A matter of context and degree

A MATTER OF CONTEXT AND DEGREE…. We talked yesterday about the burgeoning feud between Glenn Beck and Bill Kristol, stemming from their differences on U.S. policy towards Egypt. Whiskey Fire ran a worthwhile piece arguing that I went “off the rails somewhat” by siding with the far-right Weekly Standard editor over the far-right Fox News host.

After quoting my piece, W.F. notes:

That is all very well, but whoa there, hang on, let’s back up a bit. (And not just you, Steve!)

Before we all go climbing into bed together, all us sane people against Blenn Beck, right and left, kumbayfuckingyah, let’s pause and reflect for a moment on the fact that William Kristol is more than a tiny bit loony his own mad self.

It’s pretty damn rich for Kristol to be calling anyone out for indulging in batty (but lucrative!) conspiracy theories about The Left and the War on Terror — as Benen is perfectly well aware.

Whiskey Fire’s point is well taken, so I should probably clarify something that was unclear in my post(s) on this.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that somehow Kristol is a reasonable, credible voice because of his criticism of Beck. And I certainly don’t perceive the recent criticism of Beck from the right in some kind of enemy-of-my-enemy dynamic.

Long time readers may recall that my criticism of Kristol over the years has been scathing and my analysis of his work has been filled with contempt. Looking back this morning on some of the posts I’ve written about the Weekly Standard editor, I’ve accused him of “lying with impunity,” while publishing “garbage,” “drivel,” and “cheap and petty nonsense.” I’ve even described him as “the charming right-wing nut who wears nice suits and speaks in sober tones, and is no doubt a delightful companion at cocktail parties.”

My point yesterday — my only point — is that it’s interesting to watch the intra-party fissure grow over the last couple of weeks, with Kristol (among others on the right) offering tacit support for Egyptian protestors, Beck accusing the protestors of being part of a radical conspiracy, and the former slamming the latter for spouting lunacy.

This should not be interpreted as support for Kristol, respect for his foreign policy worldview, or a desire to somehow create a left-right alliance with him. I’m just fascinated by the rarely-seen divisions within the right coming to the fore. That’s all.