The Kingdom of Bill Kristol’s Empty Skull


After some fanfare and promises from the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol that his independent #NeverTrump candidate would be an “impressive one,” the wait is over, and the mockery begins.  It doesn’t seem to matter that his candidate, National Review writer David French, is actually fairly impressive.  He is an Iraq war veteran and a consistently strong conservative voice on the national stage, after all.  But the announcement has been met with universal joking and derision.  Not nearly enough, I would claim.  So here, let me add to the smoldering pyre of Kristol’s humiliation.  He certainly deserves it.

Mitt-Romney1The Atlantic magazine piled on right away with a bit of praise for French while listing off a host of reasons why “French meets none” of the criteria for a winning candidate.  They pointed out that almost no one would actually vote for French except for “French’s peers” in the journalist community.  They went on to state flatly that the only rational reason for putting forward this candidate was to ease the consciences of the #NeverTrump crowd, giving them a chance to say: “Don’t blame me, I voted for French.”  That’s pretty harsh.  I would actually be more harsh, pointing out that this whole thing is an exercise in overt support of Hillary Clinton, and I don’t view that as an honorable thing at all.

national-review-donald-trumpDerision has come from both the right and the left as the folly of this effort becomes obvious to everyone.  Clearly, the Trump supporters are laughing.  The  Clinton camp is probably breaking out the champagne if not actually considering an offer to fund French.  But even at MSNBC, Mika Brzezinski stated on air that Bill Kristol “needs to take a vacation — no, like a long one,” she said.  Indeed.

Long after the belly laughs fade, and poor David French withdraws in relief after surviving the hazards of a token Presidential run for a few weeks or months, I think we need to take a lesson from this.  I believe that the ‘madness’ of Bill Kristol is actually the tip of the iceberg at the National Review, and we need to acknowledge the extent of the power-mad echo chamber that these men and women have been preserving there for decades.  Ultimately, I think the whole enterprise, though nominally conservative, perhaps only neo-conservative, has been a sham all along.


Barry Goldwater, the first Jeb!

Does anybody remember the way that the Review’s founder, William F. Buckley, Jr., openly bragged about creating the candidate Barry Goldwater and pushing him to just short of Presidential victory? Actually, no, it wasn’t even that close.  Goldwater, the National Review’s candidate, “lost the 1964 presidential election to incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson by one of the largest landslides in history, bringing down many conservative Republican office-holders as well.”

1811722Does this sound familiar at all?  Because I seem to recall that before David French, Mitt Romney was the Review’s next big hope, with David French, himself, saying just last week that Mitt was the “only man” who could win victory for Republicans in 2016.

It looks very much, in fact, like the National Review represents a powerfully destructive sand box in which our nation’s intellectual pseudo-conservative elite play king-makers while losing virtually every election they touch.  And every time, they despise the will of the conservative grass-roots while they remain determined to ram their folly down our throats.  I think it’s time the National Review lost its luster, permanently.  I just wish I had a subscription to cancel.

Cross-Posted at Hardnox & Friends.


About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
This entry was posted in Bill Kristol, David French, Elections, National Review, Weekly Standard. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Kingdom of Bill Kristol’s Empty Skull

  1. And lest we forget, Hillary was a Goldwater girl.

    Does anyone read the National Review? Or is it mostly a “mind magazine”?

    • Good point! I used to read it, Parson. But now, I think it should go the way of the Whig Party Journal.

      BTW, thanks for dropping by, Parson! I’ve been trying to comment more over on your LSP blog, but I always enjoy reading it. You put together some fine stuff!

  2. GrimmCreeper says:

    NR has been living in a cocoon for a long time. They’ve been playing by a set of antiquated rules that have long been abandoned. In fact, they’ve missed a huge culture shift that’s been getting away from them for a long time. Thus, they’ve done nothing constructive to advance getting conservatives elected to office. Note, I am not even insinuating that Trump is conservative. He’s not. I digress. No one cares about Bill Kristol or what he thinks anymore. The slim number of people who still might care sit behind the same news cameras with him. And they, themselves are hardly relevant. Those who truly want to defeat the fat lying beast with inflated ankles, realize that the gloves must be dropped. Queensberry rules be damned. If you are going to slay the beast you need someone willing to attack the jugular. This time around there’s only one person who’s committed himself to doing that. And he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the punch-backs. Because he handles those the same way, head on. Kristol’s an embarrassment. Hopefully he’ll come to grips with that sooner than later and just go away.

    • I agree, Grimm, but I actually think Trump is a lot more conservative than people are willing to admit. He claims openly that he had to “go along to get along” as a businessman and never really stood for anything until now. If you believe that, and I do, then you have to admit that his nationalism(not globalism), sound money, rule-of-law, pro-energy, bureaucracy-killing positions are certainly more conservative than almost any current Republican. Of course, time will tell.

      • GrimmCreeper says:

        My primary concern lies with what I think will be his propensity to further expand executive power. Congress has pretty much ceded most of its power and has become an ineffectual bunch of losers. So congress has pretty much brought this on itself. At some point either the pendulum will turn or we’ll ultimately be stuck with a dictator. Trump believes the solution lies with more competent people at the top. Tough to argue that point with the present bunch of zeros and incompetents in the Obama administration. But the bigger picture is no matter who’s in charge we can count on the executive branch continuing to gain power, a flaw the founders were seriously concerned with. Hope you are more right than I am, Grunt.

        • I hear yah. That’s been my concern, as well. But I’m encouraged by Trump’s comments about how the states need to get some of their power back and his proposals for reducing the federal bureaucracy. I worry that he might continue to bypass Congress, like Barack does, but even Barack could only go so far, and the courts frequently got in his way. I just have a hard time believing that Trump will be any more successful, even if he’s so inclined.

  3. LL says:

    The ‘intellectuals’ at NR remind me of the dopey ‘neocons’ in the GW Bush administration. What a bunch of bloviating idiots. Paul Wolfowitz comes to mind Rumsfeld is another and in my time, I listened to both in person. The only reaction one can have is, “were the mushrooms on your steak the magic kind”? They had GW’s ear and screwed up SO much – and led to the election of Barack Hussein Obama.

    Who does Kristol think he is? I mean, really? The tantrum one throws when things don’t go your way is best done in private. Then you gather yourself together and come to terms with the fact that you were kicked in the nuts and you move on. Kristol and the entire conservative intelligencia were thumped by Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Carson – the non-politicos and the freshmen, who were the only viable candidates to the public. Their boy, Jeb! didn’t get out of the starting gate even though he wasted $100M. Now the one that they hate the most, Trump, is leading and is repudiating their free trade doctrine.

    • Exactly right. The thumping these guys have received should give them some pause to reevaluate why they have been so wrong. Instead, you get the dial on the irrationality amplifier turned up to eleven.

  4. Hardnox says:

    These NeverTrump assholes are really getting old. Fortunately for us they showed us who they are. THEY are the establishment that has been responsible for the shit that has gone wrong with this country. They have been feeding at the same trough that all the establishment types have been feeding at, and for good or ill, Trump has promised to wreck that trough, These butthurt shits are despicable. The party is over assholes! The people will choose otherwise.

  5. woodsterman says:

    I think someone needs to give Billy Kristol a life long wedgie.

  6. Jules Smith says:

    Hey GOM, Thanks for the visit!
    Never trust anything with the word “French” in it unless it ends in Champagne.
    I am the bringer of useful and somewhat banal comments but laced with deep wisdom.

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