Bill Kristol: The GOP would be better off if Ron Paul left

posted at 10:24 pm on January 17, 2012 by Allahpundit

Compare this to what Jim DeMint said about Paul last week and you’ll see what sort of fun we’re in for during convention week this year.

“A lot of people when they criticize Ron Paul have to preface their criticism by saying, ‘you know, he’s good guy, he brings a lot to the debate,’” Bill Kristol said on C-SPAN. “I actually don’t buy that. I do not think he’s a particular good guy . . . I think it would be better for the Republican party, if he left the Republican party.”

The boss said the inclination to keep Paul a member of the party is wrong. “A lot of Republicans are spending a lot of time [thinking], ‘how do we keep Ron Paul under the tent? How do we make sure he doesn’t go third party?”…

“[Buchanan] left the party in 1999 and a lot of people, and I was one of them, said, goodbye and good riddance, you’re not in the mainstream of the Republican party, go run as some Reform party candidate . . . he did in 2000 and he didn’t get many votes and actually George W. Bush I think was helped—and the Republican party was helped—to be free of Buchanan’s extreme isolationism, protectionism, anti-Israel views, and the like. Ron Paul is a little different from Pat Buchanan—but he’s no better, in my view. And I actually think we’d benefit in the long run—but even in the short run . . .”

Is he saying he wants Paul to leave right now, i.e. quit the primaries and march off to third-party land? That’s so unlikely that there’s no point even debating it. Paul ran as a Libertarian Party candidate before, got nowhere with it, and isn’t about to repeat his mistake when he’s getting a national TV megaphone during the debates and second- and third-place finishes in New Hampshire and Iowa. The whole point of his campaign is to try to tilt the GOP towards his own platform by piling up delegates and then playing a role at the convention. He figures, quite reasonably, that the only way libertarianism will ever have influence is if it coopts one of the two major parties. And it’s simply not true that Paul would get only a few votes if he dropped out now and ran as an independent. I’ve seen more than one poll showing him in double digits in a three-way race against Obama and Romney. (Obama wins each of those hypotheticals, of course.) Buchanan was chiefly a protest vote against the GOP establishment when he ran, I think, whereas Paul has a genuine libertarian movement behind him. Plenty of them will follow him into independence. The proper analogy here is Perot, not Buchanan.

If Kristol means something more long-term, that Paul should go his own way after the election’s over, then the problem’s already solved: He’s done with politics at that point anyway. (He’s not running for his House seat again, remember.) It’ll be Rand’s moment then, which is another reason why Paul won’t split. He doesn’t want to bequeath his son, whose chances of attracting mainstream Republicans are much higher, a legacy of hurting the party by running against it. Beyond that, I hate the idea of “winning” the debate with Paul by hoping he shuts up and goes away. Let him sell this sort of thing and see if Republican voters buy it. If they do then we’ll have a “new GOP” and we can all adjust our loyalties to the party accordingly; if they don’t then Paul fans will eventually get tired of trying to change minds and go their own way anyway. I don’t see what trying to usher them out the door accomplishes, especially when their guy is competitive with everyone in the currently split field except Romney.


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Yeah,… just like the leftists at Huffington post…..

Jerry Bear on January 18, 2012 at 2:18 AM

How sad, that the last group of real John Wayne’s… consists you you, Ron Paul,.. and the happy wariors of the keyboard comando’s at Stormfront…

must suck for you..

Hate to break it to you chuckles, but you don’t get to define who and what is conservative. Nobody appointed you..

Conservatives have always adapted and shifted slightly from one decade to the next, Taft is dead, and so is his brand of me me and only me candyass isolationists. Paul’s the last hurrah of the Nazi friendly anti-semitic bring the boys home and let the world burn brand..

Here it is for you really slow..

You
don’t
decide
who
is
conservative,

the
base
does
that,

not

the

fringe……..

I’ve been conservative since 72, haven’t changed much,.. now you Paultards ride into town and have the unmitigated gall to tell us, we ain’t really conservative? Do the letters… F O mean anything to ya?

mark81150 on January 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM

So you’re fine with abortion,…. but killing people, adult people, who work tirelessly to kill ours, is offensive to you? Well Hell, there are 3100 Americans I’d like to ask about that, but they can’t answer me,…..

You really hate Christains so much, you’d say foul vile things like this? Let me guess,…. militant athiest, or muslim, or of middle east extraction? Or possibly a kos kid kloset kommunist.. barely matters,.. you can hate fellow American’s…

but not the ones who started the wars,…

and you can’t understand why we think you Paulbots are crazy?

I did not say I was pro-abortion, not at all. You try real hard to hide the fact that many innocent men, women, and children have been killed by all of those bombs. I am a patrotic American who cares about my country. I simply do not believe that someone who pushes wars whose sole purpose is to make money for the military/industrial complex is a patriot.

