Archive for ‘David Frum’

July 28, 2009

Obama, they never joke about

“David Brooks and David Frum. David and David. I hate to say it but some days it’s like reading Dumb and Dumber.”
Sister Toldjah

July 15, 2009

Frum Treats Ace Like a Dirty Whore

OK, all I did was attend a cocktail party, but now — as Justin Hawkins observesDavid Frum is imposing himself on Ace, an act of ideological date-rape, as it were.

The question is whether Ace was askin’ for it, struttin’ around in lipstick and tight jeans like a whore.

Oh, yeah. We know the story: Frum was just chillin’ in his center-right Republican dorm room with a bit of herb, some cold malt liquor, watching ESPN with his moderate posse.

Knock, knock, knock — “It’s me, Ace.” The sultry little minx wants to hang out with the homies, drinking a few of Frum’s 40s. Starts doing the tease routine, talking sexy about “electability” and “pragmatism.” Yadda yadda. Ba-da-bing. Et cetera.

So what if Conor got sloppy seconds after Ace passed out? Whose fault was that, huh?

Next morning, Ace runs off crying to the campus medical center claiming he said “no” (ah, but his eyes said “yes”), and before you can say “presumed innocent,” there’s a Take Back the Night candelight vigil with chants and posters and . . .

What? Too lurid, Ace? Am I “blaming the victim”? Is the trauma induced by your ordeal still a raw wound? Perhaps you’d prefer soothing poetry:

Ace and David,
Sittin’ in a tree,
K-I-S-S-I-N-G

I could roll that way. (Outlaw!) But once I whip out my big thick analogy like this, I gotta go all the way.

I don’t blame Frum for taking what he wants, seeing as how Ace was obviously so willing to give it up. The problem is this I’m-not-that-kind-of-girl victim act on Ace’s part.

Like I said, I’ve got no problem with cocktail parties. That’s just coalition politics, an obligatory ritual like the high school prom. Laura Ingraham and Mark Krikorian were there as chaperones, just in case things got out of hand. (Some conservatives have one too many glasses of that reserve pinot and start stumbling around, badmouthing NRA and Club For Growth like a whore.)

Oh, we all saw it coming. Signing that Coulter petition was like showing up for your date in a tube top and a mini-skirt, an unmistakable advertisement that you were ready for some action. Ace, you were like that stupid tramp in Colorado who thought she could just “fool around a little” with an NBA superstar and that Kobe Bryant would stop exactly where she said stop. A lesson learned the hard way, so to speak.

Now, Friedersdorf is accusing conservatives of trying to “purge” you, Ace. If that’s what Hawkins or anyone else is up to, count me out.

I’ve had my bad moments, too, so I have empathy, like Sotomayor.

Ace, what I’m saying is that you made an error of judgment for which you are responsible, like that chubby freshman girl who arrives early at the Teke open-house party, starts right in on the tequila and doesn’t stop until the pledges are lined up down the hall waiting to take their turns.

But why bring Meghan McCain into this?

My point is that if Ace is a dirty slut, he’s our dirty slut. We don’t blame Frum and Friedersdorf for wanting to do a three-way and then hand him off to David Brooks, David Letterman, David Gergen, David Brock, David Hasselhof, David Copperfield . . . but again, why bring Meghan McCain into this?

Ace knows what he is, and we respect what he is, insofar as he is at least honest enough to admit that he has these unfortunate tendencies to be “center-right,” a weakness for “pragmatic” arguments about “electability.”

Like a whore.

UPDATE: Speaking of which, who is this “Mindy” who shares her correspondence with Friedersdorf? The analysis Ace gives Mindy — “The last ‘good year’ was the election of 2004” — is solid, so far as it goes.

What it ignores is the original folly of making Philadelphia-on-the-Tigris the focal point of Republican electoral strategy. You can get away with that kind of blunder for a while, especially when the Democrats are content to nominate a guaranteed loser like John Kerry and rely on the strategic advice of Bob Shrum.

Karl Rove got his winning reputation too easily. The fundamental flaws in the policy/politics formula of Bushism were exposed just as soon as the Democrat grassroots used the Internet to organize a coup against their clueless leaders, installing Howard Dean at the DNC and putting Rahm Emanuel in charge of their congressional campaign.

However, the flaws of Bushism were there all along: The GOP cannot build an enduring majoritarian coalition on the basis of overseas adventures, nebulous domestic “triangulation” and a rhetoric of symbolic appeals to patriotism. If Bushism appeared to work for a while, that was mainly because Democratic leaders were out of touch with, and therefore incapable of effectively organizing, the grassroots resentment that the Kos/MoveOn axis saw as the natural fulcrum upon which to leverage a strategy of direct opposition (as opposed to an absurd DLC “Me-Too-ism”) to the Bush agenda.

Never mind. t I don’t want to discuss that now. What I want to do is to ask a question: Surely the “Mindy” who writes this is not Mindy Finn?

Clarify, Conor.

UPDATE II: Ace just e-mailed to say that “Mindy” is not Mindy Finn, so excuse my throwing that name out there. She just happened to be the only Republican named Mindy who came to mind. I’ll await further information. This poison-pen stuff — trashing an entire political movement in an e-mail exchange and then allowing the exchange to be published with only “Mindy” as identifying one half of the exchange — is bad business.

