A Conservative Intellectual Punts On MSNBC

The Republican “News” Channel’s Bill Kristol made a rare appearance on MSNBC this morning on Morning Joe.  He was promoting a collection of essays written by his father, Irving, the New York intellectual who is credited with fathering neoconservatism.

Kristol was asked, of course, about his recent editorial, which criticized Glenn Beck for his “rants about the caliphate.” Kristol didn’t exactly take the bait and go after Beck:

I’m not gonna get in a debate with Glenn Beck here on MSNBC.  I’ll debate him on Fox where we’re  “fair and balanced,” where we have these debates among ourselves.

Ha.  Don’t put too much money on that debate materializing.

But Kristol did make some slight news regarding Sarah Palin, for whom he lobbied hard to make her not only the GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008, but, God help us, the Vice President of the United States.  Willie Geist asked Kristol if he overestimated Palin and if she was still “fit to be a national Republican leader“:

KRISTOL: Well, I think she’s still “fit” to be a national Republican leader. One thing I’ve never liked is a bunch of people like me telling everyone who’s fit to do what. If she wants to run she’s more that entitled to run. She’s earned the right, I think, to put herself before the voters…I have quite a lot of confidence in Republican voters to take a look at these ten or twelve or fifteen people who will be on the stage in debate after debate…and I think we’ll learn a lot as we go through that…I have a high regard for Sarah Palin, but I will say I’ve been a little disappointed since she resigned as governor.  I thought she had a real chance to take the lead on a few policy issues, to do a little more in terms of framing the policy agenda.  I don’t think she’s particularly done that, but she’s a shrewd woman and I certainly wouldn’t underestimate her.

GEIST: Has she lived up to the potential you saw in her in Alaska?

KRISTOL:  Maybe not quite.  But she’s young and she could do it in this campaign or she could do it four or eight years from now.

That, my friends, is the way it is on the intellectual Right these days.

Given a chance to thoroughly discredit Glenn Beck, who is clearly a citizen of a very strange and dark land, Bill Kristol punted. 

Given a chance to say what nearly all right-wing brains will admit after several glasses of Boehner-approved Merlot—that Palin is in over her head and will never become President of the United States—Kristol says he is “a little disappointed,” but she is a “shrewd woman,” who could still live up to her potential.

And so, the intellectual decline of conservatism continues.

Remarks And Asides

Thanks to Moe at Whatever Works, I learned that the fruits of Dan Quayle’s genius didn’t fall far from the tree.  His son, now an Arizona congressman, said:

“When I was a child, President Ronald Reagan was the nice man who gave us jelly beans when we visited the White House.

I didn’t know then, but I know it now: The jelly beans were much more than a sweet treat that he gave out as gifts. They represented the uniqueness and greatness of America — each one different and special in its own way, but collectively they blended in harmony . . . “

I happen to think Congressman Quayle is on to something.  I never saw Ronald Reagan eat a black jelly bean. 

Come to think of it, J. Danforth Quayle himself had that race thing down to a science. Speaking before the United Negro College Fund in 1989, he reengineered the group’s motto:

What a terrible thing to have lost one’s mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is.

He also said this about David Duke, the Lousiana racist who ran as a Republican:

Unfortunately, the people of Louisiana are not racists.

And finally, he told a group of American Samoans:

You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.

Genius, pure genius.

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Speaking of genius-ness, it looks like George W. Bush will not be going to Switzerland after all.  The Decider was supposed to appear as the keynote speaker at a Jewish charity dinner in Geneva, but he made one of those courageous decisions not to attend, due to “security” reasons.

Of course, it may be, as some allege, that W. fears spending some time in the hoosegow, since criminal complaints against him for torture have been filed in Geneva courts.  According to Reuters, Reed Brody, an attorney for Human Rights Watch said:

President Bush has admitted he ordered waterboarding which everyone considers to be a form of torture under international law. Under the Convention against Torture, authorities would have been obliged to open an investigation and either prosecute or extradite George Bush,” Brody said.

Whoops. Perhaps world travel is not in the cards for our former president. Looks like Dallas’ Preston Hollow residents will have to get used to seeing W. hanging around there more often. 

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I did it!  I finally lived long enough to agree with Bill Kristol!  In his column, he said that it is “not a sign of health” that Glenn Beck “rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East…and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left.” That’s great.

