Many liberals cheered when the New York Times decided to stop carrying Bill Kristol’s column. Those cheers were premature. The Washington Post added Kristol to their stable of neo-cons within a few days of his leaving the Times.
Those who follow politics closely are well aware of Kristol’s abysmal record. He has become something of a joke. “How do you know what not to do? Read Bill Kristol and do the opposite of what he proposes.”
The Moose’s own, Stipes!, wrote a diary about Kristol’s hiring. In it, Stipes! put it well, “Monkeys pounding on keyboards will occasionally come up with the right answer. Bill has had to work very hard to avoid the accidental, random, rightness that we would expect to see occasionally from lower order primates.”
It didn’t take long for Kristol to resume his brain-in-rectum pontificating. He’s already living up to his reputation with a column in the WaPo.
Kristol’s column is titled, “The Republicans’ Opportunity.” I’d say that reflects quite nicely on Mr. K’s partisan view of the world.
It doesn’t end with the title.
The column begins with:
“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education.”
With this key sentence from his op-ed in the Washington Post today, President Obama has given Republicans a golden opportunity: Insist on splitting the legislation being debated on the Senate floor into a true short-term stimulus, which can pass quickly, and long-term policy proposals, which require serious debate.
What Kristol is proposing here is an attempt to prevent any long-term policy proposals from being enacted. Heaven forbid the Democrats actually enact some policies that disagree with those Kristol backs.
This attitude from Kristol is pretty commonplace among Republican pundits and politicians since Obama took office. It’s almost as if there hadn’t been an election a few months ago. In their minds, the American people still support Republican ideas even though the voters have rejected those ideas in the last two elections. You know, those same ideas that put us in this deep hole.
In Kristol’s mind, and that of many fellow Republicans, the idea of compromise is anathema. That must be true if one is to make sense of the next paragraph from Kristol’s column.
Republicans should stop trying to improve the unimproveable with small-bore amendments to the current legislative package. Instead, they can point out that Obama is supporting under the guise of emergency legislation a bloated catch-all of stimulus, pork and (often bad) policy. They can make clear that Republicans will support a real short-term stimulus (pro-growth tax cuts, housing measures and a few targeted spending provisions unemployment and COBRA extensions)
Notice how he works in the idea that Democratic policies are “pork” or “(often bad)”? He then goes on to push the never-ending fairy tale of tax cuts being beneficial. That’s all the Republicans know. Economy is growing? We can afford tax cuts. Economy doing poorly? Tax cuts. Health care in disarry? Tax cuts. Involved in two wars at the same time? Tax cuts. God forbid Paris Hilton or Bernie Madoff should have to pay their fair share of taxes. Cost of a barrel of oil soaring? Tax cuts for Exxon. It never ends.
Neo-cons, like Kristol, have never been comfortable with reality. They are constantly trying to twist reality to fit their narrow view of the world. Kristol doesn’t disappoint in this column.
In other words: If Obama wants a stimulus, Republicans will give it to him tomorrow. It’s the president’s and the Democrats’ insistence on incorporating a huge and problematic policy agenda in this one bill that’s delaying action. Why then, Republicans can ask, is President Obama delaying a necessary, short-term, emergency growth package?
Forget the fact that all economic experts are calling for a major stimulus. Many are on record as saying that the proposed stimulus is too small as is. It’s no surprise that the anti-science party ignores the experts. It’s what they’ve done for several years with NASA, the FDA, and the EPA. Nothing new here.
Nor is the attempt to reverse reality new. The Republicans have been complete obstructionists on the stimulus package. Obama reached out to them, gave them some of what they wanted (tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts) and then got rebuffed by every single Republican in the House. Yet, it’s Obama’s fault the bill is being delayed.
That is so classically Kristol that I don’t have anything else to say.