Bill Kristol threatens to support third party nominee if Trump nominated

I think it is fair to say that we have entered the era of Trump Derangement Syndrome, as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tells CNN Money,

"I doubt I'd support Donald. I doubt I'd support the Democrat," Kristol told CNNMoney in an email. "I think I'd support getting someone good on the ballot as a third party candidate."

Coming in the wake of concerted, successful efforts to get Trump to sign a pledge to support the Republican nominee, this looks exceedingly bad. Even though Kristol was not among those seeking the pledge.


Nobody ever accused Bill Kristol of being stupid, and he has spent his career in national politics, so he certainly understands the immense obstacles facing a third party challenge, especially one that could begin as late as post-2016 convention. Merely gaining ballot access in all 50 states is very difficult and expensive. And who would be on Kristol’s fantasy ticket? CNN Money asked:

So who would Kristol like to see on the ballot?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and freshman Senator Tom Cotton, Kristol said, "would be an excellent independent ticket!"

I am among the minority of Americans who think Dick Cheney should have been president. But face it, a man with multiple heart attacks and a pacer, who is believed to be responsible for the perceived disasters of the second Bush administration, is not going to energize a movement sufficient to win the presidency. I also like Senator Cotton a lot. But most Americans have never heard of him.

Third party candidacies have never succeeded in doing anything but elect the person most at odds with the views expressed by their supporters. There is near-zero chance of such a ticket succeeding, and a very high probability of it electing Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden or even Bernie Sanders, depending on which way the Democrats go.

Bill Kristol, an unusually even-tempered and thoughtful man, appears to have given in to emotional impulses. Perhaps it is frustration with the inability of the unwashed masses to see what he perceives in Donald Trump. Presumably a demagogue with no principles who is leading his party to disaster.  An ingrate who attacked John McCain.

In an odd way, Kristol is mirroring the very frustrations of the GOP base, who have absolutely lost confidence in the party establishment, and who don’t care if others predict doom should Trump be nominated. They have had it with all the broken promises. Now Kristol has had it with Trump and his supporters.

Politics have become psychodrama.


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