Conservative pundit and Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Bill Kristol has some thoughts about recent efforts to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of South Carolina’s State House in Charleston (and other places). As you can see below, Kristol’s thoughts are truly remarkable:

Kristol published them shortly after appearing on his own magazine’s podcast, The Weekly Standard Podcast, where he discussed the same issue with host Michael Graham, who asked Kristol whether calling for the Confederate flag’s removal makes one “a liberal”:

Michael Graham: I wanted to ask you about the other story in the news that’s disturbing and not what you expect politics to be about today in 2015. That is, the Confederate flag, the way [unintelligible] chooses to act on it. And also, the argument that abandoning the Confederate flag or supporting taking it down, somehow makes you a liberal, or you have abandoned your conservative principles, which is an argument I’m hearing quite a bit from the right these days.

Bill Kristol: I mean, look, I hate the Left’s using of this tragedy to politicize and go after the Confederate flag, when it’s really an incidental part of the story, and to try to make broader points about the modern South, or the Republican Party, I dislike all of that intensely.

I think on the merits, the Confederate flag shouldn’t be flown on state capitols, or state capitol grounds. People can fly it in private arenas, or on appropriate memorial sites for soldiers. There you don’t need the flag, obviously, you can have a memorial site.

John McCain called for taking down the confederate flag in South Carolina in 2000, and I supported him. He’s backed off since then, but I’ve always thought it should be taken down, and if I were a South Carolina legislator, I would vote to do it. I’m a Union guy, I’m a Lincoln guy, I’m a Ulysses S. Grant guy, I’m even a Sherman guy, so I have pretty good credentials in being anti-Confederate.

Immediately thereafter, Kristol went on a tangent involving ISIS and Secretary of State John Kerry:

Having said that, the liberal posturing out of this is sort of nauseating. And the people who are posturing are precisely the people who don’t want to fight serious enemies when people are enslaved over in Iraq, Yazidis by ISIS—it’s the liberals who explain why we can’t do anything about it. And as a friend of mine pointed out the other day, all of these posturing, preening liberals would have been copperheads during the Civil War, and for accommodation and ending the war—‘it’s too much, it’s bloody and it’s terrible and can’t we negotiate, we can reach out and send John Kerry down to Richmond to work with Jefferson Davis’—that would have been the liberal position.

So, one can very disdainful of the Left while still thinking as a matter of actual policy and practice, there’s no need to have the Confederate flag flying on state capitol grounds.

Thank you, Bill, for this nuanced discussion.

Photo credit: MSNBC