Frum, revisited

I just came upon a blog entry that David Frum wrote in January 2008, when he was still at National Review Online:

Am I a Leftist?

Yes! says the legendarily testy Lawrence Auster:

Frum’s call for conservatives to compromise with each other is really a call for conservatives to abandon conservatism.

He’s penetrated my cunning scheme.

Contra me, the best way to strengthen conservatism is for conservatives to engage in endless mutual acrimony!

Yet just 14 months later, Frum himself, having left NRO, wrote a cover article at Newsweek lambasting the entire mainstream conservative movement as too right wing, and with a cover photo portraying Rush Limbaugh as a bigoted McCarthyite ranter. Frum was so proud of the Newsweek cover that he reproduced it at his site. Even David Horowitz, in unprecedentedly fierce language toward a fellow establishment conservative, denounced Frum as a traitor to conservatism.

The reason I’ve recapitulated this old history now is that it adds yet another item to Frum’s long career of careerist reversals. In January 2008 he said that conservatives should not engage in mutual acrimony; he also suggested that my observation that he wanted conservatives to abandon conservatism was not a rational statement that was either right or wrong, but just an expression of personal irritability. By March 2009 Frum, proving me right, had himself abandoned the conservative movement and, on the cover of a leftist magazine, was acrimoniously attacking conservatives.

Frum now writes at the leftist website The Daily Beast.

* * *

If you would like a bit of escapist entertainment in these traumatic days, may I suggest “VFR on David Frum: A collection.” As a man who combines restless, unprincipled careerism with the bumbling incompetence of a schmendrick (e.g., his signing on to the 2008 Giuliani campaign just before it crashed, or his advice to American conservatives that they emulate David Cameron’s transformation of the Tory party), Frum is a unique comic figure of our time.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 27, 2012 02:07 PM | Send

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