June 30, 2009

If Andrew Sullivan is not stupid . . .

. . . he must be trying to deceive people. No alternative explanation works, when he describes me thus:

Robert Stacy McCain, a supporter of the genocide of Palestinians in Israel, in a blog-post that has to be one of the most single-mindedly bigoted diatribes I have read. And I’ve read a few.

So says the Trig-Truther impressario of The Atlantic Monthly, in honoring me with yet another “Malkin Award” nomination, my fourth since February. Earlier today, I paused for a moment to pray and Andrew may therefore be an angel unaware. God bless you, sir, for providing me this opportunity to elaborate on important principles of rhetoric.

Right-click that “genocide” hotlink up there, and choose “open in new window” from the pulldown menu so that you may read Andrew’s Feb. 20 post in a new browser window. (Alt+Tab to toggle between the two.) Andrew quoted this:

Swear to God, if [the Israelis] ever want a Gentile prime minister, my first order would be to deploy the IDF in a north-south line, facing east. My second order would be “forward march” and the order to halt would not be given until it was time for the troops to rinse their bayonets in the Jordan. After a brief rest halt, the order “about face” would be given, and the next halt would be at the Mediterranean coast.

To which Andrew replied, “Words fail.” No, sir. Perhaps your understanding fails, but words do not.

“If” is the largest two-letter word in the English language, proposing a contingency or hypothetical. If Andrew Sullivan were hung like porn star . . .

The more farfetched the hypothetical, the more we should consider what follows “if” to be hyperbole, that is to say, an expression carried to an extreme. Argument by hypothesis always involve the risk that some dullard will fail to grasp the point being expressed and incorrectly suppose that one actually desires the scenario described.

Therefore, it becomes unfortunately necessary to reveal that my campaign to become the first Gentile prime minister of Israel was intended as a jest. Furthermore, my tactical plan for Palestinian “genocide” (actually, Andrew, it would be mere ethnic cleansing, since they’d have the opportunity to flee the advancing IDF bayonets) was a hyperbole, a sort of verbal clue that the reader had reached the punchline.

There is truth in humor, of course, and anyone who wishes to read the entirety of my Feb. 20 post may attempt to discern what truth I meant to express. The title and first paragraph:

Glenn Greenwald: ‘No anti-Semite could
possibly hate me worse than I hate myself’

Well, that’s the subconscious meaning of his latest column in his ongoing effort to win the Nobel Prize in literature with his wicked satire of a stereotypical self-hating Jew. . . .

Greenwald is one of these people who has never seen a fight between a Jew and an Arab for which he did not blame the Jew. My Feb. 20 post begins by discussing a category of critics of the U.S.-Israel alliance that includes some of my paleocon/libertarian friends, remarking that one cannot dismiss all such critics as anti-Semites: “The world is more complex than that.”

Being notorious myself, I hesitate to attach the evil stigma of anti-Semitism, an implicit accusation of mala fides, on those who are attempting to offer serious comment on serious matters of policy. Whether it’s James Pinkerton, Pat Buchanan or Taki Theodoracopulos, only conclusive evidence of irrational and irredeemable Jew-hatred will suffice.

Perhaps I am too tolerant in this regard, just as I am too patient in hoping that David Frum will reconsider his “Unpatriotic Americans” anathema against Robert Novak, et al. Similarly, I may perhaps be too hopeful that there is still within Andrew Sullivan’s soul some shred of conscience that would cause him to retract the accusation that I am an advocate of “genocide.”

This essay will be extended over the next several hours. I had other things I meant to do today, but it seems the angels meant otherwise. So if you’ll do me a favor, refresh this post in a couple hours. Meanwhile, the waitress has arrived with your check. (Click the link, buddy. She’s a hot redhead.)

UPDATE: My buddy tipped the waitress in a respectable manner, but a certain resident of Connecticut — maybe Ed’s got a thing for redheads — doubled that tip. My gratitude to both these gentlemen, and to the several others who know how To Insure Prompt Service. Hope you’re all enjoying this latest spectacle, which now continues . . .

Kathy Shaidle is the Only Canadian Who Matters, a woman of such excellent character that I am tempted to forgive the Northern Menace for foisting Neil Young upon us. Lead me not into temptation.

It was she, the diminuitive Canadian, who seized upon the “Ransom Note Method” as the key to understanding a certain species of ad hominem by which the Left cuts-and-pastes various remarks and assembles them into a dossier of distortion, like a kidnapper gluing together a ransom note.

The primary purpose of such an attack is to depict the target — among others, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin have both received this treatment — as a person of such despicable sentiments, guilty of such vile hatreds, that no respectable person can view them as anything but a bogeyman, a demon, an agent of evil.

For decades, the “Ransom Note Method” has been employed against the Left’s enemies, living and dead, and has repeatedly achieved not only its primary purpose, but also its secondary purpose: To intimidate and confuse the Right, to cause them to ostracize those conservatives who are most dangerous to the Left, and to discourage other conservatives from engaging in direct confrontation with the ideological foe.

