The American left has seen its share of defectors, David Horowitz among them, as he outlined in Radical Son and other books. Others have moved from right to left, but it’s hard to think of any major defector from the radical never-Trump right. The first won’t be David Frum of the Atlantic, with whom David Horowitz crossed swords long before Donald Trump ran for president.
Last Sunday, Frum appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and talked up his previous complaint that Trump got “favorable, flattering news coverage,” from the media. Frum wanted the media to be more critical and challenged host Brian Stelter about “networks like this one that try to be fair.” Frum addressed media accuracy in a December 2017 appearance on the same program, when he said “the mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media.”
In similar style, Frum contended, “Inside the US, CNN’s reporting is protected by the First Amendment and the courts. Outside the US, US-affiliated journalists do ultimately depend on the protection of the US government. Trump’s words are a direct attack on those international journalists’ freedom & even safety.” And the president posed a much wider threat.
In a rambling Atlantic piece titled “How to Build an Autocracy,” Frum wrote that Donald Trump “represents something much more radical.” Trump is “a president who plausibly owes his office at least in part to a clandestine intervention by a hostile foreign intelligence service.” As this confirmed, David Frum was all-in with the Russia hoax, but there was more to him.
“We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered. What happens next is up to you and me. Don’t be afraid. This moment of danger can also be your finest hour as a citizen and an American.” Readers would be hard pressed to find a clearer example of Hillary Clinton-style boilerplate. As Mark Levin said back in 2009, “where did this a-hole come from?”
Frum hails from Toronto and his late mother Barbara co-hosted CBC radio’s “As It Happens.” So he’s something of a celebrity brat, and his wealthy parents sent him to All The Best Schools, such as Yale and Harvard, where Frum duly bagged his JD.
The Ivy League pedigree opened doors to gigs at the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Weekly Standard, and the Manhattan Institute. Then the George W. Bush administration hired Frum to write speeches and he is credited with coining the “axis of evil.” He has also authored books such as Dead Right, praised by William F. Buckley, and The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush.
After his stint in the White House, Frum hired on at the American Enterprise Institute but his support for Obamacare proved a poor fit, and something of a tipoff. Despite the glittering credentials and friends in high places, some suspected, Frum’s conservativism did not run very deep. As Mark Levin said, “in the foxhole with other conservatives, you know what this jerk does? He keeps shooting us in the back.” And for all his experience in the Bush league, the conservative poseur was a big fan of former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Before the 2016 election, Frum proclaimed, “I have already voted for her.” As Frum explained, “She is a patriot. She will uphold the sovereignty and independence of the United States. She will defend allies. She will execute the laws with reasonable impartiality. She may bend some rules for her own and her supporters’ advantage. She will not outright defy legality altogether. Above all, she can govern herself; the first indispensable qualification for governing others.” That is hard to top, but Frum is up to the task.
Robert Mueller found Russian collusion charge to be untrue, so Trump did not owe his presidency, as Frum had charged, to “clandestine intervention by a hostile foreign intelligence service.” The Washington Post is now exposing those who retailed the hoax but no retraction from Frum for claiming “the mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media.” A decade ago, he wanted people to put their trust in POTUS 44 and his complete transformation of America.
“Why is David Frum pretending that the Obama administration is less radical than it is?” David Horowitz wondered back in October, 2009. As David noted, the “most radical presidency in American history” was “crawling with Afro-Marxists (and just plain Marxists).”
Frum also contended that Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly would change their tune if offered enough money. “This is a vulgar Marxism that is beyond insulting, and beyond stupid,” David wrote. “Sadly, it’s just one more embarrassing pirouette in David’s ever less interesting dance away from the conservative cause.”
David Horowitz was on to this guy from the start. Vulgar, insulting and beyond stupid, David Frum was destined to be the most slavish Never-Trumper of all.
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