Bill Kristol is actually a very smart guy. The problem is that his partisanship is far stronger than his intelligence and it causes him to shut off his brain and bore full speed ahead with what he must know is utter bullshit. Like this inane blather:
One reason the system isn’t is some of the people he put in charge — Janet Napolitano and Dennis Blair come to mind. Another reason is certain concrete policy choices they’ve made — e.g., embracing a law enforcement approach and, without even weighing the choice, immediately choosing to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal suspect, not an enemy combatant.
This is called special pleading – when you have an argument that applies equally well in two situations but you insist on using it only in one situation and not the other because it would be politically inconvenient for you to be consistent. Why didn’t Kristol make this same argument when President Bush did the exact same thing with the shoe bomber in 2001? The two situations are absolutely identical in all relevant ways.
The answer is obvious. He didn’t make that argument then because he supported Bush; he’s making it now because he doesn’t support Obama. This should be obvious to pretty much anyone with an IQ above room temperature, and I’m sure it’s quite obvious to Kristol as well. He just doesn’t care. Partisanship is more important to him than intellectual honesty. And that is why, despite his many intellectual gifts, he does not deserve to be taken seriously.