Posts Tagged ‘Weekly Standard’

Mitch Daniels: The Man from Bush?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Mitch Daniels - The Guy in the Middle - Look Closer

William Kristol has posted an article on the Weekly Standard that should raise some eyebrows.  Governor Mitch Daniels has been selected to deliver the GOP response to the President for Tuesday’s State of the Union.  Kristol is claiming that they received a draft of Mitch Daniels speech via mysterious courier, and that the last draft section of the material included a proposition to let him know if you want him to run by contacting him here, at MyManMitch.com.  We have discussed how there could be a late entry into this race who would try to capitalize on Republican dissatisfaction with the candidates in the field, and Bill Kristol has himself opined in this manner, but what this should all tell you is that the Indiana Governor, and George W. Bush OMB Director now wants you to tell him to run.

If your nose is now wrinkled with the smell of Karl Rove, you’re not alone.  If you believe this has been a long-planned con-job, you see what I see.  There will those of you who will say that I have pronounced Mitt Romney the establishment candidate, but what I’ve actually told you is that Mitt Romney is the establishment guy upon whom the establishment has settled, for now, in lieu of somebody they like better.  Enter Mitch Daniels.  The diminutive governor of Indiana is a long-time Bush confidante, and it has been in the works to put this guy up since last spring.  The problem is that he has a whole range of problems, and he needed to accomplish certain things as governor to make the case that he’s ready to lead the country.  You’re not going to be given any chance to vet this guy, and to the degree you do, you’re going to be told now that “well, you’d accept so-and-so despite the same problems,” and you can bet that this is what this whole Gingrich “open marriage” accusation will have been about: Clearing the way for what will be termed in media as an open marriage between Daniels and his wife. You will be told to accept Daniels on this basis.

I know that you’ll say “Mark, Bush 41 endorsed Mitt Romney,” to which I’ll say:  No.  It was an unofficial endorsement.  My question to you is:  Which candidate has either George W. Bush and Jeb Bush endorsed?  Answer: Nobody, yet.  Do you suppose this could be the moment for them to leap back onto the public stage and make those endorsements, and propel their man Mitch into the race?  You betcha!  How will he pull it off with so many primaries behind, and so many ballots already closed off?   The answer is simple for this too, because these early primaries were engineered forward precisely so those states would lose half their delegates to the national party, and those delegates can be turned in the service of the GOP’s interests.   That’s big, and what it will mean is that if Daniels gets in now, and cleans up in the states into which he can still make entry, combined with the at-large delegates to the convention, he can easily become the party’s nominee “by acclaim” or some such thing at the convention.  Unconventional?   Indeed.  Some of you will be happy with all of this, and that’s your right, but I don’t think you should be, because it tells us a few things that are exceedingly disturbing.

This entire campaign, and all of the candidates you’ve seen may have been a side-show to the main attraction, and I think it’s going to be a contest not between Romney and the non-Romney, but instead between BushCo and non-BushCo.  I’d ask you to consider Kristol’s article, and I would further ask you to consider the entirety of this campaign, and I would most fervently ask you to watch carefully.  As I’ve told you before, you can learn a lot from an endorsement, but you can also learn a lot from the lack of one.  Here’s how you will know if I’m right:  If by February the 15th, Mitch Daniels becomes the runaway front-runner, or moving rapidly in that direction, you will know. Another clue can be found in another Kristol column, from December 8th, when he discussed the GOP’s Valentine’s Day Option.  From that article(emphasis mine):

“The key, I think, would be if both Romney and Gingrich stumbled during January. If that were to happen, there would be a window of opportunity in February—during the gap between the first spurt of January primaries and Super Tuesday on March 6. The window probably closes around Valentine’s Day—Tuesday, February 14—so let’s call the late entry the Valentine’s Day option. That could be the last chance (unless there’s a deadlocked convention, which isn’t totally outside the realm of possibility either) for Republicans to throw off the old suitors and run into the arms of a new Prince Charming. Or two. And Valentine’s Day is for the young.”

