Kristol's White-Women Problem

There are some pretty silly, insulting, inaccurate, and worse statements made during the course of political campaigns and on cable TV talk shows.

Magazine editor, TV commentator, and New York Times columnist William Kristol made one of the most nonsensical and uselessly offensive of them all over the weekend, however, on Fox News Sunday. Call it what you will: a brain cramp, a minor stroke, an unforgivably loose-tongued moment, an inept attempt at humor. Whatever it was, it was offensive:

Kristol: Look, the only people for Hillary Clinton are the Democratic establishment and white women. The Democratic establishment--it would be crazy for the Democratic Party to follow an establishment that's led it to defeat year after year. White women are a problem, that's, you know--we all live with that. [laughter]

Juan Williams (National Public Radio correspondent and Fox News contributor): Not me!

Brit Hume (moderator): Bill, for the record, I like white women.

Kristol: I know, I shouldn't have said that.

No, Bill, you shouldn't have. First of all, neocons' stock is remarkably low in Washington circles these days, as they are being deservedly blamed for the failed invasion of Iraq. Why go turn off for no apparently good reason a sizable chunk of the American population?

Second, at least one segment of the white women's vote (married white women) tends to lean more Republican than Democrat and even supported President Bush (although he lost the women's vote overall because single women and women of color did not support him).

So given that what he said was: 1) racist; 2) sexist; and 3) a blanket generalization that insulted a segment of women who vote Republican, I would really like to know why he said it and what he meant by it.

By Bonnie Erbe