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Calling Out the Never-Trumpers for their Hypocrisy Under Bush


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#1 LFC

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 05:04 PM

Interesting op-ed at TAC that calls out the hypocrisy of the Never Trump crowd who gleefully used the very same techniques and ideological purity tests of the GOP today when they were in positions of power. Exhibit A: David Frum.

Quote

It’s easy to understand and even sympathize with those on the Right who are critical of Donald Trump’s presidency. But it’s really hard to stomach Never Trump neoconservatives who now complain about Republican tribalism, cults of personality, and blind loyalty to the current president—because virtually all of them used to engage in and endorse the very same behavior.

George W. Bush-era hawks thrived by capitalizing on a popular Republican president, corralling the Right accordingly and ostracizing conservatives who dared step out of line. In a story about President Trump’s enduring support within his party, The New York Times gave a useful comparison on Saturday: “Mr. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is now about 90 percent…the only modern Republican president more popular with his party than Mr. Trump at this point in his first term, according to Gallup, was George W. Bush after the country united in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.”

If conservatives now behave as though failing to defend Trump is tantamount to treason, the early 2000s weren’t much different. Unlike the polarized national divide over Trump, the post-9/11 period saw an America overwhelmingly support Bush and the Iraq war. The entire war on terror narrative—the Iraq invasion, the Patriot Act, the demotion of any constitutional or limited government agenda—became the new popular definition of conservatism at that time, and blind loyalty to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney was expected of everyone on the Right.

Neoconservatives eagerly led that charge.

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum might warn about the threats that the Trump herd mentality poses to the GOP, but in 2003 he was taking stray sheep to the slaughter. In his now infamous “Unpatriotic Conservatives” essay at National Review, Frum declared conservatives Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak, libertarians Lew Rockwell and Justin Raimondo, and others on the Right who opposed the Iraq war as persona non grata.

“They began by hating the neoconservatives,” Frum wrote. “They came to hate their party and this president. They have finished by hating their country.” He continued: “War is a great clarifier. It forces people to take sides. The paleoconservatives have chosen—and the rest of us must choose too. In a time of danger, they have turned their backs on their country. Now we turn our backs on them.”

Talk about tribalism.

The minority of antiwar conservatives and libertarians of that era never went so far as to label themselves “Never Bush”—but David Frum did it for them. Frum wanted to read these dissenters out of the conservative movement completely.


And the hard truth finish.

Quote

Neoconservatives need to stop pretending it’s Trump-induced tribalism that truly upsets them. They never had a problem making similar emotional plays for their own purposes when those opportunities arose. Show me the Trumpiest Deplorable in a red MAGA hat you can find, and I’ll show you his Saddam “Insane”-hating, Bush Country—We-Gotta-Fight’em-Over-There-So-We-Don’t-Have-To-Fight’em-Over-Here—predecessor from a decade prior.

The neoconservatives never had a problem with populism or nationalism when it was used to whip up war fever. And if the current president were more like Bush, today’s Never Trumpers wouldn’t have had much of a problem with Donald Trump and his Republican Party either.


Does anybody here believe that Frum wouldn't be ready, willing, and able to turn on a dime if he got the dictator he wanted instead of the one he got?
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

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#2 nuser

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 05:40 PM

Finally some sees Frum for what he is!

#3 pnwguy

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 06:05 PM

View PostLFC, on 02 July 2018 - 05:04 PM, said:

Does anybody here believe that Frum wouldn't be ready, willing, and able to turn on a dime if he got the dictator he wanted instead of the one he got?
Frum at least seems contrite about it - at least the failure to execute a competent administration. Part of the growth that comes with age is understanding that you have made horrible mistakes at times, learn from them, and move forward. Compared to the spineless GOP members of Congress and the enabling RW press, he's a standout.

I have more venom for the McConnell/Ryan Axis of Stooges.
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

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#4 pnwguy

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 06:38 PM

Speaking of Frum, at least he's been giving a lot of intellectual depth to those trying to expose the corruptions and depravity of Dumpster. His latest review of this book is a good read.

https://www.theatlan...campaign/564032

We are in the Second Cold War, and Putin is WAY out in the lead. He bought the best asset at the right time.
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

"It all makes sense when you remind yourself that the GOP is no longer a political party but turned into an organized crime family"

"I hope to live long enough that the name Trump is reviled as much as the name Hitler or Stalin"

