If you think David Frum will change people’s minds, think again


David Frum is a conservative Republican, a neo-conservative cheerleader who supported George W. Bush’s disastrous war in Iraq and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, who was an apologist for Sarah Palin, worked for Rudy Giulani’s short-lived presidential campaign, etc., etc., etc. He’s a deep Republican insider, although in recent years he has been rather unhappy with the radical turn towards idiocy that he’s observed in the party.

So maybe, you think, Republicans will pay attention to Frum’s agonizingly detailed chronicling of all of Trump’s failures? Maybe? Liberals have been saying the same sorts of things about Trump for years, and they’ve all failed to penetrate, so can we dare to dream that an arch-conservative pointing out the same issues might finally get through?

Nah, we still have meatheads like Joe Rogan favoring Trump. Fox News is still making excuses for him. Ron Paul thinks Fauci should be fired for disagreeing with Trump. Rush Limbaugh thinks the coronavirus pandemic is all hype.

Frum came up with the phrase “axis of evil” to label Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Maybe he would have been better off using it on evangelicals, billionaires, war profiteers, the Tea Party, Fox News, Wall Street, and other enemies of the people right here at home. They’ve already got an ill-gotten conclusion about the right way to run the country, and they aren’t going to change it because of piddly little annoyances like the facts, or even tens of thousands of dead. The hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq had no effect on Frum’s views, after all.

Comments

  1. wzrd1 says

    There is one minor difference between Iraq and here, Iraq has some people with guns, but we have millions of people with guns.
    That means, eventually, at this time, 16703 families will eventually realize that they’ve been ill used, resulting in the death of their property – erm, family. I dunno if I’d want to live in his neighborhood at that point.

  2. stroppy says

    It’s a cult he helped usher in. There’s no putting the toothpaste back in the tube now.

    If he had any sense of honor he’d publicly immolate himself; that might make an impression.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    As much as the never-Trump Republicans keep denying it, this presidency is the inevitable outcome of American Conservatism.

  4. tezcat says

    I disagree with him about a lot of things but he seems like a fairly honest human being, unlike many.

    I used to enjoy listening to his mother on the radio. She wasn’t doing politics, but was always intelligent and insightful.

  5. stroppy says

    Where has he acknowledged and apologized for the results of his neocon labors? More likely he’s afraid the Republican Party is headed off a cliff and wants to avoid taking any share of the blame.

    Good to hear he’s got a nice mum, but I don’t see how that’s relevant.

  6. hemidactylus says

    As a strong believer in contingency I think Trump’s inevitability a bit overstated. American conservatism could have gone in differing directions— each veering toward or hovering above the nadir in its own particular manner. Trump was evitable.

    Or maybe he was portended in the Big Bang or as a signature in the cosmic microwave background radiation or as necessitated by the dinosaur ending bolide or perhaps Goldwater’s presidential campaign. If the IRS hadn’t gone after Bob Jones University in the 70s things may have tilted quite differently vis a vis religious political dynamic during 80s.

  7. Steve Bruce says

    That this idiot and Bush are being rehabilitated by Democrats and liberals shows you how morally bankrupt they are

  8. monad says

    David Frum is inspiring. He proves that no matter how many things you get wrong, how obviously wrong they are, and how awful the consequences of them being wrong are, you can still have your respected opinions in papers like the Atlantic. I mean, it probably doesn’t work for poor people or black people or women or so on, but still, the American dream, right?

  9. Matt G says

    Frum, you have spent your entire career trying to make people stupid, and now you expect them to be smart?

  10. chrislawson says

    Frum’s piece goes on and on to the point I stopped reading after about 10 paragraphs. Still, even in this shortened anti-Trump piece there are two glaring lies.

    The first is that it’s ALL Trump’s fault, as if one single person can be held responsible for the failings of a nation of 300 million. “The lying about the coronavirus by hosts on Fox News and conservative talk radio is Trump’s fault: They did it to protect him.” I’m sorry, but how is Trump responsible for Fox News’ 24-year campaign of lying to protect Republicans? Fox lying for Trump is the result of two generations of Republican realpolitik, of which Frum has been a key agent. Frum’s not against Trump because he’s a corrupt know-nothing President, but because Trump’s not the corrupt know-nothing President he wanted.

