I have no desire to get into the back and forth between Ramesh and David Frum, but as Frum appears to have dragged me into it, let me just second Ramesh’s point that the notion that the case we make in the new Weekly Standard is somehow pilfered from Frum’s book is absurd and insulting. Both of us, as the links Ramesh provides show, have made these kinds of argument for years (and Ramesh has made them in print for a good bit longer than I have), and yet somehow neither of us imagined that Frum stole the ideas in his book from us. We just assumed that another observer, looking at the same reality we were, reached some similar conclusions—whether with the help of things we’ve written or (more likely, humility and honesty demand that we acknowledge) without. We took that as a good sign that maybe we’ve been on to something, or at least that if we’re nuts we’re not alone. Call me silly, but when I find someone who agrees with me, my first thoughts are not suspicions of larceny.
Anyway, these ideas aren’t all that great, folks. A lot of us conservatives are stumbling our way toward a new middle class agenda grounded in conservative principles and addressed to the realities of the moment, and that’s a very good thing. But believe me, no one’s produced much worth stealing. Let’s get serious.