Kristol: Anyone want to jump in now?

posted at 11:46 am on December 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Throughout this Republican primary process, Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard has offered a consistent vision.  He wants someone else.  In the latest edition of TWS, Kristol makes one more call for an all-in, calling it “A Time for Choosing,” and not just for voters but for Republican leaders (emphasis mine):

And it is a moment, as you prepare to cast your vote, for others to reflect on whether they don’t owe it to their country to step forward. As this is no time for voters to choose fecklessly, it is no time for leaders to duck responsibility. Those who have stood aside—and who now may have concluded, as they may not have when they announced their original decision, that the current field is lacking—will surely hear the words of Thomas Paine echoing down the centuries: “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Now is not a time for leaders to engage in clever calculations of the odds of success, or to succumb to concerns about how they will look if they enter the fray and fall short. Now is a time to come to the aid of our country.

Clearly, every election is “a time for choosing.” For the last several cycles, we are told that this is the most consequential election in our lifetimes, which is almost by definition true, since it’s the only variable at that particular moment in selecting leadership.  With the economy stalled and the question of American leadership in the new century very much at stake, though, this election does appear much more consequential than 2004, and perhaps more than 2008, although the financial-sector collapse just before that election in retrospect makes the choice seem more consequential — and not in a good way, considering the outcome.

For those who stood aside, is there time to jump back into the race?  Possibly, although the access to key primaries in this cycle have already closed.  We’re hearing about pushing for a “brokered convention” once again, waiting until September to choose a nominee, which would put Republicans at a significant disadvantage to Barack Obama and the Democrats.  Furthermore, a brokered convention would favor candidates with closer ties to the “establishment” of the party, not to the grassroots of movement conservatives.  The term “brokering” is a big, huge hint in that direction; we wouldn’t know who the “brokers” are specifically, but I can pretty much assure you that it won’t be your local Tea Party organizer.  Anti-establishment conservatives should be praying for anything but a brokered convention, and recall that the primary process was one way to keep the party from choosing its nominees in the proverbial smoke-filled back rooms.

Speaking of anti-establishment conservatives, it’s become pretty popular for this year’s crop of candidates to style themselves as such.  Jonah Goldberg deconstructs that notion in today’s LA Times:

For the last few years, the rank and file of the GOP and the conservative movement have become deeply disenchanted with what they see as the rubber-spined, foot-dragging quislings drinking from a trough of chablis at some Georgetown party. The term “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) has become an epithet of ideological enforcement, spit out in much the same way Mao cursed “running dog capitalists.”

In 2010, the tea parties and the conservative base (not always synonymous terms) tried to cull as many RINOs from the herd as they could in the primaries. They were extremely successful, with only a few stumbles.

Things are messier this time around. And to some extent this is to be expected. Presidential primaries rely on much larger pools of voters than primaries in midterms. Moreover, rather than a single tea party candidate challenging a worn-out incumbent, the field has had lots of candidates seeking the tea party or “true conservative” mantle.

Each of them has tried to play the populist card, not just against the liberal media establishment but also against the so-called conservative establishment. “I believe it is a deliberate attempt to damage me because I am not, quote unquote, the establishment choice,” explained Herman Cain when asked about his troubles.

Herman Cain may have been the only true anti-establishment candidate in the field this year, or at least significant enough to be included in the debates.  Michele Bachmann might also qualify; even though she has served in Washington for more than five years, the GOP has mainly blocked her from any leadership positions, and the same could be said for Ron Paul despite his long years in Washington.  But that’s not true of almost everyone else, not even Rick Santorum, who served in some leadership roles while in Congress.  Yesterday I described Newt Gingrich as an establishment Republican, which drew a lot of criticism, but Gingrich was Speaker of the House for several years, and has remained in the Beltway for decades as a Republican leader and a think-tank icon.  Even Mitt Romney, who served a single term as governor of Massachusetts, has fewer “establishment” credentials than Gingrich does.  If a Speaker of the House is not party “establishment,” then the term is meaningless.

Even if a candidate were to jump in at this late date, it would have to be one who could reliably raise money fast, organize effectively, have good name recognition, be well prepared on policy, and survive the kind of intense vetting that has derailed Cain, Rick Perry, Bachmann, and has deflated Gingrich’s bubble.  That’s a recipe for an establishment candidate, not an outsider.  We should stop fantasizing about white knights riding to the rescue and focus on the choices we have in front of us now.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

And I am sure Perry is glad that you are his fan.

promachus on December 27, 2011 at 5:25 PM

I’m sure he is.I’m a supporter not a Fan..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Anyone who mentions “wet dreams” in a political
posting is obviously deprived.

Amjean on December 27, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Deprived or depraved?

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Sarah Palin is the only one with the support and name recognition that can enter late and stop Romney. I doubt Newt can knock off Romney. Run Sarah Run.

