via Lobe Log

Over at the National Interest Jacob Helibrunn wonders whether neoconservative pundit William Kristol’s advising of Mitt Romney and influence over Republican party foreign policy thinking has contributed to their respective decline:

What about the GOP? It’s soul-searching time. A good case could be made that the author, in many ways, of the GOP’s problems is William Kristol. Kristol saddled John McCain with Sarah Palin. He’s the biggest backer of Paul Ryan, a Washington creature, who is being talked up as a potential presidential candidate in 2016–when was the last time a Congressman won the presidency? And Kristol, of course, has dominated foreign policy debate in the GOP by ceaselessly purveying neocon malarkey about American militarism abroad, but Romney’s bluster about a new American century went nowhere. Had Romney shunned the neocon bluster and campaigned as a Massachusetts moderate, he would have posed a much greater threat to Obama than he did.

The temptation, of course, will be to blame Romney, and Romney alone, for the defeat. This is nonsense. Yes, Romney was always an unpromising candidate, but of the Republican primary candidates Romney was the most formidable. The campaign he waged was far superior to John McCain’s in 2008. But ultimately the positions that Romney was forced to adopt undid his campaign. He never really recovered from pandering to a base that never fully accepted him. From calling himself “severely conservative” to the Todd Akin disaster, Romney was crippled by the radicalism of the GOP…