The “conservative era” in US politics is over, and so is William Kristol’s stay at the New York Times. “All good things must come to an end,” the conservative writes in today’s column, his last, calling Jan. 20 the official end of the right’s ascendancy. Of his own departure, he says nothing, save for a modest note at column’s end.
Kristol is unapologetic—“Conservatives of the Reagan-Bush-Gingrich-Bush years have a fair amount to be proud of”—but he realizes conservatives rose in part because liberals were weak. Barack Obama isn’t weak, and, based on his inaugural address, “he may have learned more from Reagan than he has sometimes let on.” It was “unabashedly pro-American, and implicitly conservative,” reminding Kristol of another liberal president: FDR.