But speaking of health, if only Mr. Kristol would get his own check up.  He still believes the Iraq War he helped bring to pass was the right thing to do. He has argued for U.S. military action against Iran. He strongly urged John McCain to unleash Sarah Palin on civilization.  So, I don’t think he’s exactly the right guy to pass judgment on Glenn Beck’s health, but on the right there aren’t too many right guys.

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Speaking of Sarah Palin and her continued assault on civilization, the former fractional governor of Alaska’s 20-year-old daughter, Bristol, will join in on the family’s bilking business as she gets set to release her, ahem, “memoir” this summer.  The much-awaited book is tentatively titled, “John McCain Answers Prayers.” 

Egypt: The View From The Paranoid Right

Since nearly every sensible thing that can be said has been said this weekend regarding the upheaval in Egypt, I thought I would look in on what the right-wing is saying.

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are so far playing it safe, essentially approving of the Obama administration’s cautious response to the crisis. But it’s only Monday.

Unfortunately, Egypt is not observable from Wasilla, so Sarah Palin hasn’t yet tweeted her foreign policy advice to the world.  But it’s only Monday. I’m sure after she catches up on her weekend reading, she will offer up some profound analysis.

Bill Kristol, a Fox “News” neocon who agitated for war against Iraq as early as 1998 and who has urged the U.S. to launch a military strike against Iran, has not yet called for invading Egypt and ousting Mubarak.  That’s always a good thing, but it’s only Monday.  

Kristol, who always knows what we should do in every tricky situation, did say the Administration was “a little slow in reacting to events and said a couple foolish things.”  Apparently, patience and deliberation is not a virtue in the Kristol family.

Speaking of a lack of patience and deliberation: The Glenn Beck News Service, The Blaze, featured this headline:

The story, written by Jonathon Seidl and complete with a Goldline ad, is one of those “connecting the dots” specials, which are the forte of the paranoid Right. It seems that the American Left, some of whom rallied this weekend in support of the Egyptian people, is encouraging the uprising because,

the power vacuum that would result from a government collapse would make the country a prime target for a socialist takeover.

Even though the protests in Egypt have been decidedly unrelated to Western politics, that’s not the way it is seen through the eyes of fearful right-wingers, at least when it comes to the motives of those Americans who support Egyptian freedom:

Is it really about democracy, then, as some of the signs suggest?

Not really. The reality seems to be closer to something like this: when a revolution opposes a leftist dictator, leftists and socialists ignore it. When a revolution opposes an American ally (particularly an ally as pivotal to U.S. security as the Egyptian alliance is) leftists and socialists support it. Succinctly put, the groups have a vested interest in the current American system being defeated (a goal shared by leftist dictators). That’s why they can support Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and even Hussein, but rally against someone such as Mubarak.

In the same vein, Red State, a popular right-wing site operated by Erick Erickson, now a CNN commentator, featured this headline:

The story takes the Beckian view one step further and involves the Obama administration in the plot to make Egypt and the Middle East a socialist paradise:

For all the lack of clarity on where the Obama administration stands, one thing is becoming more and more clear: Signs are beginning to point more toward the likelihood that President Obama’s State Department, unions, as well as Left-leaning media corporations are more directly involved in helping to ignite the Mid-East turmoil than they are publicly admitting.

Meanwhile, Dick Morris, another Foxinating right-winger who sees an Islamic terrorist hiding behind every crisis tree, is urging the U.S. to “send a signal to the military that it will be supportive of its efforts to keep Egypt out of the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists.He wrote:

The Obama Administration, in failing to throw its weight against an Islamic takeover, is guilty of the same mistake that led President Carter to fail to support the Shah, opening the door for the Ayatollah Khomeini to take over Iran…

Now is the time for Republicans and conservatives to start asking the question: Who is losing Egypt? We need to debunk the starry eyed idealistic yearning for reform and the fantasy that a liberal democracy will come from these demonstrations. It won’t. Iranian domination will.

It appears that some on the Right, who night and day lie and stoke fear about Obama’s imaginary disregard for the freedoms of Americans, don’t mind if he helps squash the yearnings of Egyptians who want liberty—and jobs—in their own land.

We really run the risk of some Iranian style regime emerging in the end here,” foreign policy expert Sean Hannity said on Friday.

And even though the real experts discount that possibility (the Muslim Brotherhood reportedly represents around 20% of the population), it doesn’t matter. What matters is that however the situation in Egypt ends, Obama will have either done too much or too little.  He will either have sided with the Egyptian dictator or sided with the Muslim Brotherhood or engineered a socialist revolution.  

And to think it’s only Monday.

 

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