Bill Kristol’s weekly column in the NYT is a gift that keeps on giving, always good for a laugh. His latest piece “GOP Dog Days?” maintains that there is nothing to worry about, that there will be an inevitable Republican resurgence because the nation identifies itself 78% as conservative or moderate and only 22% as liberal. As he puts it, “…conservatives will have to develop refreshed ideas and regenerated political skills to succeed…”
As usual Kristol, who refers to himself as a conservative but keeps forgetting to add the neo, doesn’t quite get it. It is not a matter of political philosophy but rather of policies, consequences, and competency. Think of all the bad policies, many of which were either crafted or incompetently implemented by Kristol and his friends – Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Katrina, acceptance of illegal immigration, healthcare in crisis, and now a collapsing economy. While the Democrats have been complicit in the disaster, most of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of President Bush and his claque, Kristol included.
Kristol’s language is both suggestive and wrong-headed: “refresh” and “regenerate.” Nowhere is there a suggestion that the actual policies are bad and will have to change. More of the same, only refreshed. I would humbly submit the following suggestions for what to fix in the Republican Party: No more preemptive wars, no more imperialism and democracy promotion, no more unrestrained globalism, no more illegal immigration, no more staffing senior government positions with incompetent cronies, no more big government period. No more bailouts of Bill’s friends on Wall Street. I could go on and on… Best of all would be no more having to read Bill’s columns in the NYT or see him and his buddies on television telling the rest of us what we should do. That would be the kind of real change that most genuine conservatives would embrace.