KRISOL’S NEW ADVICE…. The New York Times’ Bill Kristol, among John McCain’s most enthusiastic media cheerleaders, once again devotes his column to giving the Republican nominee some advice. Today, Kristol wants to see his friend “fire his campaign.”

What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over. Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads — they’re doing no good anyway. Use that money for televised town halls and half-hour addresses in prime time.

And let McCain go back to what he’s been good at in the past — running as a cheerful, open and accessible candidate.

Kristol added that McCain should “drop” the “attacks on Obama,” and become a “serious but cheerful candidate.”

This is, of course, the same Bill Kristol who devoted his column just seven days ago to urging McCain to do the opposite, attacking Obama with guilt-by-association smears. Kristol said he was looking forward to McCain taking off the “gloves.”

McCain’s strategy coincided nicely with Kristol’s previous advice, and most evidence suggests the tactics failed. So, Kristol is now arguing that McCain should disregard all that advice from last week, and take his new suggestions to heart.

Why Republicans take Kristol seriously remains a mystery to me.

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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.