Patterico's Pontifications


Frum Attacks Limbaugh

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:01 am

I have a post on Hot Air about David Frum’s attack on Rush Limbaugh. It’s called David Frum Does Not Speak for Me Any More Than Rush Limbaugh Does:

When I choose leaders and spokesmen for my party and my political movement, I want clarity, vigor, integrity, perspective, and a lack of pettiness. In my view, David Frum — with his comments about Limbaugh’s bulk and personal life — showed pettiness. With his ambivalence about Clinton’s impeachment — not justified by any argument but made as an aside as if to curry favor with the elite — Frum lacks the integrity of a true conservative.

Rush has many of the above qualities — but when he calls liberals “deranged,” I think he lacks perspective. And when he said “I hope he fails,” I think he sacrificed clarity for controversy.

We can do better.

Judging from the comments over there, I think it’s going over pretty well!

Click here to read it.

60 Responses to “Frum Attacks Limbaugh”

  1. Judging from the comments over there, I think it’s going over pretty well!

    By which I mean to say, it’s not. (I linked to the “I am just kidding” post when I said it.)

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  2. Well, I enjoyed my visits to Patterico but I won’t be coming back. Like LGF, you’ve taken the vulture’s limb on Limbaugh, daring to criticize him for not being clear enough for you. All over one statement from Limbaugh’s mouth?!? And I suppose you have been, and will remain, precise and clear about every golden nugget that punches out of your keyboard? You’re a pundit, too, and I can recall a number of “fuzzy” statements by you.

    Like Rush has said, there are far too many in the “conservative” movement who really aren’t conservative and are embarrassed by conservative pinciples but, even worse, take whatever opportunity is afforded them to roast other conservatives. With your week-long attempt to find fault with one statement by Rush Limbaugh, you have shown me that whatever I might glean from this site is not worth having to wade through the little bombs planted against principles I hold true and dear.

    prairiemain (63315c)

  3. About the time you were posting your original #1 and #2 Friday, I wrote this at HotAir (last comment):

    Obama is NOT going to fail to advance his domestic agenda. That is going forward and nothing is going to stop it. “Hoping” for it to stop is not realistic. Period.

    The pain and suffering that results from that agenda may anger American voters to remove Obama’s domestic power base in the 2010 congress elections. That should halt the damage, stop the bleeding. So if I want that to happen I must be hoping for Americans to experience sufficient pain and suffering to turn congress Republican like 1994.

    In that sense I want Obama to fail. I want Americans to suffer.

    WHich addresses both your #1 and #2 points and I believe is a better version. IOW your characterization does not adequately cover the options.

    As to delusion … “Why in the world would you be afraid of the deranged?” Technically that is not calling liberals deranged. A valid interpretaion is that all those conservatives are afraid of are.

    Based on those 2 complaints it seems to me you are constructing straw dummies.

    boris (ecab60)

  4. As to delusion … “Why in the world would you be afraid of the deranged?” Technically that is not calling liberals deranged. A valid interpretaion is that all those conservatives are afraid of are.


    Patterico (cc3b34)

  5. Why in the world would you be afraid of the deranged … ones ?

    boris (ecab60)

  6. Do I really have to construct an analogy based on Islam and terrorists?

    boris (ecab60)

  7. Isn’t that a stretch? Isn’t it clear he was going for the laugh?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  8. A valid stretch IMO.

    boris (ecab60)

  9. Calling Libaugh overweight or alluding to any other aspects of his personal life are akin to the many incarnations of BushHitlerCheneyDarkRovianMindMeld – IOW, the person saying those things immediately loses any and all credibility for whatever comes next.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  10. Paterrico, you do have a dry sense of humor. How is it that you don’t get the rhetorical punch, the humor, of that saying the opposite of what’s expected, (or that expected to be politely admitted) and the petit “threat” or parallel processing that it provokes, is used deliberately to increase interest in what follows.

    You want him to be dry and, if following your examples of alternative phrasing , overly sincere and dry.

    All you ever get around to persuading is that Limbaugh’s not to your taste. Fair enough – I’m mostly indifferent to the existence of Rush Limbaugh – but it’s just ridiculous to moan about his tone ( and don’t even go there. If your point is that he was needlessly provoking, by allowing multiple interpretations including “not nice” ones, your complaint is about his tone).

    Why aren’t you focusing your energies on the mopes who distract from ACTUAL FAILURE OF OBAMA, with lame complaints about Rush Limbaugh.

