There will be no Clinton Restoration. A nation turns its grateful eyes to you.-- because, of course, that decade of peace and prosperity really was a nightmare. But what really took the cake was this line:
After the last two elections, featuring the well-born George Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry, Americans — even Republicans! — are ready for a likable regular guy. Huckabee seems to be that.--And my first thought is that some prankster broke into the NY computers and added this sentence as parody; I mean, I know that lying and rewriting the historical record is second nature for conservative hacks, but surely even William "Pathological Liar" Kristol wouldn't...
So I thought I'd dig up a quote about what a regular guy Bush was, just to pair it with Kristol's... and what I found is that the blogosphere is already on the case, here. So, instead, here are some links about Kristol's debut.
Matt Yglesias has what is proboably the quote of the day:
[Kristol is] the kind of guy who when he goes out on a weird limb and says Mike Huckabee would have a good chance of winning in a general election, you immediately start wondering why he's saying that. "Because he believes it" doesn't tend to rank very high on the list. That's his rep, and based on his record it seems like a deserved rep. But when you read your morning paper and find yourself wondering why, exactly, its authors are trying to mislead you, then your morning paper is suddenly not so useful.So what does it mean? A lot of bloggers read Kristol's column as the Republican establishment okaying a Huckabee candidacy, i.e. they see Kristol's column as interesting from a barometrical perspective (as the New Republic once said of Tom Friedman.) (Update: Yglesias proposes an answer to his own question here.)
In contrast, Eddie-George -- who also gives us a "shorter Kristol": 'the hicks are on to something' -- focuses on a different part of the column:
Republican Plan B(loomberg) is being hatched. And Kristol's closing paragraph is a very clear warning that he would support it if Huckabee wins the nomination
More on Kristol's NYT debut:
• Tristero uses the side-by-side placement of Krugman and Kristol to show how pathetic the latter is.
• And Mustang Bobby tells us not to worry about Kristol's claim that Huckabee could do well in the general election:
Mr. Kristol sounds like someone who is trying to convince himself and his fellow Republicans of something he doesn't quite believe himself; that Mike Huckabee is the best of a very bad lot and the best chance they have of winning the election.
• A lot of bloggers focused their ire on how badly written Kristol's first column was. Both James Fallows at the Atlantic Montly and Greg Sargent at the Horses's Mouth focus on Kristol's reliance on cliche, although Attaturk puts it more pithily:
Bill Kristol cannot write worth a shit. He makes Bobo Brooks read like Walter Lippman. He quotes Michelle Malkin, which is sort of like Theodore Bilbo quoting Simon Legree.
• MJ Rosenberg talks about the kind of conservative that Kirstol is:
Perhaps the Times thought it was getting George Will, an elegant writer who is a conservative not a GOP party hack. I'm a liberal and sometimes Will drives me crazy but Will's columns are never identical to a press release from the chairman of the RNC. That is all Kristol's are. Pure party pap. James Carville without the cleverness or humor. But the Times would never hire Carville or any Democratic sloganeer because it was thought that political slogans didn't belong on the op-ed page, not by a regular columnist anyway. But that is what they have in Kristol.
And, since a key part of the Conservative M.O. is to deny and rewrite the past, here are some links on Kristol's past:
• Think Progress has Kristol's previous opinion of the NYT.
• Tom Tomorrow recounts Kristol's past claims in handy cartoon form.
• Media Matters link to some of Kristol's past lies here.
The NYT really has covered itself in glory this time, eh?
Update: For the humorous take on Kristol's debut, see this column at BTC News -- really quite funny. If you want more, see The Rude Pundit (who, as always, lives up to his name). (Links via.) Oh, and by the way William "campaign manager for Alan Keyes" Kristol misattributed a quote in his very first column.