Anyone who thinks the recent re-enactment of the Little Big Horn – more popularly known as the mid-term elections – was a clarion call to the Republicans to lower their voices, surrender hard-won territory in the name of civility, and generally return to fighting the Left with Nerf guns and balled-up Kleenex, will find no greater friend and exponent than David Frum. In the wake of one of the most dramatic political victories in US history, won through the sweat-equity of people he openly contemns, and in which he himself played no discernible role, Frum has decided that the front-and-center issue now is finding some other way to surrender to Obama, and he for one is going to do something about it.
For those of you unfamiliar with Frum’s Steward of Gondor “abandon-your-posts-we’re-all-going-to-die” shtick, here’s a quick refresher from his negative attention seeking tour after HCR:
More recently Frum has teamed up with William Galston (former deputy assistant to President Clinton for domestic policy and recognized expert at parting gullible conservative pundits from their change-purses) to flog a nascent organization called “No Labels” of which he is a co-founder.
Over the next 12 months, No Labels plans to organize citizens’ groups in every state and congressional district. Among other activities, these citizens will carefully monitor the conduct of their elected representatives. They will highlight those officials who reach across the aisle to help solve the country’s problems and criticize those who do not. They will call out politicians whose rhetoric exacerbates those problems, and they will establish lines that no one should cross. Politicians, media personalities and opinion leaders who recklessly demonize their opponents should be on notice that they can no longer do so with impunity.
Now what could possibly go wrong with establishing “lines that no one should cross”? I’m just thumbing through my pocket Constitution on the off-chance there might be a problem … Oh wait!
An excellent example of Frum’s idea of “calling people out” is provided by Stanley Kurtz at NRO:
On July 27, 2010, I announced the forthcoming publication of my book [Radical-in-Chief] at National Review Online’s blog, the Corner. … [Frum] didn’t wait to consider my evidence or argument, or even bother to read my book. Instead, he invited a self-described Democratic activist who writes under the pseudonym “Eugene Victor Debs” to attack the very idea of my book — before either had read it.
I did reply to Debs, after which, to my surprise, the attacks kept coming, both from Debs and from Frum himself. … Oddly, since the actual publication of Radical-in-Chief, there has been not a word about the book from either Frum or Debs.
The announcement of the No Labels project by Galston and Frum makes perfect sense of all this. Given Frum’s response to the mere title and description of my book, it’s clear that the purpose of No Labels is not to engage those who call Obama socialist in a serious intellectual exchange, but rather to put their arguments beyond the pale of acceptable public debate.