Saturday, March 7, 2009

David Frum: "I Feel Kind of Silly About Supporting the Iraq War"

UPDATE: Well, let me welcome Robert Stacy McCain's readers to the post! You've come at the perfect time! I've finally been exposed for the total academic blogging fraud that I am!

It turns out this piece has caught the attention of
Repsac3 over at American Nihilist, who points out the error of my ways in his post, "Reading Skills." That's right, I've misquoted Frum here on Iraq, and Reppy's absolutely right to call me out, so I responded at the post:

Repsac3: You are not banned from my blog, so you don't have to comment anonymously. I'd prefer you just write your own posts like this one when you want to correct me, rather than pollute my blog posts with your obssessive gotchas.

But you're right here, for once. I misread Frum. So, you got me right in the heart. You win. I'm dead, and that's what you want, and I mean literally. You'd be dancing on my grave after the last shovel of dirt.

I'll post an update to my blog right now. I'm an idiot.

With that, you can declare victory over this stupid unqualified airhead of a professor. You're sleuthing has carried the day.

So, I'll be looking for your final victory post and you can move on to other childish conservatives who need to grow up.
You see, Repsac3's whole gig is to bring me down to size, and he's done it! He's won! I'm a total mountebank!

Perhaps the guy can call it a day and get some help. I mean seriously. Repsac3 needs to put up a victory post on his blog and move on to greener pastures.That's it, he's won the gold for his super-sleuthing! I concede defeat! You've done it man! I'm an idiot who has no business running a blog in the first place.

Think about it: Just yesterday Reppy took issue with my post on gay-male knitting, and he administered a brutal smackdown: "
Grow up, professor. It's a new millennium."

So, it's not just my reading comprehension, it's my troglodyte values. You know, to pay penance I'm going to run out to Toys-R-Us right now with my 7 year-old son and pick up some "
Barbie Girl Stuff" so my kid will fit in better at school. I mean, those traditional gender roles are so archaic! I have to admit I'm embarrassed sometimes to be an American!

So, yes, this is a turning point for me. I'm tempted, of course, to blame it all on
Jim Beam! I really need to read David Frum more carefully! There's just no excuse for me to even entertain the possibility of his turncoat revisionism.

But wait! Hold on a minute there! Frum does have this little thing project going on to blame everybody but himself for the "debacle" in Iraq. It wasn't the strategic conception, it was the execution! President George W. Bush
was an incompetent fool:

To David Frum, the former White House speechwriter who co-wrote Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address that accused Iraq of being part of an “axis of evil,” it now looks as if defeat may be inescapable, because “the insurgency has proven it can kill anyone who cooperates, and the United States and its friends have failed to prove that it can protect them.” This situation, he says, must ultimately be blamed on “failure at the center”—starting with President Bush.
Starting with President Bush, eh? Yep, that takes a lot of courage, I know! And Frum's rehabilitation from erstwhile policy advisor the Torquemada of the "new conservative movement" continues at The New Majority, where you'll find a whole six-piece revisionist series on the war, "WHAT WENT WRONG IN IRAQ - THE DEFINITIVE ACCOUNT ..."

So, yes, I admit it: I jumped the gun on that post last night. Yep, I'm down low on my error here, and I'm going to look forward to Repsac3's final victory post at American Nihilist. I am humbled by the superior minds of these people! They have now completely revealed my intellectual bankruptcy.

I'm going to go play with my son now: "The Diamond Castle Playset" awaits!

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE! Hey, I need to screw up more often! Jules Crittenden links! He's related to Frum, so wouldn't you know it!


I'm pretty much over the whole intraparty Rush Limbaugh debate.
Patrick Ruffini summed things up well yesterday when he said:

It's one thing to reject spokespeople with neither egghead credentials nor talent, like Joe the Plumber, or those who are positively cringe-worthy, like Coulter. Rush belongs in neither of these categories. There is value in having provocative voices who know how to string two sentences together with arguments rooted in conservative ideas, not cultural pastiche. And though provocative and sometimes impolitic, Rush's arguments are usually calibrated and thought-out in their own way. Wanting Obama to fail from wrecking a country we all hope succeeds is not something a GOP politician should necessarily say, but is something Rush should be able to say from his perch outside the party.
He should, but apparently that message (so true and uncontroversial), along with all the attention Limbaugh's getting, has some longtime Republicans worried. Case in point is David Frum, who has been campaigning against Rush this last week or so. Now Frum's escalated to Newsweek, with his new essay, "Why Rush is Wrong."

Readers can read the whole thing for themselves (it's a rehash of the blog post at New Majority earlier). For me it's nothing new, so let's paraphrase Frum: The GOP can't let the party be hijacked by a fat, drug-addled, divorced publicity-seeking talk-radio blowhard, who represents not traditionalism but stereotypical ambition and self-indulgence.

Again, that's paraphrasing, and not that much actually (check
the link).

What really bothers me here is Frum's discussion of his "bona fides." Yeah, Frum's a GOP insider, so he's presumably got the conservative creds to bash Limbaugh. But this part just sticks in my craw: " I supported the Iraq War ... although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect ..."

