David Frum Does Not Speak for Me Any More Than Rush Limbaugh Does

posted at 7:00 am on March 8, 2009 by Patterico

I recently risked being labeled one of the “oddballs” at Hot Air when I said that, while I believe Rush Limbaugh is a very talented salesman for conservative values, I think it would be counterproductive to set him up as the head of the conservative movement. As long as I’m carrying around “NOT IN MY NAME” placards, let me add another person who doesn’t speak for me: David Frum.

Frum has a NEWSWEEK piece that expands on his recent comments about Rush Limbaugh. Even as Frum purports to set forth his conservative bonafides, he undermines them:

I supported the Iraq War and (although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect) the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

I don’t see why a conservative would feel “silly” about having supported the impeachment of a man who committed perjury and obstruction of justice, and abused the power of his office to destroy the reputations of people whom he considered a political danger. Frum makes no argument why Clinton’s impeachment was wrong. Without that argument, his comment seems like an unnecessary concession to the liberal cocktail set — a way to get the “good people” to take his argument seriously.

Frum also repeats an offensive set of comments he made on his blog earlier this week — comments that I bashed as contradictory and unnecessarily insulting:

With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence—exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party.

In other words, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Well, Mr. Frum, we already have one too many Al Frankens in politics. We don’t need another. Limbaugh’s bulk and private life have bupkis to do with his arguments, and you devalue the debate if you maintain that they are in any way relevant.

Here’s where Frum almost makes a good point, except that he phrases it in a hopelessly naive way:

Notice that Limbaugh did not say: “I hope the administration’s liberal plans fail.” Or (better): “I know the administration’s liberal plans will fail.” Or (best): “I fear that this administration’s liberal plans will fail, as liberal plans usually do.” If it had been phrased that way, nobody could have used Limbaugh’s words to misrepresent conservatives as clueless, indifferent or gleeful in the face of the most painful economic crisis in a generation. But then, if it had been phrased that way, nobody would have quoted his words at all—and as Limbaugh himself said, being “headlined” was the point of the exercise. If it had been phrased that way, Limbaugh’s face would not now be adorning the covers of magazines. He phrased his hope in a way that drew maximum attention to himself, offered maximum benefit to the administration and did maximum harm to the party he claims to support.

It’s crazy to say that “nobody could have used Limbaugh’s words to misrepresent conservatives . . .” Of course they could have, and of course they would have. They always do. That’s standard operating procedure for the media and leftists (but I repeat myself).

What Frum should have said is that phrasing the statement in the ways he suggests would have made it harder to distort Limbaugh’s meaning. Not impossible — just harder.

The problem with saying “I hope he fails” is that it’s open to so many interpretations. Reasonable people hearing “I hope he fails” might think Limbaugh hopes Obama’s policies, once enacted, will fail to save the economy. You think that’s a ridiculous interpretation? You may think you know what Limbaugh meant — but no matter what you think, there are conservatives equally certain that he meant something different.

I ran a poll on my site yesterday in which I said: of course no conservative wants Obama’s policies enacted. Of course Rush wants Obama to “fail” to enact them. But, assuming Obama’s policies are enacted anyway, do you interpret Rush to be saying that he wants the policies to 1) succeed, meaning the economy improves? or 2) fail, meaning socialism fails, allowing conservative principles to re-emerge?

The responses — primarily from conservative readers with no desire to misread Limbaugh’s words — were all over the map:

“It was #1, and no doubt about it.”

“Patterico, I think it is very clear that Mr. Limbaugh means #2”

“#1 obviously.”

Of course Limbaugh meant #2.”

If conservatives are this confused about Limbaugh’s message, then he didn’t express it clearly enough. And given the visibility of his CPAC speech, and the controversial nature of his remarks, he needed to be clear.

Some say: conservatives can’t worry about how they say things. They know their arguments will be distorted anyway, so they shouldn’t worry about being misinterpreted. I completely disagree with this argument. I say: when you know people will distort your meaning, you have to be extra careful to express yourself clearly.

Granted, there’s a tension between making your argument clear, and giving it punch. I understand and respect the view that if you word your statements in too lawyerly a fashion, with clarifications and caveats, you might sacrifice the forcefulness of your argument.

But you can be forceful and clear all at the same time. For example, Rush could have said: “It doesn’t matter what I hope for. I know he’ll fail.” That would have been just as effective and compelling — but possibly less controversial. And while the controversy generated by this uncertainty over Rush’s meaning has been good for his ratings, it’s doubtful that it has been good for conservatives.

What’s more, in his CPAC speech, he went out of his way to describe liberals as “deranged”:

I have learned how to tweak liberals everywhere. I do it instinctively now. Tweak them in the media. And no reason to be afraid of these people. Why in the world would you be afraid of the deranged?

Using the word “deranged” to describe liberals as a whole is just silly. It’s true of some of them. But not all of them. Calling liberals deranged may make you feel good, and it may make you laugh. But many of you consider Limbaugh to be the spokesman of the conservative movement — and if our spokesmen regularly say stuff like that, we’ll alienate voters. And then, we’ll get eight years of Obama and his crazy spending that is killing our children’s future.