    SarahW (fdd722)

  11. Orszag did not inspire confidence this morning.

    All of this is a distraction from Barcky’s miserable stewardship of his failing spending policies, and his redistributionist and collectivist ideals.

    JD (db0f14)

  12. But many of you consider Limbaugh to be the spokesman of the conservative movement — and if our spokesmen regularly say stuff like that, we’ll alienate voters. And then, we’ll get eight years of Obama and his crazy spending that is killing our children’s future.

    Patrick, this sounds to me like you want Obama to fail. The point is that there is no clear way to express this short of a small essay. Limbaugh deals in bumper sticker phrases, which is why I have not listened much to him the past eight years. I was so frustrated by Bush’s (and the Congress’) domestic policy, I didn’t want to listen to anyone defend them. Now, I find myself listening to him more.

    I think it significant that Frum writes for Newsweek, a dying left wing mag that I would not read even if I was killing time in a doctor’s waiting room with no other reading material.

    Maybe the Obama health plan will give copies free to doctors so the people waiting in long queues will have something to read. I am sure that Obama and his people have in mind the Canadian system that fills GPs office waiting rooms with “worried well” but makes the sick wait for months. Lots of time to read left wing trash.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  13. Yeah, Patterico, why are you not blogging about what all those commentors above think you ought to be blogging about instead?


    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. I’m really not that interested in Rush Limbaugh. I watched some of the CPAC speech, and it was OK. I guess I like my politics a little more nerdy, but even if Hugh Hewitt wanted Obama to ‘fail’ I still probably wouldn’t be this interested in the pedantry.

    Our country is being run by tax cheats, political goons and underqualified opportunists. Given their aims, I suppose that I too wish them to fail in that they fail to achieve their aims of implementing overly-leftist policies that will lead to more suffering for Americans in the long run. e.g., nationalizing the banks and appointing an ‘automotive czar’ are right off the pages of Atlas Shrugged.

    carlitos (3f0da9)

  15. An appeal to Patterico, the Doughty Blogger:

    I know what you think about Limbaugh.
    I know what you think about what Frum thinks about Limbaugh.

    Please will you now write about something else?

    How about the decline of America as a superpower because it can’t get its economic house in order? If you haven’t already read it, please reread this New York Times magazine article about Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini, and focus on the chilling conclusion (emphasis mine):

    The United States, Roubini went on, will likely muddle through the crisis but will emerge from it a different nation, with a different place in the world. “Once you run current-account deficits, you depend on the kindness of strangers,” he said, pausing to let out a resigned sigh. “This might be the beginning of the end of the American empire.”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  16. Doubt I’ll have time to write about anything else. I have a lot of work for my job to do today.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  17. I was joking, Patterico.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  18. Patterico, I understand you have an important job, and I am in awe of your ability to blog as much as you do, and as well as you do.

    My dissatisfaction was just in comparison to the normally extraordinary level of your work. We still respect you!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  19. We need a new poll asking people what they think Pat is asking…

    /ducks and runs

    steve miller (c76b20)

  20. I give Patterico much credit for taking a stand on this one. the comments here are normally milder in their criticism but the comments at HA are an eye opener. When the party is not big enough for the opinions of Allahpundit and Patterico to be considered without them becoming the enemy the GOP is indeed in real trouble.

    voiceofreason2 (0135ec)

  21. VOR2,
    If the GOP rejects Patterico, Libertarians would be more than happy to welcome him!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  22. BB J Fikes,
    I’m sure they would but the path to more conservative government and principles is going to be through the GOP for the forseeable future. i just don’t have much hope of a third party doing more than splitting the votes.

    voiceofreason2 (0135ec)

  23. I was joking, Patterico.

    I knew that. I was responding to Bradley.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  24. If you don’t like the topic Patterico has chosen for this thread, move to another or go start your own blog and post what you please. The nerve!

    Emperor7 who now sees the light. (0c8c2c)

  25. Bradley’s cool and I understand the desire to read about something else.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  26. I made it through a page or so of the comments over there. Yeesh. You miss a week, you miss a lot.

    This whole dust-up is part of Karl Rove’s Rahm Emmanuel’s plot to keep his enemies weak.

    carlitos (3f0da9)

  27. If I’m cool, Patterico’s a Bose-Einstein condensate.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  28. Patterico is no fricking enemy of the GOP.
    He just is missing the boat IMO.

