Bill Kristol, back from the paths of the dead

Just when a sigh of relief could be expressed that Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard is dead and buried, he and his fellow-traveling Trump-haters have crawled out of the crypt like walking dead vampires to find a new home.

On January 7, the website The Bulwark was launched as a new source of commentary, with former radio host Charlie Sykes as editor-in-chief and Kristol  himself as editor-at-large.  They'll be joined by a familar cast of writers and contributors.

Some of this familiar cast include Weekly Standard alumni like Jonathan V. Last, Rachael Larimore, Jim Swift, Ben Parker, and Hannah Yoest.  If the National Review ever slides under the waves, Jonah Goldberg and David French can sure of a welcome by their fellow Trump-haters at the Bulwark. 

Sykes  is open about the Bulwark's purpose.  He claims that it is to "provide a voice for non-Trumpian conservatives."  When that statement is unpacked, its fuller meaning is that The Bulwark is pro-intervention, pro-gloablism, anti-nationalism, and above all anti-MAGA.  Singing the tune of the Democratic Party, Sykes goes on to say the Bulwark is needed to provide a "form of permanent opposition to the president."  My translation: No matter what President Trump accomplishes or tries to accomplish for the American people, we will oppose him. 

Sykes  disingenuously claims that his website is not The Weekly Standard 2.0.  It stretches the imagination to believe that it isn't.  Everything old is new again.  The philosophy and motives of The Bulwark are the same as the now defunct Weekly Standard – only now, Kristol has a fresh face for his agenda...and new financial backing, which is where the story gets interesting.

The Weekly Standard was funded by conservative Colorado billionaire Philip F. Anschutz before he pulled the plug.  The cost of launching the Bulwark is estimated by CNN to be a million dollars, which should last about a year.

The parent of the Bulwark is the Defending Democracy Together Institute, which is a 501(c)(3) founded by Kristol in August 2018.  Not surprisingly, its website promotes pro-free trade and is pro-immigration and anti-Russian.  Last year, Kristol's institute received grants totaling $600,000 from an advocacy group totally funded by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.

Who is Omidyar?  He was born of Iranian parents in France.  He is a major political donor and funder of progressive causes, giving over $500,000 to the Democratic Party in the last twenty years and $100,000 to the NeverTrump PAC in 2016. 

Kristol and Omidyar strange bedfellows?  Not really.  Hatred of Trump and his MAGA policies can be a powerful unifying force.  Look at how the feminists and leftists cozy up with radical Muslims.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.