GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE!

(Foreword: If you didn't read the title like this, you did it wrong.)

Bill Kristol is the most accurate prognosticator in the media by far; when he predicts something, it is 100% guaranteed not to happen. Take it to the bank. Nothing he has predicted has ever happened. At social functions, when he says "Excuse me, I'm going to use the restroom" he actually ends up outside working on his car. When he says "I think I'm coming down with a cold," it turns out that he's just horny. He is spectacularly wrong, and with the kind of consistency that makes an atomic clock look erratic. Here is just a partial list of highlights from his long career as the Amazing Kreskin's bipolar opposite, and it omits perhaps his most brilliant bit of prescience so far: his hand-selection of Sarah Palin as the next superstar of the GOP and as John McCain's savior in 2008.

But here's the good part: Kristol heartily approves of the choice of Paul Ryan, who he is certain will energize the race and make the moribund Romney campaign compelling to voters. I've tried to help you out by editing it, but read as much of this detritus as you can tolerate:

(M)aybe Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan won’t end up making much difference. But we think it will. The selection has changed the nature of the 2012 presidential contest. It means we now have a big campaign, about big issues and big choices. During the summer months, the Romney campaign was fighting and losing a trench warfare battle. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket has a good chance to win a large-scale electoral war of maneuver.

Just want to pop in quickly to point out that the last sentence is never explained, nor is the "large-scale war" metaphor carried forward. Nothing. No explanation of how this will be accomplished or why we should expect it.

Furthermore, Ryan will help in the Midwest—as Gephardt would have in 2004. The addition of a bold reforming conservative gives the GOP ticket a new character, even more than Clinton’s addition of Gore helped confirm a changed Democratic image in 1992. And the selection of Ryan is a strong, self-confident pick, reflecting well on Romney, as the pick of Bush in 1980 spoke well in a somewhat different way of Reagan.

But perhaps the most important effect of the Ryan pick is this: It turns the GOP effort from a campaign into a movement. It transforms a mere electoral effort into a political cause. The Romney 2012 campaign no longer brings to mind its Republican predecessor, the McCain campaign of 2008. Instead, Romney-Ryan could end up more closely resembling Obama 2008.

In 2008, Obama was the young forward-looking reformer, running on a big (if gauzy) message. He was able to capitalize on opposition to the Bush administration without seeming merely oppositional. He was able to enliven his campaign by his own presence and skills. Now it’s the Republicans who are running on a newly bold conservative message, presenting a hopeful choice for change rather than mere opposition to the status quo, and on a ticket enlivened by Ryan’s presence and skills.

Until last week, the Romney campaign was a few hundred operatives working hard in Boston trying to win a presidential election. Now Romney-Ryan is a groundswell of citizens spontaneously writing, volunteering, and proselytizing on behalf of a cause. The first was going to be a grueling uphill climb. The second could be more like running downhill with the wind at your back. Even in the second instance, of course, the candidate still has to jump the hurdles and avoid the obstacles. But it's a lot easier to prevail when you stand for a cause citizens are eager to join than when you're engaged in a campaign voters may diffidently support.

And there you have it, straight from the horse's ass. If anything expressed in this piece existed in any reality outside of Bill Kristol's febrile imagination I would be panicking. As is stands, though, the Kristol stamp of approval on the arranged marriage between Ryan and Romney is an unqualified positive for Obama.

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20 Responses to “GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE!”

  1. J. Dryden Says:

    …so am I the only one who read this and concluded that Ed started to do an FJM with this column, got a few lines in, and said "Ah, fuck it"?

    I don't say this in criticism, mind you. When Kristol gave his endorsement of the Ryan pick last week, I chimed in with "goody–the ticket is gonna go down in flames!" Kristol is living proof that a broken clock is only right twice a day if it is not armless and on fire.

    Every four years, the media treats the choice of a Veep as something important, and sometimes, said media even succeeds in convincing us that it is so–usually when, a la Palin or Quayle, the choice is wretchedly unqualified for the top slot. But the only way for the Veep to make a difference is for him/her to completely eclipse the candidate, and if that happens, said candidate is not going to win (McCain.)

    Does no one realize that, if Paul Ryan is somebody you want "in the game" in D.C.–making plans and creating policy and governing his little heart out–that the position of the Vice Presidency is the worst thing you could possibly bestow on him? If Ryan's the vibrant spirit of the new GOP, let me run a little history lesson by you guys: Hubert Humphrey. Go ahead, Wiki it, I'll wait. Back? Good. That's what'll happen to your golden boy.

    Not that it makes a difference. This election is going to be a party-inversed retread of Bush v. Kerry, and the unpopular incumbent will eke out a narrow win over the colorless challenger noted for his wealth, his lack of personal charisma, and the handsome young go-getter he chose for his back-up. (And if that historical pattern holds true, man, is Ryan hiding some ugly skeletons in his closet.)

