"I can’t shrug off this flight from reality and responsibility as somebody else’s problem. I belonged to this movement; I helped to make the mess. People may very well say: Hey, wait a minute, didn’t you work in the George W. Bush administration that disappointed so many people in so many ways? What qualifies you to dispense advice to anybody else? Fair question. I am haunted by the Bush experience, although it seems almost presumptuous for someone who played such a minor role to feel so much unease. The people who made the big decisions certainly seem to sleep well enough. Yet there is also the chance for something positive to come out of it all. True, some of my colleagues emerged from those years eager to revenge themselves and escalate political conflict: 'They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue.' I came out thinking, I want no more part of this cycle of revenge. For the past half-dozen years, I have been arguing that we conservatives need to follow a different course. And it is this argument that has led so many of my friends to demand, sometimes bemusedly, sometimes angrily, 'What the hell happened to you?' I could fire the same question back: 'Never mind me—what happened to you?'"
-- David Frum, in a New York piece entitled "When Did the GOP Lose Touch with Reality"
Frum's points are by and large excellent. While I disagree with him on quite a few things, he does represent a fading style of conservatism -- maybe best personified by the pomposity of William F. Buckley -- that embraced intellect and an adversarial but cooperative stance to contrast those who believed differently, rather than delusional stupidity and absolute eliminationism. And that I appreciate greatly.
With this latter point in mind, though, I've gotta say: I do my level best to still be respectful and to not respond, as Frum says, with angry rhetorical one-upsmanship in dealing with those who hold political views diametrically opposed to mine, but this -- this seriously made me think to myself, "Dust off and nuke the entire site from orbit -- it's the only way to be sure."