Kathy don’t scare easy. To quote our hero J. Coddington Van Voorhees VII (“Coddy,” to his friends), I like the cut of her jib. And now that a few people have begun to discern the methods and objectives of the Ransom Not Method, the method’s effectiveness has been permanently impaired. It will soon be destroyed entirely and the Left will be deprived of one of its most reliable weapons.

You assholes picked a fight with the wrong Canadian. Kathy was called a “racist” for her full-throated criticism of Canada’s Orwellian political correctness, so that the book she co-authored cannot even be purchased via Amazon. But she has friends, among them Mark Steyn, and with friends like that, she can handle as many enemies as may come against her.

Welcome to the Camp of the Saints. Hit the tip jar, and come back in an hour or two, because I aim to make sure you get your money’s worth, folks:

“My God, Scarlett O’Hara!” said Tony peevishly. “When I start out to cut somebody up, you don’t think I’ll be satisfied with scratching him with the blunt side of my knife, do you? No, by God, I cut him to ribbons.”
Gone With The Wind

UPDATE 4:05 p.m.: James Joyner is an extraordinarily insightful writer, and when he calls me “perhaps the most skilled attention whore in all the blogosphere,” my instinctive reaction is, “Perhaps?”

Dr. Joyner began blogging in January 2003, when the ‘sphere was as tiny and helpless as little Trig Palin, and his excellent Outside the Beltway blog has grown along with it. The Good Doctor therefore may not appreciate the difficulties confronting a writer who got 6,000 visitors in March 2008 — his first month of full-time blogging — and who did not aim to fail at this new endeavor.

“Attention whore”? Heh. This implies that I would compose a quite risky 1,500-word analysis of anti-Palinism merely to gain attention. (Check the gazongas on that redhead!) Yet it is a fact, one which too many journalists fail to appreciate, that there is no point writing something if no one is reading it.

Dr. Joyner comes from an academic background where entire careers are devoted to that sort of writing. If my prose style is . . . engaging, this is surely no sin in the realm of commercial writing. But I did not come here to argue with my dear friend James, rather to eviscerate Andrew Sullivan. (Just a figure of speech, a metaphor, a bit of engaging imagery to whet the appetite of the reader who is encouraged to suspect that Sully’s intestines will be displayed in the next update, in about an hour.)

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Before that interruption, I was discussing principles of rhetoric, namely, if you’re going to attack a man, destroy him.

Don’t shilly-shally around. Don’t snipe or gossip or kibbitz or damn him with faint praise. Be a man about it, and take him head-on, determined that when you finish, there shall be nothing left of his reputation except a smoldering crater and the hushed awe of the spectators.

To do otherwise is to advertise yourself as a soft target. That this principle could be applied to Israeli’s response to rocket attacks from Gaza might make Andrew Sullivan pause, if he were a thoughtful man. Or hung like a porn star.

Ken Layne’s attack on Sarah Palin, involving her son Trig, was astonishingly sadistic. I saw it at Professor William Jacobson’s blog — the Professor quotes it in full, so that you don’t have to click over to Wonkette to see it — and immediately forgot whatever it was I had planned to do before I saw it.

What could motivate Layne’s wanton viciousness? What did Sarah Palin ever do to him to deserve that? Rather, what could anyone ever do to provoke such cruelty? Nothing. Layne’s attack was a raw specimen of undiluted evil.

It reminded me of similar specimens of evil, also involving the governor and her infant son. Motherhood is among the many institution our society once revered, but which are now widely mocked and derided. As I pondered what sort of response Layne might deserve, I thought about that: Why is it Sarah Palin’s maternal qualities that Layne and others like him choose to attack?

A horror and hatred of . . . the “birth canal”?

UPDATE 5:44 p.m.: Hate to repeat myself, but . . . Heh. No point knocking yourself out, eliciting accusations of being a “single-minded bigot,” if nobody’s going to read it.

“Attention whore” or not, as I contemplated Layne’s attack on Palin, the exposed flank was clear. Like others, he seemed offended by motherhood.

Q. What manner of person would do this?
A. A vicious cocksucker.

Now, I have occasionally remarked on the forms of misogyny characteristic of gay-male culture. Others have made similar observations. There is a type of woman that gay men typically venerate — The Diva, e.g., Cher, Bette Midler, Liza, Madonna — and there are types of women that gay men typically despise, perhaps none more than that unglamorous stereotype, the frumpy housewife. If you add the descriptor “Christian” to “housewife,” it’s like chumming the waters near the Great Barrier Reef.

Why is this so? In Principles of Logic thirty years ago, our professor warned against any statement containing “all” or “always,” “none” or “never” (a danger that is best illustrated by Venn diagram). Nevertheless, one might describe the general attitude toward women in gay-male culture, without fear that this description could be fairly characterized as applicable to every gay man. Therefore . . .

Gay men have mother issues — and all that proceeded from there. And having written that and put it on the Internet, now I see that Andrew Sullivan finds fit to accuse me of advocating Palestinian “genoicide.” As Dana Carvey’s Church Lady might say, “How convenient.”

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful . . .

This essay can be extended and, if you refresh this page in about an hour, I think it will be. Do you really think I’m merely an “attention whore”? Or do you suppose that there is some reason I wanted your attention? Let the wise consider, and please hit the tip jar.

UPDATE 6:42: Referencing my discussion of gay culture’s influence in the fashion industry, a conservative blogger left a link to this:

Ladies, a question. Why did you allow gay men to become the arbiters of feminine beauty? Seriously, I want to know. Letting Penis Hilton judge a beauty pageant is like me asking Rosie O’Doughnuts for advice on how to be a real hunk . . .
Ladies, before I hear any more whining about society’s horrendous standards of beauty, consider who sets them, and consider who lets the deciders decide. . . .

Indeed, the artificial standards of the fashion industry are . . . unmerciful, you might say. Look at the ads in Cosmo. How many hetero guys consider anorexic 6-foot-tall heroin addicts to be ideal? Show of hands. Anyone?

Perhaps no skill is more important to survival than the ability to distinguish between a friend and an enemy. An honest enemy is less to be feared than a false friend. Military aircraft carry a signal device known as IFF (“Identify Friend or Foe”) the purpose of which is to prevent friendly-fire incidents, and to enable pilots to know that the enemy in their sights is indeed an enemy.

Women who turn to Cosmo seeking friendly advice are fools, as I explained years ago. And one of the basic problems in politics is quite similar. Republicans are forever listening to “friendly” advice from people who aren’t really their friends.

Ask Sarah Palin about that. She joined Crazy Cousin John’s campaign last year and found herself surrounded by arrogant know-it-all “advisers” whose advice struck her as wrongheaded, and now those same advisers appear as anonymous “campaign insiders” in vicious hit-pieces aimed at destroying her future viability as a candidate.

If Andrew Sullivan wants to be my enemy, this is his choice. I pity him too much to hate him, and his animosity harms me not at all. I wish he wouldn’t accuse me of genocide, but this ludicrous accusation hurts his credibility, not mine.

There were other things I might have added here, and perhaps I’ll add more later. But I’ve got to read this Vanity Fair article and see if I can deduce the identity of the sources. Then a nap, maybe, before preparing for my trip to Alabama.

Please tip your waitress. (Look at those gazongas!)

UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: If you criticize Somali immigrants for harassing a gay man, is your hatred of homophobia perhaps a form of xenophobia? Or is it just regular racism?

Whatever happened to multiculturalism, for crying out loud?

How dare you try to impose your values on those Somalis?! This is eliminationist rhetoric!

June 26, 2009

David Frum at New Majority

by Smitty

Bill Whittle interviews Frum, who is certainly articulate and intelligent. Frum is also pitching a web site.
Whittle’s chat covers the impact of the Sanford scandal with respect to the 2012 election. There is also much interesting discussion about leadership, or lack thereof, amongst conservatives.
The New Majority website appears slickly designed and well staffed. Note the picture of the original Progressive, Theodore Roosevelt at the top of the page. As Ancient Commenter Solomon might have said of Progressives,

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. Pro 16:25

While certainly standing for a few good things, e.g. women’s sufferage, modern Progressivism seems subverted by the Modern Liberal mindset. In the discussion between the individual and society, Progressives seem to take for granted that the 50 states are moot, and only the Federal government matters.
One wants to hear Frum talk about the 10th Amendment as meaningful, about the 16 Amendment as evil, but he seems to have conceded that we have a centrist government driven by single personalities, rather than 50 States United running on Constitutional principles.
He is articulate, and has a fine understanding of the tactics of the current political situation. I have the same problem with him that I have with Conor Friedersdorf, however: Frum seems to be fighting on ground of enemy choosing, which most winning generals eschew.

May 27, 2009

Oh, this is good!

David Frum is Moe Green and Mark Levin is Michael Corleone, and it’s time to settle old scores:

David Frum was never much of a thinker. Try as he might, he just can’t seem to attract interest, let alone a following, even when stabbing his old boss, President George W. Bush, in the back with a rambling screed. Profiting from a confidential relationship with a president is about as low as it gets. But Frum, the ex-speech-writer turned self-hating blogger, isn’t done descending. Now he spends his lonely days and nights at his keyboard trying to settle personal scores and demonizing those who dare to dismiss his ramblings as the work of an emotional wreck.
Go read every blood-drenched word. See why I like Levin? He is perfectly happy to spend his days going after Democrats and ignore the occasional insult. But if you ever really piss him off . . .

(Via Protein Wisdom.) Go read the whole thing, but check back here in an hour or so, because I’ll have an update I think you’ll want to read.

UPDATE: Believe it or not, I consider David Frum a friend. He did me a favor once when I needed it, and I try not to forget a favor.

Nothing hurts me worse than to see two friends at daggers drawn, as with Frum and Levin, but Levin is clearly the injured party here. As I sometimes say when somebody gets cross-ways with me, “Buddy, you done pissed off the wrong redneck.”

Frum wrote a truly excellent book about the 1970s, How We Got Here, and his wife, Danielle Crittenden, wrote a truly excellent book about feminism, What Our Mothers Never Told Us. I do not hesitate to recommend either book, even if you don’t like David Frum.

