November 18, 2008

Running the government, how hard can it be? As long as your heart's in the right place.

David Frum's outrage... at the selection of Sarah Palin... and Harriet Miers:



(Via Kausfiles.)

35 comments:

Michael said...

I don's see why Sarah Palin's experience in Alaska should be so downgraded by Frum. She had an actual administrative record there, after all.

Peter Palladas said...

Is it safe to come out now? Is the election over? Who won? Was it the babe or the dude?

Mark said...

Well, Obama's answer to his lack of experience seems to be to re-constitute the Clinton Administration.

It's pretty obvious that from Frum's perspective, no one who lives (a) west of the Hudson or (b) somewhere that has an actual voting member of Congress is qualified to be President.

To the National Review, congrats on losing a wanker. I have some suggestions for one (cough, Ramesh, cough) or two (cough, Derbyshire, cough) others.

Hoosier Daddy said...

About the only person worth reading who contributes to NRO is VD Hanson and that's only because he can add in a historical perspective. Goldberg used to be entertaining but that was then.

Memo to Frum, Noonan, Krauthammer et.al., Palin didn't lose the election McCain did. It was his campaign and ultimately his loss. McCain lost because of McCain. I respect the man for his service but beyond that, I really never had much use for him. If Palin was need to shore up the conservative base, well what the hell does that say about you John?

sean said...

"Running the government, how hard can it be?"

I guess, having just elected someone with no executive, military or foreign policy experience, we are about to find out. Let us note that our new president would not, two years ago, have been able to get a job as either a corporate executive or an Amlaw 100 partner. (Or a tenured professor at a top 40 law school, for that matter.)

Joan said...

Michael, Frum isn't downgrading Palin's experience, he's ignoring it. The fact that she was twice elected mayor and then beat out the old corrupt incumbents in her own party to win the governorship is meaningless to him, as are her considerable accomplishments as governor of Alaska.

And it's absurd to put Palin in the same category as Harriet Myers. Supreme Court justice is a much, much harder job, and very different. Palin has executive experience that is directly related to the VP slot. Myers was never a judge!

Frum cannot logically defend his opinions.

Darcy said...

I like Mark's word for Frum (a coarser one came to mind for me!)

I do like the diversity at NRO. Frum was someone I almost always scrolled by, though.

David said...

Well, Earl Warren was never a judge either. Even after his appointment, some would say.

David Frum--trying to slow down the long slide to oblivion.

Henry said...

Frum is an ex-pat Canadian, yes? Perhaps he has a phobia about sparsely settled northern territories and people who don't flee south.

ricpic said...

Frum's a bully.

J said...

I'd buy a lot of his argument if it wasn't directed at the one person in the race who has actually, you know, run a government. And quite successfully.

What a jackass.

AJ Lynch said...

Sean said:

"I guess, having just elected someone with no executive, military or foreign policy experience, we are about to find out. Let us note that our new president would not, two years ago, have been able to get a job as either a corporate executive or an Amlaw 100 partner. (Or a tenured professor at a top 40 law school, for that matter.)"

I nominate this for best comment of the week!

holdfast said...

To be fair Krauthammer just thought that Palin was the wrong choice and said so - he didn't throw a tantrum. He thought that having her on the ticket killed the experience argument he wanted McCain to make - it is a defensible position, though I would note that Hillary used the experience argument against Obama and it didn't help much, but McCain's experience does go beyond being a senator from a super-blue state and not having sex with Bill Clinton (in a sense, Hillary and MacCain are part of an exlusive club in that neither have sex with Bill Clinton).

tim maguire said...

I wonder if I'll ever stop laughing out loud when somebody who voted for Obama criticizes Palin's experience.

Maybe someday, but not today. Good god what a mindless tool Frum is!

veni vidi vici said...

Hillary's experience argument didn't wash against Obama because her "experience by the proxy of the marital bed" argument was ludicrous on its face.

I enjoy reading Frum because he's a smart guy. He is on the wrong (read, "being-washed-away-establishment") side of these post-election-recrimination arguments, but that being said, he probably believes that to go all-in on the Palin-style populism/SoCon "thang" is to relegate the party to a generation in the wilderness. Think of Goldwater in 64, and think again.

