March 11, 2009

Rushing To Judgment

Though I don’t want to get into the habit of defending David Frum, I must say that John Zmirak’s point about Frum’s relative honesty compared to Limbaugh is an important one.  Frum, may have no redeeming value as a political commentator, but at least he is open about his contempt for traditional conservatism.  It hardly seems sensible to give someone credit for being honest about being awful, but in a spat like this there isn’t a lot of credit to spread around to begin with.

Rush on the other hand is a different beast.  Where Frum and company have been the architects of atrocious policies, it is Limbaugh who has worked so hard to make those policies palpable to a mass audience.  By disguising populism as mere opposition to the Democrats, and creating a caricature of conservatism that essentially boils down to “GOP is good, liberals are evil,” Rush and his army of clone warriors on the AM dial have ultimately done more to sink the conservative brand than anyone.  This would be bad enough if Rush were a true believer like Frum.  The fact that Rush has read Kirk and voted for Buchanan only serves to make his role in the descent of the American right even worse.

While it may be fashionable to point the finger of blame at the neocons, without an active propaganda arm promoting their perverse political agenda, it is doubtful that Frum and friends would have amounted to anything more than a blip on the radar screen.  Rush may not have been the first to assume such a role, but by being the loudest, he deserves enough condemnation to last a lifetime.

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