David Frum on the Radicalization of His Party

Posted date: 2011-11-22

Posted By : Marc

Charles Johnson at LittleGreenFootballs had a link up to a New York Magazine article by David Frum. You may remember David Frum as one of Bush, Jr.'s speechwriters. He is a credentialed movement conservative of some note, but we find him here voicing real concert for the state of his party:

...as I contemplate my party and my movement in 2011, I see things I simply cannot support.
The abject fantasy of many of his former colleagues is apparent to all but themselves:
Some of the smartest and most sophisticated people I know—canny investors, erudite authors—sincerely and passionately believe that President Barack Obama has gone far beyond conventional American liberalism and is willfully and relentlessly driving the United States down the road to socialism. No counterevidence will dissuade them from this belief: not record-high corporate profits, not almost 500,000 job losses in the public sector, not the lowest tax rates since the Truman administration.
Indeed, he finds this a party wherein old ideas have been
discarded to make way for a new and more radical ideology, assembled from bits of the old GOP platform that were once sublimated by the party elites but now roam the land freely: ultralibertarianism, crank monetary theories, populist fury, and paranoid visions of a Democratic Party controlled by ACORN and the New Black Panthers.
As I have previously stated on this blog, the obvious candidates for a competent Republican administration, Huntsman and Romney, are constantly and consistently attacked for lack of radical right wing credentials. I have even heard Romney referred to as "Obama Lite."

On the topic of governance, Frum details some of the obvious measures that should be taken in pursuit of a resolving current economic conditions, but points to conservative unwillingness to even address them. He points out that whites, particularly among those without a college degree, are the most pessimistic about he direction of the country, quoting statistics found in the National Journal. It is something I have suspected, but on which I had never seen data.

While it is easy to blame an outright propaganda effort, Frum notes that
We used to say “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.” Now we are all entitled to our own facts, and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.
...
Republican billionaires are not acting cynically; they watch Fox News too.
Frum describes how voicing such concerns left him ostracized from the GOP elite and GOP instruments. Intransigence has been displayed on both sides of the isle, he says, but
in the interests of avoiding false evenhandedness, it must be admitted: The party with a stronger charge on its zapper right now, the party struggling with more self-­imposed obstacles to responsible governance, the party most in need of a course correction, is the Republican Party.
I find more and more that I am in the boat with conservatives who just want a return to sanity. If the GOP were to hit the emergency shutoff on the "crazy" valve, they would easily walk away with the next election. But they have invested so much of the last decade in it, that perhaps it is too late. It's an insightful article and well worth the read.

Author: Paul Sunstone Date: 2011-12-10

Email: paul_sunstone@q.com

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It seems to me Frum is one of the few conservatives alive today who William F. Buckley or Dwight Eisenhower would have recognized as legitimate conservatives. Rather sad.

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