Monday, September 01, 2008

William Kristol Explains It All To You

It will come as no surprise when I say I am no fan of William Kristol. As a matter of fact, the sentence I use as a guide for the longest headline that will fit a Ratbang post is: William Kristol Is a Smug Devious Sack of Crap! That smug devious sack of crap is the founder and editor of The Weekly Standard. He personally wrote a manifesto in 1997 (Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles) giving the rationale for the United States invading and laying waste to any country with resources that the US desires, or that espouses politics different from those of the US. He is also a columnist for the New York Times. A Kristol op/ed piece, tantalizingly titled “A Star is Born?”, appears in today’s NYT. And who is this maybe/maybe-not star? Oh no! It isn’t! Oh yes it is Sarah Palin. About John McCain choosing Palin as his running mate, Kristol says: “But what was McCain’s alternative? To go quietly down to defeat, accepting a role as a bit player in The Barack Obama Story? McCain had to shake up the race, and once he was persuaded not to pick Joe Lieberman, which would have been one kind of gamble, he went all in with Sarah Palin.” Kristol then cites comments of detractors about Palin’s inexperience. He notes that Obama can’t in good conscience get exercised over anyone else’s inexperience. And Kristol snidely quotes Joe Klein that Palin has never appeared on “Meet the Press”. Then Kristol gets down to the meat and potatoes of his thesis: “Facing an electorate that wants change, McCain has given himself a fighting chance to win the election.” And, “if Palin exceeds expectations, and her selection ends up looking both bold and wise, McCain could win.” He quotes Noemie Emery who wrote, "(This) wipes out the image of McCain as the crotchety elder and brings back that of the fly-boy and gambler, which is much more appealing, and the genuine person.” Kristol says, “But of course McCain needs Palin to do well to prove he’s a shrewd and prescient gambler...I spent an afternoon with Palin a little over a year ago in Juneau, and have followed her career pretty closely ever since. I think she can pull it off. I’m not the only one. The day after the V.P. announcement, I spoke with an old friend, James Muller, chairman of the political science department at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He said that Palin ‘has been underestimated over and over again. She took on the party and state establishments here in Alaska, and left them reeling. She’s a very good campaigner, a quick study and a fighter.’” Can she face down the Democrats, Joe Biden and the national media over the next couple of months? Kristol asks. “John McCain is betting she can. Perhaps, as he pondered his vice-presidential selection, he recalled the advice of Margaret Thatcher: ‘In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.’” Well, there you have it. The whole ball of wax. No matter how much rhetoric is expended on Sarah Palin between now and November 4th, William Kristol, in his snotty sack of crap way has laid out all the plusses that are to be had re the Sarah Palin choice: She is a woman and she has impressed people in Alaska. And, you will note, Kristol never comes out and says Palin is a brilliant choice. He merely suggests that if Palin can pull an elephant out of a very small hat, she might be good for the McCain campaign. In a nutshell: Sara Palin is a woman. She has five children, the youngest of whom has Down Syndrome. She has two years experience as governor of Alaska, she lost her bid for Lieutenant Governor in 2002, before she was against the “Bridge to Nowhere” she was for it, and people in Alaska like her. Oh...and Doris Kearns Goodwin and David Gregory said on “Meet the Press” yesterday that Palin is an interesting and likeable woman...but she should be nowhere near the Presidency.

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