|They all fall down.|
I feel a bit of personal regret, though -- not that I had picked up an issue in the last decade or so. No, it reminds me of my brief sojourn with the Standard, when for the first half of 2008 -- arguably its most influential period -- I was a regular contributor to its cyber edition, both in long form essays and, perhaps more creatively rewarding, its daily update column.
(Before going further, I would be remiss in not mentioning that I owed this good fortune to one of its columnists, the late Dean Barnett. Dean liked the blog I was writing at the time, and thought I would be a good fit at the Standard.)
|Mike Goldfarb -- no William F.|
Buckley, he (thank God).
Perfect! Even if my concert t-shirts consisted of Devo, the Clash, and Elvis Costello.
It wasn't long before readers and other writers at the Standard took note of me. What could have been better than an email from Jon Podhoretz reading "you're very funny"? Perhaps it was when Goldfarb let me know that editor-in-chief Bill Kristol wanted to know "who this Kusinitz person was".
Bill Kristol was asking about me? It wasn't long, I was certain, that my little caricature would join those of the other Standard writers in its print and web editions.
|Bill Kristol in his younger,|
more vulnerable (to bad
What?! I was just shooting spitballs at the passing parade. The only things I could report were my smartass opinions.
Unsurprisingly, none of my subsequent contributions were accepted; Dean Barnett advised me that other people were pulling the strings. (Bill Kristol, is that you I see behind the curtain?). It wasn't long before I gave up contributing to the Weekly Standard, and turned my attention to the occasional op-ed for the New York Daily News -- another publication that's now one page from the graveyard.
Goldfarb's irascible influence was sorely missed, at least by me. Too, as the GOP decided to make Barack Obama public enemy #1 in the worst possible way, I became disenchanted with its increasing ugliness. At times, I would briefly tune into Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity just to remind myself that parting ways with the Standard might have been a good thing after all.
|Erase that smirk off|
your face, Fred.
Forget about drinking the Kool Aid. Barnes was brewing it up by the gallon and, man, was it stinking up the joint. That was the final issue of the Standard I ever read.
Over time, my politics drifted back to left of center, and have remained ever since. By the time Donald Trump announced his candidacy, the Republican base had already been undergoing its eight-year journey to Crazy Town. It was only a matter of time, then, that the Weekly Standard would expire. When close to 100% of your party not merely disagrees with you but actively hates what you stand for, where else is there to go but bankruptcy court?
|Trump asks Palin if she knows how to spell "A".|
The Republican party hasn't been the same since. For while Palin gradually faded from the limelight, she ignited something horrific in the GOP base that led straight to Donald Trump, white nationalism, the rise of anti-Semitism, and a proud racism unseen since the 1950s. Thanks, guys. Now look in the mirror and decide if you like what you see.
|The new standard of the Republican Party.|
My advice? Considering the GOP is damaged goods, why don't you and your fellow-disaffected Republicans form a new party? One that combines the pro-immigrant, pro-free press vibe of Reagan with the infrastructure gung-ho of Eisenhower? Something called... oh, I don't know... maybe the Standard Party.
I may be voting the straight Democrat ticket for the foreseeable future -- like, forever -- but I really want you to make a comeback. And not just to provide a safe haven for decent conservatives. See, I still want that caricature of me.