In the op-ed Jon cited earlier, Bill Kristol slammed the McCain campaign as "overmatched" and "out-and-out dysfunctional," characterized by "strategic incoherence" and "operational incompetence."

Sounds a little bit like a certain New York Times columnist. This week, Kristol urges McCain to "drop" his attacks on Obama and perhaps "volunteer a mild mea culpa about the extent to which the presidential race has degenerated into a shouting match." Last week, of course, he was seconding Sarah Palin's recommendation that McCain "take the gloves off."

This week, Kristol says "McCain should stop unveiling gimmicky proposals every couple of days that pretend to deal with the financial crisis. Two weeks ago, he was defending "McCain’s impetuous decision to return to Washington" from critics, asserting it had been "right." (Of course, the week before that, he'd recommended the opposite course, suggesting it would be "an act of responsibility and courage" if McCain opposed the bailout.)

It's indisputable that the McCain campaign has been remarkably erratic over the past few weeks. But, if anything, this may be because it's paying a bit too much attention to Kristol's helter-skelter advice.

--Christopher Orr