OLIVER: Bye, Bye, Bill Kristol

Daniel Oliver Contributor
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Bill Kristol has announced (tweeted actually) that he is a Democrat, and, somewhat presumptuously, that you are too: “We are all Democrats now” was his claim, to which people brought up on black-and-white television might reply, “Whaddya mean ‘we’ kemosabe?”

Kristol hasn’t liked Donald Trump from the beginning. But Donald Trump hasn’t changed much from the beginning either, so Kristol’s change of parties must have more to do with the allure of the current Democrat candidates for that party’s nomination for president than with the performance or behavior of the current president.

And one has to admit that the behavior, and the statements, of those candidates are … remarkable.

Foreign policy maven Bill Kristol may have been seduced by Bernie Sanders’s foreign policy sophistication. Sanders once praised Cuba for its education system in an article for the Vermont Freeman called “Cuba: the Other Side of the Story.” Sanders, no dummy, acknowledged certain deficiencies of the Cuban government (lack of civil liberties, crowded jails, food shortages, inept economic management — hey, no government’s perfect) but praises Cuba’s campaign against illiteracy, citing Cuba’s own statistics on the reduction of illiteracy. (You can understand the Cuban government’s desire to have the people be able to read — so they can follow orders.)

Another possibility is that it was Elizabeth Warren who attracted him to the Democrat Party. Warren has announced that she will have a “young trans person” interview her future Secretary of Education and only hire a person the young trans person (“TP”) approves. Okay, perhaps, but how young? Five? Ten? Youth can be attractive, of course. That innocence, that allure, captivates elderly women especially (Warren is almost 71), but also aging men (Kristol is 67). Still, wouldn’t you have thought Warren would have said that she would ask a group of young trans people to interview her candidates rather than just a single TP?

Estimates of the number of transgender kids in the US vary enormously: the figure might be as high as 150,000 — though if you offered free booze to all teens claiming to be transgender the figure might be higher. Even so, that’s a pretty small number from which to draw THE transgender child who will give THE approval for a cabinet secretary. Still, the idea is new and fresh, and may have attracted Bill Kristol.

Another defining statement of Sen. Warren is, “Abortion is now safer than getting your tonsils out.” For people who are in tune with nature and identify with all things living, that may seem a bit harsh on members of the tonsil community, more than half a million of which are terminated with extreme prejudice each year. Still, Warren is clearly ahead of the pack in being concerned about the safety of tonsils (of whatever race, color, creed, sexual identity, previous condition of servitude, or soft drink preference), and it is that concern of hers that may have attracted Kristol to the Democrat Party.

Sanders and Warren are “old,” of course — and “old” is in scare quotes because the adjective is limited solely to an arithmetical fact without any non-woke, prejudicial connotations. But there is fresh blood in the Democrat Party. Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg (no biological relation to Pete, Paul, and Mary) is only 38 years old. Even so his life has been packed with experiences that many men, of whatever gender, only dream of. And Pete’s a “family” man too: he has a “spouse,” Chasten Buttigieg (in an imaginative, new-age twist, the “husband,” Chasten Glezman, took the surname of the “wife” (Pete) — Pete’s a persuasive … guy!).

Especially noteworthy to Kristol, perhaps, is Buttigieg’s military service, which Kristol, never himself having served, may envy. Kristol may admire especially Buttigieg’s managing of the military’s uber-bureaucratic system: he became an officer without undergoing the normal years of arduous training — “no obstacle courses, no weapons training, no evaluation of his ability or willingness to lead” as some Marines have written. Just a little paperwork, a physical, a background check, and — POOF! — a brand new naval officer.

But wait. There’s more. Buttigieg himself described “working eight-hour days” at a base in Illinois as “a relaxing contrast from my day job.” And Buttigieg said that during his six months in Afghanistan, he had “more time for reflection and reading than I was used to back home.” Buttigieg wrote that while in Afghanistan he would take “a laptop and a cigar up to the roof at midnight to pick up a Wi-Fi signal and patch via Skype into a staff meeting at home.” The sangfroid! Pete’s a cool cat! And so, of course, is Bill Kristol.

Could Bill Kristol have been seduced by Mini Mike Bloomberg? That seems unlikely. Elizabeth Warren poisoned that well: “Democrats take a huge risk,” she said, “if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.” Were you surprised too that the 70-year-old candidate forgot to say “white billionaire?”

Have a nice time with your new friends, Bill. We know you won’t forget to write.

Daniel Oliver is Chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute and a Director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review.

Email Daniel Oliver at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com.