The first political campaign I volunteered for was the Bush-Quayle race in 1992. I had graduated from college a few years earlier and had big dreams of someday being the White House press secretary (I’m still available!). I worked phone banks, registered voters, and put up yard signs in my very Republican suburban area of DuPage County, Illinois.
The loss that night to Bill Clinton was heartbreaking. The only post-election bright spot was the emergence of rising political star Bill Kristol, Dan Quayle’s chief of staff. Kristol caught my eye during the campaign and I developed a big crush on him; he was smart, measured, and policy-driven.
In January 1993, I flew to Washington DC to attend National Review’s first conservative summit. I had reached out to Kristol’s office and he graciously agreed to meet with me at the event. He was very polite and encouraging of my nascent political career. It was a brief meeting, but I was thrilled nonetheless. The next day, I saw him again and he literally walked over a coffee table or some type of decorative plant to avoid me. I’m pretty sure he thought I was a stalker—and he might have been right.
Actually, what he was was an elitist, unprincipled shitweasel who by his own admission would rather have seen the country turned over to Hillary Inc than take a chance on an outsider upending his DC-status-quo apple cart—a guy who was happy to give you a meaningless little pat on the head when it suited him, and then couldn’t even be polite about cutting you dead the first chance he got. As an establishment GOP sellout, he wasn’t even staunch enough to stand by his party the moment its rank and file dared to go over their masters’ heads and select someone he didn’t like, and sought to undermine the party in favor of electing one of the most corrupt, dishonest, and frankly dangerous Leftists ever to shit behind a pair of shoes.
One day into Trump’s administration, Kristol declared he would not get used to the “unprecedented vulgarization” of the presidency.
Pretty goddamned rich, coming from a guy determined to turn the White House over to the Clinton sleaze machine.
He’s mocked Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and Ivanka Trump. He referred to Trump’s immigration executive order as “Breitbart-like boob bait for the bubbas” and compared Trump’s presidency, less than one month old, to President Nixon’s second term. He made some odd comments about the lazy white working-class clipping coupons and how immigrants, not Americans, are really the hard workers.
But of course. He prefers illegal aliens to Americans, just like all too many GOPe turncoats do. If that’s “conservative,” then conservatism is fucked, and deserved its inglorious fate.
Then this shot a few days ago: “Honest Q for conservatives who aren’t just working with or around Trump, but rationalizing him: In your heart, don’t you know you’re wrong?” Wrong about what? Nominating an education secretary who supports school choice? Rolling back burdensome, costly federal regulations? Prioritizing national security? These are all things conservatives support.
It’s totally fair and necessary to hold President Trump accountable. Some of his comments and behavior are disconcerting and worthy of thoughtful criticism. But for someone like Kristol to openly advocate bureaucratic subversion—“Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state” as he tweeted on February 14—is inimical to everything conservatives believe.
It’s inimical to everything real Americans believe. Which just confirms Kristol as…something else entirely.
Maybe Kristol has some grand strategy I don’t see. Or maybe he is David Brooks 2.0. In one Twitter poll he initiated last month, Kristol asked which event, the inauguration, the March for Life, or the Women’s March, gave people the most hope for the future. After nearly 40,000 people voted, the Women’s March won with 63 percent of the vote. That should tell you who Kristol’s new fan base is.
And so it does. May he have joy of his traitorous choice, and enjoy the company of those new fans. But traitors usually end up being pretty lonely in the end. They’ve established their untrustworthiness for all to see, including the ersatz allies who find them temporarily useful, and will be abandoned once that usefulness ends to wind up on the sidelines—outside wistfully staring in for the rest of their irrelevant lives: despised as enemies by those they betrayed, scorned as useful idiots by those to whom they sold their integrity, and rightly distrusted by all.
Maybe Kristol should have consulted Kim Philby via Ouija board about all that before he cast his sorry lot with the foes of the Republic.