So, what happened to Frum? He made the mistake of joining the Bush speechwriting team without thinking of what he was getting himself into. As Matthew Scully has explained, Bush made the mistake of assigning his speechwriting shop to Michael Gerson, a worthless, self-serving, two-faced, second-rate scoundrel.

There is something about working for a mediocrity like Gerson that injures a man’s pride, which is why it is always dangerous to entrust managerial or supervisory duties to mediocrities. Gerson was a disloyal glory hog who was always leaking to the press. The rest of the speechwriting staff knew who was doing the leaking, they resented the hell out of it, and it destroyed morale.

That kind of stuff happens all the time in D.C.. When I showed up for my first day of work at The Washington Times in November 1997, I got talking to a guy named Michael Rust, a brilliant writer who died a few years ago of diabetes. Michael said, “Welcome to Washington, a town where people advance” — and here he made a motion with his hands, as if climbing a ladder — “on the knives stuck in the backs of their former friends.”

Ah, would that I had heeded Michael’s warning more closely! It was not until about 2006 that I began to understand what he meant. The specifics are irrelevant here, but the lesson that you must understand is that most feuds like this in Washington are not really about ideology, they’re about ambition.

There is another excellent book you should read by — surprise! — David Brooks. Bobos in Paradise (2000) includes a chapter describing the means by which political intellectuals ascend the ranks of the punditocracy. It’s a shrewd and devastatingly accurate analysis of how things work inside the Beltway, and the insightful reader realizes that Brooks followed his own cunning advice. (“Brooks, you brilliant bastard! I read your book!”)

When I write about The Republicans Who Really Matter, I’m trying to explain how ambition accounts for the bizarre peregrinations of so many “conservative” operatives in Washington. It isn’t that they don’t have principles or that they don’t have any core beliefs. Rather, it is that they stay in the game long enough to see how the game is played by the “winners” — e.g. , David Gergen — and decide to start playing that same game.

This is why I so admire Robert Novak. An excellent reporter who was originally a liberal Republican, Novak followed the facts wherever they led him — which is why he became a conservative. But if a Republican was doing the wrong thing, he always had to worry about Novak, because Novak was fearless and independent, and he would blow the whistle in a heartbeat if he found out someone was running a scam.

In his ill-advised article “Unpatriotic Conservatives,” Frum unjustly attacked Novak, and Rich Lowry should have been fired immediately for having had the bad taste to publish such a thing on the cover of National Review. (What did Ann Coulter call Lowry, a “girly man”?)

I’ve got friends on both sides of the paleoconservative/neoconservative divide. My paleo friends are laughing their asses off to see Levin and Frum going at one another. And half my family is Democrats, so you can imagine how they’re enjoying this internecine Republican bloodletting.

It’s just like when Charles Johnson goes after Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Who assigned Charles as the Torquemada to lead the Blogospheric Inquisition? In any large collaborative enterprise, these kinds of feuds and schisms are to be expected, but sooner or later somebody has got to say, “Hey, knock it off with this Urge to Purge power trip.” I’ve got no personal beef with Charles, but at the point he accused Geller of being a pawn of Euro-fascism, he jumped the shark.

Same thing with Frum or Dreher or anyone else who wants to arrogate to themselves the right to say who is or is not a legitimate conservative spokesman. Like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin has earned what he’s got by honest toil.

Levin’s independence is a function of his hard-earned success, and he speaks to an audience that is always free to turn the station. Even if I don’t always agree with him — even if I sometimes think, “Hey, Mark, could you maybe turn it down to 11?” — Levin is honest, and does not fawn or flatter or backstab.

If Levin’s got a problem with you, he’s going to come right at you. That’s just the way the bad boys roll. Either roll with them, or get out of the way, Moe Green.

My advice to David Frum would be to admit his error and try to make amends, because like I said, “Buddy, you done pissed off the wrong redneck.”

UPDATE II: Now linked at Memeorandum, and speaking of pissing off the wrong redneckCanadian, Kathy Shaidle jumps in and predicts the trench warfare will continue all week.
BTW, Kathy perfectly illustrates what I’m trying to say about trying to bridge the paleo/neo divide. Kathy is pro-Israel, which would normally make her neo, but she’s so bold in her political incorrectness, it’s as if Sam Francis had been reincarnated as a sawed-off Canadian girl. (NTTAWWT.)

And, by God, she fights. That’s what really counts with me. I admire conservatives who hate and despise liberalism with a primal ferocity, so that the minute the Left comes after one of our guys . . .

When you’re Jet,
You’re a Jet all the way,
From your first cigarette
To your last dying day.

Heaven help any fool who thinks he’s going to cross Kathy Shaidle and walk away unscathed.

UPDATE III: Just updated the right-sidebar headlines to link this post by Tigerhawk:

Sadly, it is fashionable among certain righty intellectuals to make a point of distancing themselves from Ann Coulter. . . .
The offensive reason, of course, is to establish their bona fides as “reasonable” conservatives so that they do not destroy their social lives. . . .
The more legitimate reason is that Ann, along with Rush, has been so successful promoting a sort of “low brow” conservatism (see John Derbyshire on this taxonomic classification and Rush Limbaugh’s impact on it) that the middle-brow version has been terribly diminished by comparison.

