Last week, William Kristol argued that John McCain’s campaign should let slip the dogs of war and go after Barack Obama in the matter of Rev. Wright, and he was toadying with Sarah Palin, who was saying that they should “take the gloves off.” Apparently they took his advice (HT Glenn Greenwald):
Though McCain didn’t bring it up in the debate, since then, the campaign has followed Kristol’s advice, talking about Ayers more than any other single topic. But now that it is conclusively clear that these attacks are failing — that they are actually backfiring and making Obama more popular and McCain and Palin more unpopular — Kristol went on Fox News this morning and attacked the McCain campaign for running what he called a “stupid campaign” and “a pathetic campaign” because the attacks ”haven’t worked” and they’re “doing things that don’t work and they keep doing them” — without ever bothering to mention that he, Kristol, just last week, was one of the loudest and most vocal advocates for relying on these character attacks against Obama.
This morning he’s telling Mr. McCain to fire his campaign and “let McCain go back to what he’s been good at in the past — running as a cheerful, open and accessible candidate. Palin should follow suit. The two of them are attractive and competent politicians. They’re happy warriors and good campaigners. Set them free.”
I really have to admire Mr. Kristol for being able to do all these dizzying pirouettes without snapping his neck, and his ability to have anyone listen to him — much less pay him — for his hackery.