There are few things as satisfying as watching a fucktard like David Frum get his ass handed to him by Rachel Maddow when he accuses her show of fomenting hate similar to the crap being spewed by the audience members at recent rallies for John McCain and Sarah Palin. After you’ve watched the clip, consider the hackery necessary to make such accusations:
Frum, you’ll recall, is the one who penned the phrase “axis of evil” for President George W. Bush a few years backfor his State of the Union address. After departing the cozy confines of 1600 Pennsylvania, he then funded smear campaigns against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when she visited Syria and decided to play amateur psychiatrist with former VP Al Gore when he criticized Bush’s foreign policy.
So you’ll have to pardon me if I find it laughable that this member of the GOP intelligentsia is joining the very slim ranks of those who aren’t pleased with the choice of Palin and saying it doesn’t look good for McCain because of it. This group includes columnist Kathleen Parker, NYT op-ed writer David Brooks, and author Christopher Buckley, who appears to have been booted/resigned from the column at the magazine his father founded for his trouble in saying he would vote for Barack Obama.
I’ve noticed something after reading for the past week or so, these admissions of concern — a lot of it revolves around Palin’s lack of intelligence or intellectual curiosity, perfectly valid points and worth questioning. However, I have a question for Frum, Parker, Brooks and their ilk*: where the fuck were you the past eight years with the current occupant of the White House, if this was such a problem?
(*Buckley the Younger is exempted because he is an equal opportunity satirist. His actual political beliefs seem secondary to everything else he does. Also, he gets a pass from me because I love most of his books.)
I have a theory about this; it can’t be proven definitively, obviously, but I think it has some merit: there are obvious upper rungs of the Republican party that tolerated George W. Bush because they knew from whence he came. No matter his Texas accent, he was still from the blue-blood aristocracy that most of them are used to, went to the same elite schools (including a couple of Ivies), and surrounded himself with the right kind of neo-con intellectuals like Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, etc.
He was one of them, a scion of the ranks they were used to, and a political candidate they were used to: someone who played up his faux-rural status to the public to gin up votes via the “I’d like to have a beer with him” test. It is no small feat for them to go to their reliable Christian right bloc and talk about the evil elites on the coasts, promise to lower taxes, cut government, get Roe v. Wade overturned, keep anything sexually icky away, and then not do any of it. But this is the game the economic and foreign policy elite in the party play with the base, and many of them look down on this base.
(Democrats do it too, but more with the “dirty fucking hippie” bloc that keeps asking them to y’know, investigate the abuses of power and stop the war. These kind of Frum-Parker-Brooks schisms aren’t as notable in Dem circles because they’re so frequent: liberals tend to eat their own if the candidate is not perfect on every issue.)
The GOP intelligentsia’s problem with Palin is that she is of the base they play down and pander to. They’re not interested in giving over the power to someone closer to the unwashed hordes, at least not before they’ve put her through the standard Washington wringer of vetting governors and senators first. (This goes for any candidate from either party with interests in high national office.) Thus, those economic and foreign policy conservatives who never drank the Christian right Kool-Aid can jump off early, predict doom, and claim some sort of misguided principle.
If intelligence and outward curiosity about aspects of governance were so paramount among this group, the probalby would have thought twice about President Bush eight years ago instead of, ironically, McCain.** Instead, Frum, Brooks, and their ilk are hedging bets, trying to look like prophets after years of egg on their faces regarding policy matters.
Remember, a political pundit with a track record of being astoundingly wrong for a continuous period of time never loses his column or TV appearances. They get every chance to right themselves, no matter how much in the way of poor opinion they’re paid to supply.
(**I can’t accuse McCain of not being interested in foreign policy. I can say I believe he’s wrong, but let’s not say he isn’t interested or curious in it as a subject.)