“I don’t think of myself as having gone squishy. I think of myself as having grown sober.”
— David Frum
The details of Frum’s conversion to an Obamaphiliac squish are tedious and trivial, and ultimately irrelevant to his journey down the path worn smooth by such trailblazers of moderate Republicanism as David Gergen and John Dean. Let the Republican Party lose an election or two, and suddenly there is no shortage of persons (usually those deeply implicated in recent defeats) declaring that they see exactly what needs to be done. And always the prescription is the same: “new ideas,” Me-Too-ism, “National Greatness,” et cetera, ad nauseam, ad infinitum.
However, let it not be said that Frum offers no amusement in his rationalization for joining the “Echo, Not A Choice” chorus:
But on environmental issues, we have to follow the evidence where it leads — and on social issues we have to take our society as it is. If the world changes, we have to change with it. The refusal of so many of my fellow conservatives in the United States to adapt their thinking to facts and realities does not demonstrate their adherence to principle. It demonstrates a frivolous indifference to the responsibilities of political leadership.
Well, take that, all you global-warming skeptics at Cato, Reason and CEI! Of course, environmentalism is entirely a movement of the elite. In November 2008, no Florida retiree or Ohio truck driver went to the polls with the idea, “Those Republicans aren’t taking the environment seriously enough. Guess I’ll have to vote for Obama.” There is a word for voters who consider environmentalism a make-or-break issue: Democrats.
I’ve admired Frum’s writing for years, and still harbor some glimmer of hope that he’ll part ways with David Brooks and the Crapweasel Coalition, but . . . I don’t know. Once a Republican starts sounding like Al Gore on the environment, he’s usually beyond retrieval (cf., John McCain).
And on the off-chance that there is any conservative too stupid to understand when he’s being insulted, Frum boils it down to 14 words:
Conservatives stopped taking governance seriously — and so Americans ceased to trust conservatives in government.
In case you didn’t notice — in your “frivolous indifference,” you may have overlooked it — that was the back of his hand.