#5 J-CA

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 09:47 PM

Quote

The New York Times gave a useful comparison on Saturday: “Mr. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is now about 90 percent…the only modern Republican president more popular with his party than Mr. Trump at this point in his first term, according to Gallup, was George W. Bush after the country united in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.”
I hate to quibble but this is not a useful comparison and it has nothing to do with the point of the article. Bush's approval rating with Republicans at that time had nothing at all to do with purity tests or allegiance to Bush the person, it had to do with the general popularity of Bush at that moment - in a moment now where Trump's approval rating among R's is inflated by attrition instead of solidarity this is a sloppy argument.
Neocons "rigidly enforced the party line" because the party line was neoconservatism. How is this different from today? Well, that Trump is in no way a conservative would be a start!
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#6 J-CA

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 09:51 PM

Oh, and I love the conclusion:

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And if the current president were more like Bush, today’s Never Trumpers wouldn’t have had much of a problem with Donald Trump and his Republican Party either.
Yes, yes, if Trump were a different person the Never Trumpers wouldn't oppose him! Look, someone discovered what a tautology is, so cute!
I am the burrito until someone hands me to a philosopher.

#7 DCoronata

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 05:26 AM

This is how we got Frum there to here...
Ambassador Spock: "There's an old Vulcan proverb, that only Nixon could go to China, and only Trump could screw up North Korea."

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“Do you believe we can trust you rabble with a Republic?"

#8 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 07:36 AM

View PostDCoronata, on 03 July 2018 - 05:26 AM, said:

This is how we got Frum there to here...

Yup, we're going to get along just fine.

Over at BoingBoing, I just got totally owned in a discussion of astronomical interferometry by a third party's multilayer pun. Nailed, fair and square.
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#9 Traveler

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:41 AM

View PostLFC, on 02 July 2018 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting op-ed at TAC that calls out the hypocrisy of the Never Trump crowd who gleefully used the very same techniques and ideological purity tests of the GOP today when they were in positions of power. Exhibit A: David Frum.

And the hard truth finish.

Does anybody here believe that Frum wouldn't be ready, willing, and able to turn on a dime if he got the dictator he wanted instead of the one he got?
Interesting. Note that he ghost-wrote Rand Paul's book. So there is that.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#10 DCoronata

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:41 AM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 03 July 2018 - 07:36 AM, said:

Yup, we're going to get along just fine.

Over at BoingBoing, I just got totally owned in a discussion of astronomical interferometry by a third party's multilayer pun. Nailed, fair and square.

That was good!

Received my first flagged post on BoingBoing a few days ago, someone was a real fuckwad attacking Ellison and I reminded him of the old Roman proverb, "say nothing but good of the dead."
There are some people who really deserve to be lined up with the marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, put up against the wall and shot.
Ambassador Spock: "There's an old Vulcan proverb, that only Nixon could go to China, and only Trump could screw up North Korea."

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“Do you believe we can trust you rabble with a Republic?"

#11 LFC

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 09:48 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 02 July 2018 - 09:51 PM, said:

Oh, and I love the conclusion:

Quote

And if the current president were more like Bush, today’s Never Trumpers wouldn’t have had much of a problem with Donald Trump and his Republican Party either.

Yes, yes, if Trump were a different person the Never Trumpers wouldn't oppose him! Look, someone discovered what a tautology is, so cute!

I don't quite see it written that way. Take Trump today. Imagine if we change him just enough (not remotely completely back to W) where he backs the neocons' positions to the hilt but still with all his Trumpiness. Would they be pointing out his myriad of flaws or keeping their mouths shut in order to get what they want? I think this is a valid question.

The overwhelming number of Republicans clearly have chosen Door #2 to get their judges and religious privileges. After Frum et al's silence under the idiot man-child Bush and Darth "I'm in whichever branch of the gov't is most convenient at the time" Cheney I don't have a lot of faith he or the others would stand up as long as they were getting the handful of pet policies they wanted. Their issue is less Trump (though they do despise him) and more policy but it's more convenient time to point out Trump's general flaws than trying to fight for their (already failed) policies. And a "hand with a pen" isn't useful if they're not signing what you want them to sign.

PS: As a total aside let's just take a moment to remember that Frum told us to vote Romney because he didn't mean the things he said. Now that's some "flexibility!"
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#12 Traveler

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 11:08 AM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 03 July 2018 - 07:36 AM, said:

Yup, we're going to get along just fine.

Over at BoingBoing, I just got totally owned in a discussion of astronomical interferometry by a third party's multilayer pun. Nailed, fair and square.
No you didn't! Optical interferometry is much more accurate at smaller effective apertures than radio. Think wavelengths. Ratio of 300 mm radio waves to 400nm light is almost million to one. So the earth's 7,917 mile radio baseline is equivalent to ~0.009 mile optical baseline. That effective baseline of ~15m is 1/20th of 340m. So you got the guy beat hands down. Come on, stand up for your science! That is indeed one really cool array. Surprised the radio guy didnt pick that up in the first place.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire





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