There are few universal truths in this postmodern world in which nothing is what it seems and we constantly struggle to determine if our society is being serious or if it is attempting some sort of winking, ironic metacommentary on, like, the media, dude. One thing you can take to the bank, however, is that when Bill Kristol gives you advice, you should do the exact opposite. 180°. Literal, polar, diametric opposition. If he tells you to bet on black, the ball will land on red. If he says to try the fish, get the steak. If he says it's sunny, bring your umbrella. If he touts the Yankees, bet on the Red Sox. If he's gripping his chest and gasping for breath in a really, eerily convincing impression of a man having a heart attack, don't call 9-1-1.
In short, Bill Kristol has the longest, most baffling track record of obtaining paid, high profile media gigs from which to offer his opinions without ever having been right about anything. And rarely is he merely wrong – more often he is profoundly, even staggeringly wrong. Dewey defeats Truman wrong. "They can't hit anything from this distance" wrong. "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau" wrong. He manages to be wrong so completely and his predictions plow into the side of the mountain at such spectacular speed that we can scarcely comprehend how anyone takes him seriously. That he has not been laughed into an institution for the mentally unwell is difficult to believe.
So when Bill Kristol
concern trolls writes a "sincere" column recommending that Obama replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton, the one and only correct course of action for the President is to do the exact opposite:
For our part, we'd like to see a decisive triumph for Romney and his running mate over two formidable representatives of contemporary liberalism, rather than a discounted victory over a flawed ticket with only one strong candidate. So we sincerely suggest to President Obama: Dump Joe Biden.
We're sure the thought has occurred to the president. He knows his undisciplined vice president did him no service by popping off about same-sex marriage on Meet the Press, thereby forcing Obama to engage the issue prematurely. Instead of making his announcement of his evolution in a well-prepared speech for which the groundwork had been laid, the president arranged a rushed interview in which he rather inarticulately expressed his personal view in a way that persuaded no one who wasn't already convinced.
…Who should replace Biden? Everyone knows the answer. Hillary Clinton received nearly 18 million votes in the race for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Her rating in a Washington Post survey a couple of weeks ago was 65 percent favorable, 27 percent unfavorable. Biden hurts Obama. She would help him.
What's more, she'd help with precisely the undecided voters Obama needs in November. Many of them are white, working- and middle-class Americans who supported her in the 2008 primaries. They overcame their disappointment at Clinton's defeat to vote for Obama that November. But many became disillusioned and voted Republican in 2010, producing that year's GOP landslide. Barack Obama needs to win back as many of them as possible in 2012. They voted for Hillary Clinton once. Surely they'd be more likely to return to Obama if given the opportunity to vote for her again as part of the ticket.
Ignore the obvious for a moment – Obama has way to justify making desperation moves at this point, Obama and Hillary personally hate each other, Obama wants Bill Clinton as far away from the White House as possible, Hillary as a candidate is actually a deeply polarizing and rather unpopular figure – and look at this from a purely Kristol-centric perspective. If Bill Kristol thinks this is the right move, then it is the worst idea since the Edsel. I temper that last remark only to the extent that it is unfair to the Edsel, which, despite being almost comically ugly and saddled with a chrome vagina for a grille, actually worked.