Here's a titter: Bill Kristol, the one-man juggernaut pushing a lot of neo-conservative policy over the last 20 years, says conservatives ought to be pushing to break up the banks "some." "If they are too big to fail, make them less big." That's not big government, he says "That's classic anti-trust." It must be a difficult time for neoconservatives (also, in Kristol's case, known as minicons, as second-generation neocon progeny). Their disastrous war in Iraq has left a lot of them on the sidelines after it swamped the Republican Party. Kristol, who helped invent a lot of the nastier forms of politicking to push an aggressive foreign policy agenda, has now found himself in a weird position of trying to offer counsel to a backlash of anti-government hysterics when neoconservatives, at their core, believe in government and think it can be the tool of idealism conservative style.
To watch him try to play elder statesman after a life of being a partisan hack (albeit a brilliant one) is kind of sad. He knows he has to speak politely to Tea Party crazies but also offer reasoned analysis of Barack Obama's successes to sound like a venerable analyst. So it hurts to watch him manicure his sentences to fit in the ears of so many tiny heads. He extols small government in this video but also says that legislation to limit huge Wall Street excess is OK and reasonable. Guess what? You can't have it both ways. Government gets big only because life is complicated, and we need decent government watchdogs on Wall Street, not the current array of lap dogs. That means resources. Which means taxes. To say that financial legislation is just words on paper curbing excess and nothing more is disingenuous to say the least.
I give him this. He is much more subtle at trying to say two contradictory things in one sentence, unlike Ron Paul, who tries to do the same thing and often leaves you reaching for aspirin.
Kristol should just stand up, be a man, and admit what some former conservative colleagues are: that Reaganite deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy have failed to make life better for the majority of people, which is what Kristol, the liberator of the Iraqis, has always said he stands for.