    SarahW (fdd722)

  29. Bradley, did you just call Patterico frigid?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  30. I think the main issue here is honesty. A willingness to embrace truth even when it hurts. It takes humility. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. That’s what he does. Upgrading him to the status of voice for Conservatives is a stretch. I would place him alongside parodies like David Letterman or Jon Stewart. Not to be taken seriously. When he said “ fact I want him to fail..” he didn’t realize what he was saying. Sounded more like a personal attack than a policy statement. If he said ” I want Obama’s plan to socialize America to fail..” it wouldn’t have needed further interpretation. But he said he wanted he, Obama, to fail. Trying to qualify the statement by adding a clause about his policies not being good for America is akin to finding yourself in a ditch and digging further in to come out. It was more of a personal attack on the President. He knew it. We all know it. Patterico has the courage to speak the truth. Now you all want to shout him down. Rush Limbaugh is not good for the conservatives if they seek to get back on their feet and reclaim their place in American politics. Michael Steele is the man to listen to. He brings fresh ideas that can re brand and reintroduce the Republican party. Support him and tell Rush to take correction and apologize for that verbal accidental discharge. That is called being honest and humble.

    Emperor7 who now sees the light. (0c8c2c)

  31. Bradley, did you just call Patterico frigid?

    Way cool beyond the normally possible was my intended meaning. -)

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  32. If you liked the comments at Hot Air, you’ll love the comments at Ace’s!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  33. I hope that instead of debating Obama, Rush and Gingrich will hold a debate or two. Gingrich has better ideas re strategy/long term survival of GOP and certainly can’t be considered some sort of “Rino”.

    voiceofreason2 (0135ec)

  34. Patterico is way cool, but not Way Cool Jr. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    carlitos (3f0da9)

  35. Ive been following the exchanges.
    From where I live?
    No. Rush doesnt speak for me.
    Frum doesnt either.

    Your points come the closest.

    jimzinsocal (52b843)

  36. This entire business is vexing. Rush Limbaugh is a gadfly, and he makes no secret of it. He overstates things intentionally: that’s the point!

    Frum is no different. He is just more sneering about it. So let’s review. Frum doesn’t care for Ann Coulter getting personal about her opponents…as opposed to… Oh well.

    Let’s face it. People who discuss issues fairly and in a temperate, considered fashion sell no ads. Rouse no passions. Make no bumper stickers.

    As for subject matter, this is Patterico’s blog. He’ll post what is interesting to him, when he has time. I don’t understand the people who try and tweak him about that (I don’t mean the people who were teasing him). They could indeed found their own blogs!

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  37. Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    nk (502275)

  38. Geez

    This is just a manufactured outrage piece of Red Meat to throw out there to attract some like a shiny toy.

    I don’t know which is more troubling to watch, the sham issue or the reactions to it.

    This is just a distraction away from looking into what the congress critters are doing.

    Think Coulter/Oberworst on a big scale

    DayTrader (ea6549)

  39. You know the rest of the poem, nk. Without being religious about it, I think what is slouching toward a metaphorical Bethelem is a kind of politics that is antithetical to what I value in this nation.

    At least, it seems that way to me.

    “Bumper sticker” politics is not good for the Body Politic. And doing things that makes the DNC smile is not a great strategy.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  40. Does anybody know of a relatively simple way to smooth out the bore of a three-foot length of bamboo, for a folk overtone flute, that does not involve cutting the bammboo in three pieces and rejointing it?

    nk (502275)

  41. Is Rush now going to have to do a Patterico seminar?

    Ed (52bb9a)

  42. Eric #39,

    At least Ace’s morons have a sense of humor, unlike Jeff’s rowdies. I don’t know that I’m the outlaw here but it seems to me that I disagree with most people, including Patterico and his most virulent attackers.

    I don’t want Obama to *fail* as a President. I don’t expect that he will be another Reagan but …

    1) If he tells Putin to take a flying leap at his troika;
    2) Makes the Middle-East enablers of terrorism drink their oil;
    3) Orders an IRS net worth audit of the Chicago City Council;

    I will make him an aragula salad, pour him a glass of Jack Daniels, and give him one of my Marlboros and light it for him inside my house.

    And that’s how I interpret Rush’s statement.

    nk (502275)

  43. I read the transcript of Limbaugh’s CPAC speech and watched it as well. i don’t think he could have been more clear in explaining what he meant with his “I hope he fails” line.