When I choose leaders and spokesmen for my party and my political movement, I want clarity, vigor, integrity, perspective, and a lack of pettiness. In my view, David Frum — with his comments about Limbaugh’s bulk and personal life — showed pettiness. With his ambivalence about Clinton’s impeachment — not justified by any argument but made as an aside as if to curry favor with the elite — Frum lacks the integrity of a true conservative.

Rush has many of the above qualities — but when he calls liberals “deranged,” I think he lacks perspective. And when he said “I hope he fails,” I think he sacrificed clarity for controversy.

We can do better. Rush Limbaugh does not speak for me. And neither does David Frum.

UPDATE: At the same time, we can’t allow Democrats to seize the moral high ground on this. Here’s hard proof they didn’t want Bush to succeed.


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Comments

Who is this Frum guy … never heard of him, sounds like that’s a good thing. Just some irrelevant writer at newsweak — a publication I stopped reading back in the 80s.

tarpon on March 8, 2009 at 7:05 AM

Would Frum ever dare mention that Obama was a cokehead?

What a joke he is.

blue13326 on March 8, 2009 at 7:06 AM

Does everything this Frum wacko says get posted on Hot Air now? When was it decided that Frum was important, who decided it, and how did that decisiom come to be made?

Is there payola involved?

Buddahpundit on March 8, 2009 at 7:13 AM

Agreed – Frum is irrelevant, and Rush is an entertainer. Now, let’s move on and start looking for a real leader.

FuriousAmerican on March 8, 2009 at 7:13 AM

This post is entirely racist.
Edit and re-post immediately.
Do not deny my interpretation.
Write the right words.
NOW!

Stephen M on March 8, 2009 at 7:16 AM

when you know people will distort your meaning, you have to be extra careful to express yourself clearly.

and if our spokesmen regularly say stuff like that, we’ll alienate voters. And then, we’ll get eight years of Obama and his crazy spending that is killing our children’s future.

Crazies to the left, cowards to the right. The fact remains that Rush has clarified what he meant and the media still lies about it and refuses to set the record straight.

Rush is no more responsible for the lies the media propagates than the US is for 9/11.

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 7:16 AM

Frum craved attention so much that he called in to Mark Levin’s show, and Levin proceeded to castigate him. Best verbal ass-whooping, ever.

OmahaConservative on March 8, 2009 at 7:21 AM

Well, Mr. Frum, we already have one too many Al Frankens in politics.

One of the points I’ve been making is that it’s wrong for Franken to call Limbaugh Big Fat Idiot, but it’s also wrong for Limbaugh to affix similarly hurtful names to his enemies such as The Forehead & Nostrilitis.
It’s acceptable to ridicule policies, but we should draw the line at physical appearances if we want to attract undecideds to conservatism.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:27 AM

I love the criticism Rush receives from the little people like Frum and Patterico, who think they can do things better than he can. ‘Rush doesn’t speak for Conservatives!’ ‘Rush doesn’t speak for me!’ Well, duh. Rush speaks for himself.

The question is, why do all these self-important people feel the need to keep stating the obvious? 2 words – E-G-O and J-E-A-L-O-U-S-Y.

Bizarro No. 1 on March 8, 2009 at 7:27 AM

Patterico:

In other words, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot.

LARD-ist! Apologize now.

Stephen M on March 8, 2009 at 7:29 AM

Just to be crystal clear…

If Obama implements his policies, I hope they fail.

If they succeed, they will place an unsupportable burden on our generation and future generations, and the United States as we know it will cease to exist.

Better a little short-term pain than the destruction of the country.

So, yeah… I hope Obama fails.

Clear enough?

gridlock2 on March 8, 2009 at 7:29 AM

My beloved mother is not thin. Hater.

Stephen M on March 8, 2009 at 7:31 AM

Much as I like Rush, and agree with his basic point (which IMO is # 2 in Patterico’s paragraph # 10 above)…

I agree with Patterico that Rush didn’t express himself well in this case. Many, many Americans are struggling with kids and two jobs and Mom’s sick etc and don’t regularly listen to Rush. All they see is the headline. They aren’t dedicated conservatives like we are – some of them while basically conservative may have even voted for Obama (don’t start; my own Republican family deserted en masse in the last election) because his “message seemed better” plus they bought the media lie about the McCain “temper on the nuclear button” and Palin’s “stupidity.” These are the swingable people we are trying to win over, I think.

Our conservative principles are better, we are the more truly compassionate and reasonable ones (free yourself from the slavery of welfare, go for your own economic dreams, enjoy free speech, save unborn lives, keep more of your own tax money for your own goals, etc.) Why cripple ourselves unnecessarily with words so easily misunderstood?

–no one you know / inviolet

inviolet on March 8, 2009 at 7:33 AM

I love the criticism Rush receives from the little people like Frum and Patterico

I’m saddened by knee-jerk criticism received by anyone who dares question the methodolgy of Grand Poobah. Patterico makes a lot of sense; too bad many will refuse to consider his points.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:34 AM

What’s next? Confess those slant-eyed-girl erections?
! Racist.

Stephen M on March 8, 2009 at 7:34 AM

David Frum? I thought that was a picture of Fred Savage from “The Wonder Years”.