Why does Frum feel silly about it? He was one of the biggest Iraq cheerleaders on the right. Indeed, along with Richard Perle, Frum was
the most aggressive "neocon" making the case for U.S. neo-imperial domination. Maybe it's just me, but the war in Iraq pretty much defines one's political identity on what it means to stand up for what's right. Anyone can offer a new policy program for the movement. They say we need to "adapt" conservatism to the 21st century. What does that mean? Bailouts and welfare entitlements as far as the eye can see? Because that's the new "political reality"? I don't think so. Frum's hammering Limbaugh for harking back to Reagan, but we need to go back to Goldwater! I love the Gipper - really, he's the best 20th-century president - but reading Conscience of a Conservative is the antidote for the Obamessianism that's taking over the country.

I'll have more later. But I'll tell you, gaining power and staying in the media spotlight is way more important to folks like David Frum than is sticking to a set of beliefs that identify what it really means to be conservative.

More at


dave in boca said...

Frum is one of your transients like Excitable Andrew and [remember back when?] Arianna Sassy-no-polite who have gravitated leftward as the prevailing winds push their unprincipled career paths into bigger revenue streams.

Frum was a "GWB advisor" for about 15 minutes 7 years ago & crowed like a rooster for all of a quarter hour about a Canadian Jew making it to the WH Staff. Now he's ashamed for supporting a war we won despite the opposition of his new friends like Dingy Harry and Nancy the P? What an impostor! This fraud now writes for Newsweak, a suitable pulpit as it is soon to be out-of-dead-tree circulation just as Frum will soon be out of any readership other than leftists eager to see another apostate attack his former colleagues.

Frum reminds me a lot of Jimmy Kimmel except Jimmy is intentionally funny!

Norm said...

Maybe winning the conflict makes some
people feel silly with glee. Go figure, who cares? I have front row seats to watch Obama hand the entire Mid-East to the bad guys (including Iraq). If everyone knows you don't carry a big stick, then is anyone going to listen?

Anonymous said...

You misquote Frum. He wrote he felt silly about the Clinton impeachment, not the war:

"I supported the Iraq War and (although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect) the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I could go on, but you get the idea."

Old Rebel said...

Americaneocon wrote:

"Frum was the most aggressive "neocon" making the case for U.S. neo-imperial domination."

Hey -- what happened to the fluff about promoting freedom?

Anonymous said...

Tuggle: Just too bad that some people like you cannot read or think for themselves.

Old Rebel said...


Yeah, that's me, just following the herd. When the President says something, no matter how detached from reality it is, I believe. If he says a broken-down wreck of a country like Iraq is about to make the Death Star fully operational, or that all our problems will be solved if we just redistribute wealth, I obey.

Wait -- are you saying that you're questioning our Commander-in-chief?

Anonymous said...

Talk about willfully misreading. You don't just misinterpret his quote, you deliberately delete the "and" that precedes his parenthetical confession about his feeling silly about supporting the Clinton impeachment and replace it with an ellipses, thereby inventing a statement of regret over Iraq that he never made. A lesser commenter might suggest this is your subconscious way of publicly confessing your own regrets.

bluespapa said...

Now that you've had two people point out that you misquoted Frum, shouldn't you correct that?

As it happens, Derbyshire has a much better assessment than anyone who doesn't think Limbaugh isn't as "cringe-worthy" as Coulter.

Consumers of the right's echo chamber have long become inured to how offensive and cringe-worthy it all is.

Nobody cares if Limbaugh plies his trade in scalps and disease to his faithful, but it's a little disgusting to see a parade of political "leaders" crawl on their bellies, confess their mea culpas, and beg his pardon. That conservative commentators are now coming out of the woodwork to speak the truth, that Limbaugh's position as arbiter of the right's politically correct harms the Republican Party, doesn't register on most American's radar, is merely entertainment for the left, and exposes the lack of intellectual integrity the Right has suffered since the ascendancy of Reagan and Reaganism in which platitudes of Small Government are backed by expansion of government, international entanglements, privatizing public functions and property (of which the army of mercenaries on the public payroll in Iraq is merely the most egregious), ballooning deficits, and what Ralph Nader calls corporate welfare.

Why pretend Frum is objecting to Limbaugh's First Amendment rights? He's objecting to spinelessness in the Republican leadership and commentariat. Pretending he IS objecting to Limbaugh's right to blather is another case of intellectual dishonesty.

Rich Casebolt said...

For the critics, it's all about the credentials ... because they have gained membership into the credentialed club.

Not about the underlying wisdom ... wisdom which does not require an academic pedigree or the "right connections" as a prerequisite.

Just as we have learned in foreign policy, accommodating those who seek your capitulation is imprudent ... it is better to confront them, and certainly better to even use derision and absurdity to do so before the situation degenerates to the point that we are left with only hatred and misery to motivate us.

Never forget, the reason Rush has such a sustained following is not because he has brought many new ideas to the table ... it is because he reinforces the ideas that millions have already observed to be sound and true.

As his friendly competitor, Glenn Beck has been saying, you are not alone ...

... OTOH, those who look down their noses upon Rush's and Glenn's audiences with the same disdain they have already directed against JTP and Sarah Palin, while ignoring the demonstrated limitations and failures of their own, elitist worldviews ... do so at the peril of their own reputations and political futures.

The critics need to quit thinking that an academic pedigree is sufficient to discredit their critics ... for history is full of educated fools, juxtaposed with the simply wise.

DFS said...

But this part just sticks in my craw: " I supported the Iraq War ... although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect ..."

As mentioned, this quote is misleading. I certainly hope Donald corrects this.

JBW said...

Don, will this affect your not having an opinion about gay marriage as it applies to your boys? Still just asking...