The Times columnist won't come clean about whether or not he played a central, behind-the-scenes role in getting the McCain campaign to pick Sarah Palin as the GOP VP. If true, that claim, reported last week by Scott Horton, would give readers additional insight as Kristol continues to strongly defend Palin (as he does in today's column) in the face of an avalanche of conservative critics who have denounced her candidacy.
Kristol in his column also doesn't come clean about what the specific complaint prominent conservatives, including Peggy Noonan and David Brooks, have lodged against Palin; that she's an anti-intellectual and that she spurns the pursuit of ideas. As Noonan wrote :
This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.
Kristol specifically mentioned Noonan's critique in his column, but pretends that what Noonan really objected to was the GOP turn to populism. So Kristol spends most of his column defending the masses and ridiculing elites. That's fine. But that's clearly not the point Noonan raised.
It must be eye-opening for conservatives to finally be on the receiving end of Kristol's misinformation and watch him build up and tear down straw men.