Apparently people really like it when you go on Twitter and smack down anti-Trump Republicans offering unsolicited advice to Democrats about how they need to be more moderate

Remember how, a few weeks ago, former FBI Director James Comey offered Democrats a bit of unsolicited advice in a tweet, telling us that we should eschew the “socialist left,” as “America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership”? Well, this morning another high-profile former Republican, Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol, stepped up to tell us on the left that, if we really wanted to win, we’d force Nancy Pelosi from her position as the leader of the Democratic caucus in the House. And, somehow, I got to be the first person to tell Kristol, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

While I, for the most part, like Kristol in his most recent incarnation, as someone who, though the new organization Republicans for the Rule of Law, is fighting to protect the Mueller investigation, I’m not inclined to let him off the hook for the role he played in creating the toxic environment that gave rise to Trumpism. He, as far as I could see, was fine with he lies of Fox News as long as they were serving his conservative interests. At least I don’t recall him leaving the party during the fake Benghazi hearings, or when Donald Trump was questioning whenever or not our country’s first black president was really a United States citizen. Sure, he’s come out recently, calling Fox News “ethno-nationalism,” and trying to rally his fellow Republicans against Donald Trump, but I don’t know that he’s ever taken responsibility for the role he played in creating this monster that he can no longer control.

I get the sense, when I read comments like this one today, that what Kristol wants is to remake the Democratic Party into something that he could see himself being a part of. The truth, however, is that the Republicans hate Pelosi for a reason. They hate her because she’s effective at pushing Democratic policies, like the ACA. And, if Kristol really wanted to defeat Trump, he’d stop telling us to remove our most effective leaders from power, and he’d start writing about how we should stop voter suppression and gerrymandering in this country. The truth is, Republican ideas are significantly less popular in this country than Democratic ideas. A vast majority of Americans actually want universal health care, quality public education, and policies that grow the middle class. The reason Republicans win, in spite of this, isn’t that Pelosi is ineffective. It’s because the Republicans have lied and cheated for the past 30 years or more, redrawing district lines to their advantage, making it more difficult for poor people of color to vote, and funding the dissemination of insane conspiracy theories. And, with all due respect to Bill Kristol, I’d like to see him helping on that front, instead of telling us which Democrats we should put out to pasture.

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  1. iRobert
    Posted August 9, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I loved him in City Slickers and in When Harry Met Sally.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    “Hello, I’m the mad scientist next door. Yes, the one in the castle who made the monster. I know. I’m sorry. No, I didn’t know that he killed your son. That’s tragic to be sure, but that’s not why I’m here today. I’m here to offer you advice on how to create your own monster. You see, I’m selling these plans…….”

  3. anonimal
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I group him with folks like David Brooks, people who spent years willing to turn a blind eye to their party being taken over by the cultural right (I think its useful to think of them as the Dixiecrats – the government is here for, to protect, and subsidize white people), by pretending that the rest of their party was a high minded as they are. Now they have lost favor, and Brooks at least has gone on the record saying that Democrats calling Republicans racist was what caused the Republican party to lose its mind. I like a lot of what they have to say, but I think its clear that they live inside a bubble of theoretical conservatism, and didn’t realize how obvious the take over of their party was to those on the outside.

  4. M
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Kristol is in a tough spot. He knows Trumpism is a cancer to our democracy, and he knows it needs to stop, but he doesn’t want to stop winning on the conservative policy front. He’s OK with the Democrats winning, but only if they’re moderate Democrats. And the prospect of America going more left terrifies him, as does the thought of Pelosi in power. But that’s what happens when the pendulum goes so far in one direction. It has to swing back. And none of this happened in a vacuum. This isn’t academic. The GOP did this over DECADES. They created this machine that pushed us so far to the right, and now it’s falling apart. And, when it collapses, the pendulum is going to swing back in a big fucking way, knocking over a lot of rich old white men in the process.

  5. Katherine
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Fox News has ramped up their anti-Pelosi rhetoric in advance of the midterms.

    @kayleighmcenany: “[@TheDemocrats] are not only messageless, but they’re leaderless.”

  6. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    But most of the national debate about Pelosi isn’t driven by honest frustration over her leadership, rather a massive multimillion dollar campaign by Paul Ryan’s superpac and others to appeal to sexism and homophobia by making her a Boogiewoman

  7. Paul Krugman
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    The GOP’s success in demonizing Nancy Pelosi is remarkable and depressing. By any standard I can think of she’s been the most effective legislative leader in decades, instrumental in defending Social Security and expanding health care 1/

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Nancy Pelosi is the new HRC.

  9. iRobert
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I do think Pelosi should relinquish the leadership position – mostly just to take away the target the GOP has made her into for this midterm. With three months to Election Day, it would be difficult for the Republicans to get as much mileage out of any other caricature they can build in that limited time.

  10. Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    “I do think Pelosi should relinquish the leadership position – mostly just to take away the target the GOP has made her into for this midterm.”

    While I agree that there might be short term electoral benefits in creating distance from Pelosi, I’m of the opinion that we shouldn’t remove one of our most effective legislators just because the GOP has demonized her. And let’s be very clear…. the reason they’ve invested so much in attacking her is because she’s damn effective at blocking them and getting Democratic bills through, like the ACA. But, with that said, I don’t mind if people running for office distance themselves from her.

  11. iRobert
    Posted August 12, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Pelosi has been unusually effective compared to former Democratic minority leaders. She’s just easy to demonize, amongst Republicans especially. She makes frequent gaffs and doesn’t always seem to know what she’s talking about.

  12. iRobert
    Posted August 12, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    So, neither Mark nor Jean has mentioned the ageism of Kristol’s comment.

    I demand you both denounce ageism immediately. Otherwise, I will assume you support bigotry against senior citizens.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted August 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Mark— I appreciate again that you are Acknowledging women who are being railroaded. It’s a relief.
    iRobert– I don’t see any of the many old men in congress being demonized by the right. The ageism works so much better when mixed with gender bias. We expect men to age into their power. We fucking hate old women who demand to be seen, heard and (gasp!) followed.

    It’s just super easy to hate older women with power. It’s an easy and effective cultural lever to pull.

    I have not seen much Pelosi criticism from the left or right that holds substance. It’s usyally more of the ‘get out of the way of the young, you evil establishment bitch’ variety.

    You know, God forbid the Speaker of the House be an entrenched establishment figure. Because that never happens….
    Why would we want someone how knows how legislation actually gets made and passed at the helm of the house. I mean, she’s not even cute anymore.

  14. iRobert
    Posted August 13, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you, and have pretty much the same attitude that you do about everything you just said.

    The only difference is that I have seen and heard Pelosi say things which were pretty goofy, and suggested she wasn’t sure what she was talking about.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted August 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    You guys are fzoked. You have to get away from the Democratic Socialists on one side and corrupt establishment Dems on the other.


  16. A. Non
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    To be fair, Bill Kristol, considered birtherism to be a ridiculous conspiracy theory pretty much from day one and he regularly expressed that opinion.

    He also was against turning the Benghazi hearings into a partisan circus.

    People like Bill Maher and Bill Kristol don’t easily fit into the current conservative/liberal caricatures. You might agree with them or you might disagree with them, but they do their best to be fair, objective and honest. They are about as far from partisan fanboys as you can get.

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