Not saying he's right or I agree with the position, but it is a position that isn't necessarily an unreasonable one. If the only response is, "That Frum, what a toolbag!", then the 'real American' Republican partisans need to ask themselves how they're better than the lefty name-callers, and need to ask themselves what the hell they're defending, exactly, and how they plan to convince enough of the center and/or left to join them in giving it a chance to run the levers of government in the future.

I agree with whomever said that NRO has little to recommend it anymore aside from VDH. That Lopez broiler is annoying to read, and the small photo they run of her above her columns makes me throw up a little, in the back of my mouth, everytime that I've seen it.

LoafingOaf said...

Frum's so right in this clip that I'm sure a majority of Althouse's commenters will disagree with it...and make personal attacks on Frum.

1jpb said...

Isn't Alaska the closest thing we have to a welfare state State.

They're so rich with oil profits that they redistribute the profits to the citizens regardless of those citizens responsibility or lack of responsibility for the profits.

And, after giving oil profits to the citizens they come begging to the Federal government. Aren't they the biggest or nearly biggest pigs at the trough of Federal dollars per person relative to what they contribute to the Federal government in tax revenue?

Why doesn't this bother "conservative" supporters of Palin when they point to her record as an executive in government?

Do you folks still think she said no thanks to the bridge to nowhere and a bunch of other pork, even going back to her days as a mayor?

P.S.

Is it true that the percentage of eligible folks voting this year was lower than it was in 2004 in Alaska? Somewhere in the mid sixty percent range, but it was over eighty for one of the Reagan elections, or so I heard on NPR, I'm too lazy to confirm.

What is that about? Why didn't folks show up at least as much as in 2004, when they didn't have their governor on the ballot (not to mention a Senator found guilty of seven felonies?) [And, only about 300,000 total votes--tiny state.]

Maybe what's good for Alaska isn't good for America.

Cedarford said...

Running the government, how hard can it be? As long as your heart's in the right place?

David Frum's outrage... at the selection of Sarah Palin... and Harriet Miers....

My, that is a great line for any that "heart" Obama, Hillary, The Goddess Palin = who operate off their "feelings" more than their brains.

Be a great line for various employees and students.
"Math is so tough, but my heart is in the right place."
"The job of being a nurse is all about feelings and beliefs..."

*****************
AJ Lynch said...
Sean said:

"I guess, having just elected someone with no executive, military or foreign policy experience, we are about to find out. Let us note that our new president would not, two years ago, have been able to get a job as either a corporate executive or an Amlaw 100 partner. (Or a tenured professor at a top 40 law school, for that matter.)"

I nominate this for best comment of the week!


You can of course, nominate away, but it is a dumb comment. About as dumb as it gets, because Obama followed a career path NOT aimed at being partner at a top law firm, law prof, or being an executive bigshot lawyer at a corporation.
To then conclude, because he didn't focus on a career path in those 3 areas, means Obama is a "failure" - overlooks that he is smart, talented, and quite clearly as humanly possible, proved himself a success in his Chosen Life's Path.
Along the way, he proved his talent for influencing people and events by picking up as sponsors and mentors an impressive array of the top Daley Machine leaders, black leaders, billionaire Jewish business families, "old law hands", academia, and "ordinary local folk" who found young Obama smart, very likeable.

For the record, Obama was offered a tenured path at one of the top 40 law schools, was recruited by others. He was set, if he wanted to continue at a Top 100 law firm - Sidley - where he retained the enthusiastic sponsorship of top partners there and at other firms in his alternate career. A few of the top dogs said they had no doubt Obama would have quickly risen to a partner or corporate executive spot...and again...inquiries were made off and on if the Editor of the Harvard Law Review wished to reconsider his line of work and come back to the land of Big Bucks..

veni vidi vici said...

"Frum's so right in this clip that I'm sure a majority of Althouse's commenters will disagree with it...and make personal attacks on Frum."

Pinch, that's pretty much of a feather with what I was getting at, but without making it personal.

Matt Eckert said...

Of course elitist assholes and snotty journalists hate our Sarah. She had a lot more executive experience than anyone else in the race but that didn't matter. It only matters that she was was not part of the club. That’s why Buckley and Noonan and the rest hated her and will trash her to this day. I just hope she runs and uses the opportunity to bring a real conservative to the White House. WE MUST SMASH THEM!!!!

HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!

jdeeripper said...

