Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: There is a huge problem with Peter Beinart's pleas for us not to be mean to Bill Kristol.
Bill Kristol is in the position of Dr. Frankenstein complaining that there is a monster about.
The idea of promoting people manifestly unqualified on a policy-knowledge level to the presidency was in large part Kristol's idea: the line from Dan Quayle through GWB to Sarah Palin and now Donald Trump is a short and straight one. It is the political-Straussian idea that one should be ruled by "gentlemen" who will themselves be guided by philosophers-on-the-make.
That Dr. Frankenstein is now trying to stop the monster is praiseworthy. That he created the monster is blameworthy. That he claims the monster has somehow mysteriously appeared by some process totally unconnected with his laboratory is a proper subject for ridicule:
At Least Bill Kristol Is Trying to Stop Donald Trump: "On Morning Joe, the mere mention of Kristol’s name evoked laughter...:
...But in his search for a third-party alternative to Trump, Kristol doesn’t deserve derision. He deserves praise. All around him, GOP commentators, operatives, and politicians are coalescing behind a man who daily screams his unfitness to be president. (Yesterday’s highlights: The Donald’s threats against the judge overseeing the Trump University case and his unfamiliarity with the term ‘Brexit.’) Kristol could have joined the herd, as have allies like Sheldon Adelson and Marco Rubio. Instead, he has hunted for an alternative....
The media is surrendering to the logic of Trump himself. For Trump, what matters, above all else, is winning. That’s why he jeered at John McCain for getting captured in North Vietnam. It’s why he talks incessantly about the size of his crowds and the strength of his poll numbers. It’s why he so often insists that the newspapers that write critical stories about him are losing circulation. For Trump, being victorious is proof of being right. Journalists should reject that vile ethic, not make it their own.
Perhaps Beinart should look at the arguments Kristol is making?:
Two of these people have the policy and temperament chops to be, under the right historical conditions, superb presidents. Two do not. To attempt to normalize those who do not is itself reason enough for us to ridicule Kristol.