CoolChange80

The object is to stop Obama….something Palin has no chance in h*ll of doing.

xblade on December 27, 2011 at 5:44 PM

What? Kristol isn’t a Romney guy? Can’t believe it.

rickv404 on December 27, 2011 at 5:48 PM

I’m sure he is.I’m a supporter fan not a Fan supporter..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 5:34 PM

promachus had it right the first time..;)

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 5:50 PM

…I could never in good conscience vote for that vapid, self-centered bimbo either….

AttaBoyLuther on December 27, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Either you are a simpleton buying the media’s and the left’s portrayal of Palin as a “vapid, self-centered bimbo”, or you are dishonest. So which is it.

If it’s the former, go watch “The Undefeated” with an open mind to her real record of accomplishment and be enlightened.

If it’s the latter and you are just dishonest, we’ll just dismiss everything you say as a lie.

Run Sarah Run!

ornery_independent on December 27, 2011 at 5:52 PM

The object is to stop Obama….something Palin Romney has no chance in h*ll of doing.

xblade on December 27, 2011 at 5:44 PM

fify

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 5:52 PM

promachus had it right the first time..;)

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 5:50 PM

You and promachus definitely know what a fan is..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Only one potential candidate polls ahead of Obama nationally, is articulate on the issues, and has universal name recognition–Rudy Giuliani.

writeblock on December 27, 2011 at 6:04 PM

You and promachus definitely know what a fan is..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Perry? LOL LOL LOL

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 6:07 PM

The object is to stop Obama….something Palin has no chance in h*ll of doing.

xblade on December 27, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Says who? You?! LOLz!

Tell that to Gov Frank Murkowski.
And again to Gov Tony Knowles.

ornery_independent on December 27, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Only one potential candidate polls ahead of Obama nationally, is articulate on the issues, and has universal name recognition–Rudy Giuliani.

writeblock on December 27, 2011 at 6:04 PM

I like Giuliani, but he’s got no national infrastructure.

ornery_independent on December 27, 2011 at 6:12 PM

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 6:07 PM

The things that go over your head..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 6:14 PM

The things that go over your head..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 6:14 PM

clouds, the sun, airplanes, birds….

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 6:19 PM

clouds, the sun, airplanes, birds….

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Nice post..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Nice post..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 6:21 PM

over your head?

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 6:22 PM

over your head?

idesign on December 27, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Yes..That was way over my head..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Paging, Sarah Louise Palin, paging, Sarah Louise Palin. Please pick up the white courtesy phone in the lobby. Your country is calling.

Tarnsman on December 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM

This is for those who say Palin can’t beat Obama because of “polling” or whatever.

WHITE HOUSE INSIDER: Heads Up – The Cook The Books Campaign Is Underway

ANYONE who wins the nom will be up against this.

ornery_independent on December 27, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Even if a candidate were to jump in at this late date, it would have to be one who could reliably raise money fast, organize effectively, have good name recognition, be well prepared on policy, and survive the kind of intense vetting that has derailed Cain, Rick Perry, Bachmann, and has deflated Gingrich’s bubble. That’s a recipe for an establishment candidate, not an outsider

nope Ed that is a recipe for Palin. the biggest outsider we have and the only person that could change the entire election cycle if she decides to rethink her decision. I don’t think she will but if she does katy bar the door
.

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 6:54 PM

The object is to stop Obama….something Palin has no chance in h*ll of doing.

xblade on December 27, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Mitt still can’t break 25% within his OWN PARTY and you think Mitt stands a better chance of beating Obama? Lol..

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM

You want to stop Obma -hide his golf clubs and his teleprompter. He’ll have no choice but to come back and talk with his own tongue and his ratings will fall faster than the Greek economy.

Don L on December 27, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Now is not a time for leaders to engage in clever calculations of the odds of success, or to succumb to concerns about how they will look if they enter the fray and fall short. Now is a time to come to the aid of our country.

The only one to fit this tag is Sarah. Think it over again Sarah -your country needs you -let the sceptics and losers vote for Obama.

Don L on December 27, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I’m reluctantly supporting Romney by process of elimination, and a more realistic scenario of him getting elected beats the perhaps equally realistic scenario of Obama getting reelected. Santorum would probably be the best of the rest, but I don’t see him winning anything either.

The Count on December 27, 2011 at 1:19 PM

I am reluctantly with you in this. Romney, then fight like hell to get him elected and to hold his feet to the fire after the swearing-in.

Who is John Galt on December 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM

The only one to fit this tag is Sarah.
Don L on December 27, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I agree but I think Kristol had Jeb in mind when he wrote this article.

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

I agree but I think Kristol had Jeb in mind when he wrote this article.

