Before the GOP heeds the hawkish pundit's advice that Paul is better outside the tent, it should consider his atrocious track record on past predictions.
Bill Kristol is offering some advice to the Republican Party: don't try to keep Ron Paul in the fold, because the GOP would be better off if he left and took his foreign-policy views with him. "I would be comfortable in a general election with Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum as the Republican in the Reagan tradition and debating both Barack Obama and Ron Paul," he said. As Republicans try to assess whether to put their trust in Kristol's strategic judgment, they might look to his track record offering advice. Most consequentially, he rallied his party behind the invasion of Iraq and urged John McCain to put Sarah Palin on the ticket for his presidential run.
On the other side of the ledger, there isn't anything so singularly brilliant as to make up for those debacles -- and though every pundit gets some things wrong over the years, it's striking how many times Kristol has made confident predictions that turned out to be exactly wrong.
Here are some forecasts that Kristol made prior to Election 2008:
- "This fall, the Democratic Congress will end up being more of a problem for Obama or Clinton than Bush will be for the Republican nominee."
- "...The GOP has lucked into having as its nominee John McCain, one of the most popular politicians in America. What's more, conservatism as a set of ideas is in pretty good shape. 'Neoconservative' thinking on America's place in the world has beaten back attempts to revive the crabbed 'realism' of some congressional Republicans in the 1990s as a plausible approach for dealing with the world of the 21st century."
- "Sarah Palin is quickly proving to be more than a match for the mad, mad media. Having foolishly started a war with her that they can't win, the liberal media would be well advised, for once, to implement their own favorite war-fighting strategy: cut and run."
- "The Democratic candidates have, as Joe Lieberman said last week, 'emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq.' They've also politically invested in such a narrative. It was a bad (and dishonorable) investment. It may well cost them the 2008 election."
- "Before last night, I thought it was 50-50 that the Republican nominee would win in November 2008. Now I think it's 2 to 1. And if the Democrat is anyone but Hillary, it's 4 to 1."