Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has been a man possessed for the last couple of months, desperately trying to put together a third-party alternative to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While Kristol appeared last week to have settled on National Review writer David French as the man for the job, French announced later that he would not be running for president. Would Kristol finally concede? Would he resign himself to pelting Trump from the peanut gallery?
In the Weekly Standard this week, writer Jay Cost took one last swing for the fences:
Dear Governor Romney,
I write to you not as a fellow conservative, not as a fellow partisan, but as a citizen of our republic. You have served your nation admirably for many years and by any ordinary standard are entitled to a happy retirement. But these are extraordinary times, and your nation still has need of your service. I respectfully implore you to run for president as an independent candidate in 2016.
In the immortal words of John Kasich, geez oh man.
Give it up, guys. Whatever Mitt Romney is doing these days, it’s surely more fulfilling than making a third failed bid for the White House. And make no mistake about it, there’s no possible outcome for a Romney run other than failure. He knows it, this Jay Cost fellow knows it, and Bill Kristol knows it. And if any of them don’t know it, then they need to step outside in the fresh air and get reacquainted with the real world.
Of course, it is possible that what Kristol really wants is to elect Hillary Clinton. He would never admit that in a thousand years, of course, but that’s all he will accomplish with his nefarious plan to stop Trump.
Romney had his shot in 2012 and he choked. He had his moment to take Trump apart a few months ago, and it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference. What makes Kristol or anyone else think anything has changed. Republican voters are rallying around the nominee, and the so-called conservative intelligentsia simply can’t stand it. So they are apparently going to make fools of themselves between now and November.
Well, have at it, guys. But if your machinations succeed in putting Hillary Clinton in the White House, it will be you – not Trump – who are to blame for betraying conservatism.