    Limbaugh is a talk radio host. His job is to deliver listeners to his advetisers. Making his point in a controversial way does that job for him.

    You seem to be accepting the administrations premise that Rush is the head of the GOP and the left’s willing disregard for explanation of exactly what he meant.

    You have accepted their framing of the issue and it’s importance.

    You have not only lost you never had a chance.

    Stephen Macklin (f552f7)

  44. “If you liked the comments at Hot Air, you’ll love the comments at Ace’s!”

    Patterico – The comment threads at Ace’s usually get sort of rambunctious. The one you linked was mild compared to some on personal advice posts. The ones on dating posts or “how to get more sex from your wife” can get pretty out there and NSFW.

    The PW crowd over the past few days was at a boil the way it gets when somebody like SEK drops in and posts prolific polysyllabic profound comments of extreme mendoucheousness. Similar atmosphere.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  45. It’s smart of Pat to triangulate between Frum
    and Limbaugh. But he put his self-interest and your desire to avoid taking c*ap – or perhaps the larger goal of “signaling” his tribal identity ahead of pure honesty. Frum didn’t mount ‘personal attacks’ against Limbaugh. He ran down a list of liabilities on why Limbaugh isn’t a good public face of the GOP – and those reasons include that he’s a fat ex-drug addict* thrice-divorced guy with a self-indulgent lifestyle. That would seriously hurt a politician, and it seriously hurts him as a public GOP leader. No way to honestly measure the guy’s potential as a public GOP leader and not include those facts.

    *yes, Barack Obama also used drugs at one time! Probably not a net positive for his public image, either!

    glasnost (395b7f)

  46. The problem that I have been having with most of the national Republican leadership as well as with most of my state Republican leadership since I became a Republican in 1960 is that their role model appears to be General Jubliation C. Cornpone of “Lil Abner” fame.

    In most confrontations with Democrats, the Republican leadership in both the Senate and House have been the first to call “Retreat!”

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  47. Joe @ 46 – Except that article you linked fails to mention that Limbaugh reiterated his comments about Obama after his inauguration and after some of his policies were signed into law. How did Limbaugh address the success or failure of the stimulus bill?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  48. Joe – It’s nice of you to keep things stirred up.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  49. While we debate what Rush meant, and if what he said is, or is not, good for the viability of the GOP, are we not losing sight of whether or not the Administration has alllowed itself to become distracted from what they need to do to deal with our current economic condition?
    Or, is this contretemp a result of that they have no plan, and need to distract the public away from that reality?
    Has the Administration created an enemy to focus on, to distract the Beltway opinion elite away from their own failures?
    They roll out something new almost everyday, and the markets continue to sink as those who actually have skin in the game, vote a big “no confidence” in the abilities of the Administration to deal with the problems in a satisfactory manner.
    Frum, Gergen, and many others who told us that BHO would be a centrist are obviously having a big “buyers’ remorse” moment; but, a great many of them were never conservatives in the first place, but were – and are – establishment Republicans who were comfortable with how Hastert and DeLay, and GWB, threw away the credibility of the Republican Party as an advocate for small, limited government.
    Some, such as Gergen, seem to be very comfortable within the Dem Party, and perhaps should stay there.

    AD - RtR/OS (7d5017)

  50. With his ambivalence about Clinton’s impeachment — not justified by any argument but made as an aside as if to curry favor with the elite

    A variation of the battered-wife syndrome or, more specifically, given his Canadian/Jewish/academic background, undoubtedly always finding himself surrounded by those who likely give him a tinge of wanting to conform, of wanting to fit in.

    Mark (411533)

  51. Pat, thanks for calling Limbaugh out on his “deranged liberals” blather. It’s a bad and corrosive metaphor in any politics, but most especially American politics. I’d invite anyone who doesn’t think so to consider two examples.

    First, take Abe Lincoln’s formulation of democracy: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of Democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference is no Democracy.” Extend from this to the analog, Master : Slave :: Sane : Deranged.

