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Kristol’s Shallowness

January 23rd, 2007

When Bill Kristol appeared on The Daily Show a few weeks back, Stewart nailed him in a way that seems to have been overlooked, pointing out Kristol’s common wingnut double-standard in regarding Bush:

Kristol: Bush has been right about taking the war to them, not letting them come to us, he was right about the fact that with aggressive tactics…

Stewart: So he was, waitwaitwait, I heard a phrase that I hadn’t heard, waitwaitwait. He was right about…

Kristol: …the fact that with aggressive tactics on our part we wouldn’t be attacked, for the last five years, which is something he deserves some credit for, I think.

Stewart: I disagree.

Kristol: Really?

Stewart: Yeah. I mean, 1993 …

Kristol: We all thought we would be attacked again…

Stewart: 1993, they bombed the World Trade Center, and they didn’t bomb again until, what, 2001. That’s what, eight years? So, Clinton needs more credit than Bush, it would seem.

Kristol: Well, they attacked us, unfortunately, they attacked in Africa in 1998…

Stewart: If we’re gonna add in attacks in Africa, we gotta go Spain, we gotta go England, and then we gotta say, they actually have attacked us, quite frequently, since…

Kristol: Yeah, and you know, we’re in a global war.

I noticed this when it got played last week on the International Edition of The Daily Show, and just got around to looking it up now. You can find a video clip of the of the interview, as always, on C&L here; the part I transcribed above starts at about a quarter of the way into the video.

What surprises me is that when you look at the commentary on the interview, nobody notes that Kristol’s argument was completely hypocritical, and that Stewart completely nailed him for it–or that Kristol just shrugged it off, instead of thoughtfully reflecting, “Hey, you’re right on that one.”… because for right-wingers, there’s nothing wrong with that kind of “logic.” It’s the standard double-standard for Clinton and Bush that right-wingers love; in this case, Bush gets all the credit for no major attacks, but Clinton doesn’t because there were overseas embassy attacks in his 8-year stretch of quiet, ignoring all the overseas attacks during Bush’s term.

The thing is, how can someone of Kristol’s media stature, one of the top-tier conservative intellectuals, get away with such openly sloppy “reasoning”? Unless, of course, everyone simply shrugs it off as Kristol did, and considers it ‘par for the course’?

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