Friday, January 04, 2008

Bill Kristol and Andy Rosenthal, Daddies Little Boys

In January 2005 I wrote that America has become a banana republic. Sadly, events of the last three years have proven me right. Our currency isn't worth much, they won't even take dollars at the Taj Mahal. Americans leave the country to get health care they can't afford here or to find inexpensive places to retire.

What does this have to do with Bill Kristol landing at the New York Times? One of the most basic characteristics of a banana republic is cronyism. Part of the reason Kristol has a new gig is that he is an old pal of Andrew Rosenthal. Andrew Rosenthal is the son of Abe Rosenthal, the resident conservative at the Times for many years. Kristol is the son of Irving Kristol, one of the neocon founding fathers. Of course the Times is a family business too, handed down from one Sulzburger to another.

Glenn Greenwald gets the hat tip and sums it all up perfectly. ". . . the fuel of the conservative movement -- especially its tough guy neoconservative branch, which venerates self-sufficiency, resolve and meritocracy above all else -- is mommy-and-daddy-dependent nepotism."

What is good news for the Rosenthals, Kristols and Sulzburgers is bad news for the rest of us. As the rate of our descent increases, there will be more and more Kristols and Rosenthals in positions of power. Just look at the latest occupant of the oval office, a ne'er do well son reached the most powerful office in the land. Connections always counted in this so-called meritocracy, now they are all that count. If you want merit, go somewhere else to live.