Stay classy, Bill Kristol

William Kristol has a strategy for raising the level our national discourse as the election draws near: That debate is important. McCain took a risk in choosing Palin. If she does poorly, it will reflect badly on his judgment. If she does well, it will be a shot in the arm for his campaign. In … Continue reading Stay classy, Bill Kristol

Play their game

From Eric Alterman at the Nation: A week before his 2009 inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama chose as his first high-profile social engagement a dinner party at George Will’s house, where he was joined by William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks. Obama no doubt intended to demonstrate his desire to reach across the ideological divide and … Continue reading Play their game

Team players

I pick on "conservative" columnists a lot here.  I've noted elsewhere (click here) why this is so.  Now I am not the only one making this observation. From County Fair: Last week, I noted that the numerical advantage conservatives have on the nation's op-ed pages doesn't tell the whole story: There's a huge qualitative difference … Continue reading Team players

A last column

A puzzling reflection from William Kristol's last column in the New York Times: We don’t really know how Barack Obama will govern. What we have so far, mainly, is an Inaugural Address, and it suggests that he may have learned more from Reagan than he has sometimes let on. Obama’s speech was unabashedly pro-American and … Continue reading A last column

Opposition party

The other week I was going to post something about how Obama reads criticism closely and takes it seriously.  This, I think, is a praiseworthy intellectual habit.  Perhaps the following item, however, means that he is taking it too far: Barack Obama took the next big step in his Republican charm offensive on Tuesday night, … Continue reading Opposition party

Saddamy

The op-ed page at the New York Times is pretty bad, what with Dowd, Kristol and Friedman, but the op-ed page at the Washington Post is worse.  To end the year on a negative note, here's Ruth Marcus on why an Obama administration should not pursue criminal charges against Bush administration officials who broke the … Continue reading Saddamy

Strategery

Much like everyone else, terrorists aim to achieve an objective.  They are not extra-rational, off-the-charts insane, quite often the contrary.  They are capable of some rather cold calculation.  The colder the better (for them).  The immediate objective of most terrorist acts is to bring violence upon people.  Who the people are doesn't necessarily matter.  But … Continue reading Strategery

Argumentum ad dictum

I can think of the Latin for "bumper sticker" (argumentum ad scriptum bigae in posteriore?).  But Bill Kristol gives us another example in today's Times (see here for another): But the next morning, as I drove around the Washington suburbs, I saw not one but two cars — rather nice cars, as it happens — … Continue reading Argumentum ad dictum

Crystal balls

Like his colleague David Brooks at the New York Times, William Kristol has been pretty much wrong about everything in the past several years (and probably before).  But wrongness, when it happens, just doesn’t happen.  There’s always a reason for it.  So I believe now, at least. I’m not going to explain the wrongness of … Continue reading Crystal balls

Socrates is mortal

Check out this entertaining trope from William Kristol’s op-ed today in the New York Times.  He gives three arguments that have the form of the enthymeme–the argument missing a conclusion or premise–but none of the validity necessary to make such arguments effective.   He writes: But orators often ask themselves the convenient questions, not the difficult … Continue reading Socrates is mortal