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Jeb doesn’t have organizing4palin and similar mobs ready to go.

Who is John Galt on December 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Jeb doesn’t have organizing4palin and similar mobs masses ready to go.

Who is John Galt on December 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM

FIFM

Who is John Galt on December 27, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Palin . . .

Progressive Heretic on December 27, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I’m reluctantly supporting Romney by process of elimination, and a more realistic scenario of him getting elected beats the perhaps equally realistic scenario of Obama getting reelected. Santorum would probably be the best of the rest, but I don’t see him winning anything either.

The Count on December 27, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Every one of the candidates who has risen to the top has been mercilessly attacked by the Republican machine & the Democrat media machine….except one. We all need to ask ourselves why Mitt gets to skate thru this primary. I’m sure all the Dems are deathly afraid of him beating the crap out of Obama, just like McCain.

A. Weasel on December 27, 2011 at 8:18 PM

This really all goes back to Fall 2008. Palin circa 2007, the reformist, highly-popular, energy-oriented Governor of Alaska, with a full term and reelection under her belt, would’ve been a formidable candidate. Add to that the grassroots enthusiasm she generated on the VP campaign trail, and the Republicans would have a clear frontrunner right now.

Instead, however, the backstabbing within the Party began as soon as the polls closed in November, and the Party essentially left her to the wolves up in Alaska. The sniping in the media, and the lack of assistance with her fight against frivolous lawsuits in Alaska meant that her image was changed to right-wing nitwit, and she was forced out of office. She may have been able to recover from that, but who wants to fight when EVERYONE is against you.

If it was in fact Romney’s people who did this, I hope he at least delivers for the Party in November 2012!

Progressive Heretic on December 27, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Well Nicole Wallace, one of the more obvious backstabbers was a former Jeb Bush staffer, and Wayne Berman, was also a staffer for W, now working for Mittens, he’s the one that came up with the ‘Diva’
line. If anyone acts less than one, it’s hard to imagine,

narciso on December 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Jeb doesn’t have organizing4palin and similar mobs ready to go.

Who is John Galt on December 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM

yeah because he would never use the resources, friends and connections that his father and brother grew during their 12 years as POTUS……

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Every one of the candidates who has risen to the top has been mercilessly attacked by the Republican machine & the Democrat media machine….except one. We all need to ask ourselves why Mitt gets to skate thru this primary. I’m sure all the Dems are deathly afraid of him beating the crap out of Obama, just like McCain.

A. Weasel on December 27, 2011 at 8:18 PM

really? I thought the answer was clear. Mitt and his buttboys have been the ones doing most of the attacking behind the scences. Any and every candidate or potential candidate that seems a threat to mitt is attacked by unnamed republican sources or foxnews. There are ontly a couple big named powerful voices liek Rush and levin that do not do that. Mitt spend his last 4 years buying protection if you will. the dems aren’t saying anything because they have op-research on Mitt a mile thick. Having Mitt as the nominee is a christmas present for the dems. Hell they might even win back the house with mitt at the top of the ticket as they paint the gop as the country club party of the 1%.

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 10:08 PM

I agree but I think Kristol had Jeb in mind when he wrote this article.

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM
Jeb doesn’t have organizing4palin and similar mobs ready to go.

F@#* Jeb!
Good to see you unseen!

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2011 at 10:27 PM

yeah because he would never use the resources, friends and connections that his father and brother grew during their 12 years as POTUS……

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Exactly!!! BTW, unseen, I am a new commenter, but I have read HotAir for a long time and have enjoyed your jousting with the non-palinistas. I hope you stay around to argue many a more day ;-)

LazyHips on December 27, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Mitt still can’t break 25% within his OWN PARTY and you think Mitt stands a better chance of beating Obama? Lol..

unseen on December 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM

And we should go with someone who never broke 20%..Now that makes sense..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

WHO Radio Spot – Iowa Earthquake 12-27-11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoweYtMM0g8

john.frank on December 27, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Kristol’s just as guilty as Rush and the rest for badmouthing all the GOP candidates. There’s been no moral support for the party by these guys. The candidates themselves get beat up for not committing to vote straight ticket. But for all that these so-called right wing pundits bill themselves as torchbearers for conservatism, I’m not sure any actual Republicans are really left in the media anymore.

Even here at Hot Air – there are anti-Romney, -Paul, -Gingrich and -Perry articles plastered on the front first thing every morning. Survival of the fittest I guess. But it’s kind of ironic that the only candidate who’s been able to weather it is Paul. Even with all kinds of despicable quotes being attributed to him, his numbers keep rising in every state. Kristol and his jaded colleagues are picking apart any candidate who has any kind of continuity with the Republican party we all know. No wonder none of them can gain any traction. Hopefully there can be some solidarity in 2012.

