One of the best parts of that juicy NYT story yesterday about all the infighting in the McCain- Palin campaign was the fact that a huge chunk of the story was given over to exploring who was leaking to sniveling conservative columnist Bill Kristol—a Times columnist! It's pretty unusual for a paper to start digging on its own columnist's confidential sources, but hey, it's Bill Kristol and nobody at the Times likes him, so they just went for it. That prompted some further review by the Daily Beast, which concluded, yep, Bill Kristol is basically just a lackey for political operatives:

As one McCain advisor put it to me: “In the last six weeks there was a remarkable echo. You could listen to arguments made by folks inside of the campaign who were close to Bill Kristol and then open up the New York Times and read them in Kristol’s columns. It was ‘set Sarah free,’ coupled with an agenda designed to appeal to the religious right and the more raucous elements of the party. They got their way often enough, and we started noticing that at many of the Palin functions it was non-stop ‘Sarah, Sarah,’ while John McCain all but vanished. Were they trying to get McCain elected in 2008, or to help Palin on the way to the Republican nomination in 2012? You can’t get yourself into a situation in which anyone can credibly ask that question.”

Bill Kristol is a partisan hack without any redeeming original thoughts, so he just serves as a pipeline for whatever talking points his pet factions of the conservative movement want to get out that day. A good hire. [Daily Beast]