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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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May 26, 2020


PM, something interesting happens when I share this on Facebook via the button. I get a picture of McConnell next to the article. But if I copy the link and paste it into my Facebook page as a posting, I get the picture of the book, which is what it ought to be. Go figure...

Well I have been familiar with young Frum since before he emigrated to the US. Richer markets of course for what he was always pedaling and we do not begrudge you this acquisition. To be honest he was a bit of a pain. His oft told tale of his conversion from being a supporter of the NDP (about as left as it gets in Canada) for being mocked for reading The Gulag Archipelago always struck me as creative bullshit. It is his Subway to Damascus story. I got my copy from my grandmother,a local labor organize and member of that party. No one mocked it. He was probably just afraid to admit he was reading Ayn Rand. To each his own of course.

Seen him in debate a few times. As an ideological conservative of the Libertarian variety he is not unusual. But if you want to stump him just ask what particular thing he thinks government should not be doing and you will not get a straight answer. He just froths a bit in a general way. And he certainly never had to much bad to say about universal health care in Canada. Frankly I always considered him as an ideological beard. I mean, converted as a young teenager to the right side of the line in an instant? But somehow never managed to notice who he was getting in bed with for decades? White ethnic chauvinism did not magically appear with Trump. I'm thinking he is trying to gloss over more than a few deals with the devil. Still. You know. If he wants to help undo that which he helped to deliver he can knock himself out.

That's the thing that always gets me about the Frums and Never Trumpers - they act like Rip Van Winkle come down from the hills to find out their political party had changed after 20 years while they were bowling with little men. They were never in the hills, they were right there for every bit of it. Every sordid bit.

The one thing I will give Frum is that right after the 2008 election he sounded a warning cry, aware of what the McCain-Palin campaign had unleashed. But again, he was surprised that Palin would appeal to his crowd? Please.

But yeah, if he can help deliver the undo - have at it Frum.

I will spare you any deep dives into Canadian politics but I will simply observe that apparently his whole family had the same conversion to the light at about the same moment. Which moment was absolutely necessary to get young Frum into the University of Toronto Schools (an elite high school run by U of T.) Which was kind of a necessity if you wanted to go to Harvard or Yale or both. His sister is a Conservative Canadian Senator now. Basically once his Dad became a connected Toronto developer the family politics changed rather dramatically. Funny isn't it?


How very convenient.

This is a riot. "...which was kind of necessary if you wanted to go to Harvard or Yale or both" (Frum attended both) And it's funny how the farther left seems to turn off so many enterprising minds. It does summon Benjamin Disraeli's observation that "Any man who turns 20 and is not a liberal has no heart. Any man who turns turn 40 and not a conservative has no brains." (He was speaking more developmentally than ideologically per se.

When I worked for Morris Udall's presidential campaign in the fall, '75 in Manchester, NH, we could "track" over a few years, families moving from the working class wards, into the wealthiest ward - and changing their registrations from Democratic to Republican.

That noted, Frum has emerged as one of the more honest Never Trumpers, although this group has been one of the most hard-hitting to date. (Biden's campaign has been really on-target.)

After Bush the Lesser I thought we needed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We will certainly need one after Trump. The Never Trumpers are essential allies right now. Their constituency is small but crucial (~9%?), but ultimately they need to be confronted with the fact Trump just took advantage of a party that lost its collective mind; that this was decades in the making. It didn't start with Sarah Palin, and as affable as Bush the Lesser seems today, his administration paved the way.

BTW, it seems my daughter, who is moving to Toronto in a few weeks (fiancé just snagged a great job there), may end up at U of T in some graduate program.

They are Max. Essential allies to be sure especially if some balance is to restored to American politics. On the other hand I don’t give them blanket exoneration. Many of these people, Frum included, argued as he did against some of the raw politics that were leading the the Republicans astray. Remember the commission that Priebus and company that was going to try a better way forward? They discovered they didn’t have one politically for they were so dependent on their deplorables they had no way to back out. Still the demographic tides turn and soon they will have no choice. It’s either stage a coup or head into the political wilderness to heal themselves. I wish them luck actually.

I hope your daughter enjoys Toronto as much as I always do. It has a wonderful cosmopolitan vibe.

I just appreciate critical thinking and good writing, motivations aside. But of course I take your points.

I do too, P.M. I've enjoyed a good deal of David Frum's writing, especially as he's spoken out against the abomination that is the current Republican party.

I remember once on Andrew Sullivan's The Dish, when Andrew was away for some reason or another, he had guest bloggers take over and David Frum took the reins for a few days. I was a regular reader and was prepared to dislike him and I found instead that I liked his way of expressing himself, even when I didn't agree. He was also gracious if you emailed a question or comment and took the time to consider your point and respond. I just wish he'd sounded an alarm sooner and dug in his heels when it might have made a difference.

"The Guardian"! Yeeeees, quite . . .

Yes. I will wish them luck out of their wilderness, once the probabilities of a coup diminish. No blanket exonerations (and ultimately they have much to answer for), although we must make common cause now.

Toronto is, quite simply, one of the greatest cities in North America, a true international city. I'm glad to be as close as I am, and now "I don't get there enough" will no longer be the case.

No argument there. It is why I used to read such as Krauthammer. The man could write. Still they make me think of Grant’s quote often enough on the subject of fighting valiantly for a terrible cause.

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