anything at all nice about Mr. Quaylern(there weren’t too many) also made surernthe reader knew that it was really Mr. K.rnwho was responsible for the niceness.rnEven then, Bill had his eyes set on somethingrnlarger than keeping track of thernvice presidential cerebrum.rnAlas came 1992, and that somethingrndid not materialize. Mr. Kristol, alongrnwith the rest of his neo family andrnfriends, found himself in the ranks ofrnthe Republican unemployed. But notrnfor long. Suddenly there appeared thernlargesse of those bottomless pits ofrntax-exempt funds for neoconservativerncauses, the Olin and Bradley foundations,rnand now young Mr. Kristol couldrnonce again dine at Tiberio’s at least twicerna week. The vehicle for his new careerrnwas the command of a new entity calledrnthe “Project for the Republican Future.”rnIt is largely through adroit manipulationrnof the PRF and his friends in thernBeltway media that Mr. Kristol hasrnplaced himself at the center of the GOPrnnervous system. In the course of the nationalrndebate on the Clinton health carernscheme, Mr. Kristol emerged as thernchampion of the opposition to the planrnby announcing his now-famous line thatrn”there is no health care crisis.” Suchrnsentences pass for ineffable wisdom inrnthe ranks of the Stupid Party, and Mr.rnKristol’s pearl was endlessly regurgitatedrnby Republicans, rightish talk-show hosts,rnand Beltway pundits, some of whomrneven understood what he meant by it.rnMoreover, in what appears to be an endlessrnseries of memoranda recording hisrnremarkably unremarkable thoughts ofrnthe day, Mr. Kristol has unbosomed himselfrnof even more astonishing mentalrnjewels, for which Republicans in thernHouse and Senate have scrambled likernthe children of Mogadishu clamberedrnfor American lollipops during our recentrnexpedition in global uplift.rnBut it was this past summer that Mr.rnKristol began to unveil his real agenda,rnwhen he sponsored, under the auspicesrnof the PRF, a panel discussion of thernsubject of abortion and what Republicansrnshould think and say about it. Yetrnbefore the smoke had cleared, it seemedrnthat perhaps the young man had blundered.rnThere is, of course, no mystery as tornwhat the Republican Party “thinks”rnabout abortion. Its position has beenrnpart of the official party platform sincern1980 and was endorsed repeatedly byrnboth Presidents Reagan and Bush andrnby Vice President Quayle. That positionrnis that the party is opposed to abortionrnand commits itself to what is knownrnas the “Human Life Amendment,” tornwit, from the 1988 GOP platform:rnThe unborn child has a fundamentalrnindividual right to lifernwhich cannot be infringed. Werntherefore reaffirm our support forrna human life amendment to thernConstitution, and we endorse legislationrnto make clear that thernFourteenth Amendment’s protectionsrnapply to unborn children.rnThe same plank also commits the partyrnto opposition to public funding for abortion.rnIn 1992, despite some grumblingrnby a handful of pro-choice Republicans,rnthis position was overwhelmingly endorsedrnand reaffirmed at the NationalrnConvention, and the vast majority ofrnRepublicans are perfectly happy with it.rnBut not Mr. Kristol and his neoconservativerncolleagues, and it soon becamernclear that the PRF roundtable on abortionrnwas intended as a first step towardrndumping the Human Life Amendmentrnand perhaps the Republican Party’s generalrncommitment to a “pro-life” position.rnThe roundtable took place inrnWashington on June 15 of this year andrnincluded, for the “pro-choice” side,rnDoug Bailey, a liberal Republican whornnow runs the American PoliticalrnNetwork; for the “pro-life” side, therneminent Phyllis Schlafly; and on Mr.rnKristol’s side, the not-partieularly-eminentrnGeorge Weigel, a Roman Catholicrnneoconservative who runs a Beltwayrnthink tank. Mr. Kristol himself served asrnmoderator.rnYet, strangely for a moderator, thoughrnnot so strange to those who have studiedrnneoeonservatives and their ways, Mr.rnKristol and Mr. Weigel issued a jointrnstatement about abortion and what thernGOP policy on it should be. Essentially,rnthey advocated the abandonment of thernHuman Life Amendment, the rescindingrnof the 1973 Supreme Court decisionrnthat invented a “right” to abortion.rnRoe V. Wade, and continued oppositionrnto public funding of abortion. In thernKristol-Weigel language, “We supportrnefforts to return to the people theirrnconstitutional right to deliberate on thisrnquestion in their legislatures. We endorsernlegislative efforts to expand thernboundaries of legal protection for thernunborn. And we flatly reject the use ofrnpublic funds, at the state or federal level,rnto pay for or encourage abortion.”rnTo all of which, say I: pretty damnedrngood for a couple of neoeons.rnUnlike the Human Life Amendment,rnthe Kristol-Weigel language makes nornmention of the deeply flawed 14thrnAmendment, an illegally passed sectionrnof the Constitution that has inflictedrnuntold damage on the Republic andrnought to be repealed outright. Unlikernthe Human Life Amendment, thernKristol-Weigel language endorses andrnrespects the rights of the states and thernpeople of the states to enact laws suitablernto their beliefs, customs, and circumstancesrnregarding abortion. And, unlikernthe Human Life Amendment, thernKristol-Weigel language makes no mentionrnat all of the U.S. Constitution andrnimports neither theology nor philosophyrnnor ideology into it. Whatever might bernsaid of Mr. Kristol and his agenda, thernlanguage he offered was philosophicallyrnsound from the perspective of Old Rightrnpolitical theory.rnBut the Kristol gambit on abortionrndid not take place in a political vacuum,rnand it would be a distortion of the realrnmeaning of the roundtable and the Kristol-rnWeigel language to fail to understandrnthe context in which it occurred. Withinrnthat context, the purpose of the Kristolrngambit becomes—insidiously—clear.rnThat context was the national controversyrnlast summer over the “ChristianrnRight,” a controversy in which thernDemocratic Party (including PresidentrnClinton himself), several top-rankingrnDemocrats and their allies among liberalrnRepublicans, left-liberal columnists,rnand—by what one is certain was merelyrncoincidence—the Anti-DefamationrnLeague of B’nai B’rith all almost simultaneouslyrnjoined to denounce the ChristianrnRight as “hatemongers,” “bigots,”rn”reactionaries,” and, worst of all, peoplernwho threatened to defeat liberalrnDemocrats en masse in the forthcomingrncongressional elections. It was in thernmidst of this controversy over the ChristianrnRight that the Kristol-Weigel languagernon Republican abortion policyrnsprang to life.rnMr. Kristol himself, as well as neoconservativernswamis William Bennettrnand Charles Krauthammer among others,rnat once marched forth to defend thernChristian Right against its enemies, butrnwhat was interesting about their expressionsrnof support was that almost all ofrnthem defended the religious right byrn10/CHRONICLESrnrnrn