1jpb said...Why doesn't this bother "conservative" supporters of Palin when they point to her record as an executive in government?

This isn't the question you need to ask. You need to ask and answer why you liberals aren't happy that the Republicans have hitched their future to Bible Spice.

You should be happy, but you aren't. You should be calm and composed about it. But you aren't.

Sarah Palin is your obsession, she haunts your dreams and stalks your fevered brain like a female Dracula.

Where's the happiness and hope? Your boy Obama got elected, Palin and grandpa lost. It's over yet it isn't.

For the next four years a short, gun toting, big haired, mother of five from a remote state is going to remain a focus of fear and fascination for every liberal in America.

Why is that?

1jpb said...

jdeeripper,

1) I have a multi-decade record of voting for a lot more Rs than Ds so I don't have a visceral interest in seeing the Rs nominate a weak candidate.

2) I'm asking questions about Palin because I'm interested in the answers. She's got very devoted fans, but IMHO she has a lot of weaknesses. So, I'm trying to find out why "conservatives" don't care about the weaknesses.

The only explanation I can grasp is that folks have a gut feeling that Palin is capable of becoming more ready than she seems to be today. And, over time, we'll see that she will become ready. Well, time will tell. She should be fine if she gets better at demonstrating a wider range of knowledge, and she learns to avoid easily discredited exaggerations. But, she's not there now, and her supporters don't care for some reason.

3) I don't have a problem with her religion. I grew up in religious schools, and I currently attend an Assemblies of God church.

Darcy said...

1jpb: I don't buy the idea that Sarah Palin is dumb. Not by a long shot. I think she's very bright. I'll admit, she lacks knowledge, - different thing, though it does seem that she was held to higher standards than many VP candidates in the past.

I see her as very sharp on conservative principals, and I like what I know of her record as governor.

I don't hold Alaska's unique type of government against her. I think she has shown leadership and strength there, regardless of this.

Lastly, I think she was attacked incessantly and maliciously. I believe her poise and victory over this treatment by the media shows great character.

I don't think those are insignificant or superficial reasons to defend her at all. Thanks for asking.

Matt Eckert said...

The reason why our Sarah has such devouted fans is that she is not a member of the boys club. Not the "old boy's" club of the Ivy league shit heels who look down on your Wal-Mart shoppers. Who know so much better than us how we should live. She will not be afraid to tell them to go screw. And after the way she was attacked by the main stream media she will not be afraid to tell them to go fuck themselves. She should smash them. SHE SHOULD SMASH THEM!!!!!!!!

HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!

Darcy said...

And I hate when I spell principles like that. Grrr... :)

1jpb said...

Darcy,

As I noted above, y'all may be proven to be right. After a couple years of studying she may be ready. I've never said otherwise--I don't claim to know the future. But, I do know that she's not ready now.

But, beyond Palin; have folks watched this entire BHTV.

It was the most interesting BHTV I can remember--I liked the wide ranging, but still with some details, multi-decade political overview.

And, I was surprised to see that both of these guys mentioned the the Carter administration played a role in deregulation. Until this BHTV my only positive Carter memory had been Volcker.

[I would have fallen out of my chair if they had gone on to mention Reagan's taxes or his acceptance of quotas on imported cars.]

I like seeing where reality doesn't match with crude political abstractions. Unquestioned love of political orthodoxy is a one way ticket over the proverbial cliff.

Darcy said...

I don't know that she was any less "ready" than any VP candidate, 1jpb. Or Obama, for that matter.

rcocean said...

My sincere hope is that Brink and Frum both leave** the Republican party and go to "Save" the Democrats. They're really both liberals at heart, and elitist to the core. It will be best for all concerned - especially Conservatives and Republicans who like winning. And I'm sure the Democrats will love having two more Harvard Law Grads.

Perhaps if more people like Brink join Obama, we can bring back the phrase "Limousine Liberal." I relish the idea of Obama running in 2012 on a Brink/Frum platform against "Know_nothing" Palin.

** if progressives want Christie Todd Whitman she's there for the taking. What about EPA ? She has experience.

veni vidi vici said...

"...her supporters don't care for some reason."

