JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

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Tuesday, July 22, 2003
 
William Kristol
William Kristol's now oft-cited column in the Weekly Standard argues that the questioning Democrats are doing about the Iraqi-nuclear material-intelligence will end up hurting the Democrats. He writes that "it's a free country, and if the Democrats prefer instead to act as a pathologically disgruntled lunatic fringe, then it'll be their problem more than anyone else's."

Let's remember for a second what Kristol wrote about the Linda Tripp and the Starr Report (much of this is Kristol quoting Mark Helprin, but Kristol obviously agrees with what Helprin is saying):

Politicians, jittery as they are, may wish to reread the prophetic words of author Mark Helprin, in a Wall Street Journal piece from October 1997. For Republicans, wrote Helprin, "there can be only one visceral theme, one battle, one task" -- "to address the question of William Jefferson Clinton's fitness for office in light of the many crimes, petty and otherwise, that surround, imbue, and color his tenure. The president must be made subject to the law."

Thanks to Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp -- and, of course, Ken Starr -- Helprin's call to arms carries a new urgency. Starr's report will reveal, in Helprin's words, "a field of battle clearly laid down." The lines have been drawn. What Republicans now need is the nerve to fight. They must stand for, to quote Helprin again, "the rejection of intimidation, the rejection of lies, the rejection of manipulation, the rejection of disingenuous pretense, and a revulsion for the sordid crimes and infractions the president has brought to his office."
(Weekly Standard, May 25, 1998, page 18.)

To make things clear:

Kristol believes questoning an administration about faulty intelligence that was used to justify a war reveals one as a "pathologically disgruntled lunatic fringe."

A woman who tapes phone conversations about an affair she's having with a married man, the woman who was taped, and the man who investigated the taping laid down a great field of battle. Kristol believed the Republicans needed the nerve to fight this important battle. Need to fight, of course, because they were revulsed by the sorrid crime of adultery.

The Republicans are glorious. They were fighting against adultery; a battle to save the county, democracy, and the rule of law. Once more into the breach dear friends, once more. However, for Kristol, question a Republican president about bad intelligence, and you are pathological and luney.

I have one question: How does William Kristol differ from Ann Coulter?

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