Funny isn’t it? When you look at what happened this week, both Romney and Gingrich stumbled.  Isn’t it amazing how prescient William Kristol has been?  Of course, if you’re a player among insiders, it’s easy to look smart later, isn’t it?  This will be an amazing thing, if it comes to pass, and it will also require the destruction of those now remaining, including Gingrich, Paul, Romney, and Santorum.  Santorum is taking himself out, and Ron Paul will not pass muster with most Republicans because he’s been painted as a kook, and while I have disagreements with him on foreign policy and national defense, the media knock on him is an unfair caricature of a tin-foil hat-wearing old man, and that’s precisely what the establishment has wanted you to believe. This leaves Gingrich and Romney, and we have seen the attempts to destroy both of them this week, some originating from one another, but more emanating like bad gas from the press, with an invisible guiding hand leading them to the attacks.

Nobody hates bad conspiracy theories worse than I, but if I were to believe in a conspiracy, I would suggest to you that the GOP’s nominee is likely to be somebody who is not now in this race, although soon will be, and that events will present you with an all-new alternative and that everything you have seen thus far has been engineered with few exceptions to lead you to a certain conclusion.  Get ready.

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As Islamists Take Control Of Egypt, Where Is Bill Kristol?

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Look Who's Not Laughing Now

Earlier this year, William Kristol over at the Weekly Standard couldn’t wait to mock conservatives who were watching the developments in Egypt’s Tahrir Square with trepidation, knowing how this revolution would ultimately end: In a tyrannical Islamic state not unlike Iran.  Kristol drew stunningly wrong-headed conclusions from the erupting “Arab Spring,” and he and his pal Rich Lowry over at the Nation Review enjoyed a good laugh at the expense of concerned conservatives who wondered about the possibilities of a growing Islamic hegemony in the region.  The laughter has ceased, and if Kristol was honest, he’d write an essay explaining all the ways in which he had been wrong, and apologize to all of those who he had earlier mocked.  Of course, don’t expect that from Kristol, because he’s a true DC insider, and he won’t have bothered to note that in Egypt, the Islamists are now coming to power, precisely as more wary and rational conservatives predicted.

What should have been apparent to Mr. Kristol is that there can be no ‘Arab Spring’ under the control of Islam, and it was clear to most rational observers from the outset that an Islamic Republic of some sort would be the result.  Kristol thought otherwise, but like all good establishment writers, he hedged his bets a little when it became apparent things were not going so wonderfully as he had supposed, but that didn’t stop him from making the most absurd statement:

No more. The Arab winter is over. The men and women of the Greater Middle East are no longer satisfied by “a little life.”

This is the sort of delusional hyperbole that characterized much of Kristol’s writing on the subject at the time, and it’s one more instance in which what he wishes to be true leads him to write as though it had been true.   Now that Islamist groups are winning the elections, and will clearly come to dominate the government of Egypt, and as protests again turn violent, one might reasonably ask what Mr. Kristol now says about all of this, having earlier declared the “Arab Spring” in full bloom.  The answer:  He hasn’t offered anything more on a subject that has turned into a rough spot given his early judgments on the matter.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Egypt, the facts are making a strong case in the form of violence that Mr. Kristol’s hopeful wishes for the future have been superseded by the evidence of the “false spring” with which he covered his bases.  This situation remains fluid, but the outcome seems less in doubt as the Islamist factions are clearly sweeping aside any pro-Democracy factions in the elections.  What this will likely mean is that before all is said and done, we’re going to be faced with an increasingly radicalized Arab world, with terrible consequences for Israel, and indeed, the entire region.  This is one of the reasons Kristol’s wishful thinking was irresponsible and dangerous: Too many took to heart a false sense of security about the state of things in the region, and too many came to believe there was nothing about which Americans should worry.  As is now clear, that’s an unmistakable falsehood, and as it stands, we’re likely to see a growing movement in Egypt that will be more openly hostile to Israel, and more apt to discard its treaty commitments.  What Bill Kristol’s shameful mocking of conservative doubters of the “Arab Spring” had accomplished was to cause Americans to avert their eyes from the danger, but we won’t be able to remain willfully blind to it much longer.  The question thus becomes:  When will Kristol finally open his?