Sunday, March 29, 2009

Frum Fights Off Criticism, Makes Case

A great op-ed by David Frum in the National Post, as conservatives beg him to explain himself and his "new" views:
George Bush narrowly won the presidency in 2000, and I was recruited to join the administration as a speech-writer. My initial brief was domestic policy and economics, and it soon become impossible to avoid noticing that the administration’s economic were not working very well.


So much of our energy was being absorbed instead by cultural battles left behind from the unfinished business of the 1960s and 1970s. Here, too often, we were on the wrong side of history: Back in the 1960s and 1970s, we’d been fighting to protect the common-sense instincts of ordinary people from elite interference. Now, in the Terri Schiavo euthanasia case, with stem cell research, on gay rights issues, it was we who had become the interfering elite, against a society that was reaching its own new equilibrium.

Of course, that’s not how conservatives saw it. We saw a country divided in two, red states and blue, NASCAR vs. NPR, real America against the phonies in the cities. A movement that had begun as an intellectual one now scornfully pooh-poohed the need for people in government to know anything much at all. But expertise does matter, and the neglect of expertise leads to mismanagement and failure — as we saw in Iraq, in Katrina and in the disregard of warning signals from the financial market. It was under a supposedly pro-market administration that the United States suffered the worst market failure of the post-war era, and that should have sobered us. Instead, we rallied to Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber.

Read it all. I wonder if what Frum is trying to do is going to have any effect? IMO, it's not. People are on the US right are dumbing down even more and becoming a cheap populist movement. David Frum has been mocked, and is the focus of hate like "Goldstein" in 1984.

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