Above: ‘Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?
Cuz I look like Louis Tully and write hackery?’
I receive emails from readers every day who tell me that the only possible motive I could have for expressing doubts about the McCain ticket is my desire to attend cocktail parties, appear on TV, apply for a job in the Obama administration etc. Now I see this line of accusation appearing in the Corner too.
Let’s develop this thought a little. Suppose it were true? Suppose I were indeed a venal, light-minded chaser after television appearances and social invitations. What difference would it make?
Do my correspondents (and now my Corner colleagues) truly believe that – but for my pitiful media and social ambitions – nobody in America would have noticeed that Sarah Palin cannot speak three coherent consecutive words about finance or economics?
Morons like Levin and K-Lo can develop their own theories on Frum’s hackery, but here’s mine:
You, David Frum, are a hack, full of shit, and a complete opportunist. You are venal, have no principles, but I doubt you’re doing it just for the money (though that has to be part of it, since I doubt Conrad Black can afford to keep paying you thousands in “consulting fees”). Rather, I think you are doing it for ego and for position within your party. Certainly you’re not doing it out of principle or intellectual consistency: Digby makes the excellent and obvious point that, when it suited your career, you had absolutely no problem with incoherent and clueless, fucktard-stupid candidates. And for that matter, your latest tome Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win makes many proposals that call for the sudden Republican endorsement of the welfare state, and at least philosophical acceptance of some degree of government protection for the middle class’s economic well-being. I found it especially hilarious coming from the same man who’d written Dead Right, recommending that Americans endure Donner Party levels of duress so that they might rediscover their “lost” moral character. (The one thing you have remained consistent on is the thing you’re most bugfuck insane about: War on Everybody, All the Time, for which you proselytized –with Richard Perle — with sociopathic lucidity in the book An End To Evil.) But then in the age of economic meltdown, openly wishing that people be deprived to Donner Party levels might get your fat carcass eaten. So, go with what’s popular — and pretend you’ve been consistent all along (certainly never admit that your God failed).
Incidentally, while we’re on the subjects of your grossly opportunist inconsistency and spontaneous hackery, I see you were on Rachel Maddow’s show recently, in one of those appearances which have so vexed your fellow Cornertards K-Lo and Levin. Actually, they should be proud of you: though you were inconsistent and wrongheaded when not hypocritical and dishonest in argument, you were a wingnut through and through in the sense that you were dependably vile:
Frum: You were talking, through much of the show, about the matter of tone in our politics. Yet, I think we are seeing an intensification of some of the ugliness of tone that has been a feature of American politics of the past eight years — and this show, unfortunately, is itself an example of that problem with its heavy sarcasm and sneering and its disregard for a lot of the substantive issues that really are important and I would hate to see Republicans go probably into opposition sustaining this terrible cycle of unseriousness about politics, turning it into a spectator sport. The Party’s going to have some important rebuilding to do, and it’s going to have to do that in an intelligent way, and we’re all gonna have to do better than we’ve been doing including in the last forty minutes.
Where to begin? First, Frum was replying to Maddow’s question about what Frum himself called the McCain/Palin campaign’s stirring up of conservative “fury.” So what does Frum do? Equate it with “eight years” of things said in opposition to George Bush! In other words (and Maddow takes him to task for this), he’s begging Republicans, who are shouting things like “Kill Obama” at McCain rallies, to not be as bad as people like… Rachel Maddow! Frum is just being too subtle for the likes of Levin and K-Lo: he’s not criticizing John McCain nearly as much as he’s intentionally insulting liberals. Also, Frum has always had a problem with real comedians: he hates them. On the other hand, he’s never had a problem with witless sarcasm (the Commentary style of political discourse), or, for that matter, utter nastiness. Nor, incidentally, has Frum ever thought there was anything much wrong with hypocrisy.
Also note how quickly Frum gets to the “rebuilding of the Party” line. Frum’s shtick here is self-serving, all right; but it’s all about his personal ambition to mold the Republican Party — how, he doesn’t care much, so long as it’s successful.
Maddow asks him if he’s implying equivalence; does he mean Rachel Maddow’s sarcasm is equivalent to some yahoo yelling, “Bomb Obama!”? Frum weasels out of that one and says:
I don’t think that’s the important question. I think the question is: Given the small plate of responsibility that you personally have, how do you manage that responsibility? The fact that other people fail in other ways is not an excuse for you to fail in your way.
Indeed. Like, just because David Frum, who was then a paid “consultant” for the candidate in question, effusively cited Rudolph Giuliani’s obnoxiousness (over John McCain’s relative civility!), it doesn’t excuse me from saying, with much sneering and in sarcastic tone, that David Frum is a horrible human being who should be set on fire and shot into outer space; but there it is, my cross to bear.