Why Bachmann wins.
Why do I hold Sarah Palin to a more exacting standard than I do David Frum? Simple: because Palin and Frum fulfill different roles in the conservative movement. Palin is a political leader; Frum an intellectual leader. As an intellectual leader, Frum has much greater leeway — and an obligation really — to challenge conservative orthodoxy. Palin, by contrast, is abandoning conservative policy positions that she does not yet fully understand and has not yet fully thought through.
Critics or my recent NewsReal Blog post miss my point. My point is not to disparage either Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina, both of whom I like, respect and admire. My point is to be candid about Palin’s shortcomings so that she can change. Because America needs the Sarah Palin that can be, not the Sarah Palin that now is.
Conservatives like Bill Kristol and John McCain still don’t ‘get’ the defense budget. Nor do they understand 21st Century U.S. military requirements. McCain actually wants to cut the defense spending. Kristol wants to increase defense spending, but doesn’t understand what that the new money must be spent on. Both Kristol and McCain, moreover, lack strategic vision. And both contribute to the failure of strategic vision that is now endemic on the Right.