David Kirkpatrick

March 9, 2009

Frum on the GOP and Limbaugh at Newsweek

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:30 pm

David Frum has an excellent cover story at Newsweek on the ongoing “discussion” within the GOP on Limbaughism and the general state of conservatism. It’s a long-form piece, but well worth the time taken to read the entire article.

Frum is doing some great work at NewMajority.com, but his message is being shouted down by the lowest common denominator in the GOP.

I did a guest blog post in the early days of NewMajority back in late January, but have yet to follow-up. The initial plan was for me to provide a few posts a week. A spate of freelance work and a bout with the flu has kept me from keeping that schedule up right now. I do intend to continue contributing to NewMajority as long as Frum will have me, but I also have to admit I’m not sure I have a lot to add to the GOP debate given the current state of affairs.

My libertarian moderate message really isn’t part of a shouting match on exactly what the Republican Party should be going forward. Right now it looks like some sort of “pure” hard right politics that appeals to roughly a third (or more likely much less) of the electorate versus a political party interested in debating the subjects of the day and engaging all voters in some fashion. Depending on the outcome of this internecine conflict, the GOP will either no longer compete on a national scope or it will become a solid opposition party and hopefully inject ideas and policies into U.S. government.

The options are that stark and Frum gets it. Here’s his lede establishing his conservative and GOP bona fides. A laundry list necessary because the rabid right has idiotically decided Frum is just another RINO. Good move there guys. Try to alienate someone who is honestly seeking solutions instead of shouting at walls.

From the first link:

It wasn’t a fight I went looking for. On March 3, the popular radio host Mark Levin opened his show with an outburst (he always opens his show with an outburst): “There are people who have somehow claimed the conservative mantle … You don’t even know who they are … They’re so irrelevant … It’s time to name names …! The Canadian David Frum: where did this a-hole come from? … In the foxhole with other conservatives, you know what this jerk does? He keeps shooting us in the back … Hey, Frum: you’re a putz.”

Now, of course, Mark Levin knows perfectly well where I come from. We’ve known each other for years, had dinner together. I’m a conservative Republican, have been all my adult life. I volunteered for the Reagan campaign in 1980. I’ve attended every Republican convention since 1988. I was president of the Federalist Society chapter at my law school, worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and wrote speeches for President Bush—not the “Read My Lips” Bush, the “Axis of Evil” Bush. I served on the Giuliani campaign in 2008 and voted for John McCain in November. 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.

I mention all this not because I expect you to be fascinated with my life story, but to establish some bona fides. In the conservative world, we have a tendency to dismiss unwelcome realities. When one of us looks up and murmurs, “Hey, guys, there seems to be an avalanche heading our way,” the others tend to shrug and say, he’s a “squish” or a RINO—Republican in Name Only.

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