By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2009, 2:11pm PT  

Looks like it'll be back to Wingnut Welfare and Fox "News" (same thing) for the constantly-wrong "mainstream" propagandist Bill Kristol, whose column in the New York Times today, ends with a singular ed note: "This is William Kristol’s last column."

Well, what took ya so long NYTimes?! Kristol's laughable presence ends just over a year after it ignominiously began, and not a moment too soon.

As coincidence would have it, I had 90% of a column written on Kristol's penultimate column last week (when we didn't know it was his penultimate), which I eventually abandoned, for no particularly good reason, after getting distracted by some other story at the time.

So, for history's sake --- and a farewell gift --- my previously unpublished smack-down of the Times' now-formerly embarrassing nattering nabob follows...

Perhaps it's always been like this. Perhaps the misapprehension has been mine that op-ed writers offered opinion and editorial, as opposed to out-and-out propaganda. But just in case I'm right, and op-eds ought to represent independent, if often strongly opinionated position which may be more aligned with one party or political ideology than another, I'll just have to ask again: why the hell is disgraced Bush-administration mouthpiece, hack, apologist, Bill Kristol still allowed a weekly slot to sully the already-far-too-sullied pages of "the paper of record"?...

Kristol's Monday column in the New York Times is little more than a last gasp attempt to underscore the false trajectory of the hoped-for historical rewrite of the Bush Legacy Tour that we've seen played out over the last several weeks. It's full of stuff and nonsense which, as if it's said often enough, might be referenced as "true" someday by a latter day "Ann Coulter" hoping to revive the failed ideas of an historically --- and tragically --- failed administration.

It's not working now, and we can only hope future generations are smart enough to not fall for it then. But cretins happen everywhere. Kristol is proof of that.

Opinion is one thing, out-and-out lies are another. And Kristol's words "of record", are propaganda, wrapped in lies, wrapped in the former respectability of a newspaper of now-dubious repute growing dubious-er by each and every day in which Kristol is allowed to abuse it as his own personal fish-wrapper.

So, in hopes of balancing history, in case someone makes the mistake of referring to Kristol or his Monday column as if it represented reality, let's dissect just a few of the attempts, from his column this week, to extend Bush/Cheney's Wonderland World for a few more hours, in his hopes that history, and Google, won't otherwise notice.

Kristol writes that Bush "has made mistakes as president, and has limitations as a leader. But he has exercised his just and rightful authority in a way - I believe - that deserves recognition and respect."

For a start, his "authority" may have been "just", in that the Justices of the Supreme Court awarded it to him, despite having received fewer votes in Florida [PDF] and in the rest of the nation than his opponent, Al Gore, in the 2000 election. But it was never "rightful" in any way, shape, or form, unless you're in favor of Saddam Hussein-like "democracy" where the most thuggish candidate can "win", despite the will of the citizens meant to be represented by such an election.

Further, Bush is owed no "recognition" nor "respect" for succeeding only in disrespecting both the Rule of Law and the U.S. Constitution at any turn he saw fit, even admitting as much whenever he could no longer avoid it, or thought such base lawlessness might be used to crass political advantage.

Speaking about his Rabbi's prayer for Israel at his synagogue last Saturday, Kristol observed that he "couldn’t help but reflect that a distressingly small number of my fellow Jews seem to have given much thought at all to the fact that President Bush is one of the greatest friends the state of Israel — and, yes, the Jewish people — have had in quite a while."

"Bush stood with Israel when he had no political incentive to do so and received no political benefit from doing so," Kristol wrote with a presumably straight face. "He was criticized by much of the world. He did it because he thought it the right thing to do."

What courage it must take for any American President to "[stand] with Israel", as if there has ever been a single one of them, during the 60 years of Israel's existence, who has parted ways --- in even the slightest --- with the whims, no matter how reckless and ultimately-self defeating, of the United States' protectorate in the Middle East.

As to having "had no political incentives" for whatever support he imagines he gave to Israel, how about the incentive of not being run out of office in 2004 had he not done so, and the loss of the tiny percentage of support by Americans that he'd managed to hang on to as his endless second term dwindled to national shame and shared international nightmare.

While the strategic significance of a friendly Israel in the Middle East is obvious --- even to those who have, sadly, come to despise Israel given that nation's continuing unfettered recklessness, aggression and devastation on the watch of an American President whose delusions of "good and evil" and "right and wrong" have replaced the distinctions of both good and evil and actual right and wrong --- Bush's enabling of continued failed policies in the region, ultimately, have done no favors for the Israeli people, or, yes, the Jewish people.

Before I got distracted, and failed to complete the piece, I had also planned to dissect this laughable suggestion from the same column: "Many of Bush’s defenders have praised him for keeping the country safe since Sept. 11, 2001. He deserves that praise."

Instead, I ended up responding to that wholly bogus notion, made by so many of Bush's neocon-men upon his leaving (and, sadly, casually concurred with by too many non-wingnuts) in a separate piece I filed here last week.

As well, I had planned to speak to this: "But I don’t think keeping us safe has been Bush’s most impressive achievement. That was winning the war in Iraq." But will wait to deconstruct that nonsense at a later date.


For more on the end of Kristol's reign , see Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell who writes that his column "often made The Times read like The Onion."

By the way, the excellent media critic Mitchell, author of the must-read So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits--and the President--Failed on Iraq has just released his newest book, promising a progressive's look at the 2008 campaign: Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008.

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