Fred Hiatt, editor of the Washington Post editorial page, is making a big mistake. He’s hiring Willliam Kristol, who has just “by mutual agreement” parted from The New York Times, to write for the Post. The goal, according to Hiatt, is for the page to deliver “a diverse range of opinions,” a perfectly proper intention. But if that is so, why choose Kristol, whose wooden and often inaccurate pronouncements are unlikely to add either bright writing or enlightenment to the Post’s already dull pages? If Hiatt is seeking a predictable and pompous, backward-looking voice, he should be hiring Rush Limbaugh instead.
I’m kidding, of course. True enough, the battered Republican Party could use some insightful and imaginative meditations on its future, but why is Hiatt turning to the same tired pundits who have led the Party down the wrong road in the past? Surely there are some thoughtful conservatives out there who are thinking creatively about their problems, writers unencumbered by the knee-jerk habits of GOP posturing? Writers who might remind Republicans like House majority leader John Boehner that it is futile to try to resurrect the old, plutocratic, divisive ways that have led the country to its present predicament, and that what’s needed is new and more constructive thinking.
Space on the Op-Ed page of a major American newspaper is too precious to be allotted to hacks and windbags from either the left or the right. This appointment appears to have been made thoughtlessly, almost cavalierly. Back to the drawing board, Fred.