    Second, re-reading Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism recently, I ran into her account of the cause of Britain’s escape from the grip of Totalitarianism that befell the Continental nations. The key difference, she thought, was Britain’s tradition of two party rule and the system of shadow government that went with it. (see Part.II, ch.6, sec iii for the full analysis) To simplify her argument somewhat, alternate rule is simply “built-in”, where “…power as well as the state remain within the grasp of the citizens organized in the party, which represents the power and the state either of today or of tomorrow,…”

    We need one another, we Republicans and Democrats, healthy and disagreeing, contending and checking at every turn, dividing power, arguing and counterarguing down the ages, lest One Party Rule be our fate. Whoever would sweep an arm to declare our opposition deranged, and vice versa, could well put us on a path to ruin.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  52. All of this is a distraction from Barcky’s miserable stewardship of his failing spending policies, and his redistributionist and collectivist ideals.

    Not to mention that such also distracts from Mr. Diplomacy nearly causing an international incident with his and his staff’s shoddy handling of the British PM’s recent visit.

    The money quote:

    A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”.

    This from a man who campaigned on the idea that diplomacy can solve anything.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (2436f1)

  53. Hey, nk, I have never seen you be a jackass.

    Differences of opinion are good. Civility is better.

    But that’s me. Thus, even though I ponied up cash to support Mr. Goldstein in the past, I tend not to hang out at PW.

    Ace is funny. But sometimes, there is a but too much “Purity of Essence” going on there.

    Again, everyone’s different.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  54. Yes, I saw that story as well, the return of the bust of Churchill, replete with a staffer claiming that there’s no “special relationship” between the two countries. So Obama gives the Prime Minister a set of DVD’s, probably bought at the grand total of 2$ per. If the Brits hated Bush and (later on) Blair so much, how do you like us now? Still hate the cowboy and his poodle?

    Dmac (49b16c)

  55. They are so distracted by the need to create a Marxist state, that their basic incompetance shines through.
    Keep these people away from firearms, the collateral damage would make “Falling Down” seem like basic-training.

    AD - RtR/OS (7d5017)

  56. As cynical and skeptical (and derogatory) as I am about Obama, I originally thought pundits, from the UK in particular, were putting too much of a psychological spin on the meaning behind the actions of the guy in the Oval Office in regards to his visit with the Prime Minister.

    But I’ve also had a sense there is something quite lightweight and superficial about “The One” when he told an ABC interviewer that the major document to be signed in the Lincoln Room of the White House was the Gettysburg Address instead of the Emancipation Proclamation. IOW, Obama got a major facet of history wrong in spite of the latter (a formal document, btw, and not just a speech—moreover, why would a speech need to be signed?) having supposedly a bit more resonance with Obama’s racial and ideological predispositions.

    The following was written before Britain’s Prime Minister had dropped by the White House.

    London Telegraph, February 28:

    The conventional wisdom, which Mr Obama has done little to dispel, is that he is less anglophile than his predecessors. He hailed the resilience of America’s founding fathers against the British “enemy” in his inauguration speech and devoted 35 pages of his memoir, Dreams From My Father, to his grandfather’s torture under British colonial rule during Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion.

    This was seen by some as the motive force for his recent decision to return a loaned bust of Winston Churchill, prime minister during the insurgency, which George W. Bush had given pride of place in the Oval Office. Mr Obama has also admitted feeling “edgy, defensive and hesitant” when travelling in Europe.

    Mark (411533)

  57. Comment by Mark — 3/8/2009 @ 1:02 pm

    The irony of dissing Brown over Brit Colonial actions re his father, is that the gift given to him by PM Brown commemorates a Brit warship that worked to shut-down the slavers hauling Blacks from Kenya (among other East African areas) to the Arabian Peninsula.
    Without that ship, Mr. Obama might not have had any Kenyan heritage.
    We have elected a very ignorant person to lead us.

    AD - RtR/OS (7d5017)

  58. Prairiemain, Millions of Americans all day long wish someone had said something a little better. Big Deal. Patterico dishes up a good blog most of the time,

    Gary Ogletree (5c238b)

  59. Some of you may enjoy this, regarding Mr. Frum.

    (Frum on Rush)
    With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party.

    (The optimistic conservative)
    Don’t nothin’ make this guy happy. Sarah Palin, with her linear and circumspect marital history, her philoprogenitive blue-collar family, her, well, opposite of personal bulk, her penchant for working out, her Everywoman charm – Frum didn’t like her either.

    Frum appreciates that Obama is physically honed and disciplined

    Let’s see – doesn’t like Rush or Palin, drools over Obama’s abs. That makes David Frum the perfect “voice of the Republican party.” In addition to the Newsweek gig, he should be guesting on Olbermann any day now.

    carlitos (3f0da9)

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