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Kristol Reveals Gop's Secret Plan

Remember when Mike Schaffer wrote that Bill Kristol's column was "immensely useful" because he was "shunning the responsibilities of a public intellectual and instead writing an amoral column that might have been drafted by a paid political operative of the sort Kristol used to be"? This is the kind of thing he was talking about:

[Conservatives and Republicans] should do their best not to permit Obama to rush his agenda through this year. They can't allow Obama to make of 2009 what Franklin Roosevelt made of 1933 or Johnson of 1965. Slow down the policy train. Insist on a real and lengthy debate. Conservatives can't win politically right now. But they can raise doubts, they can point out other issues that we can't ignore (especially in national security and foreign policy), they can pick other fights -- and they can try in any way possible to break Obama's momentum.

Here Kristol is reprising his role in the 1994 health reform debate, when he urged Republicans to oppose reform "sight unseen" rather than work toward a constructive alternative. His current advice is equally disingenuous. Kristol is saying that Republicans should raise objections about the speed of legislation, pick fights, point to foreign policy -- but not because they actually care about the speed of the legislative process or the other fights they're going to pick. It will all be a pretext to stop Obama's agenda.

Is this the kind of thing he should be admitting in public?

--Jonathan Chait