News and Commentary

Bill Kristol Comes Out Of The ‘Political Closet’
Moderator Joy-Ann Reid (L) and William Kristol at 'LBJ' panel during Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California.
Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon

On Saturday, formerly conservative anti-Trump columnist and pundit Bill Kristol renounced any ties he has left to conservatism, declaring himself (and the rest of us, apparently) a Democrat, via social media.

“Not presumably forever; not perhaps for a day after Nov. 3, 2020; not on every issue or in every way until then. But for the time being one has to say: We are all Democrats now,” Kristol posted.

The pundit, it seems, was reacting to the Friday vote in the Senate to stop new witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, thus paving the for president’s quick acquittal. The Senate voted 51-49, largely along party lines, to block witness testimony; Republican Senators Mitt Romney (UT) and Susan Collins (ME) both defected, joining the Democrats to vote in favor of new witnesses.

Kristol’s anti-Trump position has been unwavering since 2016. The pundit posted a similarly pro-left-wing tweet in 2017: “The GOP tax bill’s bringing out my inner socialist,” he wrote. “The sex scandals are bringing out my inner feminist. Donald Trump and Roy Moore are bringing out my inner liberal. WHAT IS HAPPENING?”

In December 2018, The Weekly Standard, which Kristol founded, shuttered. Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, at the time of the announcement, pointedly noted Kristol’s ardent anti-Trump advocacy even as Presiden Trump was achieving conservative goals (emphasis added):

The death of The Weekly Standard has spurred accusations that the magazine was shuttered for its anti-Trump position. But that neglects the fact that the new editor of the Washington Examiner magazine is Seth Mandel, another Trump-skeptical conservative. While the Standard may have taken a more stridently anti-Trump position than any other conservative outlet, it was far from the only outlet to oppose many of President Trump’s policies as well as critiquing his lack of moral fiber. The biggest problem for the Standard, at least in the mainstream conservative mind, was the consistently anti-Trump tone taken by many of its leading voices, even when Trump was accomplishing conservative goals. To a large extent, this was due to the ideological shadow cast by longtime Standard editor-in-chief Bill Kristol, who has been loudly proclaiming that he is seeking a primary alternative to Trump in 2020.

The tweet from Kristol was widely criticized by both pro-Trump and Trump-skeptical conservatives.

Conservative columnist and radio host Todd Starnes, for example, likened the post to Kristol finally coming out of the “political closet.”

“Not even close,” responded conservative columnist Kimberly Ross. “I’ve been an independent conservative since before the 2016 election and take plenty of issue with Trump and any uncritical supporters, but am no more sympathetic to the Democratic cause than I was before.”

“This ‘Democrat by default’ mindset is sheer nonsense,” she added.

Ross did not vote for Trump in 2016 and has said she will not vote for him in 2020.

CNN anti-Trump Republican S.E. Cupp replied to Kristol: “Um, what?”

“No, one really doesn’t,” responded National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis.

“I mean, sure, if you don’t care about policy and just want to virtue-signal. They’ll never love you—and they’ll never respect you either,” hammered Ilya Shapiro.

H/t Giancarlo Sopo

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Bill Kristol Comes Out Of The ‘Political Closet’