AubieJon on March 8, 2009 at 7:35 AM

These articles are silly. Rush is NOT looking to be the leader of the party. He is looking for someone with the guts to espouse conservative values – and not just fiscal ones. If you remember, this all happened when all the republicans in Washington were saying “we want Obama to succeed” everytime a camera was put in front of their face. Rush simply questioned the honesty of their statements as in do you really want a socialist to succeed with his agenda?

KickandSwimMom on March 8, 2009 at 7:36 AM

1) Rush is very entertaining
2) Rush is right 87.4% of the time
3) Rush does a lot of unnecessary insulting
4) Rush has tons of followers based on 1 & 2
5) Rush’s followers tend to do as they’re trained by #3–unnecessary insulting

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:38 AM

I thought Rush made himself very clear in his CPAC speach.

KelliD on March 8, 2009 at 7:38 AM

Well it is a well known fact that rush Limbaugh is a serious drug addict. I agree with Mr Frum on that

money2 on March 8, 2009 at 7:39 AM

liberalism is a mental condition. You have to be able to suspend willing disbelief to think that liberal policies will work. So in fact Rush was correct again that liberals are deranged. For instance those thast believe that the present economic crisis and healthcare reform have any connection to each other. You have be a memeber of the mental ward to square that circle.

Or that spending more money to fix the problem of being in debt. That is priceless. I think most liberals had some type of child abuse when young and have made up imaginary worlds to deal with the pain that they buried. Maybe they sat the bench in little league, didn’t get a dat for the prom, maybe their father was a drunk or their mother beat them with a wire hanger. Maybe they didn’t have enough food etc but for whatever reason liberals do not operate in reality but always life in the future tense. You have to be deranged to do that.

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 7:40 AM

These articles are silly. Rush is NOT looking to be the leader of the party. He is looking for someone with the guts to espouse conservative values – and not just fiscal ones. If you remember, this all happened when all the republicans in Washington were saying “we want Obama to succeed” everytime a camera was put in front of their face. Rush simply questioned the honesty of their statements as in do you really want a socialist to succeed with his agenda?

KickandSwimMom on March 8, 2009 at 7:36 AM

Ditto. Funny how small points like that get over looked.

Zorro on March 8, 2009 at 7:41 AM

money2 on March 8, 2009 at 7:39 AM

It is a well known fact that he WAS a drug addict. Please provide evidence that he is still using. Either do that, or go back to facebook.

AubieJon on March 8, 2009 at 7:41 AM

So, according to Mr. Frey, Rush should have articulated his comment about “wishing Obama would fail”, so that it would be less controversial. Question: What level of media discourse and attention would there have been if Rush had been more clear? My point is, if the direction President Obama and the Democrat Party can potentially destroy this nation’s economy, how do we raise the issue to reach the largest populace? Mr. Limbaugh’s ratings are not nearly as important as raising the “awareness” to the masses that these liberal, and yes socialist spending policies will damage this country permanently with most likely irreversable consequences. I would submit that Mr. Limbaugh accomplished this goal. Frum’s comments about Rush’s personnal misgivings makes his whole commentary belong at the Kos-kids or Huffpo, where there’s little credibility.

Rovin on March 8, 2009 at 7:43 AM

On the other hand, if Rush had said, “I want his liberal policies to fail”, we probably wouldn’t be talking about this, some politicians wouldn’t have discovered it’s okay to want President Obama’s (liberal) policies to fail, and we’d still be kowtowing to fears of being labeled racists for not wanting a socialist state.

eforhan on March 8, 2009 at 7:44 AM

Rush went on soon after to clarify his remarks. That should have been the end of it. But of course, the willing accomplices in the drive-by media (to borrow a phrase) will milk this to get every mile from it.

When you misspeak, or are not clear enough, you should restate it as you intended, which Rush clearly did.

The most unfortunate part is, that most of the Republicans don’t have the testicular fortitude to clearly articulate conservative principles.

rightside on March 8, 2009 at 7:44 AM

The problem with saying “I hope he fails” is that it’s open to so many interpretations. Reasonable people hearing “I hope he fails” might think Limbaugh hopes Obama’s policies, once enacted, will fail to save the economy. You think that’s a ridiculous interpretation? You may think you know what Limbaugh meant — but no matter what you think, there are conservatives equally certain that he meant something different.

What those particular conservatives may or may not interpret Rush’s dialogue to be bears no import on what Rush actually meant, which is he hopes that Obama’s socialist policies fail dismally and I certainly agree with him. Anyone too lazy to research the context or too dopey to buy into the media’s spin only deserves to be so malinformed.

If we can do better than Rush at this moment in time, I’d like you, Patterico, to point me to the incoming true conservative leader in the GOP who you truly think to be up to the task. I, certainly, am not seeing one as yet. Many liberals are clearly “deranged,” and the choice of word is a highly accurate one on Limbaugh’s part. Just because you don’t like the tone doesn’t mean Rush lacks perspective. Rush is dead on the money.

Jockolantern on March 8, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Patterico

You do not speak for me. Grow up get some balls and then we will talk. I hope Obama fails so far and so bad that this country experiences the pain for a generation and that liberalism as a political force will be forever disowned.

