David Frum presented himself as a libertarian ca. 1994, then as the foreign policy militant and scourge of the alt-right ca. 2002, then as the recrudescence of the 1950s modern Republican ca. 2009. I’m not sure what he’s flogging now. I think he shut down FrumForum and I never read it anyway. Antecedent to all this, he went to law school and, on graduating, set himself up as a journeyman writer, landing a position in the public relations apparat of the elder George Bush. The man’s had as many incarnations as Dr. Who (though, as a character, I’d liken him more to The Rani). Wet that finger and stick it in the wind…
Art Deco, April 15, 2015
Dave Griffey At Daffey Thoughts takes a look at the latest brain droppings of David Frum, the Never Trumper of Never Trumpers:
So I’ve seen this making the rounds. Frum is, of course, what’s known as a Never Trumper. That is largely those Republicans, conservatives, or others who are not to the left or Democrats who nonetheless fully oppose Donald Trump.
It’s possible that more than Democrats, Never Trumpers invest almost everything they have in criticizing and attacking Trump no matter what. Some have become more or less liberal Democrats, leading you to think that’s where they wanted to go all along, and Trump is merely their excuse. John Kasich, for example, was swinging to the left long before Trump jumped into the 2016 campaign.
Frum is in that group who isn’t a Democrat yet, but finds nothing good in Trump. It’s been said that if Trump cured cancer, Never Trumpers would complain he’s threatened the job prospects of cancer researchers.
Nonetheless, I didn’t watch or read the speech, and Frum did. So I wonder if it’s a fair take. That it would be a disjointed speech, or not particularly well written, I can believe. Trump does not give great speech. Neither did GW Bush. For that matter, neither did Obama. In fact, Obama was far worse at extemporaneous speech than either Bush or Trump. His endless ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ (which his supporters insisted was the result of his superior intellect being slowed down by an obligation to consider the weak minded masses), was grating to the point of distraction. Obama also became dull and dour by the end. It’s one of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ moments that everyone praised Obama as the Great Orator no matter how bad he was. Compared to Bush? Trump? Yeah he was better. But only by comparing him to the worst, not the best.
Still, the content of his Trump’s speech as some Napoleon as Hitler imperialist conqueror is something I wonder about. Is that a fair critique? Was it too much power not enough virtue? I can see that as a possibility in just the snippets I did read. Or is it fair to say it balances the Lefts ‘America as Nazi genocidal racist nation of evil and failure and ineptness’? Is it fair to consider apart from eight years of Obama’s ‘no matter how bad the world is, America is always as bad if not worse’? For that matter, Clinton also peddled that notion. On a Christian level, Pope Francis seems content to assure the word that we have seen evil, and it’s usually in the pews of Christian churches – especially in the Western democracies.
So just curious.
Go here to comment. Long before Trump came on the political scene, the Frumper was a kidney stone of a commenter. Let’s take a trip down memory lane:
Somebody had faxed over a copy of the article before the issue hit newsstand. Kathleen in the office made copies for everyone in the office to read. I had been expecting forceful disagreement from those conservatives who favored invading Iraq, but I never expected anything like this — the vitriol, the name-calling, the smears, and tendentiousness.
” Unpatriotic Conservatives” was the headline of what I will always regard as David Frum’s magnum opus — a 4,000-word cover page for National Review. The piece targeted a motley crew of libertarians and conservatives who had dissented from George W. Bush’s plans for invasion, regime change, and nation-building in Iraq.
Notably to me, it targeted my boss and mentor, Bob Novak.
Go here to read the rest. To David Frum people who do not think in lockstep with him are always unpatriotic and a danger to the Republic, even as his views are ever-shifting. His self-o-centric view of the world reminds me of this bit of dialogue from the movie Friendly Persuasion (1956):
Purdy: Some of Morgan's thieving men burnt my barn... ...stole my horses and cleaned out my smokehouse. Jess Birdwell: I'm sorry to hear that. Thee is welcome to anything I've got. Purdy: No, thanks. If thee wants to help... ...pick up a gun and fight... ...the same as I'm doing. Jess Birdwell: I'm not ready to do that. Purdy: What does thee aim to do? Sit here and turn the other cheek? Jess Birdwell: That's what I aim to do... ...if I can. Purdy: Thee's got to face the fact that wartime calls for another kind of thinking. Sam Jordan: Your thinking may have changed, but you haven't. Last week, you told my son he'd go to hell for fighting. This week you tell Jess to fight. Whatever's right for Purdy's got to be right for everybody else?