Clash of the Conservative Titans

Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard editor and DC conservative establishment icon has been on a crusade to gin up a third party candidate so as to prevent a Donald Trump presidency. This is such utter nonsense, all but guaranteed to elect Hillary Clinton and turn the Supreme Court into a rubber stamp for the wildest dreams of progressives, that I have had a hard time believing it is not some sort of weird and destructive prank.

I can’t claim to know Kristol, but we have had a few pleasant chats over the years, and he has always been the soul of sobriety and reflection. His embarking on this course would be disaster for conservatives and America if implemented, but strikes me as so unlikely that I have not bothered taking note of it.  Derangement does not seem too strong a word, and it is not polite to stare at the deranged.

But one person of iconic status has decided to take on Kristol’s quest: David Horowitz, probably the most effective opponent the American Left has. David has never shied away from a fight, to put it mildly. In a remarkably frank piece at Breitbart, Titan Horowitz takes on Titan Kristol:

One would think that the Trump opponents would have substantial reasons for pursuing such a destructive course. But examination of their expressed reasons shows that one would be wrong. Their chief justification for opposing Trump is that he is not a “constitutional conservative” and in fact is “without principles” and therefore dangerous. The evidence offered is that he has supported Democrats in the past and changed his positions on important issues.

Yet in seeking a candidate to carry their standard, the Kristol group has approached billionaire investor Mark Cuban, a figure uncannily similar to Trump. During the presidential election year 2012, the Hollywood Reporter noted that, “in February, billionaire sports and media mogul Mark Cuban was seen hugging Barack Obama at a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser for the president’s re-election bid.” Cuban was also a visible campaigner for Obama four years earlier. A fan of Obamacare, Cuban wrote a column for Huffington Post just before the 2012 election titled, “I would vote for Gov. Romney if he were a Democrat.”

Now it is true that Mark Cuban eventually had second thoughts about Obama, and perhaps even about Democrats. But what these facts show is that Kristol and his allies are willing to elect anyone but Trump, even if they have even fewer principles than the man they hate.

I am all for welcoming people who have changed their minds about the Left and come over to our side, a group that includes Kristol’s farther Irving, Horowitz, Trump, Cuban (and me). Kristol’s reasoning does not support his actions.

A second charge against Trump is that his character is so bad (worse than Hillary’s or Bill’s?) that no right-thinking Republican could regard him as White House worthy. “I just don’t think he has the character to be president of the United States,” Kristol declared in a recent interview:

It’s beyond any particular issue I disagree with him on, or who he picks as VP or something. The man in the last five days has embraced Mike Tyson, the endorsement of a convicted rapist in Indiana… He likes toughness, Donald Trump, that’s great, he likes rapists.

This would be fairly damning if the facts were as black and white as Kristol presents them. But as anyone familiar with the sports world would know, Mike Tyson had a dramatic change of heart following his release from prison — rejected the life he had led, repented his past, and committed himself to a course of humility and service to others.

There is much more to the piece, but I will leave to readers the pleasures of watching the rest of the Clash of the Titans.

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman