Kristol’s One Man Feast

Everyone should take a minute and go read this excellent Jon Chait piece in the TNR from a little over a year ago, The Feast of the Wingnuts.

When finished, go read Bill Kristol.


35 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    This is the dumbest post, Cole. You’re an idiot to think that dissing Kristol is good for the economy. Maybe you should buy a radio and listen, cuz the rooles have changed and things aren’t what you thought they were not now also.

  2. 2
    Incertus says:

    I ain’t reading Kristol. You can go fuck yourself.

    Okay, I actually did, which is to say that I read the words on the page in the order they were presented. Making sense of them, however, is another matter.

  3. 3
    Snowwy says:

    Punchy, are you OK? ‘Cuz honestly, you sound a little…well, you know.

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    You know, if you read Bill Kristol’s column, but you replace all instances of Chuck Schumer with Henry Paulson, Kristol’s column doesn’t sound nearly as insightful. In fact, he comes across as amazingly shrill.

    Paul Krugman is off today.

    Truer words have never been spoken. Also.

  5. 5
    Jim Henley says:

    By far the most entertaining part of the column is the italicized notice at the bottom that "Paul Krugman is off today."

  6. 6
    4tehlulz says:

    I momentarily read that title as "Krisol’s Own Man Feast" and thought bad thoughts.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    See Ezra Klein’s comment. Admitting ignorance is an improvement over oops-my-skull-just-exploded lunacy, but that doesn’t make it admirable.

  8. 8
    ThymeZone says:

    Kristol is just pissed that he is not getting any of the money.

    Of course nobody really knows exactly what it will cost to keep the US Titanic afloat while we pump out the forward compartments.

    Kristol’s remarks remind me of the creationists when we talk about what happened a million years ago: "You don’t know, you weren’t there!"

    If it werent for blogdom, nobody would pay any attention to Kristol. Thanks for giving him the exposure.

  9. 9
    Zifnab says:

    If it werent for blogdom The New York Times, FOX News, and the Weekly Standard, nobody would pay any attention to Kristol. Thanks for giving him the exposure.

    Fix’d. Kristol is the foil to common sense. Sometimes you’ve got to bring him up just so you know what not to agree with.

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:


    Kristol is just pissed that he is not getting any of the money.

    That’s a little unfair. I mean, aren’t we all?


  11. 11
    JGabriel says:


    Kristol is the foil to common sense. Sometimes you’ve got to bring him up just so you know what not to agree with.

    It really is becoming something of a truism: if you’re an unsure on an issue, just read Kristol then go the other way.


  12. 12
    joe from Lowell says:

    It’s amazing how economic delusion spreads through the conservative movement.

    These days, the latest fetish is New Deal denialism. Everything was just awesome with the economy until Roosevel came into office and ruined it.

    I recently had an exchange with one particular wingnut, who launched into a profanity-laden tirade after I pointed out that the recovery stalled out after FDR tried to impose fiscal discipline in 1937. When I linked to a chart showing exactly that, he told me that I was the most historically ignorant person he’d ever met. Then went and pouted.

  13. 13
    ThymeZone says:

    I mean, aren’t we all?

    Heh. Let’s talk after we get our next stimulus checks.

  14. 14
    joe from Lowell says:

    If you’d spent 1992 and 1993 proclaiming that the economy was going to go into a deep and lengthy recession because of Bill Clinton’s economic program, don’t you think you would either 1) modify your economic theories or 2) proclaim them with a modicum of humility and tentativeness?

    Not our Bill Kristol.

  15. 15
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    JC that Chait piece is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. I haven’t read lizard-face yet. I might not.

  16. 16
    C says:

    "You’re an idiot to think that dissing Kristol is good for the economy. Maybe you should buy a radio and listen, cuz the rooles have changed and things aren’t what you thought they were not now also."

    Oh good, the dittohead cavalry is here.

    Let me take things down to your level.

    Maybe u should buy sum books they r reel good and possibly check out other sources ov news becuz reality doesn’t fit your talk radio mold.

  17. 17
    Napoleon says:

    I read Chait’s book, which is what that article was based on, and I thought it was very good.

  18. 18
    Tony J says:

    Uh, C, I think you missed the snark. The clue is in the tacked-on "also".

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    You’re an idiot to think that dissing Kristol is good for the economy.

    But figuring out which direction he’s going so you can do the exact opposite is very profitable.

  20. 20
    Tsulagi says:

    Rarely read TNR, but that Feast of the Wingnuts piece was pretty much spot on. The three categories of Bush admin “serious adults” devoted to the economy accurately sums them up…

    some of them ideological zealots, others merely greedy, a few of them possibly insane.

    Of course, though, taking a macro view those three categories sum up the entire Bush/Cheney admin in all areas as well as currently being the three legs of the Republican party stool. About the only thing debatable is the percentages in each category.

    However I have low expectations from the Dems. Maybe that was the genius behind the Democratic performance since the 06 midterms. If starting next year we could get to non-retarded, minimally competent federal government, I’d call it good.

  21. 21
    Mark S. says:

    That Chait was really good. It is amazing how the Laffer Curve is the fundamental dogma of the Republican party, which is saying something, because these guys don;t tolerate a lot dissent on other issue either. Being pro-choice or pro-gay is barely tolerated, but suggesting getting rid of Bush’s tax cuts will get you booted out of the party.

