If anyone was unfortunate enough to read the ever-wrong Bill Kristol today in his New York Times column, you probably were left scratching your head saying to yourself, "Is this how inexplicably desperate the McCain campaign is?" You see Kristol, who is a foreign policy advisor to the McCain campaign, has brought the Reverend Jeremiah Wright back from the dead in the last month of the campaign.
In his unsubstantive interview with Sarah Palin, Kristol says that when Palin mentioned Ayers, he countered with the assertion that Jeremiah Wright has a closer relationship to the Democratic nominee for president than the former self-proclaimed terrorist. Palin, taking the obvious hint from Kristol and pouncing on it, said the following: "To tell you the truth, Bill, I don't know why that association isn't discussed more, because those were appalling things that the pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that...to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up." Kristol follows with the line, "And I guess we'll soon know McCain's call on whether he wants to bring Wright up - perhaps at his debate with Obama Tuesday night." It appears that neither Palin nor Kristol realizes that McCain has already put the issue to bed.
Back in March, McCain essentially put the kabash on the issue in an interview with George Stephonanopoulos' best friend Sean Hannity when McCain said - after some insistent baiting by Hannity - "I do know Senator Obama, he does not share those views."
So while McCain said eight months ago that the Reverend Wright issue was essentially irrelevant, the campaign's major mouthpiece at the New York Times and the campaign's vice-presidential candidate are bringing it back up in a desperate attempt to drag down Obama. Given the fact that Palin is not really allowed to give input on important decisions - such as the McCain campaign pulling out of Michigan - I would not expect her to realize that the decision regarding Wright had been made months earlier.
Of course, we should all take anything that Kristol says about Wright with a large grain of salt. He is the same man who, in March of this year, stated that Obama was in the pews on the day of Wright's infamous "God damn America" sermon. A little fact-checking was done and Kristol was forced to apologize when it was proven that Obama was not at the church that day. Kristol's writing should always be suspect - he is a bit of a snake when it comes to honesty - but when talking about matters concerning Jeremiah Wright, everything should be, in Santa's manner, checked twice.
Naturally, Bill's column had other issues with it. While pointing out that Palin regretted allowing herself to be handled more than a competitor in the Westminster Dog Show (and before anyone twists my words I am not calling Mrs. Palin a dog), he pointed out how when he asked her if she would challenge Biden to another debate he believed he heard a lot of staffers in the background before Palin gave her answer (though this could just be speaking to Palin's habit of not knowing what is going on in the world around her). He also said that he would volunteer to moderate a debate between the two vice-presidential nominees. Clearly this would be a conflict of interest considering Kristol serves on McCain's campaign (although, to give Kristol a break here, it could have been a tongue-in-cheek comment). But his last line in the column - Hockey Mom knows best - is just ridiculous. Watch the Katie Couric interviews, Bill, and try to repeat that line with a straight face.
I've said it before and I will say it again: why is Bill Kristol given a spot at the New York Times? Are the Times that desperate for a conservative writer that they hire Bill Kristol? After his insistence on Iraq and its projected aftermath was shown to be completely - not even just a little bit, but completely - wrong, why is he a major part of the national conversation? Let him take his spot at Fox News and tell those not concerned with the facts what they want to hear. If Kristol wants to try to argue the issues, that's fine and possibly worthy of a weekly column for him. But if he wants to use his column as a mouthpiece for the McCain campaign by focusing on things like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright when real issues like the economy and foriegn policy are what need to be discussed, let him go serve out his journalistic career as a Fox News hack. Peace.
Photos - Palin at a rally in Florida (Huffington Post)