May 3, 2010

Jonah Goldberg goes for the GOP jugular.

He's summarizing Frum's argument to Frum there, but it's funny to hear him say it. (The clip was clipped by Bloggingheads commenter claymisher.)


mesquito said...


Frum would give away his children for a regular column at Newsweek or, better yet, The New York Times.

Clearly his integrity isn't quite enough.

Ann Althouse said...

Frum's face is like some weird CGI in a scifi flick.

mesquito said...

I had just loaded this episode into my mp3 Player for tasty listeningt at work tomorrow. Now Althouse has me wanting to actually watch the damn thing.

Franco said...

To me the interesting part of the exchange begins when Frum tries to play Inquisitor on Jonah for saying Obama is a socialist.
(lifted from my comment on Frum Forum)

Frum: Do you think Tony Blair was a socialist?

Godberg: Tony Blair said he was a socialist.

Frum: By whatever you mean by the term….is Tony Blair a socialist?

Goldberg : I take him at his word when he calls himself a socialist that he’s a socialist.

Frum: That’s sort of lawyerly…

Frum obviously has his own meaning of the term socialist that goes beyond what people call themselves. As though master politician and Oxford graduate Tony Blair doesn’t know what he is, and holds a distorted meaning of the term to boot. Frum should debate Blair now and educate him on the correct definition and prove to Blair in an Oxford style debate setting why Blair isn’t what he says he is. Of course politicians are often not what they say they are, but don’t challenge Obama…no, no. And Jonah Goldberg is being “constrained” by the right wing and so has to fall in line and call Obama a socialist (even with specific modifiers). Frum seems to hold rigid definitions of words that don’t conform to the general use.

Sometimes these intellectuals are really really dumb. Just sayin'

rhhardin said...

Listening to more, it all seems to be insight-free.

fivewheels said...

It's meaningless political navel-gazing, but it's pretty good meaningless political navel-gazing. And I found the exchange about socialism interesting and worthwhile, really. They both made points that make sense, and Jonah ends it by admitting that what most people are saying is wrong. It just sounds like Frum lost the argument because he's such a pill and Jonah is a genial guy.

veni vidi vici said...

"Frum's face is like some weird CGI in a scifi flick."

That would be, "like Joan Rivers on one of her perennial runway shows."

Penny said...

Frum is essentially saying that “back-to-basics” moments have historically lead to disappointment for the Republican Party.

!!Smaller government!! …except for my Unemployment Insurance, Social Security and Medicare.

If we dare be honest with ourselves, and here among friends, we know he has a point there.

Titus said...

Jonah's totally hot!

Frum is a traitor and therefore really ugly.

Bob Ellison said...

Frum has been on a slow journey leftward for a long time. His nitpicking over the term "socialist" is consistent with lefty behavior: leftists tend to argue much more than rightists over political labels. Bolshevik v. Menshevik, liberal v. socialist, Communist v. everything...

Remember that great People's Front of Judea scene from Life of Brian?

Forrest Gump might say "socialist is as socialist does." Tony Blair, Obama, and many Democrats in Congress do socialism. Why not say so?

mesquito said...

Do you think Tony Blair was a socialist?

Thick thick thick.

In what the hell universe is the leader of the Labour Party not a socialist?

Penny said...

He also spoke of the Republican “miss” in not dealing with healthcare expenses in both a timely and a more realistic fashion, and because of that, we are left with this monstrosity called Obamacare. He is DEAD ON right about that.

Did any of us really believe that tort reform and buying insurance across state lines was going to resolve the friggin’ MESS we have on our hands?

Where the hell are our LEADERS?

Penny said...

Don't tell me what I want to hear.

Goddammit, DO something!

Michael said...

Well, there is a good portion of the Labour party that does not regard Tony Blair as a Socialist. Hugh Gaitskell would not call him a Socialist either, not in a way that had any meaning to the leaders of the post-war Labour Party.

Remember that Frum is Canadian, and Canada has a REAL Socialist party (well, 2 actually). By the standard Frum grew up with, Obama is no Socialist.