Many people compare liberalism with the story of cooking a frog. Liberalsim slowly eats away freedom like the frog is slowly cook.

With Obama we have the oppurtunity that the liberals instead of keeping the temp slowly increasing will turn up the heat to a degree that the frog (us) will finally jump out of the water once and for all.

So yes I want the dow at 1,500 I want 20% unemployment, I people to equate massive unemployment and poverty with liberalism. I want that for the sake of my children and my grandchildren. I am prepared to go thru the pain and hardship of a bad economy for my children’s future to ensure their freedom.

To want Obama to succedd, to want his policies to work will while it may sound good at this time give my children nothing but tranny. No pain no gain. So buck up and hope and pray for your childrens future that Obama not only fails but fails spectacularly

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 7:47 AM

I heard Frum being interviewed by Medved recently. He admitted he rarely listens to Rush and you can tell he hates Rush.

pearson on March 8, 2009 at 7:47 AM

When I choose leaders and spokesmen for my party and my political movement, I want clarity, vigor, integrity, perspective, and a lack of pettiness.

Agreed. Mark Steyn is an excellent example. Fun to listen to, brilliant analysis. Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Dennis Prager, all more effective than Rush in my book.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:50 AM

The problem with saying “I hope he fails” is that it’s open to so many interpretations. Reasonable people hearing “I hope he fails” might think Limbaugh hopes Obama’s policies, once enacted, will fail to save the economy. You think that’s a ridiculous interpretation? You may think you know what Limbaugh meant — but no matter what you think, there are conservatives equally certain that he meant something different. . .

This is just pointless equivocating. Rush was entirely clear from day one what he meant, and he expanded upon it in his CPAC speech:

This notion that I want the President to fail, folks, this shows you a sign of the problem we’ve got. That’s nothing more than common sense and to not be able to say it, why in the world do I want what we just described, rampant government growth indebtedness, wealth that’s not even being created yet that is being spent, what is in this? What possibly is in this that anybody of us wants to succeed? Did the Democrats want the war on Iraq to fail!

CROWD: Yes!

RUSH: They certainly did. They not only wanted the war in Iraq to fail, they proclaimed it a failure. There’s Dingy Harry Reid waiving a white flag: [doing Harry Reid impression] “This war is lost. This war is” — [Cheers and Applause] They called General Petraeus a liar before he even testified. Mrs. Clinton — [Crowd Booing] — said she had to, willingly suspend disbelief in order to listen to Petraeus. We’re in the process of winning the war. The last thing they wanted was to win. They hoped George Bush failed. So what is so strange about being honest to say that I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed? [Applause]

I hope Obama fails. I hope he falls flat on his face. Why? Because he is a Marxist, and if he succeeds he will destroy this country.

MrLynn on March 8, 2009 at 7:51 AM

I thought this post was going to be about Frum…instead, it was another tired Limbaugh bashing…

Gaaaa, enough already!!

CinnamongirlUF on March 8, 2009 at 7:51 AM

Patterico

You do not speak for me. Grow up get some balls and then we will talk.

This is exactly what I pointed out at 7:38.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:52 AM

You know this whole “drug addict” is, and I KNOW this, a clear reflection of people’s insecurities about themselves. It is their EGO telling them ..quick, criticize the other guy, call him names…then maybe they won’t notice my own shortcomings.

I “know” very little…but this I know! And it is at the Liberals core…castigate the other guy so I feel better. It permeates everything they do…they don’t feel good about driving THEIR OWN SUV so they criticize YOU for doing it…human nature I’m afraid.

winston on March 8, 2009 at 7:52 AM

Obama: “Too big to fail”. LMAO.. His fall will be great and I hope when he falls from his throne, he lands on top of Pelosi.

Key West Reader on March 8, 2009 at 7:53 AM

Interesting post, Patterico. You’re triangulating just like BJ Clinton – tacking a position somewhere between what you see as two extremes.

As for this statement, with which you lead your diatribe – “I think it would be counterproductive to set him up as the head of the conservative movement”, how’s this for a rebuttal?:

Dear Rush,

Thanks for all you’re doing to promote Republican and conservative principles. Now that I’ve retired from active politics, I don’t mind that you have become the Number One voice for conservatism in our Country.

I know the liberals call you “the most dangerous man in America,” but don’t worry about it, they used to say the same thing about me. Keep up the good work. America needs to hear the way things ought to be.”

Sincerely, Ron

Phildorex on March 8, 2009 at 7:54 AM

Rush was entirely clear from day one what he meant,

Comments from Patterico’s blog:

“It was #1, and no doubt about it.”

“Patterico, I think it is very clear that Mr. Limbaugh means #2″

“#1 obviously.”

“Of course Limbaugh meant #2.”

If even conservatives can’t agree on an interpretation, how will the many millions of undecideds we’re trying to persuade?

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:54 AM

How long has Patterico been on staff here ? This is the first post I’ve seen … welcome anyway.

I don’t listen regularly to Coulter or Limbaugh. However, when I do listen to them I notice that they are both very careful with their language. They speak precisely and “correctly” (at least Coulter does … the only Limbaugh I’ve listened to is the CPAC address) but in a way which is easy for the left to distort. Of course even the right went bananas over Coulter’s faggot address.

