VFR on David Frum: a collection

I have been following the twists and turns of David Frum’s intellectual career since he wrote a major hit piece against Patrick Buchanan and immigration restrictionism at American Spectator in the early 1990s. My interest increased when he wrote a well-written book in 1994 called Dead Right. In that book, he appropriated many paleoconservative arguments (such as the need for smaller government and for a return to a harder, more independent American character) without acknowledging their source, and while dismissing and trashing the paleoconservatives from whom he had derived those ideas—a performance that could have been carried off only by an intellectual entrepreneur with a complete lack of intellectual conscience. Frum’s paleocon stage lasted about two microseconds. By the early 2000s he was approving the Cultural Revolution, and by the late 2000s he was supporting a form of socialized medicine and calling on conservatives to drop their opposition to homosexual “marriage.” He took these various positions in the name of strengthening conservatism. At one point he was a speech writer for President Bush for a year, and on leaving the White House immediately cashed in by writing a book about his experiences and his view of Bush called The Right Man. But four years later he became one of the “apostate neocons,” denouncing Bush’s Iraq policy which he previously had supported. Finally Frum wrote a cover article for Newsweek portraying conservatives as mean spirited ignoramuses who should have their mouths sealed shut.

Here are some of my blog articles about him.

Frum and the paleocons: both wrong [March 2003. Big discussion on Frum’s National Review article attacking the paleocons.]

CIS panel on immigration and Jews [2004. Frum participates in CIS panel on immigration, and has nothing to say. People wonder why he bothered to turn up.]

How David Frum responds to being called a bigot by his fellow conservatives [April 2006. David Brooks calls opponents of amnesty, which includes Frum, bigots. Asked by reader for reaction, Frum shrugs. So without a chest is he that it doesn’t occur to him that he at least ought to pretend to have a chest.]

Pro-war neocons turn on Bush, washing their own hands [Nov. 2006. On the apostate neocons. Frum in Vanity Fair lets on that he thought that as Bush’s speech writer he was telling Bush what to think.]

Frum gums up the immigration issue—again [June 2007. On Frum’s amazing article presenting himself as major thinker in the fore of the immigration debate.]

David Frum’s latest repackaging of conservatism—for the New York Times[January 2008. Frum’s call for conservatives to abandon conservatism. Among other things, he says conservatives should give up their opposition to same-sex “marriage.” Why? Because “opposition to same-sex marriage is dwindling…”

Bush adoration, 2005 [June 2008. Today, conservatives and Frum think Bush consigned the country to leftist rule. But in 2005, Frum and other conservatives were worshipping at Bush’s feet. Quotations from L-dotters’ response to Frum’s adoring article on Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address.]

Oh, those helpful neocons


Frum punts [He decided to endorse neither McCain nor Romney.]

Steyn the joking defeatist; Frum the conservative strategist [summing up of Frum’s over-the-top ineffectuality and bad judgment, with quotes from Mark Steyn and an Amazon.com commenter.] Honor

How David Frum responds to being called a bigot by his fellow conservatives [“further evidence for my view that modern intelligentsia, particularly mainstream conservatives, are not serious about the things they claim to be serious about and have no real convictions or principles. For them, it’s all about getting along with their colleagues and adapting themselves from moment to moment to the changing exigencies of politics and career.”

The oh so superior Frum puts Wilders in his place [March 2009. Frum has not a single posiitve thing to say about Geert Wilders.]

Frum goes to the dark side [On Frum’s despicable cover article in Newsweek with the cover demonizing Limbaugh.]

David Frum’s pride [Instead of being humiliated by the Newsweek cover smearing Limbaugh, Frum features it at his website.]

How a staunch opponent of same-sex “marriage” surrendered to it [In 2003, Frum said that same-sex marriage was a disaster and argued for a federal constitutional amendment to stop it. By 2008, he was telling conservatives to adapt to changing times and stop opposing same-sex marriage.

Horowitz rips into Frum {An unprecedented attack by David Horowitz on a fellow establishment conservative. Horowitz emphasizes the same thing I do—Frum’s cover story in Newsweek.]

To a world waiting with bated breath, David Frum explains his New Conservatism [Frum writes: “The modern world is a fact, [conservatives] have to accept it. Views on family and sexuality have changed, views on race have changed, and conservatives need to work with that, as conservatives have so successfully done in other countries, like Britain and Canada.” Frum’s New Conservatism for a New Majority is the “successful” conservatism of Britain and Canada!]

Frum on the make [In culmination of his makeover and his attacks on conservatives, he is hired as on-air personality on CNN. The entry also concerns bizarre arguments he makes in an interview with Hugh Hewitt. “Based on what he says in this interview, I think Frum’s problem is worse than anything I’ve previously said about his being an unprincipled opportunist. I think his arguments are so bizarre they could only be made by a person who is mentally disturbed and out of touch with reality. But perhaps the second explanation is just a result of Frum’s extreme case of the first. That is, he’s so set on finding ways to delegitimize conservatives, which is the central thrust of his new career, that he will say anything to discredit them, even things that are flagrantly nonsensical and that discredit himself. It’s his unique combination of being unprincipled and incompetent, with the latter having graduated into mental incompetence.”]

A Conference of Podhoretzes [On Frum’s article in the Nov. 2009 Commentary, urging conservatives to follow the example of the British Tories under Cameron.]

Frum’s delusional take [March 2010. Frum blames passage of Obamacare on conservatives who were unwilling to compromise with Democrats. “Frum’s constant self-repositionings over the years, driven partly by opportunism, partly by liberal belief, finally took him to a place which makes no sense at all…. In developing and justifying his new anti-conservative position, he had to tell lies so big that he lost the ability to tell the truth.”]

Neocon establishment dumps Frum [March 2010. Three days after Frum said that the passage of Obamacare was (a) the GOP’s “Waterloo,” and (b) the GOP’s fault, AEI summarily fires him.]

Mercer cheers Frum on immigration—but is there any there there? [January 2011. “Frum is playing on the barest surface of the issue. His ‘questions’ about immigration are not to be taken seriously, because, in his handling of them, they can go nowhere. A man who jacks up anti-conservative Political Correctness to a new level, as Frum did in his Limbaugh article, is the last person in the world who is equipped to take a stand for the supremely un-PC issue of immigration reduction and stick with it.”]

Frum, revisited [July 2012. “In January 2008 Frum said that it was ridiculous for me to suggest that he was calling on conservatives to abandon conservatism, and counseled that conservatives should not engage in mutual acrimony. By March 2009 Frum had himself abandoned conservatism and, on the cover of a leftist magazine, was acrimoniously attacking mainstream conservatives.”]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 22, 2009 11:25 AM | Send

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