Republican commentator David Frum was one of those right wing guys wholeheartedly embraced by the media in the waning days of the election because he disliked the pick of Sarah Palin for VP. This week, he put on a fancy headset, fired up his webcam, and had some incredibly stupid things to say—such as:
Sarah Palin symbolizes “a party that has decided that we just don’t care about making the government work anymore. So long as your heart is in the right place–as long as you have the right values–as long as you’re a good Christian–as long as you don’t kill babies–anyone can run the US government.”
Yes, because there were just thousands of governors with 80% approval ratings. It wasn’t her job performance that made her an attractive candidate–it was her heart being in the right place. And her good quality brand of Christianity. And her non-killing of babies. Yup, that was it Dave.
You can argue that she wasn’t the right choice if you want, but where exactly was McCain going to go? Of the other 3 people mentioned seriously down the stretch—one was the VP nominee of the other party 8 years ago, the other was a pro-choice republican who invented the terrorism color code (surely that would have avoided ridicule on SNL)—and then there was Tim Pawlenty. Would McCain/Pawlenty really have lit the world on fire? Was it really such a no-brainer to pick the second term governor of a cold state who won re-election by 1 point in 2006 over the first term governor of a cold state that won election the same year by 7 points?
Maybe to mega-brains like David Frum it was. But to act like Sarah Palin’s lone attribute is her ability to birth children without killing them is an abortion of all that is logical.
He went on to accuse talk radio in engaging in “say-it-louder conservatism” –basically claiming that our solution to the right’s electoral problems is to say the same thing we always say, only louder. That’s ridiculous.
We don’t advocate “say-it-louder conservatism”— we do root for “say-it-BETTER conservatism” –that is, communicating what we stand for well enough to avoid being handily beaten by someone whose main qualifications are the words hope and change. And communication would go a long way after the past 8 years.
But more importantly we advocate “DO-it-better conservatism”—or maybe it’s “do-it-at-all conservatism.” Perhaps if we tried to govern with actual conservative principles, we wouldn’t have to worry so much about party branding. We could live and die on our ideas.
I suppose Frum would rather change the message to suck in more voters. Or maybe just alter it a little to make it more palatable. Maybe we could try throwing a few big government programs on top, and call it ‘compassionate conservatism.’ I bet that will work out well.