In his New York Times column earlier this week, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol decried Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) now-infamous “bitter” comments as being “disdainful of small-town America.” “What has Barack Obama accomplished that entitles him to look down on his fellow Americans?” questioned Kristol.
But on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday, Kristol himself appeared quite “disdainful” of the majority of Americans who are weary of the war in Iraq, implying that many of them are neither “decent” nor “serious,” but rather “feckless”:
KRISTOL: Every time there’s a little flare up, even if the flare up turns out to be for the better, which is what happened in Basra over the last few weeks, and none the less they go, “oh my God, can’t we get out of this.” So there’s a real weariness. Even amongst some decent people of just you know, it seems kind of there’s no end, there’s no clear, there’s no clarity. … And are we going to be such a feckless country, frankly, that we’re going to waste the sacrifices that have been made, snatch defeat and retreat out of the jaws of success and victory. … I’m moderately hopeful that the country gets beyond the kind of weariness and annoyance about the war and gets serious about the world we live in.
A poll released today by ABC News and the Washington Post, found that “views on the Iraq war have…turned more negative, with six in 10 now rejecting the notion that the United States needs to win there to effectively battle terrorism.” Apparently to Kristol, these 60% of Americans are “feckless,” which is defined as either “ineffective; incompetent; futile” or “having no sense of responsibility; indifferent; lazy.”
Additionally, the poll — which was conducted “after congressional testimony about the war” by Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker — found that the majority of Americans, including an increasing share of Republicans, “say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties”:
Moreover, while Bush remains committed to keeping more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq through the rest of his presidency, 56 percent of Americans say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties. This has been the majority view since January 2007.
On several measures, the poll finds Republicans inching away from support for the war. Among them, a sense that progress in Iraq has stalled has increased 13 points from early March, and the percentages who prefer withdrawing troops over risking more casualties (30 percent) and who think that the battle against terrorism can be a success without victory in Iraq (39 percent) are each at new highs.
Perhaps the question should be asked: What has Bill Kristol “accomplished that entitles him to look down on his fellow Americans?”