Fortunately, your candidate (Newtbot Gingrichbot) is not electable at the national level and not even on the primary level because he was not even capable of getting his name on all of the ballots because he probably thought his massive ego was sufficient credentials to serve the purpose.

And you wonder why I think the Gingrichbots are war mongering blood thirsty idiots who have no clue what they are talking about?

Puma for Life on January 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Note to Bill Kristol –

You are now outside of the mainstream of the GOP.

Without the Tea Party, John Boehner would be minority leader right now.

He seems to forget that a good bit, and I hope to forget him soon enough.

I have read your articles for many years and agreed with you on many occasions, but the establishment GOP and RNC, which couldn’t field congressional or Presidential winners to save their souls, have absolutely nothing in common with the 75% of us who are conservatives.

Ron Paul says more than a few foolish things, which stands him in good stead with the rest of the GOP field, but our country would not have a $15 trillion deficit if there were 217 other House members who thought and voted like him.

I voted for Ron Paul in the primary last election cycle, and I will vote for him in this year’s primary and in the general (third party or write-in).

I have nothing in common with Mitt Romney and I won’t vote for a ticket which includes him under any circumstances.

You and your cronies like Karl Rove are dinosaurs.

We don’t have to pay attention to you and we won’t vote for your Lilliputian candidates.

molonlabe28 on January 18, 2012 at 4:14 PM

This is for the Gringichbot who thinks if you support Ron Pual you support abortion. Ron Paul is pro-life:

With years of experience as a physician Dr. Paul supports the sanctity of life as a basis for liberty and civility, and as the number-one proponent of constitutionally-limited government he supports curtailing federal spending. He can and will represent both interests, and he will do so well,” said Mr. Benton.

Ron Paul is by trade an OB/GYN who personally delivered more than 4,000 babies.

In late December, Dr. Paul signed the PersonhoodUSA Republican Presidential Candidate Pledge and anaddendum clarifying is prolife stance in the context of the Constitution. The Ron Paul campaign also released two path-breaking television ads on concerning the sanctity of life: ‘Life’ and ‘Staying on the Right Path.’

Puma for Life on January 18, 2012 at 4:18 PM

The Republican party is sharply divided into two parts–big government conservatives and small government conservatives–as evidenced by the comments here and by the current state of the primaries. It appears that the establishment is solidly big government conservatives and they are aligned against small government conservatives, like the tea party members, who believe government is way too big. Unfortunately, Mr Kirstol is advocating that small government conservatives hold their tongue or leave the party and let the big boys have their way.
President Reagan once famously said: “Government is not the solution to the problem, Government is the problem” which is in sharp contrast to our slate of big government candidates, Gov Romney, Speaker Gingrich, and Sen Santorum, who all have histories of supporting government largess. They have all missed (chosen to ignore) the strong desire by grass roots Republicans to reign in government and have seemingly quit discussing those efforts ever since Herman Cain dropped out of the race.
The only remaining clear small government candidate is Dr Paul whom the establishment and talking heads dismiss outright. Instead of throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water, the candidates should be embracing many of the small government aspects of Dr Paul’s message and addressing his foreign policy approach respectfully. This would avoid splitting the party when the real campaign begins rather than alienating Dr Paul’s supporters. Although I abhor Dr Paul’s foreign policy approach, as a retired officer I prefer his reduction of commitments coupled with reduction of defense to the current slashing off defense spending while trying to maintain the facade that we can still do everything we’ve committed to since the end of WWII.

WhyNot on January 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I don’t agree with Paul on some things (foreign policy for example), but he does serve a useful purpose. Some of his domestic agenda is good and very conservative. Maybe Bill Kristol should leave the GOP, because he and some of his cronies are the same idiots who got the GOP into this mess in the first place, with their endless fawning over GWB and some of his stupidest policies. So if I had a choice between kicking out either Paul or Kristol…..it is easy…see ya Bill…

William Eaton on January 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I simply do not believe that someone who pushes wars whose sole purpose is to make money for the military/industrial complex is a patriot.

Fortunately, your candidate (Newtbot Gingrichbot) is not electable at the national level and not even on the primary level because he was not even capable of getting his name on all of the ballots because he probably thought his massive ego was sufficient credentials to serve the purpose.

And you wonder why I think the Gingrichbots are war mongering blood thirsty idiots who have no clue what they are talking about?

Puma for Life on January 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM

This is exactly why Ron Paul and his supporters have a reputation for lunacy. You smear everyone else as “push[ing] wars” “for the sole purpose” of enriching “the military industrial complex.” And then you call “Gingrichbots” — whatever that means — “war mongering blood thirsty idiots.”

Quite simply, there is no reason to dignify this with any reasonable answer, as it’s addle-brained conspiracy theory nonsense.

Yes, Ron Paul has reasonable, even excellent, positions on some economic issues. But frankly, he’s not the only one. There are plenty of other people who want low taxes and less spending. Paul tries to give the impression that, if not for him, no one would stick up for the fiscal discipline or the Constitution at all.