Loving it.

gh on March 8, 2009 at 7:56 AM

You’re triangulating just like BJ Clinton – tacking a position somewhere between what you see as two extremes.

So you know his motives?
Maybe, just maybe he wrote this because he believes it.
Patterico makes sense to me. But I’m just an oddball.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:57 AM

Loving it.

gh on March 8, 2009 at 7:56 AM

Limbaugh says his #1 goal is to build an audience. No one is better at that.
I just wish he would consider persuading undecideds to be his #1 goal.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:59 AM

…do you interpret Rush to be saying that he wants the policies to 1) succeed, meaning the economy improves? or 2) fail, meaning socialism fails, allowing conservative principles to re-emerge?

Doesn’t need interpretation. Listen to the Hanity interview. Rush clearly said he hopes Obama fails in implementing his socialist agenda. “I hope he fails” by itself is out of context. I don’t know about subsequent quotes.

swede7 on March 8, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Obama’s pans of socialism WILL fail, that’s the given.

Wanting Obama to fail in instituting them is to save the country from having devastating policies enacted and entrenched.

Wanting ‘Obama to fail’ is wanting success for the country.

snickelfritz on March 8, 2009 at 8:01 AM

instead, it was another tired Limbaugh bashing

I prefer to call it suggestions.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 8:01 AM

David Frum is an Argula Schmuck Republican.

ashiya on March 8, 2009 at 8:01 AM

David Frum is an Argula Schmuck Republican.

ashiya on March 8, 2009 at 8:01 AM

Obama’s plans of socialism WILL fail, that’s the given.

Wanting Obama to fail in instituting them is to save the country from having devastating policies enacted and entrenched.

Wanting ‘Obama to fail’ is wanting success for the country.

snickelfritz on March 8, 2009 at 8:01 AM

David Frum is an Arugula Schmuck Republican.

ashiya on March 8, 2009 at 8:01 AM

I think you’re quite right about whether or not certain people are “spokesmen” for conservatism. In fact, I would take the principle, generalize it and state it this way:

I have a set of views that to me seem rational, and if implemented as social/government policy, I believe they would bring the most benefit to the greatest number of people. Some people have platforms from which they espouse views that are broadly similar to my own, and to whom I compare and contrast my own views and opinions as one way of improving my own thinking. I have not elected these people to speak for me.

If I want my political “voice” to be heard, I must speak up, and for myself: phoning/faxing/emailing elected officials and others who are directly involved in the process. If people with a platform and an audience are organizing something that I think is useful, I will participate, or at least cheer them on. If they diverge from my viewpoint, I may or may not contact them to discuss it. But they are not my proxies, or my “spokesmen” in any way.

mr.blacksheep on March 8, 2009 at 8:04 AM

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:52 AM

Some day maybe you will understand thyat politics is a full contact sport not some exercise in mental gymnastics. IMO the people that are squimish because of the tone of Rush need to man up. The substance is the important thing. Does any conservative really want the policies of Obama to suceed? And if they do not want his policies to suceed they by logic do not want him to suceed. Sure you can coach you answer in PC language to not insult the senseibilities of the “educated” but at the end of the day if you are against national healthcare, against gays in the military, against making friends with our enemies, against gov spending, against big government then you want Obama to fail. You can SAY it however you want but if you are honest and have the courage you will say it straight up and not hide behind some form of PC twisting of words.

IMO this country needs more plain speaking. Politicians have made an art out of speaking and not saying anything. It is time and the AMerician people are ready for some plain speaking.

As far as getting balls. That is not an attack that is an obervation. His entire post is one of beta male seeking to cower to the alpha. He is not ready to defend his ideas against the Alpha so he wants to work from the sidelines to bring down the alpha because he does not want direct confortation. You think Patton did not want Hitler to fail. Or Reagan did not want Gorbachav to fail. What is the difference when the war of ideas is inside your country. Should you not fight that war as a war simple because of some imaginary lines on a map. If Obama was the leader of Russia instead of the USA and he was taking Russia back down the path of the Soviet UYnion would not all Americian who believe in indiviual freedom want him to fail. The USA is not the president. The president can fail and many have but the country survives.

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:05 AM

If even conservatives can’t agree on an interpretation, how will the many millions of undecideds we’re trying to persuade?

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:54 AM

You seem a bit panicky. Have you ever noticed how the usual suspects are always trying to create panics? Yours might be the dumbest panic attempt I’ve seen yet.

Buddahpundit on March 8, 2009 at 8:07 AM

2 words – E-G-O and J-E-A-L-O-U-S-Y.

Bizarro No. 1 on March 8, 2009 at 7:27 AM

That is part of it. The net is the latest venue for the obscure to achieve stardom. What many conservative “pundits” don’t realize that Rush is the best there is at deconstructing what liberals are. And in a word they are deranged. Deranged people who are trying to implement dangerous policies need to be exposed for what they are. Many “conservatives” are afraid to speak the truth about it because they have been cowed by political correctness. They want to appear reasonable so that the media will grace them positive attention on the national stage.

Socialists are the cause of more death and misery in the world than conservatism ever was. Liberalism in this country has achieved all it can in it’s present form. It has failed for the most part, yet because they have been successful in implementing some of their ideals, they think they just haven’t focused enough on the right areas to make liberalism the dominant ideology in America. The problem with this is that all they can do is take longer strides into socialism. They have become drunk with the idea that they can make America a better place. They labor under the misconception that human nature can change if only the world will change collectively.

Social ideas isn’t passed on genetically. It has to be learned by each living being. Why is this you might ask? Because social graces are not required to survive. As a matter of fact, social graces are the antithesis to survival.

Why do liberals survive? Because conservatives have created the conditions that allow them to survive. The survival of the fittest mentality is the driving force behind life. Without it, life dies. Liberals enjoy the trappings created by conservatism, but despise it (conservatism) just the same. This creates a paradox that they must make sense of. It cannot create the conditions that allow liberalism to thrive without being the strongest dog in the fight. So in order to ensure liberalism will survive, they have to adopt those behaviors that are incompatible with liberalism. At this point in the evolution of liberalism, even though it loathes “survival of the fittest” as cruel and inhuman, it starts to make use of the survival of the fittest concept. They begin to enforce their liberal views on the rest of society by threats and intimidation. This aggressiveness has to escalate exponentially until all threats are eliminated.

This is how we get the Stalins and Hitlers of the world. Liberals who exploit the natural function of survival of the fittest end up being that which they despise.

This is the definition of “deranged”.

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 8:09 AM

Rush?….Patterico? Rush?….Patterico? Rush?….Patterico?

Hmmm, I’ll take Rush.

Hogeye13 on March 8, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Why are we still on this subject…..geez

dangitt on March 8, 2009 at 8:10 AM

You’re triangulating just like BJ Clinton – tacking a position somewhere between what you see as two extremes.

Agreed. It’s so tiring to see people trying to show how “moderate” they are in this fashion.

I also agree with another commentor here that this post is less about Frum and more to attack Limbaugh.

WTH is it with conservatives having to knock down other prominent conservatives? Don’t liberals and mainstream media do that enough for us? Geeze. It’s not like he wished Obama to die or anything.

Also, is it fair to point out that one of the straw poll quotes actually reads like this:

Patterico, I think it is very clear that Mr. Limbaugh means #2. He is all about overstatement and hyperbole. And being outrageous. He absolutely doesn’t care about much other than ideological purity.

Now there’s an unbiased answer for ya …

eforhan on March 8, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Any of you who are tired of being called on to repudiate what you said because it outrages the perpetually outraged, who really don’t care what it is you meant, are welcome to sign on as outlaws at Protein Wisdom.

Dan Collins on March 8, 2009 at 8:12 AM

I’m saddened by knee-jerk criticism received by anyone who dares question the methodolgy of Grand Poobah. Patterico makes a lot of sense; too bad many will refuse to consider his points.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:34 AM

How do you know exactly what I think of Rush’s methodology w/o directly asking me? The fact is, you don’t know because I haven’t yet given my opinion, although you may arrogantly be convinced that you do know.

You have seen me criticize people on the Right here for criticizing Rush w/o knowing for a fact that it’s “knee-jerk”. And what have I criticized them for? To put it simply as possible, for being pompous themselves as they accuse him of pomposity. I chalk it up to projection. They can’t see/admit that he is smarter than they are and has a better sense of humor than they do because they are blinded by their own personal shortcomings in those areas.

Frum, Patterico, and the like have little interesting to say about Rush. I certainly do see they believe they can run Rush’s life better than he can, which I find laughable and a little scary. People who go on about how Rush could do a better job attracting undecideds if only he would change remind me of Judas getting indignant when Mary covered Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume instead of selling it ‘for the sake of poor’.

Bizarro No. 1 on March 8, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Patterico makes a lot of sense;

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:34 AM

Only for those who suffer from a form of trutherism. Rush is not responsible for the misrepresentation of his comments.

And any housewife who is too stupid to understand what he said is probably watching “The View” on a daily basis anyway.

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Limbaugh says his #1 goal is to build an audience. No one is better at that.
I just wish he would consider persuading undecideds to be his #1 goal.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:59 AM

First they have to start listening but the Obama administration is making a big contribution. Audience was 14M in November and 25M recently. Rush says he did 80% of his 2008 revenue already.

Looks like it’s working.

gh on March 8, 2009 at 8:13 AM

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:05 AM

Great Post!

The intellectual wizards-of-smart on our side will never get it.

John Doe on March 8, 2009 at 8:14 AM

Limbaugh says his #1 goal is to build an audience. No one is better at that.
I just wish he would consider persuading undecideds to be his #1 goal.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:59 AM

I guess you don’t listen to him. His stated number one goal is to use his show to “continue until everyone agrees with me”

Rush has 3 hours a day, whereas the MSM has 24 hours of nothing but hatred for anyone republican or conservative.

Undecideds will hear only one thing from the MSM, Rush is a (fill in your invective here)… They won’t listen to him, and they will not finally understand the differences between conservatism and liberalism.

