Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol is pleading -- for at least the third time -- for someone better to get in the Republican presidential primary at the last minute and save the party from the current candidates. Kristol tries to guilt trip the guys who've decided to stay out of the race this year -- Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Chris Christe aren't mentioned by name, but they've all been subject of his admiration -- into changing their mind by calling them fair weather Americans. He doesn't ask why the Republican field has been dominated by flawed candidates this year, but if he ever gets curious, he can look to himself. It was Kristol's most famous political crush, Sarah Palin, who taught conservative voters that it's okay to support candidates who have little experience, not know all that much about foreign policy, have a soapy personal life, say outrageous things, and even have trouble speaking complete sentences.
As this is no time for voters to choose fecklessly, it is no time for leaders to duck responsibility. Those who have stood aside -- and who now may have concluded, as they may not have when they announced their original decision, that the current field is lacking -- will surely hear the words of Thomas Paine echoing down the centuries: "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." Now is not a time for leaders to engage in clever calculations of the odds of success, or to succumb to concerns about how they will look if they enter the fray and fall short. Now is a time to come to the aid of our country.