Penny said...

OBTW, "DO something", doesn't mean fight those big, bad Democrats.

Show us your GRAY matter, and then show us just a little bit of courage.

Penny said...

If only politicians wrapped their heads around death. TWICE!

And you can quote me on that! lol

bagoh20 said...

"Don't tell me what I want to hear.

Goddammit, DO something!"

That generally does not work out well, especially long term.

Sorry if I don't share your confidence in politicians doing something effective, fair, or right. I would prefer they talk more and do less if I have a choice.

Many of us love our health care and would be dead without it. We don't think people who's only talent is for fooling people into trusting them are the best at handling our affairs. Hell, some of us even trust ourselves to make decisions.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Penny said...

Did any of us really believe that tort reform and buying insurance across state lines was going to resolve the friggin’ MESS we have on our hands?

No, but they would have been small steps in the right direction, instead of a giant step in the wrong direction.

holdfast said...

Considering Frum's mummy spent decades as an anchor at the Communist Broadcasting corporation, he should know his socialists.

I don't think we really know what Obama is - Campaign Obama was Mr. Moderate / bi-partisan / post-partisan, whereas President Obama is highly partisan (more so than any President since Nixon), sees the state as the first, last and only solution to any major ills, and has at the very least gone along with the legislative stylings of the rather socialist Nancy Pelosi. His friends and allies include radical socialists (Ayers and Dohrn) as well as an out-and-proud communist (Van Jones). Finally, I would say that in the American context, anyone who favors a implementing true single-payer health system is a socialist.

bagoh20 said...

If socialist Europe is the model the left loves, why is socialist a bad word? Is this like being called the dreaded "liberal", but upgraded to 2010 where liberal is the new moderate? And where does communist lie on this continuum or am I getting ahead of the class?

Penny said...

"Ahead of the class?"

Well now, that depends.

We got ourselves the RIGHT class, and the WRONG class.

And then of course...we got ourselves the VOTING class.

They appear "hopeful".

Penny said...

Hope floats!

sunsong said...

Worth listening to. I hope there are more such discussions!

Revenant said...

Frum is essentially saying that “back-to-basics” moments have historically lead to disappointment for the Republican Party.


If we dare be honest with ourselves, and here among friends, we know he has a point there.

I'm not sure how. The Republicans gained Congress in 1994 after adopting a limited-government agenda and lost it in 2006 after abandoning that agenda. They tried governing like Democrats and the result was that the voters decided that as long as they were going to be governed by Democrats they might as well elect the real thing.

In fact, in the last 34 years the only time Republicans have done well is when they advocated limited government. So no, Frum doesn't have a point. He's recommending that Republicans follow the same advice that got them drummed out of office in '06 and '08.

jayne_cobb said...

I've been rather entertained as of late with Frum's constant whining about the right.

I mean when the man who wrote an article expelling “unpatriotic conservatives” for opposing the war in Iraq complains about people refusing to listen to the other side it brings a smile to my face.

Salamandyr said...

Frum's statements seem at odds with reality on several occasions.

He complains that "back to basics" approaches lead to victories which don't last. Well, what victory does? It's tantamount to complaining that your team just won the Super Bowl, "I bet they won't do this good next year!"

His relating of the history of the passage of Obamacare is just wrong. At no point was the Administration willing to consider any Republican ideas, and they were told so. And the GOP won the argument. They turned public approval against the bill. Scott Brown was elected running against Obamacare. Many of the politicians who voted for it are facing electoral defeat because of it. Yet Frum sees none of this. "We should have capitulated" he says.

And his defense of anti-obesity laws, and seat belt laws, did he say even one thing in the whole hour that was demonstrably Conservative?

meep said...

re: whether one can go with a label that one slaps on one's self --

Frum has a point.

I understand he calls himself a conservative, right?

I don't take people at their words, if labels are to mean anything. We don't all get to be Humpty Dumpty.

Turing word: pinknist - for those who can't go all the way to pinko

HDHouse said...

tweedle dum and tweedle dummer