Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tears of a Clown

From David Frum's now-infamous "Waterloo" post:
I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters — but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead …
Hmm. Now where do you suppose they learned the power of "overheated talk", "hysterical accusations", and "pseudo-information"?

NY Magazine, May 29, 2005:
[Dworkin had] been reaching out to other writers and had gone to dinner at Christopher Hitchens and Carol Blue’s apartment, where Dworkin and Stoltenberg were joined by the former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum and his wife, Danielle Crittenden. “Andrea had fun that night—she had wicked fun,” says Stoltenberg. They found common ground talking about how much they hated Bill Clinton and how they thought he was a rapist.
Frum is interesting only in that he's got the world's shortest memory. He hasn't changed his core values. Mister "Axis of Evil" is merely advocating less inflammatory, but no less pernicious, rhetoric to get the public to swallow them. He got fired because he was no longer useful (the Dollars, always the Dollars) to one wingnut think tank. Given his own history of overheated talk, hysterical accusations, and dissemination of pseudo-information, I put that in the "Reaping and Sowing" category.


Anonymous said...

I think he was just trying to get out in front of a changing tide. And even though he got fired from one place, he has raised his name recognition. People who have never heard of him before now suddenly find him all over the place - being "reasonable". Expect him to get his own show on CNN. I imagine this is his plan all along and not some kind of awakening of his conscience.


pansypoo said...

he still thinks palin is viable.

rapier said...

Frum and modern popular conservatsim deconstructed in my fav blog essay of all time.

Dead Right

Anonymous said...

Let them all fall on their swords, be hoisted on their own petards, and get screwed by their own machinations. Vox

res ipsa loquitur said...

rapier, that's an excellent post. Now bookmarked. Thank you.

Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Yes, thank you rapier.

Would it be a cheap shot to suggest that Frum has been devoured by the very same social and economic Darwinism he illustrates in this passage?

“Contemporary conservatives still value that old American character. William Bennett in his lectures reads admiringly from an account of the Donner party written by a survivor that tells the story in spare, stoic style. He puts the letter down and asks incredulously, “Where did those people go?” But if you believe that early Americans possessed a fortitude that present-day Americans lack, and if you think the loss is an important one, then you have to think hard about why that fortitude disappeared. Merely exhorting Americans to show more fortitude is going to have about as much effect on them as a lecture from the student council president on school spirit."

Why, yes. Indeed, this passages explains in vivid detail Frum's (and others) utter acquiescence to the GOD (Grand Old Donner) Party.

To paraphrase: "This is the true aesthetic nature of the contemporary conservative: if the going gets tough, we will eat you. To make it tough, we'll flood your economy with easy, cheap mortgage loans backed by fraudulent credit ratings and repackaged as secured tranches that will implode after a strong sneeze. Then we'll bail out those we favor, let collapse those we don't, repossess your job and your home and then we'll eat you. And if our leading lights get a little uppity in the realization of our wanton predations, we'll do the same to them."

Did I get that right Mr. Frum?

Bon appetit.

Montag said...

I'll offer something of an alternative. What if, just sayin', that the right-wing crazies have figured out, based on the recent SC decision, that it's just cheaper (and more efficient, y'know) to just buy politicians outright than to go on supporting the wingnut welfare system that churns out position papers by ideological hacks like Frum?

Maybe Frum is just one of the first in a housecleaning that's going to be felt all around Washington, DC. After all, there's no real heavy intellectual lifting required to excoriate liberals and Dems (just healthy doses of lying and distortion of the truth), and the system in place does an excellent job of influencing the media. After forty years of propagandizing the press and the public, places like the Heritage Foundation and AEI can pretty much run on autopilot, like Clear Channel's radio stations.

Maybe Frum's little walk off the reservation, however brief, is just an excuse for a change in policy by the funders of the right-wing Wurlitzer.

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

rapier, that is a fabulous and substantive link. But the bitchy-kitty worm in my gut is wondering if any ill-advised e-mail (i.e., all of them) sent by Frum's missus had anything to do with his separation from AEI? As said e-mails did with Frum's departure from the White House staff?

Anonymous said...

Rapier, may I just second all the previous commentors regarding the excellent link you provided. Thank you!

And a big thank you to the US for taking David Frum away from Canada... long may he continue to stay down there with you... in fact I've started a collection to pay for his health care down there just to make sure he doesn't attempt to come back up here and freeload off our excellent single-payer system.

-Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs!