The Corner

The Rush wars

Jay, David Frum has now gleefully iterated his complaint about Rush’s personal failings in at least three places – his own website, The National Post of Canada, and Newsweek. The last was certainly a mistake, because it’s no friend to the conservative cause and thus makes David look far guiltier of the sin he keeps accusing Rush of – putting his own interests ahead of the party’s. (Not true, by the way: Rush has all the money he’ll ever need and in the years ahead Obama’s going to be siphoning off as much as he can. If ever there were a time to retire to the Caribbean, this is it.)

Re the nature of the Frum assault, this blogger writes:

From a distance, it looks like David Frum’s “New Conservative Majority” is distinguished primarily by its dislike of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

Perhaps it looks different up close.  This passage comes across as pretty pointed, however:

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.

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.

True. No planes, no cigars, just snowmobiles and moose stews (oh, and executive experience, which seems to be in short supply in Washington these days). The Frum worldview appears to boil down to the Park Avenue hostess’s insistence that you can never be too rich or too thin: Sarah Palin fails on the first count, Rush fails on the second, but our beautifully bespoke President is just right. I’m glad David admires Obama’s exquisitely “honed” physique. It’ll look fabulous when they put him up on Rushmore bare-chested. But I wonder whether the American people might start to wonder why the “discipline” his sculpted pectorals supposedly embody doesn’t seem to be reflected in budgeting, personnel management or Russo-American publicity stunts.

Our pal John O’Sullivan said to me a couple of months back that conservative “reformers” should be required to produce some elementary arithmetic showing that all the people turned off by the “reforms” will be replaced by at least the same number of people plus one. David Frum thinks the Republican Party needs to cut loose Rush, a man whose millions of listeners account for a significant proportion of the GOP base. It’s not clear who, if anyone, David brings to the table in return. Notwithstanding his Strange New Respect from Newsweek, he should find something new to talk about.     

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.