Jennings Rides Again: Kristol Warns Conservatives Against 'Temper Tantrum'

The voters had a temper tantrum last week . . . Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old. -- Peter Jennings, November 14, 1994, on the Republican landslide.

[C]onservatives . . . can choose to stand aside from history while having a temper tantrum. But they should consider that the American people might then choose not to invite them back into a position of responsibility for quite a while to come. -- William Kristol, February 4, 2008, on conservative aversion to McCain.

It's one thing to have been bawled out by the late Peter Jennings. But do conservatives have to have their knuckles rapped by one of their own, Bill Kristol? Apparently yes, as per the Weekly Standard editor's New York Times column of today, Dyspepsia on the Right.

Kristol magnanimously grants that "those conservatives who can’t abide McCain are free to rally around Mitt Romney." But he instructs: "when the primaries are over, if McCain has won the day, don’t sulk and don’t sit it out."

With the exception of Ann Coulter, I haven't heard any leading conservative voices threaten to do so. To the contrary. For example, Hugh Hewitt, perhaps Romney's single most enthusiastic supporter among high-profile conservatives, repeatedly states that he will work hard for McCain should he get the nomination.

What was the need for Kristol's pre-emptive scolding strike?

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