Bill Kristol

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"Bill Kristol"

There’s been some call for me to remark on Bill Kristol’s op-ed in today’s Post. Here’s what you need to know:

What it comes down to is this: If Petraeus succeeds in Iraq, and a Republican wins in 2008, Bush will be viewed as a successful president.

I like the odds.

Ha ha. If you read it, there turns out to be no clever “counterintuitive” argument here at all; it’s just some baseless assertions. David Corn will write a rebuttal piece for the much-less-important Wednesday edition of the paper. Since Kristol brought up the gambling metaphor, it would be interesting to make this more precise. First, Kristol would need to explain what “achieving a real, though messy, victory in Iraq” would mean. Then we would need to hear from Kristol how much money he would wager on an even-odds bet that his predictions come true. Participants in Monday’s Q&A with Kristol could be invited to cover his gamble if so inclined.

I bring it up not because Kristol’s unique among pundits in offering bad predictions (I’ve made some myself), but because the article reads as so transparently written in bad faith — it’s utterly half-hearted and vacuous, clearly not intended to persuade anyone of anything.

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