I have two thoughts about this, 1jpb:

a. The Republican electorate's continuing support and enthusiasm for Palin is at least in part a reflection of how successfully (and singly, for the most part) she performed the traditional "attack-dog" role of the second-on-the-ticket this year. She got people excited because she, unlike the excessively "handled" McCain (hello bob dole II!!), seemed unafraid to tackle the controversial issues and bugaboo's of the opposing ticket. She looked like she enjoyed stoking the partisan flame by pointing out and focusing on the O'Biden ticket's weaknesses, or at least those weaknesses (perceived or real) that were echoing through the rightosphere at any given moment, at a time when no one else, not the inexcusably lame main-media nor the who's that were supposed to be running her campaign, were doing so. It gave the R-voters hope that this ticket actually gave a damn about what they were thinking -- and asking amongst themselves.

b. In light of the foregoing, if you were a Republican partisan looking around at the rest of the bench, wouldn't you be inclined to pin your hopes on (and excuse the seeming "greenness" of) Palin? 4 years out it is stupid to be picking winners, but some people can't help themselves but to give it a go, and to them Palin looks like the most exciting of the otherwise retreaded tiresome fellas (Huckabee? Romney? awww... them again????) that are currently looking like probable hat-throwers into the ring.

I'm willing to guess that about a year out from November 2012, that Sanford guy is going to be sitting pretty and the establishment and party faithful will be lining up behind him or someone like him.

And Palin will be contentedly kicking ass in the governor's office, hunting large game while her husband is free to pursue his outdoor hobbies and their kids grow up happy and free of media interference.

That's my guess!

1jpb said...

v.v.v.,

That all sounds 100% sensible to me.

Although, I expect that the Palin family will experience at least some changes. A seven million dollar book deal will do that.

P.S.
It does appear that a lot of Rs really don't like or are very bored with some of their wannabe presidential candidates?

P.P.S.
Maybe Sanford should have been the keynote speaker at McCain's convention. I doubt Giuliani will follow BHO by using this speaking gig to get into the White House.

AJ Lynch said...

As a blogger recently said, screw the Republicans especially when it includes d-bag dweebs like Frum (what has he ever run as if he knows how to run anything!).

The country needs a party that is conservative.

rcocean said...

I just hope Frum doesn't show up on the NYT Ed op page. Kristol might leave.

Its possible. The liberals love "Frummie".

Synova said...

I'm guessing there's supposed to be a video up there.

Just wanted to say... I think Hillary is evil (but not stupid) and I think that she *did* have a great deal of foreign policy understanding due to being married to Bill. There were a few times during the campaign where she did seem to understand the concept of consequences... which Democrats seem to miss entirely (thinking specifically of outrageous statements by Al Gore and John Kerry during Bush's administration) and certainly that includes Obama.

Does anyone think that Hillary would have made a public statement that Pakistan ought to shape up or we'd invade?

Simon said...

I have immense respect for Frum; he performed a service to this nation and the conservative legal movement beyond measure in personally driving a stake through the heart of the Miers nomination. He was the one who stuck his neck out and said "this is a catastrophe and it must be stopped." Yes, others followed, but he was the first; where others were trading incredulous glances wondering what to do, Frum didn't hesitate: he took to the airwaves and the æther and fought back. This respect makes me all the more astonished to see him here making the ridiculous, risible claim that Palin compares to Miers.

The Miers nomination wasn't absurd because conservatives thought she was one of us, it was absurd because she had been nominated to one of the highest offices in the federal judiciary despite having qualifications that would ill-become a magistrate judgeship nominee. She was a manager with a J.D. - and nothing more. By contrast, Palin was and remains the most qualfied person to the Presidency on either party's ticket this year; alone of the four candidates, she had actually governed, and done well at it. Everything else is flim flam and aristocratic distaste, and it demeans Frum - devalues his contributions to the cause - to find him with those words in his mouth.

Simon said...

ocean said...
"I just hope Frum doesn't show up on the NYT Ed op page. Kristol might leave."

He should. While I agree in principle that there ought to be a conservative writing for the Times, and for a long time they've gotten by on a supposed conservative writing for them, that's no reason to accept an actual conservative supposedly writing for them. Kristol's lazy dog-ate-my-column dahsed off in thirty seconds contributions to the Times plays to the liberal caricature of conservatives as inept; the man is capable of both writing and thinking, and if he isn't willing to put in the effort to write a column that reflects that, he should make way for someone who will.