POLITICS
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Kristol's NYT Debut Reaches Unsupportable Conclusions

There are plenty of laughs to be had reading Bill Kristol's debut column in the New York Times. There's his silly grab at the Obama bandwagon. There's the way he uses Michelle Malkin, of all people, for foundational support. There's the way he mistakenly misattributes that foundational support to Michelle Malkin! And of course, there's what Matt Yglesias points out: "You need to read his work with a decoder ring to try to figure out what's happening."

But what about the nonsensical conclusions Kristol reaches?

Some Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of a Huckabee nomination. They shouldn't be. For one thing, Michael Bloomberg would be tempted to run in the event of an Obama-Huckabee race -- and he would most likely take votes primarily from Obama. But whatever Bloomberg does, the fact is that the Republican establishment spent 2007 underestimating Mike Huckabee. If Huckabee does win the nomination, it would be amusing if Democrats made the same mistake in 2008.

Bloomberg "would be tempted to run in the event of an Obama-Huckabee race?" Where does Kristol get that idea? Kristol doesn't bother to substantiate this claim, so I guess we'll never know. But on the face of it, this notion just doesn't make a lick of sense.

Real Clear Politics only offers one polling model that features Bloomberg, and it's one that measures his impact on a race with Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. That's because this scenario - a sort of reverse-Cloverfield where everyone affiliated with New York teams up to destroy the rest of the country - is the most plausible one in which Bloomberg would inject himself. A Giuliani-Clinton general election would likely turn into a grenade-launching, partisan Armageddon, one in which a Bloombergian "unity" campaign would likely find some traction. But Obama and Huckabee are the two "unity" (or, as Huckabee would likely term it, "vertical") candidates. If the race were between Barack and the Huck, where's the unclaimed territory for Bloomberg to stake out in an independent run?

Moreover, there is not a shred of evidence that suggests that Bloomberg would enter the race as an independent to run a Naderesque, scorched-earth, "I-have-a-point-to-make" sort of campaign. So even if Kristol's contention is true, and that a Bloomberg run would, in this scenario, doom Obama, what possible reason would the pragmatic Bloomberg have to enter the race and ensure that Mike Huckabee - a politician whose views are fundamentally in conflict with his own - emerged the victor?

What an embarrassment for the New York Times! If a high-school student walked into any credible AP Government class spouting this claptrap, a responsible teacher would be forced to gently suggest that the child might find a Home Economics class more suited to his abililty.