The New Guy at the NY Times: None other than William Kristol!

I just saw the announcement today: on January 7th the New York Times gets a new columnist –William Kristol!

Yes, that is the same William-Son-of-Irving-Kristol who has been the most dependable Four-legs-Good, Two-Legs-Bad flak at The Weekly Standard since it began.

In my ongoing education of myself, and my wish to know what The Right Wing is… “thinking”, I have a number of writers and broadcasters that I make it a point to tune into regularly.
William was/is one of them. Clearly, he was once a bright guy –may even still be– but he has been on Automatic RightWing Pilot, which (along with it’s mirror image opposite) is the greatest destroyer of brain cells that we have.

For those of you who shun the Automatic RightWing Pilots, here is a little sample of WK boiler plate from the current issue of the Weekly Standard. (William –you will note– loves this war, loves the Surge, Loves George Bush):

“We are now winning the war…. Even those of us who were early advocates and strong supporters of the surge, and who thought it could succeed, knew the situation had so deteriorated that success was by no means guaranteed. Two military experts told me early in 2007 that they thought the odds of success were, respectively, 1-in-3 and 1-in-4. They nonetheless supported the surge because, even at those odds, it was a gamble worth taking, so devastating would be the consequences of withdrawal and defeat.

We at THE WEEKLY STANDARD thought the chances of success were better than 50-50–but that it remained a difficult proposition.

Petraeus pulled it off. The war is not over, of course. Too quick and deep a drawdown–which some in the Pentagon and elsewhere in the Bush administration are, appallingly, pushing for–could throw away the amazing success that has been achieved. Still: It is as clear as anything can be in this world, where we judge through a glass darkly, that General David H. Petraeus is, in fact, America’s man of the year.”



“Risk-taking” has become a popular word on the right these days. (Remember “robust”?) With “moral hazard”, you hear it all over the financial commentary on our Sub-Prime debacle. And obviously it’s been part of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld ideology-tainted “thinking” about the Iraq war.

And don’t forget William Kristol’s Spiritual Uncle, Norman “Bomb Iran Now” Podhoretz –that inveterate risk-taker who may single-handedly have sunk poor Rudy “Did I mention 9.11?” Giuliani’s campaign with his advice to yes, Bomb Iran As Soon As It Is LOGISTICALLY POSSIBLE.
(Clearly the Hampton Tryster is reeling from a veritable surfeit of
NEO-CONfrontational advice. Hey Rudy, and Norman, and William K.: as soon as “Logistically Possible” was….the last Tuesday before Thanksgiving!)

Somebody say “Ooops!”

I’m inferring some “Weekly Standard” advice here: When you gamble DON’T gamble with your OWN life. And NEVER use you OWN money. Use the HOUSE money.


William Kristol has been a relentless in his attacks on the New York Times over the years, pouring scorn and ridicule on it at every opportunity. As has everybody else on the Weekly Standard.
Clearly –under Kristol’s editorship– nobody at the WS would be permitted to say anything positive about the NYT.

Ideology does not countenance debate.

But now, William, you are going to be working in a mature environment. Do your best. Or –do your worst. You will be hearing from the readers. I hope you will provide us with ….more mature argument. I can take mature argument, no matter how diametrically opposed, from anyone –just spare us the nonthinking ideology, the immature vituperation and superiority. That over-eager scorn is graceless; does not become you.
Our Right Wing tilts overwhelmingly towards ideology; Our Liberal tradition is….far less dogmatic.
Meanwhile our nation has no debate –at a time when debate (serious, genuine debate) was never more needed.
Is it too much to expect serious, engaged, mature debate?

So –I congratulate the New York Times. On its maturity and on its wisdom, and on its public-spiritedness. And on its patriotism.

And, William: starting Monday the Seventh, keep those eyes and ears –and mind– open. You could learn A LOT in your new gig.

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