Sunday, May 03, 2009

Former Bushista: "Anger Theater. It's Not Smart, And It's Not Working."

David Frum, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the editor of

In 2001-2002, David Frum served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush. In October 2005, Frum founded and served as chairman of Americans for Better Justice, the lobbying group that led the opposition to the nomination of Harriet Miers to the US Supreme Court. In 2007-2008, he served as senior foreign policy adviser to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign. Frum is a member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

In this article, he actually shows signs that at least someone on the Right may actually be getting it. In discussing the case of a conservative Catholic writer who refused to accept an award from Notre Dame if it meant she'd share a stage with Barack Obama, Frum quotes Daneile Crittenden (his wife):

"I fear our side is becoming like the leftists we used to mock. We refuse to recognize the American president as our president. And we reduce our politics to a single issue, showing no tolerance or desire for engagement with our opponents, including those who dissent within our own ranks.

In the coming four years, all conservatives will have cause to oppose and fight the Obama administration on many, many fronts. But let's not imitate the past eight years of political opposition. We are better than that. And we should—we must—be willing to share a platform with our elected President."

To which Frum adds:

A large part of the secret of President Obama's political success is his self-presentation as calm, judicious, and fair-minded - and his ability to depict his opponents as intemperate and extreme. You'd think by now that Obama's opponents would have figured out this trick. You want to beat him? Great. Be more calm, more judicious, and more fair-minded. Don't be provoked. Don't throw wild allegations. Don't boycott. Don't lose your temper.

Instead, we get Anger Theater. It's not smart. And it's not working.

So, how long do you think it'll be before Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are calling for this "RINO" Frum to be purged from the party? Because without "Anger Theater" those guys are out of a job.

Hat Tip to Balloon Juice.


pattinase (abbott) said...

And as long as they allow these people to speak for the party, rather than a credible elected official or party chairman, they're toast.

David said...

Didn't a non-insignificant portion of them say that Bill Clinton wasn't their president?

JD Rhoades said...

David: Oh yeah. I think a lot of people have forgotten just how utterly furious the right wing was when Clinton was elected, then decisively re-elected. I remember hearing Limbaugh screaming that Clinton had no soul.

Ed Gorman said...

I'm tired of all these guys--Frum, Rove, Cheney--getting a free pass on the talk shows when they were all involved in one of the most treacherous acts in our history, namely lying us into a war. Nobody has the guts or honor to tear into them while they sit babbling on for the camera. Watch UK or Irish interviews sometimes, as Bush no doubt recalls. Remember the Irish woman who interviewed him and came away with his scalp? But as with everything else we have corporate sponsored news and thus we have to put up with the lies both gopers and dems tell all the time. Thank God for what I consider the mainstream blogs.

JD Rhoades said...

I'm with you, Ed. I think it's a complete disgrace the way the media has fallen down on the job of simple fact checking, let alone challenging politicians on their bullshit. I remember the Bush interview you mentioned and how his supporters were wringing their hands and having the vapors over how "disrespectful" the reporter was. But the thing is, from what I've seen, that's the way political interviews are done over there. I saw an interview with Tony Blair where the interviewer went after him like a dog on a piece of steak...and Blair came right back at him, answering the questions in as tough a manner as they were asked. Here, the issue for the next week or so would have been "disrespect" and "media bias." Our politicians are wimps.

Fran said...

It seems to me that politicians here don't feel a need to be held accountable, and if the media won't do it, who will? Bloggers and twitterers? Perhaps, but then who holds them accountable?

Poking politicians with sharp sticks to keep them honest, regardless of personal preference, ought to be, in my opinion, the purpose of the media.

charlie stella said...

Sharp sticks is a nice thought ... but I keep seeing flamethrowers.

We have a Secretary of Defense who didn't bother reading the war report and voted to go to war in Iraq.

We have Congressmen and women who didn't read the bailout legislation and voted for it anyway.

And we just had a President who couldn't be bothered reading anything.

The only time the media usually goes for the gold is when it presents some opportunity for glory (i.e., Geraldo with Willowbrook) ... sometimes something good comes of it, but usually it's just opportunism for the sake of celebrity.

We can't count on the media for anything anymore ... much the same way we can't count on our government.

It's a shame.

Tom said...

Speaking of flame-throwers . . . this is a bit of a tangent, but closely connected to Ed G's comment.

Just when you thought the idjits couldn't get any more stupid
. . . . You find out, no, they're actually FAR MORE stupid than you thought.

There's a radio schedule on the second link, if you want to hear more.

Jeebus H. Crust!!! I'm old enough to remember "Kill A Commie For Christ," and this is more stupid by far!

Just proves lies and fear make people do things so idiotic they defy description.