Though disappointed, I am not altogether surprised by Michael Steele given his amateur-hour RNC press releases (which I wrote about here) and the bob-n-weave he did on the Holder nomination (very similar to the pattern Mark describes with respect to Steele’s Rush remarks: First, having obviously failed to inform himself about elementary facts, he embraced Holder as a solid AG nomination; then, when there was blow-back, he back-peddled, conceding Holder was problematic but insisting that those mounting an opposition were foolish — thereby managing to both annoy and insult his erstwhile allies while making himself look thoughtless in the process).
What takes my breath away, though, is David Frum’s rant. He’s got a point of view about reshaping the conservative movement, and while I often disagree with it, he can be very effective making it. But even allowing that he disagrees with Rush, what is the point of the ugly personal insults? And compare them (I won’t repeat them) to David’s gushing over Obama: “This president invokes the language of ‘responsibility,’ and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father.”
An occasional cigarette? My purpose here is not to insult the president, but anyone who has read Obama’s autobiographical books knows he has described a dark past involving substance abuse — and recall that Obama adamantly refused to discuss much of his past during the campaign. He has, moreover, consorted with terrorists and other America-haters, been steeped in Alinsky radicalism, instructed ACORN operatives (with their “direct action” — meaning extortionate — methods), engaged in unseemly Chicago-pol glad-handing (including a shady real-estate deal with a shady character to purchase his home), and been so deeply entrenched in Leftism that he’s criticized the Warren Court for not being leftist enough. And as for “discipline,” the administration appointments have often been ill-considered and a betrayal of his promises about lobbyists, while the reckless spending legislation has been railroaded through in a manner that betrayed his promises about deliberation and transparency.
Now, nothing says we have to harp on these matters ad nauseum. We need to make the positive case for ourselves. But unloading in a personal and deeply offensive way on our own while idealizing the opposition does not seem like a promising roadmap for building a new majority.