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Gary Bauer / May 20, 2016

Ugly Attacks on a Good Man

In recent days there has been a brutal attack leveled against well-known conservative leader and intellectual Bill Kristol. Bill has been in the cauldron of The Washington battle for many years. He has crossed swords with the left’s best attack dogs and regularly defeated them. But this attack comes not from the left but from some on the right, and the level of vitriol hurled at Bill has crossed the line of civil discourse.

In recent days there has been a brutal attack leveled against well-known conservative leader and intellectual Bill Kristol. Bill has been in the cauldron of The Washington battle for many years. He has crossed swords with the left’s best attack dogs and regularly defeated them. But this attack comes not from the left but from some on the right, and the level of vitriol hurled at Bill has crossed the line of civil discourse.

The context of the attack revolves around Bill’s well-publicized attempts to give voters another option other than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

This is a serious disagreement in the conservative movement. But its seriousness does not excuse the level of personal attacks launched at Bill in essays on various conservative media websites. One of the worst was by David Horowitz, who called Bill a “renegade Jew.” Other attacks questioned his Jewish faith, his conservative credentials and his loyalty to our country.

The Kristol and Bauer families have been friends for 30 years. Bill and I have been in many battles with the left over that time. His role in helping to build the conservative movement cannot be overstated.

In the battles between the “Reaganauts” and the moderates during the Reagan presidency, Bill was always with the Reagan loyalists. When Bill Clinton tried to socialize health care in 1993, it was Bill’s daily memos to Congress and key political figures that dissected the plan and inspired conservatives in Congress to defeat it.

When Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court it was Bill who convinced me that I should launch an outside effort to defend Thomas against the left-wing “lynch mob,” which we did successfully.

In the last seven years it has been Bill, in the pages of The Weekly Standard, who has regularly insisted that Congress do more to stop Obama’s reckless, damaging, anti-constitutional policies.

On a personal level it is infuriating to watch some of Bill’s detractors questioning his Jewish faith. Bill does not need me to defend his faith, but I will do it anyway.

My family and I have been blessed to attend Kristol family weddings, bat mitzvahs and bar mitzvahs. We have mourned together at funerals of family and friends. We have often talked, always with mutual respect, about our strong Christian and Jewish faiths. The Kristols are leaders at their synagogue.

Bill has regularly spoken out against anti-Semitism and has worked tirelessly to strengthen our national defense and preserve the U.S./Israel alliance. He has also spoken strongly in defense of Christians facing persecution, and in favor of religious liberty when many others in the conservative movement were silent.

He has been an advocate for our veterans and has helped many of them enter the political arena. I could go on, but Bill’s record of achievement for conservative ideas needs no defense.

Disagreeing with Bill over the third party option is fair and appropriate. And we have argued about it. But utilizing disgusting pejorative language about a man’s faith is neither fair nor appropriate.

At a time of such peril to our country at home and abroad, it would be wise for conservatives of all stripes to conduct our disagreements with respect and restraint instead of with the vitriol most often associated with the left.

In the meantime, when the dust settles, and long after some of his critics have moved on, Bill Kristol will continue to deploy his sizeable talents into preserving and defending America and Israel as the two irreplaceable pillars of Judeo/Christian civilization.

Terror In The Sky

We don’t know yet what brought down EgyptAir Flight MS804, killing all 66 people on board. But wreckage from the plane has reportedly been located and perhaps we will know more in the days ahead.

What we do know is that the plane took off from Paris, where scores of airport workers recently had their security passes revoked. Investigations following the Paris attacks uncovered nearly 70 radical Islamists who were working at the Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports.

Trump Takes The Lead?

Two polls were released [yesterday] showing Donald Trump taking the lead in general election match-ups against Hillary Clinton.

A Fox News poll found Trump leading by three points — 45% to 42%. That’s within the poll’s margin of error, so they are essentially tied. A month ago, Clinton led 48% to 41%, indicating some movement in Trump’s direction.

A new Rasmussen poll finds Trump leading Clinton by five points — 42% to 37%. A Rasmussen poll from late April had Trump and Clinton tied at 38%.

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