The State Of Intellectual Conservatism
August 13, 2010
Bill Kristol wrote this editorial for the Weekly Standard: So the conservative agenda is, in a word, refudiation. Indeed, given the dramatic moment at which we have arrived, one might say that we now have the prospect of a grand refudiation of liberalism. The meeting of intellectual refutation and political repudiation is, after all, the usual prerequisite for the establishment of a new political order. The Tea Partiers—the most striking political development of our day—have understood this well. The movement is an assemblage of arguers and activists.
Bill Kristol's Cynicism
August 03, 2010
Charlie Rangel's ethics problems pose a serious political threat to the Democrats. If Rangel insists on fighting the charges, a high-profile trial will take place in the run-up the the November elections, and put the most unattractive possible face on the Democratic Party. Naturally, Bill Kristol advises Rangel to go through with the trial: President Obama has offered this patronizing advice to Rep. Charlie Rangel: "And he's somebody who's at the end of his career. Eighty years old. I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity.
Neoconservatism long ago ceased to have any meaningful ideological difference with just plain old conservatism. Perhaps the one remaining vestigial trait of the ideological tendency is a mania for forming committees and stuffing them with progenies (of both the ideological and the literal sort). The glory days of neoconservatism in the 1970s revolved around such committees as the Committee on the Present Danger and the Coalition for a Democratic Majority.
Had the president chosen some one else, a cry would have risen up from the demos: why not Petraeus? In an age when generals are seldom heroes, David Petraeus was a true hero. Not because he catered to the press or to Congress or, for that matter, to the military intellectuals.
Kristol vs. McChrystal
June 22, 2010
When even Bill Kristol says that Stan McChrystal needs to be fired for insubordination, he needs to be fired. Meanwhile, I'm relieved to see that Kristol draws the line somewhere -- I would have thought his line would be "leading an armed coup," and even then I wouldn't be totally confident Kristol would side with Obama over the offending general.
Stalin, Mao, Kristol
May 24, 2010
Bill Kristol catches the following quote from Nancy Pelosi making the rounds in the conservative fever swamps... “We see [health care reform as] a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.
Public Distrust Of Government Will Not Shrink Government
April 19, 2010
Tyler Cowan makes an interesting point -- countries have had success in cutting spending when the public trusts the government: The received wisdom in the United States is that deep spending cuts are politically impossible. But a number of economically advanced countries, including Sweden, Finland, Canada and, most recently, Ireland, have cut their government budgets when needed. Most relevant, perhaps, is Canada, which cut federal government spending by about 20 percent from 1992 to 1997.
Obama's Place In History
March 21, 2010
Let me offer a ludicrously premature opinion: Barack Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical import. We don't know what will follow in his presidency, and it's quite possible that some future event--a war, a scandal--will define his presidency. But we do know that he has put his imprint on the structure of American government in a way that no Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson has. The last two generations have no model for such a president.
March 17, 2010
Earlier this month,the conservative organization Keep America Safe launched a p.r. fusillade against Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys who represented Guantánamo detainees. “The crux of the matter,” says Liz Cheney, chair of the organization, “is the American people have a right to know whether lawyers who used to represent and advocate on behalf of terrorists” are working at DOJ. They just want to know who the terrorist lawyers are.
The Authentic Kristol Reveals Himself
February 11, 2010
Bill Kristol writes in the Washington Post: [T]hanks to the people of Iran, regime change is now a real possibility. Surely the administration could have more of a sense of urgency in helping increase the odds of that devoutly to-be-wished goal. Perhaps embracing the concept of "regime change" spooks the Obama administration. It's awfully reminiscent of George W. Bush. But one great failure of the Bush administration was its second-term fecklessness with respect to Iran. Bush kicked the Iran can down the road. Does Obama want an achievement that eluded Bush?