Like I said in the headline, “Watch it with that ‘lowbrow’ stuff, cracker.” Coulter and Limbaugh are obviously quite intelligent, and I credit them with knowing exactly what they’re doing. (See also: Dreher, Levin, and the Craft of Talk Radio.)

Some people like to imagine that they’re more sophisticated than Rush, more sensitive than Coulter, more civil than Levin. And anyone who thinks like that is an arrogant son of bitch, in my book.

When someone is very successful at what they do, they must be given credit for knowing what they’re doing. Don’t try to tell Jimmy Page how to play guitar and don’t tell Tiger Woods how to swing a three iron.

This is not to say that Page never misses a note, or that Tiger never shanks a drive, nor is it to say that Rush or Ann or Mark is immune to criticism. Rather, they have earned, by their demonstrable success, a certain level of respect for their judgment, and ought not be lectured self-righteously by some wannabe “expert” who never played the game. And I will repeat what I said before:

“One of the basic principles of military strategy is to reinforce success. If you see a man who fights and wins, give him reinforcements, and bid others to emulate his success.”

Conservatives who want to derogate successful leadership really need to ask themselves whether David Brooks, Kathleen Parker, Rod Dreher et al., have what it takes to inspire and lead conservatives to success. Evidence for such a proposition is lacking.

If Republicans had listened to Rush, John McCain never would have been the GOP nominee and Barack Obama would not have been the Democratic nominee. So if the Republican Party is in disarray, whose fault is that? It ain’t the fault of us “lowbrow” conservatives, is it?

Tigerhawk, you’re still a Jet in good standing, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always liked John Derbyshire, but that was an article he never should have published. And if Rush or Ann see you quoting that kind of stuff, don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.

March 22, 2009

Oh, this is good . . .

Red Eye‘s Andy Levy on David Frum:

I’d seen the Kathy Shaidle post, but hadn’t actually played the video until I saw it linked by Paco.

Perhaps this would be a good occasion to explain why I have been reluctant to go all Rule 4 on David Frum, despite his anti-Rush cover story in Newsweek and his infamous “Unpatriotic ConservativesNational Review cover, which included Robert Novak, Pat Buchanan and other worthies in a vicious “anti-Semite” smear worthy of Ezra Klein.

When Frum first published How We Got Here, the best history of the 1970s ever written, I attended an American Enterprise Institute book event where Frum spoke, did a feature story about him and his book in The Washington Times. I’d already read his 1995 book, Dead Right, and so was familiar with him. I was also familiar with his wife, Danielle Crittenden, whose 1998 book, What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us, is a fascinating and eminently readable indictment of the feminist/careerist worldview.

Which is to say, my acquaintance with Frum goes back to the days before he became a Bush administration speechwriter. I know him to be capable of good work, and his subsequent excursions into RINO-land have been a disappointment.

However, I would contrast Frum’s errors to the case of David Brooks, who has in recent years only confirmed what shrewd observers have known ever since his 1997 “National Greatness” cover story in The Weekly Standard: That Brooks is an un-conservative, or better yet, an anti-conservative, whose every instinct and impulse is in opposition to the philosophical tradition of Edmund Burke, Richard Weaver, Friedrich Hayek, Russell Kirk, et al.

Furthermore, from Matthew Scully’s 2007 Atlantic Monthly article about the inner workings of the Bush speechwriting shop, I have deep sympathy for Frum — a successful journalist and author long before he signed up with the Bushies — having had to toil anonymously in an operation run by that towering monument of uselessness, Michael Gerson. (See, “Separated at birth?“)

Like Luke Skywalker insisting that there is still some spark of good in Darth Vader, I choose to believe that Frum’s grievous errors do not mean that he is as evil as Brooks or as useless as Gerson. Indeed, his New Majority Web site has offered publishing opportunities for some young conservatives of my acquaintance, including Tom Qualtere and Joe Marier. Thus it cannot be said that Frum does not continue to do good, despite his manifestations of RINOcity.

What I wish Frum would consider is that, by so assiduously aligning himself with the elite Establishment — “The Republicans Who Really Matter,” as one of our guestbloggers dubbed them — he undermines his potential for influence among the grassroots conservative activists who remain the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

When you’re a jet, you’re a jet all the way. Allying yourself with the grassroots won’t get you funding from foundations and deep-pocket RINO donors, it won’t get your a cover story in Newsweek, but being a well-paid backstabbing Brooksian crapweasel is really not the kind of thing you want in the first paragraph of your obituary.

A wise man lives as if life is short and tomorrow is not promised. Thus, I would do a dishonor to my children if I accursed the family name by becoming a vile creature like David Gergen who, if he were run over by a bus today, would deserve no notice from conservatives except, “Good riddance.” Let us pray that David Frum grows wise, considers his errors, and amends his ways.

February 20, 2009

Glenn Greenwald: ‘No anti-Semite could possibly hate me worse than I hate myself’

Well, that’s the subconscious meaning of his latest column in his ongoing effort to win the Nobel Prize in literature with his wicked satire of a stereotypical self-hating Jew.

