellian Apparatchik who would not know true conservatism, were one to find it somewhere, if it were branded on his fat belly; Reagan's and Thatcher's war on community has no relationship to any conventional theory of conservatism - by definition, rooted in organic communities - that I know of.
Unless of course we adopt a Humpty-Dumptyian approach to the definitional exercise; in which case a conservative is someone who calls himself a conservative, regardless of what he believes in. Not exactly intellectually vigorous, what?
January 26, 2009 at 5:37pm
With all due respect to you and your United Empire Loyalist ancestors Rhubes, icarus makes the point here--it's a semantic argument. I, and most of the world, understand "liberal" to mean free markets, low taxes, small government, and a foreign policy that reinforces mercantilism. Conservatives tend to oppose populist movements, with a preference for Church and King. Unless you're talking Islamic conservatives, who split between Red and Black Shia, establishment and Salafist Sunni, and a few other tendencies.
Anyway, the US is a solidly center-right culture. I think that's just fine.
Thanks for your thoughts.
January 27, 2009 at 10:40am
RP: "Conservatives tend to oppose populist movements, with a preference for Church and King."
Yes, indeed, but when conservatives build up and nurture populist movements that rail against perceived elites who are identified by social or cultural markers as opposed to economic ones, we have a different term for that.
January 27, 2009 at 11:35am
That is correct, irony. The current term for it is "losing election strategy".
January 27, 2009 at 4:57pm
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