Stop the World, Bill Kristol's Gettin' Off

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 18 2012 10:28 AM

Stop the World, Bill Kristol's Gettin' Off

Bill Kristol spent most of 2011 begging a credible conservative to jump into the GOP primary and save America from Mitt Romney. Hell, he even rang that bell when the primary was underway, and it became logistically impossible to pull it off.

The savior never emerged. Today, Kristol works out his frustrations by chucking the GOP standard-bearer beneath the spinning wheels of a speeding Greyhound.

It's worth recalling that a good chunk of the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes are Romney supporters—especially of course seniors (who might well "believe they are entitled to heath care," a position Romney agrees with), as well as many lower-income Americans (including men and women serving in the military) who think conservative policies are better for the country even if they're not getting a tax cut under the Romney plan. So Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.
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Are we seeing the first drafts of the November 7 arguments about why Romney lost? I'm not even saying Romney will lose. John Kerry had worse campaign difficulties, a more popular opponent, and a better economy to run against, and he nearly became president. But if Romney loses, conservatives will immediately start arguing that he betrayed them -- that the elites betrayed them -- and that a candidate who was by and for of the freedom movement would have won. It's what they said after 2008. They won Congress in the next election. Why would they say otherwise?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.