Monday, November 21, 2011

Quote of the Day


"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."

8 comments:

Samantha George said...

Ah to hell with Frum and his johnny come lately rationality. He knew what he was getting into bed with years ago, and to have the man who invented the term "axis of evil" now claim that he's shocked, shocked to find that the base is out of touch with the reality he worked so assiduously to distort is infuriating.

pea said...

Funny how conservatives always have 20:20 hindsight. Just because Frum didn't wait till death was staring him in the face like Atwater did doesn't make him any less repugnant.

How many liberals are sorry they helped poor people get a leg up?

NOTE: my word verification word is sperm. I kid you not. I'm not sure how to take that.

ntx said...

So is Frum's thinking not to be taken seriously now because it previously was not worthy of being taken seriously? That doesn't seem to bode well for the possibility of persuading a conservative voter to ever pull a lever for a liberal candidate.

Unless, that's not actually important; that feeling good about the strength our own convictions is the point of political discourse. In which case, you are right: Frum sucks and always will, so why bother with what he writes.

Samantha George said...

Frum's very existence was dependent upon creating the toxic stew he's now got a big huge sad about. He helped create the discourse that doesn't allow apostates to have any credibility. So now all these years later he wants to come forward and bemoan the fact that his party is inhabited by frothing loons?

And we're supposed to do what now with his words? Give him a cookie? Pat him on the head and thank him for finally seeing the light and oh my goodness maybe this nice reasonable conservative will make others in his party come 'round for tea and biscuits?

He had several years in which he was fine with it. Fine with every rotten policy he helped promote by "catapulting the propaganda" -- where was his courage in calling out this bullshit when he could have made a difference?

IrishGirl said...

Frum does still have a lot to atone for. He mentions that while many others are sleeping fine at night, perhaps he isn't. I know it's not much but I am very glad that his conscience has kicked in. Now instead of bemoaning it, he needs to take action to stop it. That is the ONLY way I feel he can make up for what he helped to create. The rest is sound and noise signifying nothing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he's just invoking the Christian get-out-of-jail-free card of atoning for his sins at the last moment.

jrm78 said...

I'm sorry, but the "axis of evil" line was his Andy Dick-giving-Brynn Hartman-some-coke moment IMHO. He can atone by throwing the emperor into the reactor core, but he missed his opportunity when he had a chance.

Perfect material for Penn State.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the link to the NASCAR crowd booing the Michelle Obama and friends. In any crowd, there are folks you probably wouldn't associate with. I love racing, I'm not too fond of some of the folks who also like racing.