Only Three Shopping Weeks Until the End of Bill Kristol's Times Contract

Bill Kristol's very first New York Times column ran on January 7, 2008. It seems like only yesterday! Thankfully that means his contract is now just about up.

What the New York Times needs is semi-reasonable token conservatives on its op-ed pages. Ones, like David Brooks, who occasionally wander slightly off the reservation to promote some mildly independent view, or ones like William Safire who are nakedly intellectually dishonest but smart and weasley enough to get away with it. Kristol, a lightweight, was not up to the task.

His very first column was not only headlined "President Mike Huckabee?" but it warranted an immediate embarrassing correction (a rarity on the op-ed page).

As Clark Hoyt told us shortly after that first column ran, "Kristol was hired on a one-year contract for what amounts to a mutual tryout." It's safe to say that the tryout went poorly!

Kristol himself is "ambivalent" about staying on at the Times, where people read and criticize him. At his Weekly Standard, no one cares what nonsense he publishes! But he repeatedly, stupidly shills for one obviously unqualified moronic party-destroying Vice Presidential candidate after a year spent making amazingly inaccurate political predictions in a terribly public venue and suddenly no one wants to publish his little column anymore.

So there's about one beautiful month of Bill Kristol columns left, America. Enjoy them. Treasure them. If you can! We feel, post-election, that Kristol's heart isn't in it. His automakers bailout column was kinda boring and, like, approaching reasonable. There was only one gratuitous swipe at "limousine liberals" that made no sense, and there was a bizarre amount of defending labor from Republican attacks. Sure, it ended with the usual "pox on both houses" line about both parties needing to wise up and support a Big Three bailout (especially nonsensical because it is only Senate Republicans standing in the way of his preferred outcome), but on the whole it could pretty much be a Friedman or Brooks column.

A far cry from the heights of mendacious bullshit he reached in October and early November. Kristol, how will we miss you if you don't spend your last weeks going out in blaze of Palin-esque vainglory?