He’s about as scornful as I am about unnamed GOP consultants slagging the Paul Ryan choice for VP – and by extension, the candidate.
When “GOP pros” are most full of fear and apprehension about Republican prospects—for example, Reagan in 1980, Gingrich in 1994, and the Tea Party in 2010—Republicans tend to do well. When they’re confident and complacent—for example, at the George H.W. Bush White House in late 1991 or the George W. Bush White House in early 2005—the GOP is heading for a fall.
Kristol follows up with some advice for Romney-Ryan: essentially, that the campaign should ignore whispers from the shadows. I agree. If you’re that worried about a candidate’s decision, step up and say so. If you’re wrong? You’re wrong, and you can take your lumps – which isn’t so bad. See, back in the day I thought that Mitt Romney wasn’t going to particularly fight for the stuff that I wanted him to fight about. So I said so. Politely, but firmly. And I signed my name to that. And, hey presto! Pleasant surprise of surprises, it turns out that I seem to have gotten that wrong. To quote the guy I wanted to see get the nomination: “Oops.” But guess what? It doesn’t seem to have hurt my (more accurately, RedState’s) ability to influence the larger debate in ways that I like. As well it shouldn’t: open disagreement during the primary process shouldn’t be a dis-qualifier.
Anonymous backstabbing after the primary, on the other hand…