William Kristol's Small Government Blues

December 8, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Unfazed by the public immolation of his dream candidate, John McCain, William Kristol [see To The Barricades, https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=nooneid=11.4.08%2Ehtm] today wades in to do battle with the limited government crowd, heirs to one of the bedrock principles of genuine conservatism.

Writing in today's NY Times he states, "But conservatives should think twice before charging into battle against Obama under the banner of "small-government conservatism."

Actually, Mr. Kristol has thought twice about it and rejects limited governance on the same basis with which he painted himself into the corner with McCain 8 years ago, rationalizing that, "So talk of small government may be music to conservative ears, but it's not to the public as a whole."

Unfortunately for him, Kristol's analysis fails upon his misreading of the public's political temperature.

A few points...

Despite a marionette-like persona which at times appeared to be guided by some malevolent celestial puppet master, John McCain was not out of the presidential race until mid-September, when the economic roof fell in.

That event sealed his fate, after which it was only a matter of degree how badly he would lose.

But did the defeat of the GOP candidate equate to a rejection of conservatism?

We think not.

Given the political radicalism that is California, Obama's victory in the sinking Golden State was a foregone conclusion as soon as the gavel fell, closing the Democrat convention. However there is a complication which must be factored in, despite the McCain trouncing in California, the manifestly conservative proposition 8 was approved of by the same electorate.

This despite the huge number of liberals that came out to vote for the anointed one.

So even in this progressive rich environment, gay marriage was rejected. That this took place in the face of fierce opposition by nearly every political institution and player including the nominally Republican governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger only makes the event more noteworthy.

Explaining the November rout of the GOP is really quite simple, we selected an extraordinarily bad candidate who campaigned as the Democrat Lite version of Obama, invoking the same mantra of change, but lacking Barry's authenticity on the matter.

The American voter rejected McCain because he was rightly perceived as pandering to Obama's issues - minus national security which paled compared to the specter of grandma having to eat pet food to survive the economic meltdown - but in a manner perceived as being manipulative.

Fact, when voters must choose between the real thing and a cheap knock-off, they seldom select the me-too product.

For this reason, Mr. Kristol doesn't deserve to speak for American conservatism, at least as it has been championed since the founding of National Review. He's a country club conservative at best, at home with the go-along-get-along GOP to whom a defeat of this magnitude means only a realignment at the political feeding trough not a culture threatening tsunami.

As we noted in the above referenced post-election piece, To The Barricades.

A special dose of shame should be meted out to the self-appointed beltway GOP spokesmen in this affair, people of the ilk of William Kristol. In a New York Times piece written on January 31, 2008 Kristol waxed approvingly in, "Thoroughly Unmodern McCain."

"?But his allusion to its coda [referring to his quoting a line from the poem Invictus, by William Ernest Henley] reminds us of what's so distinctive about McCain as a contemporary political figure: He's not thoroughly modern. But John McCain is a not-so-modern type. One might call him a neo-Victorian - rigid, self-righteous and moralizing, but (or rather and) manly, courageous and principled. Maybe a dose of this type of neo-Victorianism is what the 21st century needs. A fair number of Republican and independent voters seem to think so, if one can infer as much from their support of McCain at the polls. But, amazingly, a neo-Victorian straightforwardness might also turn out to be strategically smart."[source, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/opinion/21kristol.html ]

Well Kristol doesn't look particularly clever tonight, his toothy little fox like smile notwithstanding.

In January McCain is the cure for the ails of a new and dangerous century, however nine months later, on October 12, 2008 again in the New York Times - is there a pattern here? - Kristol jumped ship, declaring, "It's time for John McCain to fire his campaign?He has nothing to lose?If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed." [source, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/opinion/13kristol.html?ref=opinion]

Treachery, undisguised. Thanks William, push this cretinous bumbler on the party - your dream since 2000 - and then publicly disembowel him from your perch at the traitorous New York Times.

Swell, Kristol surveys the carnage, absolves himself of any responsibility and then ambles back to his office at the Weekly Standard where he settles in, content to write his meanderingly elegant but meaningless prose.

Where is the outrage? It's nonexistent.

Beltwaythink- It's they that lose, we remain in the know, in the loop, still connected, still sucking the teat of power.

Across the GOP political class there are almost no consequences for failure. McCain loses an abysmal campaign, no problem, he goes back to the Senate, ready to once again stab his party in the back, eager to help Obama.

While Mr. Kristol is not explicitly stabbing his party in the back, following his advice will have the same effect and we will all be diminished if we continue to adhere to policies which have already proven disastrous.

There must be a consequence to failure.

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