  22. 22
    sparky says:

    @Punchy: very good, and bonus points for bein’ uhh frist!

  23. 23

    So, correct me if I’m wrong, because Kristol’s piece is a bit hard to understand, but I think I see the correlation (maybe):

    The ideology of the economy changed with the Laffer Curve, which technically had not a speck of reality to it’s projections, which changed the face of our monetary practices (meaning the policy was new) and here’s Kristol sniping that we should not bring anything new (demand stimulus) into our economic system because supply side (which used to be new) works? Is THAT what you’re getting at? I have to ask, because Kristol sucks at writing to be understood.

    It’s a good thing Kristol’s word salad wasn’t anywhere near the length of Chait’s well-written article because if it had been, I’d be banging my head against a brick wall begging for death about now.

  24. 24

    Well, I see I could have written that better, supply side only works in the minds of those whack Republicans. I know it doesn’t work, I knew this as a teenager when I first heard of "trickle down economics". I can’t figure out why supposed right-wing ADULTS can’t figure it out.

  25. 25
    pharniel says:

    thanks for the first link.
    i have no idea what kristol was talking about.

    i would have failed him outright were that a college essay.

    wtb better columns plz send tel.

  26. 26
    ricky says:

    I have a middle schooler who is required to write three pages each week. He is also required to record the number of pages he reads daily. Apparently Mr. Kristol is my son’s classmate.

  27. 27
    DrDave says:


    I read Chait’s book, which is what that article was based on, and I thought it was very good.

    I will take that as a recommendation. I was halfway through the column and thought to myself, "Self, you ought to read this book."

    I read Kristol column, too (you owe me for that, Cole). He is still an idiot. Jon Stewart has him pegged: he has never expressed an opinion and not been wrong.

  28. 28
    Zam says:

    That Kristol article makes me feel like I’m a good writer.

    The Chait piece was amazing. Strange thing about the supply side people, I had a history teacher back in high school who loved Reagan but admitted that supply side economics wasn’t worth much at all.

  29. 29
    jenniebee says:

    Shorter Kristol: If government would only back off and let huge companies that engaged in risky behavior fail, taking the whole country into a financial death spiral with them, then you’d see just how good laissez-faire supply side economics can be. Failure to death spiral means we all lose. Also.


  30. 30
    binzinerator says:

    Chait’s description of the Laffer curve and supply-side economics gave me a flashback to my first econ course in college. We had just learned the basic concepts of macro economic theory. And then the prof explained supply-side economics.

    It was suddenly so fucking obvious it was all snake-oil and hucksterism. That it amounted to a massive transfer of wealth to the wealthiest. It was a snow job even a 19-year-old with a modicum of macro economic theory under his belt could figure out.

    I had been snowjobbed too. I had just voted for Reagan not a week before in my first presidential election.

    I’ve voted Dem ever since then. Not surprising. The GOP’s goal of voo-doo economics, of shoveling the wealth to the wealthy, never changed. I have other reasons too I’ll never vote GOP, but gosh how strange that those other reasons seem to naturally flow out of an ideology made up of greed, religious zealotry and wingnut crazy.

  31. 31
    Kewalo says:

    There are many people that believe that the earth is 6,000 years old. It doesn’t suprise me in the least that the same people actually believe that the more taxes are cut the more money comes into the treasury. It’s easy to believe it if you spend your life believing in magic.

    Thanks for the Chait article. It was a terrific read.

  32. 32
    ronathan richardson says:

    I didn’t read the Chait article, only the Kristol. Worst decision of my life. His NYT pieces never seem to have any coherent thesis or central logic, not to mention the ridiculous factual errors.

  33. 33
    maxbaer (not the original) says:

    See, the problem is that Chuck Schumer didn’t write his guesstimate on a cocktail napkin. That is the proper media for all serious economic theory.

  34. 34
    cyntax says:

    …go read Bill Kristol.

    The blog equivalent of pulling a jar full of something furry out of the fridge and saying: "Here, smell this."

  35. 35
    pattonbt says:


    Trickle Down works exactly like its supposed to, just not as how it is sold to the public. Of course Trickle Down has nothing to do with revenue generation for the Fed’s and has everything to do with selfish NIMBY-ism – ‘hands off my stuff you brown, swarthy heathens’.

    What amazes me is that the republicans try and sell Trickle Down like they do because it contradicts what they say they want to achieve. They claim Trickle Down will generate more tax revenue through growth due to low taxes (i.e. the growth creates a larger taxable base, which increases the size of tax base, which offsets the loss from the lower tax rates so more net revenue is earned).

    But dont the republicans want to reduce the government? Why then would they give the government MORE funds through Trickle Down? Does not compute. If they were ‘honest’ they would actually espouse non-voodoo (read ‘sane’) economic policy because that obviously wouldnt generate as much revenue for the government thereby forcing reductions they so crave and thus WIN.

    So, like everyone else here it seems, I treat the republicans like I treat Kristol – whatever they say with the utmost earnestness and conviction I assume and act the opposite. Hasnt failed me yet. Can we just make our public policy ‘whatever the republicans say – do the opposite’ and name it ‘Constanza economics’?

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