If he wants to be in the Republican party, fine. But every time someone with his isolationism and conspiracy theories is taken seriously as a Republican candidate for president, he diminishes the entire brand of the Republican party.

It’s bad enough that the GOP is so squishy. It’s even worse when some of the parts that aren’t squishy are lunatic.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 19, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Andrew C. McCarthy opines this morning;

Ron Paul is dangerously delusional about the Taliban’s Weltanschauung. To be fair, these are delusions he shares with leftists — including members of the Obama administration– who insist that we must purge all references to Islam from our consideration of the threat we face… Of course we should avoid unnecessary wars. But when we find ourselves in necessary wars, we need to win them. To adopt the Paul rationalization that such wars are our own fault (and that we can secure ourselves by shrinking from them) is just as fatuous as rationalizing that democracy will tame the jihad.

*dangerously delusional*

Terp Mole on January 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Puma for Life: I think the Gingrichbots are war mongering blood thirsty idiots who have no clue what they are talking about?

Well, naturally, that’s to be expected from any brainwashed toady of Ron Paul Toofer-isms (from Monday night);

I would like to point out one thing about the Taliban. The Taliban used to be our allies when we were fighting the Russians. So Taliban are people who want — their main goal is to keep foreigners off their land. It’s the al-Qaeda — you can’t mix the two. The al-Qaeda want to come here to kill us. The Taliban just says, ‘We don’t want foreigners.’ We need to understand that, or we can’t resolve this problem in the Middle East.

That is breathtakingly idiotic 9/11-Troofer nonsense, as Andrew McCarthy observes this morning;

Everything in this statement is wrong. Everything. Let’s start with the most basic point. The Taliban most certainly were not “our allies when we were fighting the Russians.” How could they have been, considering that the Taliban did not exist at the time of the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan?

I won’t belabor the point that it was not the United States but the Afghan mujahadeen, with the help of non-Afghan Muslims (mostly Arab), who did the actual fighting against the Soviets. We did, after all, fuel the anti-Soviet jihad with billions of dollars in materiel and other assistance — through our intermediary, Pakistani intelligence, with the Saudis matching our aid dollar-for-dollar. Presumably, this is what Representative Paul was talking about. Nevertheless, while a number of the Taliban’s eventual founders were veterans of the anti-Soviet jihad, the fact is that the Taliban was not established as an organization until 1994. That is five years after the Soviet Union skulked out of Afghanistan and three years after it collapsed.

Paul’s claim that the Taliban is just opposed to foreign interference in Afghanistan is patently absurd. To begin with, the Taliban’s creation was a direct result not of foreign invasion but of Afghanistan’s internecine tribal warfare after the Soviets left and the Americans lost interest. Its unabashed goal was to crush Afghan factions that impeded its establishment of a retrograde sharia state.

Moreover, the Taliban craves foreign interference, without which it would never have come to power. A Pashtun movement driven by Islamic scholars and spearheaded by Mullah Mohammed Omar in Kandahar, the Taliban owes its existence to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. These Muslim nations, two of the only three nations in the world to recognize the Taliban-led government in Kabul, nurtured, armed, and financed the Taliban in its origin. They did so precisely because the Taliban was an effective ally in their machinations against regional rivals — India for the Pakistanis and Iran for the Saudis. The alliance was also grounded in the Taliban’s espousal of Deobandism, an uncompromising construction of Islam propagated in Afghan madrassas built by the Saudis’ Muslim World League in conjunction with Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s supremacist Islamic movement.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the Taliban willingly gave al-Qaeda safe haven, knowing full well that bin Laden’s network was engaged in a global jihad that targeted the United States as its primary enemy. Al-Qaeda struck American interests several times while it had sanctuary from the Taliban, attacking American embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole in Yemen before orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. By quite consciously accommodating and protecting an international terrorist organization that was at war with the United States, the Taliban joined al-Qaeda and became an enemy of the United States. It was thus every bit as much a part of al-Qaeda’s attacks on the U.S. as was al-Qaeda itself. That is not only how war works, it is a straightforward application of the criminal-law principles that Representative Paul claims to like so much — a conspirator and an aider-and-abettor is responsible for the actions of his confederates.

Speaking of the criminal law, it bears remembering that the American invasion of Afghanistan was not inevitable. Contrary to Paul’s offensive depiction of a ravenous, empire-building America ever on the prowl for the next military conquest, the Bush administration did not rush to war. As I’ve pointed out before, in the weeks after 9/11, even after Congress authorized the use of military force, President Bush pointedly asked the Taliban to hand bin Laden and his organization over to the United States so that they could be tried — bin Laden having been indicted years earlier by an American grand jury. The Taliban repeatedly refused. Our choice at that point was either to invade, overthrow the Taliban, and smash al-Qaeda, or to let it be known that the United States would tolerate a massive attack on our homeland. That was no choice at all.

Ron Paul is dangerously delusional

Terp Mole on January 19, 2012 at 8:15 AM

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