Until someone in the republican party grows a pair, and can articulate conservative principles, and actually lead, then hold any criticism of Rush. He’s not your elected leader. Let’s hold our elected representatives accountable instead.

rightside on March 8, 2009 at 8:14 AM

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 8:09 AM

agreed and well said

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:16 AM

The Newsweek piece is just Frum’s way of letting Obama know that he’s free for the Wednesday party night.

KelliD on March 8, 2009 at 8:17 AM

If even conservatives can’t agree on an interpretation, how will the many millions of undecideds we’re trying to persuade?

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:54 AM

The people who don’t get it aren’t full on conservatives. They aren’t RINO’s, but they certainly are not dyed in the wool conservatives.

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 8:18 AM

If you guys want single minded Rush adulation, go to Free Republic. I think they are done banning people for supporting Giuliani in the primaries. I’m sure they are happy they got good old John McCain.

Speedwagon82 on March 8, 2009 at 8:19 AM

David Frum = Lame Brain.

btw I heard Mark Levin when he kicked lame bu** up one side of the street and down the other last week when Frum actually came on his show.
Sweet.

rishika on March 8, 2009 at 8:21 AM

What was the premise to writing this post? By now, who cares?

Why do you “conservative” bloggers keep falling for the trap the media place in front of you?

What was this? The passive/aggressive version of Rush posts? Why do we keep having to validate the other sides trumped up fabricated outrage?

Get over it, get over Rush, ignore Frum and please, more insight into things that really matter. All this internal bickering is tired.

geckomon on March 8, 2009 at 8:23 AM

Well, we can certainly keep slapping up Rush, but he’s the only one who says what needs to be said, unlike our elected Republicans.

blatantblue on March 8, 2009 at 8:24 AM

If you guys want single minded Rush adulation, go to Free Republic. I think they are done banning people for supporting Giuliani in the primaries. I’m sure they are happy they got good old John McCain.

Speedwagon82 on March 8, 2009 at 8:19 AM

Is there a conservative website that bashes Obama all the time instead of bashing RUSH, STEELE, PALIN, Jindal and FRED all the time.

I think it is time that ALLah states his political views for all to understand where he is coming from. This insidous bashing of conservative leaders is getting really old. Who is it that Allah really like as head of the rep party. Is Allah a Rino? a liberal rep? Does he just hate the conservative movement to the extent that he will post any and every article that attacks one of our leaders?

In which way does Allah want the republician party to go. Allah is doing the posting of these article. He has a view and thoughts. He is not doing this just to drive hits. He has an agenda. We need to know what these posters Pattrico and Allah truely deep down in their gut believe.

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Patterico – Arm chair quarterback
Stir up a little controversy and make a name for yourself?
Thats who you are.
Amateur.

Amadeus on March 8, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Oh, and if the Republicans who are hating on Rush didn’t abandon their conservatism while in power, we wouldn’t be in the position of wondering who is the head of the movement/party, would we?

So these people can whine whine whine whine whine about Rush all they’d like. It isn’t his fault they screwed up. In fact, he told them they were screwing up all along the way, but they didn’t care. Now, he is saying what needs to be said, our elected children aren’t, and they lambast him.

Our party and movement need some fortitude.

blatantblue on March 8, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Rush’s comments were in contrast to the disgusting chorus of everyone (inc. many Republicans) talking about how much they want to work together with the President and want him to be successful yada yada yada.

I see people wearing Obama “THE 44TH PRESIDENT” hats. I see “HOPE” t-shirts still. I like the contrast Limbaugh created with his direct comment: I hope he fails. I’m sick and tired of seeing the blind/ignorant segment of the population treat him like he is Kim Jong Ill in Korea. The cult of personality with the clothes, stickers, etc is disgusting.

I’m glad Limbaugh said what he did. It was true, it was what all true conservatives were thinking, and it was said in a way that directly contrasted the subservient newsmedia and politicians were saying.

brogers on March 8, 2009 at 8:26 AM

…but when he calls liberals “deranged,” I think he lacks perspective. And when he said “I hope he fails,” I think he sacrificed clarity for controversy.

We can do better.

Then who? And when?

We’re going to be debating this until 2012, whence we field another horrifically lousy candidate and lose again. Then we’ll be fielding another set of “moral victories” as the Democrats walk all over us and get to enforce their diktat with the full force-of-law.

Nature abhors a vacuum, so let’s take conservative leadership where we find it.

gryphon202 on March 8, 2009 at 8:27 AM

In other words, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Well, Mr. Frum, we already have one too many Al Frankens in politics. We don’t need another. Limbaugh’s bulk and private life have bupkis to do with his arguments, and you devalue the debate if you maintain that they are in any way relevant.

Yeah because we never made fun of Michael Moore for being fat……

Speedwagon82 on March 8, 2009 at 8:28 AM

The responses — primarily from conservative readers with no desire to misread Limbaugh’s words — were all over the map:

“It was #1, and no doubt about it.”

“Patterico, I think it is very clear that Mr. Limbaugh means #2″

“#1 obviously.”

“Of course Limbaugh meant #2.”

If conservatives are this confused about Limbaugh’s message, then he didn’t express it clearly enough. And given the visibility of his CPAC speech, and the controversial nature of his remarks, he needed to be clear.