Now, I am friends with some of the writers Greenwald names as contributors to The American Conservative, a publication to which I have twice contributed myself. I understand well what a world of evil is involved in the business of denouncing as anti-Semites all critics of Israel, all critics of U.S.-Israeli relations and all critics of U.S. Middle East policy. The world is more complex than that.

David Frum has recently expressed regret that he and others paid insufficient heed to Iraq war skeptics, but he’s never apologized for his “Unpatriotic Conservatives” smear that impugned Bob Novak among others. Oh, that the Bush administration had included some of those “unpatriotic” voices, to counterbalance the “Cakewalk Ken” Adelmans!

Some would accuse Frum of having been biased on the issue of the Iraq war because he is Jewish and Saddam Hussein was hostile to Israel. Frum would naturally be expected to defend himself as having been concerned only with U.S. interests, and to argue that our alliance with Israel furthers U.S. interests. Many other Americans, Jew and Gentile alike, believe the same thing. The arguments for and against that position have been expounded at great length. That is not a debate I wish to revisit here and now.

What I do want to say is this: If Frum were pro-Israel purely because he himself is Jewish, such a sentiment would be entirely healthy, normal and defensible. I expect Sean Hannity to care more for Ireland than for Iceland, and I expect Barack Obama to care more for Kenya than for Cambodia. The Jew who is proudly Jewish, the Arab who is proudly Arab — these are men I admire and understand, even if I wish their ancient quarrels didn’t continually result in hatred, murder and wars that cause me to pay more for a gallon of gasoline.

By God, I remember when gas was 39 cents a gallon and I believe in my heart that if the descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac could live in peace, we would get back to 39 cents a gallon again. (Providing, of course, President Palin’s first executive order in 2013 is to round up the environmentalist nitwits and ship them to Gitmo, where they belong.)

On the other hand, if some of the more atavistic descendants of Ishmael continue vowing to kill every Jew they can get their hands on, then it behooves every Jew with any sense of honor to respond: War to the knife, and knife to the hilt.

When you’re a Jet, you’re Jet all the way. Certainly American Jews can disagree over the wisdom of Israeli policy, considering that the Israelis disagree amongst themselves. But to denounce Israel as guilty of “terrorism” for responding forcefully to repeated rocket and mortar attacks by those Hamas thugs in Gaza, to denounce Marty Peretz’s defense of Israel as “uniquely despicable” — this is what Greenwald has done, and in so doing has covered himself with dishonor.

The effect of Greenwald’s discourse is that Israel can undertake no meaningful action against her enemies without being condemned in similar terms. If it were within Greenwald’s power to enforce his policy preferences, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and every other half-baked cabal of terrorist crackpots would be able to kill Jews with impunity.

The terrorists have no intent or purpose — no political philosophy or policy aim — that cannot be summed up in two words: Kill Jews.

If Glenn Greenwald can’t see that, he’s blind. And if he sees it, but would deny Israel the right to fight back against genocidal hatred, he’s perverse.

But perhaps I’ve told you something you already knew.

UPDATE: Greenwald (who’s obviously got Google alerts for all his sockpuppet pseudonyms) accuses me of “trite little condemnations so predictable and over-used that one almost falls asleep reading them,” while mocking as “adolescent” Jeffrey Goldberg’s response:

[H]e knows that I’m not a revanchist Zionist, but falsely accuses me of being one anyway. What a putz.

Does that make me a “revanchist Zionist” or what? Swear to God, if they ever want a Gentile prime minister, my first order would be to deploy the IDF in a north-south line, facing east. My second order would be “forward march” and the order to halt would not be given until it was time for the troops to rinse their bayonets in the Jordan. After a brief rest halt, the order “about face” would be given, and the next halt would be at the Mediterranean coast.

That’s my “Middle East peace plan,” and until it’s carried out, there will be no peace.

UPDATE II: Excuse my extremism, but if you’re going to conquer the land, by God, conquer the land. This was kind of the point of my citing Sherman in response to Greenwald during the Gaza war. The South, really, should be grateful that men like Grant and Sherman finally determined to win the war. Otherwise, the headlines would still be all about the latest “incident” in Nashville or the “uprising” in Charleston, with the United Nations dithering about whether to impose sanctions and crap like that.

While I’m opposed to federal tyranny — and boreal supremacy — you cannot end hostilities fighting by half-measures. A hard war brings a more durable peace. Notice that the Comanches haven’t scalped any settlers lately?

UPDATE III: “Words fail.” — Andrew Sullivan.
UPDATE IV: Under Rule 2, I’m required to link Donald Douglas at American Power., who is the actual neocon chickenhawk Sully’s readers think I am. In fact, I’m just nucking futz, but if you ever hear the Knesset debating whether a Gentile could be prime minister . . . Dude, it’s only a hypothetical. Even Likud would never be that crazy.
UPDATE V: Noted Middle East policy scholar E.D. Kain finds me suffering from “both an inherent lack of understanding regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict, and an unhealthy degree of bloody, American-made machismo.” Look, E.D., no need to be so coy. If you want to see the notorious Speedo pic, just say so.

