Thursday, June 2, 2016

Taking French Leave of His Senses

Like everybody else, gripped by the narrative of Dr. Bill Kristol and his quest to save humanity from the doom of Republicans being forced to choose between Hitlery and Hitler (the third possibility, of a tax-cutting conservative former governor who actually believes the small-government idiocy Kristol claims to believe in, being worst of all), and his tweeted promise over last weekend to unveil a fifth-party candidate:

But when famed Village enforcers Mark Halperin and John Heilemann showed up at Bloomberg on Tuesday with the scoop from "two Republicans intimately familiar with Bill Kristol’s efforts" that Dr. Kristol's choice had settled on former Iraq combat attorney and full-time National Review hysteric David French, I literally could not believe it (neither could Mr. Pierce, I may add, whose post identified Halperin as "the world's most gullible man"). French? An author of National Review blogposts virtually unknown to anyone but the magazine's elderly shut-in readership (and us committed fans of Roy Edroso, for whom French is a source of almost unlimited delight)? A serial prevaricator who believes states should be permitted to ban all contraception and looks like a feral tree-elf? With a strong team and a what?

But it looks like I was wrong, and Halperin (first-chair viola in Kristol's hastily assembled orchestra) had the goods. Speaking of elves. I can't even.

Update: Thanks, Batocchio, for the shout-out! Meanwhile, David French continues as far as I can tell in hiding (you can also learn at that link that French was for Trump before he was against him). Looks like Kristol is wrong even in predicting his own actions, which is a pretty remarkable example of bad panditry.

French sent out an anti-Trump Tweet on Thursday, but it doesn't suggest any ambitions on his own part and takes a passive, plaintive tone:

Up-update: Alea disiacta est. French has bravely declined the honor:
Indeed, the path is there. I spent the last several days with some of the best minds in politics. I learned that the ballot-access challenge can be met with modest effort (by an existing network ready to activate), that the polling for a true outsider independent was better than most people know, and that there are many, many Americans — including outstanding political talents — who are willing to quit their jobs — today — to help provide the American people with an alternative.
But given the timing, the best chance for success goes to a person who either is extraordinarily wealthy (or has immediate access to extraordinary wealth) or is a transformational political talent. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve my country, and I thank God for the successes I’ve had as a lawyer and a writer, but it is plain to me that I’m not the right person for this effort.
One last Tweet from me suggesting what may be the true reason:

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