Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bill Kristol's Pathetic Search for a 2020 GOP Challenger to Trump


Political pundit Bill Kristol is in the news again for the same reason he has been in the news before: he and his nonprofit organization "Defending Democracy Together" are "seeking" a GOP candidate to challenge President Trump in the 2020 primaries.

It's unclear to me what it means that Kristol is "seeking" a candidate, as if any potential challenger to Trump needs his approval and can't run without first kissing his ring. It sounds like something a megalomaniac would say, or someone upset that an outsider like Trump, who never needed his endorsement or anything at all from him, is now the leader of the Republican Party.

Kristol's potential hires seem unenthusiastic about wanting or needing his support as well. Among the names Kristol likes to bandy about are Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Governor John Kasich of Ohio. Kasich and Flake are unwilling to talk, and Sasse's communications director James Wegmann dissed Kristol:
Ben isn’t paying any attention to the 2020 Washington rumors. Bill is a nice guy but he’s freelancing his own show here. We’re not involved.
Kristol, one of the leaders of the Never Trump movement, doesn't have a reason for opposing Trump that makes any sense to the vast majority of Republicans who support the president. Kristol has said that Trump "demeans" conservatism. It's a nonsensical charge aimed at the man who installed conservative Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, soon to be joined by Brett Kavanaugh. The economy is roaring under Trump and he has reinvigorated traditional American patriotism like no other modern president.

Thriller author Brad Thor, who made several wildly bizarre statements about Trump during the 2016 primaries, has indicated he wants to challenge Trump, yet even Kristol is ignoring him.

None of the possible names--including Mitt Romney and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan--stand a prayer of unseating Trump, whose popularity among Republicans continues to grow, and is now somewhere near 90% approval.

Meanwhile, Kristol says nice things about Democrats such as Oprah Winfrey, and not always tongue-in-cheek: "Wouldn't she be a better president than Trump?" he asked wistfully. And he is still on the Russia collusion bandwagon:
"Their [Trump supporters] last line of defense is 'it's not Russia.' but how do we know it is not Russia?
Well, the entire world knows it isn't Russia. Kristol and his sycophants become more irrelevant with each passing interview published in the anti-Trump news media.

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