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Monday, November 17, 2008


david frum

when the republican party began its recriminations phase in the onset of presidential defeat, i should not have been as surprised as i was to hear david frum diagnosing the problems of the GOP correctly. frum is a neojacobin, neoconservative in the parlance, and as such is at least not opposed to an intellectual tradition for the sake of anti-intellectualism. it has been for him i'm sure as much as myself disgusting to watch the conservative party given a framework by william buckley disassembled and destroyed by a bunch of savages whose heroes look like sarah palin and mike huckabee.

nor should i be surprised, i suppose, to see that giving voice to a self-critical reality within the confines of this new, inbred rump of the post-intellectual republican party means a sort of ostracism -- particularly having seen what became of william buckley and then his son.

but that frum has fled the now-degenerate national review is nonetheless a poignant statement regarding the completeness of the self-immolation of the republican party and its core institutions.

Mr. Frum said deciding to leave was amicable, but distancing himself from the magazine founded by his idol, Mr. Buckley, was not a hard decision. He said the controversy over Governor Palin’s nomination for vice president was “symbolic of a lot of differences” between his views and those of National Review’s.

“I am really and truly frightened by the collapse of support for the Republican Party by the young and the educated,” he said.

Mr. Frum witnessed the upbraiding his fellow conservative, the columnist Kathleen Parker, received when she wrote in her syndicated column on the National Review’s Web site arguing that Governor Palin was unfit to be vice president. Ms. Parker received nearly 11,000 e-mail messages, one of which lamented that her mother did not abort her.

“Who says public discourse hasn’t deteriorated?” she wrote in a followup column that ran on the Web site. (National Review, as Mr. [Rich] Lowry [the managing editor] pointed out, can hardly be held responsible for a reader’s nasty e-mail messages.)

true, but it certainly can be held responsible for cultivating a subscriber base of virulent jackbooted reactionaries.


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