On the Midwives of Trump, episode DCCLXI: Self-appointed Conscience of American Conservatism, David Frum on Donald Trump & the Know-Nothing Fringe ruling the Republican Party. Old Socialist comments

What could be more filled with self-exculpatory mendacity that the latest essay from Neo-Conservative David Frum? Trump demonstrates that the political class in America is failed. Trump was the Ring-Master of The Apprentice, in all of its iterations, that established in the public mind that Trump was a Leader. Television is a propaganda medium!

Mr. Frum’s usual self-presentation is that of the voice of political reason. forget the Axis of Evil merde, it was just a stepping stone to his present incarnation as political moralist. The dispute between Jennifer Rubin and Charles Cooke presented here in melodramatic terms:

On Monday morning the conservative media world woke up to a savagely personal attack in National Review upon the Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.

What follows is an essay that should have been subject to a ruthless editing, that features a ‘Whose Who’ of the American Conservative thought. Or to be more precise, the Neo-Conservatives that are part of a coterie that includes Mr. Frum. The Neo-Conservative with any real political power Sen. Tom Cotton, is utterly absent. In essence, Mr. Frum speaks of and about a coterie of political scribblers like himself. The question is should these Neo-Conservatives support or oppose Trump? using the attack by Mr. Cooke on Ms. Rubin as its rhetorical frame. I offer the reader this advice: skip to these last two paragraphs awash in jejune political observation:

Conservatism is what conservatives think, say, and do. As conservatives change—as much through the harsh fact of death and birth as by the fluctuations of opinion—so does what it mean to be a conservative.

The Trump presidency is a huge political fact. He may not be the leader of American conservatism, but he is its most spectacular and vulnerable asset. The project of defending him against his coming political travails—or at least of assailing those who doubt and oppose him—is already changing what it means to be a conservative. The word “conservative” will of course continue in use. But its meaning is being rewritten day by day by the actions of those who claim the word. It is their commitment to Trump that etches Trumpism into them. And while Trump may indeed pass, that self-etching will not soon be effaced.


Old Socialist



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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