Bill Kristol

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?

January 04, 2010

On the night of December 1, shortly after Barack Obama announced plans to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, retired Lt. Colonel John Nagl appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Maddow was dismayed by Obama’s new plan, which she called “massive escalation,” but, when she introduced Nagl, a counterinsurgency expert who has long called for a greater U.S. commitment to Afghanistan--even if it means raising taxes and expanding the military--she was surprisingly friendly.

Did Somebody Mention Bill Kristol?
December 28, 2009

The other Jonathan has a great item explaining how implausible it is that Republicans will or could successfully execute Bill Kristol's suggestion that they repeal health care reform. Of course, understanding Kristol's strategic worldview as a coherent whole is always fairly tricky.

The Kristol Ball
December 28, 2009

If you're logging in for the first time in a few days and catching up on health care reform, you've probably read a few articles about how the issue will play in the 2010 midterm elections, assuming Congress passes a bill sometime early in the new year. Some people think the issue will help the Democrats, because it's a huge, historic accomplishment that will (eventually) address economic insecurity. Others think it will hurt the Democrats, since it's a big government program and won't do anything to boost jobs in the next few months.

A Not-Remotely-Sarcastic Defense Of Bill Kristol
December 18, 2009

Bill Kristol is deeply concerned about the diving safety of Congressional staff: There's a really big snowstorm coming to D.C.tonight. It would be unsafe to ask all the staffers and Hill employees who'd be needed at the Capitol if Congress stays open all hours this weekend, as Harry Reid intends, to drive to and from work--especially since many will have to do so at night, and they won't be well-rested.

The Right Kisses Up To Lieberman
December 12, 2009

Those of us who follow the career of Weekly Standard writer and ex-journalist Matthew Continetti have noticed that he enjoys parroting the line taken by his boss, Bill Kristol. For example, Kristol will go on television and mouth some Republican talking point, and then a couple of days later, Continetti will echo the sentiment. (An alternate theory is that they receive talking points from the same source). Anyway, a few days ago, Kristol wrote a blog post lauding Joe Lieberman's healthcare obstructionism; Kristol concluded with some pathetic brown-nosing: Reid tried to throw a Hail Mary.

Reid's Agreement: A Deal, a Desperate Ploy, Or Something In Between?
December 09, 2009

As Jonathan Cohn notes, the Senate health care "deal" is not really a deal -- nothing is is a deal until it has the support of two of Lieberman, Nelson, Snowe and Collins -- but it is a clear step toward a deal that's all but inevitable. The sense of panic among Republicans is fairly comical. Here's Bill Kristol's take -- it's an amusing combination of bluster and desperate sucking up to Lieberman to do their bidding: Lieberman seems to be holding out (see his just-released statement below).

Can't Get A Flu Shot? Don't Blame Obama
November 20, 2009

Conservatives have been quick to blame the administration for the slow delivery of H1N1 vaccine. Not long after Obama declared the swine flu pandemic a national emergency last month--a measure that cleared the way for hospitals to make special preparations for infected patients--Missouri Representative Roy Blunt pounced on the administration’s “onerous regulatory and legal environment” as a cause for the vaccine delays. In the Weekly Standard last week, Bill Kristol held up the swine flu response as an example of the coming “big government health care” boondoggle.

The Virtue of Shutting Up
November 18, 2009

This will be my only post on Sarah Palin. Let me explain why. Unlike most (political or non-political) celebrities, whose fame is some admixture of gossip and buzz, talent and accomplishment, Palin has no discernable talents (beyond antagonizing coastal elites like myself) and her accomplishments are minimal at most. (Mayor of a small town? Come on. A half-term governor of the most undeveloped state in the union? Please. A mom? Just like tens of millions of unfamous women. Sinking the McCain campaign?

The Weekly Standard, Where It's Always Good News For Republicans
November 06, 2009

Matthew Continetti's editorial in last week's issue of the Weekly Standard--"The Inevitability Myth: Health care reform is not a fait accompli"--makes the case that, despite all evidence, health care reform may not be enacted after all. (Continetti does concede that "the chances of some sort of health bill passing, at some point, are by no means negligible." So he's telling us there's a chance.) This sort of argument is actually the signature style of the Standard. A magazine like National Review specializes in making the case for conservative ideas.