Saturday, May 09, 2015

David Frum's Awesome Imaginary Conservatism

When Andrew Sullivan shuttered his site and declared "I will blog no more forever", Imaginary Conservatism lost one of its most prominent voices.  But Imaginary Conservatism is growth industry and a very lucrative one, so matter how many of its outlets stores go out of business, there will always be another one adding inventory to make up the difference.

Today's example: David "Axis of Evil" Frum who has added yet another another contribution to the already crowded "If only the Republican Party weren't full of Republicans!" genre of Conservative masturbatory fiction. Mr. Frum remains inexplicably employed as a senior editor at The Atlantic, a regular on CNN and MSNBC and chairman of an outfit called The Policy Exchange -- a UK think tank which appears to specialize in generic clip art, recycled slogans from 1993 and a donation button.

Here is the headline from Mr. Frum's column:
What Republicans Can Learn From British Conservatives
Several of the world’s center-right parties have modernized in ways the GOP hasn’t.
Here is a sample paragraph:
Center-right leaders are in charge of every one of America’s closest English-speaking allies. Only in the United States does the liberal left govern. With Hillary Clinton holding strong leads in the polls over all her likely opponents, this form of “American exceptionalism” looks likely to persist for some time to come. Why?
Here is another sample paragraph:
Unlike their U.S. counterparts, these conservatives don’t fetishize the music, fashion, or religious practices of some of their voters in a way that prevents them from reaching all of their potential voters. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, they accept that healthcare security actually supports—rather than inhibits—the entrepreneurial risk-taking of a dynamic free-market economy. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, they have found ways to both enforce immigration laws and to make immigrant populations feel at home politically.
The sad part here is not that Mr. Frum is lying.  Of course he is lying.  I mean, what else does he have?

No; the sad part is how well-compensated David Frum is for lying so incompetently.  There is no style to it.  No cleverness.  Just a ludicrous assertion that a terrible and non-existent "liberal left" governs our country: an invocation which "moderate conservative" weasels like Mr. Frum are obliged to make so they won't be punched in the face by the bigots and lunatics who make up 99.999% of "their" American Conservative movement every time they go out in public.

What follows this incompetent lie is a promise that if the modern Republican Party would just forswear every single issue on which the modern Republican Party was built then they could start winning elections!


David, the United States already has a center-right party and you fucking well know it.

They're called Democrats.

But good on you for scamming a national magazine into paying you to extruding tripe like this. 


steeve said...

"True" republicans want only two things - tax cuts for the rich and deregulation. So there is something going on in that such people aren't forced to be insane to win elections in Britain and a few other countries.

And no, we don't have a center-right party in this country - not in the way Frum and republican elites care about. Democrats are all over the map on regulations, but very few of them want more tax cuts for the rich.

lockswriter said...

Ever read the Houston Chronicle's Chris Ladd? He's another member of the "The GOP Could Be So Much Better Than This" faction, but when it comes to American society he seems to have a lot fewer illusions than most. I think you'd get a kick out of him. (I can't for the life of me figure out why he's still a Republican. Unlike Frum, he doesn't seem to be getting much out of it.)

Susan of Texas said...

The Atlantic paid Megan McArdle something like $200,00 a year-probably more.

We know why he is so well paid to lie in the support of the rich.

"Born in Toronto, Canada,[1] Frum is the son of the late Barbara Frum (née Rosberg), a well-known journalist and broadcaster in Canada, and Murray Frum, a dentist, who later became a real estate developer, philanthropist and art collector.

Frum's sister, Linda Frum, is a member of the Senate of Canada. Frum is married to the writer Danielle Crittenden, the stepdaughter of former Toronto Sun editor Peter Worthington. The couple has three children.[7] He is a distant cousin of economist Paul Krugman.[8]"

He is wrong on everything ever but he's a very useful idiot.

"At age 14, Frum was a campaign volunteer for an Ontario New Democratic Party candidate Jan Dukszta for the 1975 provincial election.[9] During the hour-long bus/subway/bus ride each way to and from the campaign office in western Toronto, he read a paperback edition of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago which his mother had given to him. "My campaign colleagues jeered at the book — and by the end of the campaign, any lingering interest I might have had in the political left had vanished like yesterday’s smoke."[10]"

The political is always personal. The right must be right because the left must be wrong.

“There’s a style and a sensibility in the Republican Party right now that I find myself removed from,” he says. But, he insists, “you can do more good for the country by working for a better Republican Party than by leaving it to the extremists. What have they done to deserve that inheritance?"

It must be nice to be paid buckets of money despite his stupidity and inevitable failures.

Cirze said...

Well, Dg, if they didn't pay him to write such travesties, who would they pay?

Oh wait.

Love you guys.

Happy Mother's Day!

Geoffrey Donaldson said...

MSM's impact analysis of Alberta's stunning, come-out-of-nowhere New Democratic Party defeat of the Progressive Conservative government's 44-year hold on office (i.e., a fringe socialist party defeats the long-ruling party of Big Oil) included a reassurance that the NDP provincial win wouldn't have much affect on the ruling federal Conservatives' election prospects later this autumn, noting that the federal Conservatives don't have to fight a party on their own right like the Alberta Progressive Conservatives did in the form of the far-right Wild Rose party. Whistling through the graveyard notwithstanding, The federal Cons are probably scared shitless right now because Alberta is the heartland of their federal support, the Prime Minister's riding being in Calgary, and his party having owned just about every single federal seat in Alberta in some form or other for decades too. One tiny point about that analysis is that the federal Conservative government actually does company on the right in Ottawa: the business faction of the Liberal party.

If the surprise Albert NDP win does help its federal brethren (which surprised Canadians itself four years ago by tripling its number of seats to replace the Liberals as Official Opposition), there's a good chance some of those votes will be stripped from the welfare faction of the Liberals, leaving the right-wing faction as a stark remainder---the faction which did the governing not so long ago, whilst the welfare side took care of election campaigns.

So, two things, if you'll account for the political exchange rate between out two countries: the neo-right is always spinning fantasy, and the traditional centre party has moved sharply to the right; in Canada, it looks like the socialists are occupying the vacancy.

Neo Tuxedo said...

in Canada, it looks like the socialists are occupying the vacancy.

That may happen here in Unistat. After all, it's been long enough since the end of the Cold War that we may be allowed to have an actual left now, without having to listen to those who were then persuaded and remain convinced that the mere existence of a left wing in Unistat politics would constitute de facto aid and comfort to the International Communist Conspiracy and possibly make the Baby Jeebus cry.