bye-bye, Bill

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I sometimes wonder if I'm too harsh in my criticisms of conservative politicians and pundits--and their ideology--until I look at the Bush legacy, remember the slurs and slanders that have emanated from their side of the aisle for the past few decades, and realize the immense amount of time that we liberals must spend merely countering the Right's various misinformation campaigns.

It's time to put them on the defensive, as they have so much to answer for. For example, Bill Kristol's last column for the NYT is an astoundingly ass-backwards attempt at ignoring conservatism's failures. Right from the opening lines, Kristol demonstrates his ability to get things half right:

All good things must come to an end. Jan. 20, 2009, marked the end of a conservative era.

That was a sloppy attempt to call the conservative era a "good thing," and it won't work. We know better.

Conservatives have been right more often than not -- and more often than liberals -- about most of the important issues of the day...

Sure, conservatives were right...except for economics, taxation, deregulation, responding to Katrina, invading Iraq, torture, demonizing dissent, politicizing science, commingling church and state, anti-gay bigotry, abstinence-only sex education, anti-intellectualism...

If Reagan's policies had failed, or if he hadn't been politically successful, the conservative ascendancy would have been nipped in the bud.

This should not be posed as a hypothetical, as Reagan's policies did fail--although it took two additional decades to reach the catastrophic end point of Bushism. Kristol's claim that "a revived liberalism" must now "pick up that mantle" of conservatism is beyond nonsensical. Maybe delusional fits better.

When Kristol asks, "Can Obama reshape liberalism to be, as it was under F.D.R., a fighting faith, unapologetically patriotic and strong in the defense of liberty?" he is pandering to the strong-and-wrong mindset that has driven our country into the ditch and is now complaining about having to pay for a tow truck. When he writes of "new conservative alternatives" waiting in the wings, should Obama fail, I really hope that he means something better than SarahPAC and the insipid claims that "the Republican Party is at the threshold of an historic renaissance." A new Dark Ages is more like it.

Ron Chusid deconstructs Kristol's piece here, observing that "Conservatism has deteriorated into an authoritarian and theological movement which will ignore all facts, including basic science, when the facts conflict with their ideology."

For a demonstration of these tendencies, check out Emmett Tyrrell's piece about Kristol's departure at ClownHall, where he opined:

Kristol is a Republican. The Times is Obamist. [...] ...Kristol's conservative views could endanger the health of some of the newspaper's neurotic liberal readers. [...] Kristol's conservatism is usually sound, solidly reasoned and often amusing.

Kudos to the NYT for not renewing Kristol's contract. They can do better.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 29, 2009 1:19 PM.

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