Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bill Kristol's Never Trump candidate is David French. Who on earth is that?

Weekly Standard editor and neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol announced over the weekend that he had a third party candidate ready to go. Many Trump supporters or anti-Clinton voters were worried that he had roped in someone with high name recognition and support like Mitt Romney. Indeed, Kristol had made overtures to many supposed anti-Trump Republicans, including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, General James Mathis. All of them said no. But Kristol did find a candidate to run.

Who did he pick? Someone famous right? Nope. It's a writer at the National Review, David French. French is also a constitutional lawyer and was a veteran who won the bronze star. Want more information then that? Good luck, since he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Seriously, as of this writing typing in David French into Wikipedia gives you a disambiguation page where David French at the National Review is redlinked. It's to the point where I am not even sure what the guy looks like. I couldn't even find a picture for this post.

Far from an impressive candidate, the main reaction I had to hearing about David French was confusion then relief. The guy stands no chance, not even as a spoiler for Donald Trump. The 20 or so neoconservatives left might vote for him but nobody else will. Everyone else in the Republican party is either on board with Donald Trump or is going with Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

I'm not sure what French's politics are, after all at this point there is very little information about him, but if they are like Bill Kristol's I have a very hard time thinking that anyone will be impressed. This is not a year anyone is looking for neoconservatives. Neocons support vast immigration, massive trade deals and overthrowing third world dictatorships. Nobody in the GOP party wants those things anymore and even if they did they could just vote for Hillary Clinton instead.

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, this seems like a transparent ploy to get her elected. I doubt it would ever work, Clinton seems doomed no matter what. But the idea is to either take just enough votes away from Donald Trump so that there is a tie in delegates so the Congress can decide the election, or enough that Clinton manages to win.

For a true conservative either option should be unthinkable. If Congress decides the election it will be like Florida in 2000 all over again. People will lose a lot of faith in the country, and the reputation of the GOP would take a huge hit because they would be deciding who wins the election, not the people. And if they choose anyone else besides Trump, then the vast majority of the GOP electorate who backs him would be absolutely furious.

And if Hillary Clinton wins she is going to continue the disliked policies of Barack Obama, flood the borders with millions of immigrants and stuff the Supreme Court with liberal judges who will most likely overturn the 2nd Amendment. This is an outcome that should horrify someone on the right but Bill Kristol seems a-ok with it.

Why? I don't think he's a real conservative. I hate playing the No-True Scottsman card but in this case I think it is actually correct. Neocons were originally liberals that crossed over to the GOP because they had a better shot there. Now that the GOP electorate has changed they are going back to the Democratic Party. At least Bill Kristol is, I don't see many people following him and David French into oblivion.

I think this is probably the end of Kristol's career. The GOP is going to be furious with him. Many people in the party don't like Trump, but they are getting on board with his candidacy because they want to win. They also want Hillary Clinton to lose and no third party candidate is going to help with that.

My guess is that in the end this isn't going to matter. Nobody cares about Bill Kristol and his never Trump spoiler candidate David French. French hasn't officially announced yet and my guess is that he never does. He's not going to get any donors and my guess is that he is going to be harassed and threatened, both by losers on Twitter along with people with actual power. In the end he will give up and the only credible third party candidates will be Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.

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