  2. HoosierPoli Says:

    Except for the one thing he predicted that actually wound up happening: the Iraq War.

  3. daphne Says:

    Those excerpts read like a bad parody of a bad parody. I must guess the entire article's like that as I'm not going to read it to know for sure.

  4. Middle Seaman Says:

    Since I was worried sick about Bill s predictions I am now finally relieved. Who is next?

  5. Xynzee Says:

    "It means we now have a big campaign, about big issues and big choices."
    I think he means the choice between the one who will F— you in the arse with a condom and astro-lube or one of those big 80s heavy-metal spikey gloves coated with battery acid.

    "It turns the GOP effort from a campaign into a movement."
    Is that the kind of movement I have after a breakfast of All-Bran and a really dodgy curry?

    Sadly, Bill's correct in the possibility of this ticket winning, but for none of the conclusions he's reached.

    The economy, lack of enthusiasm within the disillusioned base, Jim Crow Jr, the hatred of the Softcock-Islamo-Fascist-Chicagothug-Wussy-Ni… Far'ner (did I miss anything?) culminating in the power of large groups of stupid people acting in unison. And the possibility of vote rigging by the anti-Obama set elsewhere — do you think we could get the UN to monitor our elections in Red states? I'd rather take my chances with Mugabe than any Red state.

    So the election is Obama's to lose, and unfortunately it's easy for him to do so. The whole election hinges on NO'bama. The right is so mobilised against him, that they'd vote for Sandusky.

  6. John Borrego Says:

    "And the selection of Ryan is a strong, self-confident pick, reflecting well on Romney, as the pick of Bush in 1980 spoke well in a somewhat different way of Reagan."
    Strong, self-confident? By an amazing coincidence, Romney picked Ryan exactly the same week that the Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard and National review told him. He fired up the old time machine again (the same one he used to "retroactively retire") and said he had actually decided on Ryan a week earlier.

  7. c u n d gulag Says:

    Bill Kristol – the Col. Klink of American political pundits.

    And, when it comes to reality, his pal Krauthammer is the Sgt. Schultz – "I see nothing… NOTHING!"

  8. comrade x Says:

    It is always amusing to see ultraright pundits bring up Reagan in their articles- as if invoking the name of St. Ronnie will solve all of their problems.

  9. anotherbozo Says:

    Phrases like this are why I come here first!

    And there you have it, straight from the horse's ass.

  10. doug Says:

    'self-confident pick' There is an 'r' missing….

  11. Amused Says:

    I love the word choice: "proselytizing" on behalf of the conservative cause.

  12. Jaime Says:

    With all Billy the K's "trench warfare" and "war of maneuver" blather, I've the absurd non-sequiteur vision of Paul Ryan being likened to this –

    http://yabs.isambard.com.au/images/props/181-captured.jpg

    Idiotically high silhouette, prone to tipping over in rough terrain and stuffed full of Germans.

  13. acer Says:

    It's not getting easier to do damage control for the GOP brand.

    I still think Ryan is a closet atheist, so, great! Some representation!

    I also think he's going to get annihilated on the national campaign trail. He's a thin-skinned dweeb who can't handle confrontation.

  14. Major Kong Says:

    Kristol sure loves war metaphors for a guy who's never been anywhere near a real combat zone.

  15. Daniel Says:

    Chickenhawks love war metaphors. It is much more enjoyable to watch war coverage with one hand on your member for those types of people.

  16. Sarah Says:

    I love the word choice: "proselytizing" on behalf of the conservative cause.

    The last time I had somebody (two somebodies, actually, and they were Mormons) try to proselytize at me, I slammed the door in their faces.

    On another related note, a proposed municipal ordinance which would have given protected class status to LGBT folks recently failed here. This morning's paper included a column written by a lady who lives near me, regarding the failure of the initiative. It starts off as rage-inducing and then suddenly takes a left turn into AWESOME.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-08-20/story/bonnie-upright-bills-rejection-will-let-me-hire-my-favorite-people

  17. Shane Says:

    I have a few friends who are working, either paid or as volunteers, for the Obama campaign; I hit them up a few days after the Ryan pick and they ALL told me that they had a surge of volunteers, donations, phone calls of support, increased voter registration drive numbers, etc etc.

    Suffice to say:

    Newton's third law > Bill Kristol

  18. Stephen Says:

    I cannot not read "Good news everyone" and not think of futurama.

  19. Both Sides Do It Says:

    Is there a single person in Jeff Dunham's America that actually enjoys reading Kristol's schlock? Or who reads it and thinks they are more informed or enriched for the experience?

    I guess some people might like reading it to get a visceral tribal thrill of triumphal victory, but at some point even the animals on Animal Farm started giving Squealer dirty looks.

  20. Matt Says:

    Shorter Bill Kristol: "Obama was a forward-looking reformer. The Romney/Ryan ticket is proud to be backward-looking regressive looters, so they're EXACTLY the same thing!"