It was always difficult to understand why The New York Times felt obliged to devote regular Op-Ed space to the views of William Kristol, but as of today I get it.
What Kristol provides, unlike many writers whose opinions are equally trite and detestable, is a transparent view of the Republican operative brain. Reading him, you can almost hear the ratcheting of his mind through layers of opposition research until he thinks he has found what his candidate needs. This morning he treats us to his conversation with Governor Sarah Palin, in which they try to come up with a strategy (or at least a few tactics) to distract the country from the economic disaster created by years of right-wing governance.
When Palin mentions her recent attempts to revive interest in the connections between Barack Obama and former Weather Underground figure Bill Ayers, Kristol plays the role of consultant rather than columnist. The press reacted to Palin’s ploy by pointing out that Obama was a small child when Ayers was clowning around with dynamite in the late ’60s. No problem, because Kristol has a better idea: “I pointed out that Obama surely had a closer connection to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than to Ayers — and so, I asked, if Ayers is a legitimate issue, what about Reverend Wright?”
Oh, yes, what about Reverend Wright? The more pertinent question would be what, if anything, we haven’t heard already about Reverend Wright, but never mind.
Over and over again, Kristol unintentionally reveals the fundamental worldview of the neoconservatives. They are incapable of governing, bankrupt in policy, steeped in cant and prejudice, and most of all, contemptuous of the American people, whom they confidently assume can be duped into ignoring the disaster erupting all around them.