    The second: “If somebody else had been president of the United States in December 2019—Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Mike Pence, really almost anybody else—the United States would still have been afflicted by the coronavirus. But it would have been better prepared, and better able to respond.” Except, we all know that if Hillary Clinton had been President, Frum would have written this opinion piece blaming her for every conceivable imperfection in the COVID19 response and how even a fool like Trump would be doing a better job because only Republicans can be trusted to keep the Glorious Homeland safe.

  11. John Morales says

    um, in case one can’t be bothered to clickety-click, he used to call him “The egregious Frum”.

  12. says

    @#7, hemidactylus

    Or maybe he was portended in the Big Bang or as a signature in the cosmic microwave background radiation or as necessitated by the dinosaur ending bolide or perhaps Goldwater’s presidential campaign.

    An interesting consequence of CPT symmetry is that either the things we believe we know about history — even recent history, things we have film and video and recordings of — are potentially completely wrong, or else the course of events in the semi-near future (the next few centuries or millennia) is much more inevitable than most people are willing to admit.

    @#9, monad

    David Frum is inspiring. He proves that no matter how many things you get wrong, how obviously wrong they are, and how awful the consequences of them being wrong are, you can still have your respected opinions in papers like the Atlantic.

    Why stop there? You can have a multi-decade career of being wrong about essentially every major issue, often in ways which are double-the-deficit or halve-the-economy expensive or cost vast numbers of human lives, and the Democratic Party will nominate you for President. And that one definitely works for women, too, since they did it in 2016 as well.

  13. doubtthat says

    Frum came up with the phrase “axis of evil” to label Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.

    I just want to add some context to this as I feel like it has been memory holed and its significance is getting lost.

    So, this is a reprehensible statement on its face, but it was made while Iran was fight WITH US in Afghanistan. Iran reacted with sincere shock and outrage to 9-11, and their subsequent support for the US anti-terrorism/anti-Taliban mission was legitimate. After all the fuckery of the 80’s and 90’s, there was very real progress being made in the relationship.

    Then Frum writes this fucking line. The reason Iran was added had nothing to do with intelligence or foreign policy, but because they needed three countries to justify the scary phrase (and to keep the rhetorical bounce 3 provides). They picked Iran because they figured there was enough memory over the hostage crisis and general fear of the Ayattolahs that it would work.

    It was like a bomb going off in the middle of our diplomatic relationship with Iran. After all the bullshit we did to that country – Mosssdegh, the Shah, helping Saddam… – this stupid fucking speech made for the stupidest possible reason undid everything diplomats and years of effort had begun to build.

    The current tension with Iran is a direct line back to that speech.

  14. wzrd1 says

    Trump is the inevitable result of the insane thought processes that created the tea party. That was a diversion of libertarian nonsensical thoughts that ignored human and US history in favor of magical thinking.
    Oddly, my wife showed me a CNN headline which is appropriate. A nurse shared the last words of a COVID-19 patient: “Who’s going to pay for it?”.

    BTW, given our lack of bail outs for things public facing, do anticipate most major medical centers, especially teaching hospitals to go bankrupt from COVID-19 patients unable to pay their multi-million dollar ICU bills. Only Very Big Incorporated will get bailed out, if the campaign contributions are high enough.

    As for Frum, if someone pisses on me, I don’t blame the smegma, I blame the dick holding the dick. He was exuded from that mess, not the other way around, for he didn’t grow in an absence of uncomposted fertilizer.

  15. KG says

    That this idiot and Bush are being rehabilitated by Democrats and liberals – Steve Bruce@8

    Examples? I’m not saying you’re wrong, I just haven’t come across this (as a non-American, the number of US media I see is not large).

  16. PaulBC says

    I often find David Frum’s Atlantic pieces interesting, but I never forget that this is the man who gave us “Axis of Evil” and nearly two decades of pointless, protracted war based on fake evidence.

    Frum is a conservative who wants “his” Republican party back. It is not the same as Trump’s Republican party, hence his dissatisfaction. It is a smarter party and one that is not as shamelessly, openly bigoted, but it is dangerous enough.

    I don’t think Frum is very influential within today’s GOP. He may really be more influential among establishment liberals. I can read his opinions without visceral disgust and process his viewpoint, but he is no ally and should not be mistaken for one.

  17. hillaryrettig says

    Thank you PZ. Too many people have short memories or are otherwise willing to rehabilitate this POS.

    Everyone in the GWB admin was a POS. If you can’t remember why, rewatch Fahrenheit 911.

Leave a Reply