WHO KNEW KRISTOL WAS SUCH A FEMINIST?…. Throughout much of the presidential campaign, Bill Kristol spent a considerable amount of time trashing Hillary Clinton and explaining to Fox News viewers, “White women are a problem, that’s, you know — we all live with that.”

But now that Joe Biden is joining the Democratic ticket, wouldn’t you know it, Kristol has found the feminist within.

Will the Democratic party, which is committed (to say the least) to gender equity, and which in fact has a 50 percent quota for female delegates, accept Obama’s imposition of a glass ceiling at its convention?

As part of Kristol’s “argument” — I use the word loosely — the Weekly Standard editor insists that it’s outrageous Hillary Clinton wasn’t considered for the ticket, especially given that she and Biden “have basically comparable foreign policy ‘experience.’”

The transparently shameless stunt here is for far-right Republicans to incite as much intra-party tensions among Democrats as humanly possible. Indeed, it’s not just Kristol. Republicans are hoping, desperately, to drive a wedge between Hillary Clinton’s supporters and the candidate Hillary Clinton agrees with, enthusiastically endorsed, and continues to campaign on behalf of.

A few thoughts. First, it’s fascinating to see Kristol suddenly become a feminist. He’s never expressed any interest in gender equality before, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

Second, given Kristol’s new-found interest in feminism, I’m sure he’ll devote another column soon to decrying Republicans’ aversion to promoting women into positions of political power.

And third, James Joyner notes, “Stoking the lingering resentments of the Hillary camp is probably smart politics, although doing it so brazenly could backfire and cause more of them to realize that they’re playing into the Republicans’ hands.”

That sounds right. No one likes to be thought a fool by shameless con-men, least of all Republican ideologues like Kristol who’ve not only spent their careers trashing the Clintons, but who also staunchly oppose everything Clinton has fought for throughout her life. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if these tactics have the opposite of the intended effect. Kristol’s column and McCain’s latest ad are just too insulting to Clinton backers to work.

Ultimately, it seems most of the Republicans’ election-year strategy is predicated on the notion that voters must be played for suckers. It’s kind of sad, really.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.