TXGOP on December 28, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Good to see the unseen again…

ornery_independent on December 28, 2011 at 2:08 AM

Both parties objectively look like dumb and dumber. It looks more and more like “dumber dumbo” is going to forfeit the election to the “dumb jackass”. In the past this has been painful and costly. This time we’re playing for all the marbles. Either dumbo wins or the country as we know it, the land of the free, will become just another socialist “paradise”, broke and forlorn forevermore.

The dumbo party is simply giving it away to their own elitist progressives who think their reasoning can trump the 320 million people they think they own making their own day to day decisions.

And one thing I am sure of is that both Newt and Romney are poorly closeted progressives.

{+_+}

herself on December 28, 2011 at 8:50 AM

There is no “conservative” alive who would meet the above criteria. In fact the only person who could pull it off would be Jeb Bush-and he’s a dyed in the wool establishment Republican.

Mr.Mark on December 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

It isn’t the first time the establishment GOP has floated Jeb Bush’s name and that’s who they hope will jump in, even though he has said he wouldn’t. If you take him at his word, that is.

It really cracks me up that these establishment GOP columnist types try their best to hide their true establishment GOP beliefs by trying to goad yet another establishment GOP former governor into the race. Gee, better not let that get out. Romney might get jealous.

PatriotGal2257 on December 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Palin is still the hands down best of the bunch.

DaMav on December 28, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Good to see the unseen again…

ornery_independent on December 28, 2011 at 2:08 AM

UNSEEN!!!!!!

I’ve got just 5 words for ya.

“DAMN GLAD TA SEE YA BOY!!!”

/obscure movie reference “Armageddon” Bruce Willis

44Magnum on December 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Quoth Ed:

. . . Anti-establishment conservatives should be praying for anything but a brokered convention, and recall that the primary process was one way to keep the party from choosing its nominees in the proverbial smoke-filled back rooms.

And it was a creation of the Left. Jay Cost argues for a return to the conventions of old, and I agree with him. All the primaries have brought us have been perpetual campaigns, and a perversion of the point of a nomination: you don’t run for it; other people propose you, ‘nominate’ you (apologies for the long quote, but this is important). Full article here (despite misleading URL):

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-three-years-obama-still-doesnt-know-what-it-means-be-president_613350.html?page=1

5. The system is the unintended consequence of a failed liberal experiment.

The first major party convention happened in 1831 when the National Republicans nominated Henry Clay. The use of a convention was supposed to convey a sense of openness and consensus – Clay was the choice of a meeting of National Republicans from all across the country, who came to select him by their own volition. This wasn’t necessarily true, but it was close enough to accurate. The Democrats followed suit in 1832, and it became a tradition for the party leadership to gather every four years to meet in the open to select a nominee and settle upon a platform.

The new system’s origins are not as venerable. The far left of the Democratic party had wanted to dump Hubert Humprhey in 1968 in favor of Gene McCarthy, George McGovern or some other far-left candidate. Humphrey was the vice-president and an old-time liberal, the kind that just are not around anymore, and he had the backing of President Lyndon Johnson and the party establishment. He won on the first ballot, despite not having participated in any primaries.

As a sop to the anti-war left, the establishment adopted a resolution at the convention that called for party reform – but they didn’t even think twice about it. They didn’t deliberate about whether it was a good idea, what it would mean for the party, or anything. They just passed it because they felt obliged to give the anti-war faction at least a gesture of good will. But the left-wingers knew an opening when they saw it. They dominated the reform process and pushed through a series of changes that they thought would open up the nomination process and give them an edge within the party.

However, they badly miscalculated. What they wanted were party nominating caucuses, where this “New Politics” left could take advantage of its intense supporters and make sure nominees from the far left wing of the Democratic party would be selected. The reformers did not want primaries because they believed they would favor the ill-informed voters and probably the establishment candidates, like LBJ or Humphrey.

Yet in the end, the party establishment had the last laugh. The establishment didn’t like primaries either, but it figured they would keep the far-left from taking over the local party. So after the reformers laid down their broad guidelines for how the new system would work, the party establishment began adopting primaries like what we have today.

So, let’s put these two origin stories next to each other, to compare and contrast. The original nomination system was designed by people who wanted to find an open and democratic way to nominate Henry Clay, the greatest American statesmen between the Founding and the Civil War. This method stood the test of time for nearly 150 years because it worked for everybody (except the leftists of the 60s).

Today’s nomination system, on the other hand, is the product of far-left experimentation, which produced results that the know-it-all liberal do-gooders utterly failed to anticipate.

Which system sounds better to you?

MrLynn on December 28, 2011 at 9:37 PM

The purpose of the presidency in Obama’s mind, is ‘fundamental transformation’ that was sort of the motive behind the Wallace campaign, but Truman was able to block him them

narciso on December 29, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4