UPDATE VI: As someone pointed out in the comments, I did not win the Malkin Award, but was merely nominated. True. You’ve got to admit, though, The Peace Through Total Annihilation Plan sets the bar pretty high. So I’ve ordered my gown from Bob Mackie and am practicing my acceptance speech (“I’d like to thank the Academy . . .”) in anticipation of the star-studded gala.

Earned my own Memeorandum thread, “Links of the Day” honors at Kingdom of Idiots, “Quote du Jour” at Alas a Blog, and Moe Lane weighs in:

Remind them about their new pro-torture stance! That’s always good for extra spittle.

Moe’s blog-fu is impressive.

UPDATE VII: Welcome Instapundit readers! What Professor Reynolds may not realize is that if they let me be prime minister, he’ll be my defense minister. But first he’s got to get himself one of those cool Moshe Dayan eye patches. Because chicks dig that. (And if anybody wants to hit the tip jar, be my guest!)

February 17, 2009

Canadian advice to ignore

(BUMPED; UPDATE BELOW) David Frum advises:

In every poll I’ve seen, hefty majorities approve of President Obama’s economic performance. Approval numbers for congressional Republicans remain dismal.
If we’re to make progress in 2010, we have to look serious. This week we looked not only irrelevant, but clueless and silly.

Again with the “we” — as if he and John Boehner and Tom Coburn are sitting around plotting Republican strategy. But the real problem with Frum’s argument is something I pointed out Sunday: Opinion-poll numbers in February 2009 don’t mean zip if what you are “popular” for is passing a neo-Keynesian stimulus that won’t work.

Ross Douthat echoes Frum, pining to see Republicans “articulating an actual alternative to Obamanomics.” But why should they propose an “alternative” that can’t possibly be voted into action given the current overwhelming majority? At this point, Boehner should just tell Ron Paul to keep denouncing central planning and Keynesianism, and let the main GOP message on economics be one of repeated warning: The Obama/Pelosi/Reid plan is leading the U.S. economy into a fiscal trap.

Trying to “win” news cycles in February 2009 is not what the Republican Party needs to be worried about. Let’s see what the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the inflation rate and the unemployment rate are on Labor Day 2010 before deciding who looks “serious” and who looks “silly.”

More blog reactions at Memeorandum.

UPDATE: Kathy Shaidle once again reminds us that not all Canadians are evil. And hey, a dead-cat bounce in congressional approval ratings! Wonder what that means?

UPDATE II: Linked at Conservative Grapevine.

February 1, 2009

Giving Canada a bad name

Like “Canada” wasn’t bad enough:

Rush and Hannity and O’Reilly and Ann Coulter and the others have their place and their role. They spoke for an important section of public opinion, and it is a section our party needs. But it is only a section, and not the whole. The more the party allows them to become our public face, the more embattled and endangered the party becomes.

Note the possessive: “Our party.” That would be the party of Harvard-educated Canadians?

Note also how Frum serves up a Hannity & O’Reilly sandwich on Limbaugh-Coulter bread, designating as an ideological category Every Famous Person Who’s Been On Fox News More Than Twice. (And people accuse me of arguing against strawmen . . . .)

As a pre-emptive defense against ugly accusations of anti-Canadianism, I will point out that “some of my best friends are” . . . well, Kathy Shaidle, who is to Canada what Lot was to the Cities of the Plain.


South Park – Blame Canada – video powered by Metacafe

January 22, 2009

David Frum goes gay

OK, misleading headline there. Actually, David Frum’s new-minted “New Majority” Web site publishes Jamie Kirchick’s article, “Give Up the Losing Fight on Gay Rights, GOP.”

Let’s put Jamie Kirchick in the time machine:

  • 1965: Give Up the Losing Fight on Communism, GOP
  • 1977: Give Up the Losing Fight on Taxes, GOP
  • 1993: Give Up the Losing Fight on Guns, GOP
  • 2007: Give Up the Losing Fight on Terrorism, GOP

In the wake of a lost election, it’s easy to say that Republicans should cede ground on this or that issue. If memory serves, amendments to protect the traditional definition of marriage had passed in all 31 states where they were on the ballot, most notably in California, where this turned out to be pretty much the only thing blacks and Hispanics agreed with conservatives about.

I know Jamie and consider him a friend, but he’s just dug into the bunker on this issue, and there’s no point arguing with him. But if the gay-marriage constituency doesn’t amount to a majority in California, what exactly is the electoral calculus by which being pro-gay-marriage is a winner for the GOP?

Special pleading aside, Kirchick’s argument here is much like the argument that Republicans should support amnesty for illegal aliens. Even though polls consistently show that amnesty is unpopular, we are told that the GOP simply must support it or risk losing a key constituency. But the electoral calculus makes no sense.

This is one of those things where perception is the real problem. The Left frames the issue as one of “rights” and “tolerance,” then depict opponents of their agenda as intolerant oppressors. It’s like Stan in “The Life of Brian,” demanding to be called Loretta: “Don’t you oppress me!”

Excuse me for not playing nicely with others.

UPDATE: Ed Whelan suggests that Kirchick mischaracterizes the discussion at last month’s National Review Institute.

UPDATE II: Another party I wasn’t invited to.