Please review your sampling method and assess if this is a valid test for your hypothesis. Your sample set is the kind who would actually click on an Internet poll. Is this how we define scientific rigor now? Stupid. Just stupid. This is the first time I’ve read a Patterico post and I’m pretty sure I totally wasted my time.

/facepalm

StartinOver on March 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM

Yeah because we never made fun of Michael Moore for being fat……

Speedwagon82 on March 8, 2009 at 8:28 AM

squish

geckomon on March 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM

Patterico is rational and wrong and Frum is an idiot and wrong.

The Press was going to distort, does distort and when distortion doesn’t work they go ahead and fabricate so working to appease the media is foolish.

I hope Obama fails.

PierreLegrand on March 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM

To all reps. Heed you ex-presidents advice in time of war.

You are either with us or against us.

Heed the advice of the commanding general during Katrina to the press.

Get over being stuck on stupid.

Pattirco, Allah, Frum, Brooks etc are stuck on stupid. They are being the 5th column for the MSM and they are too stupid/cowardly/beta males choose your word to understand that. Much like Parker, Buckley, etc they will be coming to us in the next 6 months and saying we were wrong.

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:32 AM

The Press was going to distort, does distort and when distortion doesn’t work they go ahead and fabricate so working to appease the media is foolish.

I hope Obama fails.

PierreLegrand on March 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM

They distort anything.

Trying to get a fair media today is like climbing up a slide covered in baby oil. Never gonna happen

blatantblue on March 8, 2009 at 8:32 AM

I really wasn’t concerned about who did or did not speak for patterico.

Blake on March 8, 2009 at 8:33 AM

All this internal bickering is tired.

geckomon on March 8, 2009 at 8:23 AM

You assume everyone here is an accomplished conservative. There are many misguided folks who THINK they have achieved all conservatism has to offer, but in reality are babes in the woods. It is when they have reached the limit of their understanding that they start making comments like Patterico just did. Those people wont survive in conservatism if they don’t adapt. Our challenge is to help them continue down the path without letting them take over the movement with their “I give up” attitudes.

This is why we vigorously defend what Rush said, condemn what the media is doing, and call those who don’t “get it” to repentance. Rush is right, the media is deranged, and conservatives who don’t see that are misguided.

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 8:33 AM

We can do better. Rush Limbaugh does not speak for me.

Off with his head!!!! lol

The Dean on March 8, 2009 at 8:34 AM

This is the first time I’ve read a Patterico post and I’m pretty sure I totally wasted my time.

/facepalm

StartinOver on March 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM

I really wasn’t concerned about who did or did not speak for patterico.

Blake on March 8, 2009 at 8:33 AM

+100

OmahaConservative on March 8, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Brilliant reply geckomon. I’m just trying not to be a hypocrite.

I do think libs rely on Rush’s personal characteristics in whining about him more than conservatives rely on personal characteristics of Helen Thomas, Michael Moore etc. But we still use them.

Speedwagon82 on March 8, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Dr. Jerry Pournelle labeled him as “the egregious Frum” around 10 years ago. And Dr. Pournelle is right.

Instead of abusing Goldstein, Allahpundit, Patterico, or whoever, I think we need to concentrate on abusing those who actually deserve it. Like Frum.

Or the Obama administration, ‘ya think?

jefferson101 on March 8, 2009 at 8:37 AM

“concession to the liberal cocktail set”
Exactly. The poor guy has to have a career and he swims in a liberal sea. Of course he will jettison his principles and those that cling to them.

RobCon on March 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM

If conservatives are this confused about Limbaugh’s message, then he didn’t express it clearly enough.

You had time to think about how to get yourself out of the mess you created and this post and a word game on your own post is the best you could do? Conservatives who aren’t embarrassed to be conservatives or afraid of the left know exactly what Rush said and what he meant. I bet Rush, a normal middle American who has become wildly successful due to his ability to communicate, appreciates you and frum telling him how to speak. I bet you and frum were among those, including ed morrissey, who threw Michelle Bachmann under the bus last fall when the left played the exact game they are playing now with Rush. The reason the republicans are losing, and will continue to lose, is because they have the same terrified mindset that you do, “Be careful what you say! They will make us the bad guys!” As long as the republicans and psuedo conservative pundits keep trying to play the orwellian game the left have mastered, there is no hope for this country. The left knows it. The only effective way to fight these manufactured scandals is to put it right back in the face of the left and the media. The republicans keep losing because they allow themselves to always be on the defensive about imaginary scandals. barney frank and chris dodd possibly committed felonies in their raping of our banking system and you idiots are talking about what Rush should or should not have said have said. They are beginning “truth” commissions in congress to further distract the country while they dismantle our freedoms one by one. They will pass card check this week, and the unions will make an immediate and massive push to control every industry they can, doing to all and the country what they have done to detroit and michigan. They are looking into silencing Rush and others forever with the fairness doctrine or some other monstrosity that is a direct affront to the constitution and you guys are talking aabout this crap. Listen, your mom had to tell you you were smart, all moms do that. It doesn’t mean that it’s true.

peacenprosperity on March 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Instead of abusing Goldstein, Allahpundit, Patterico, or whoever, I think we need to concentrate on abusing those who actually deserve it. Like Frum.

Or the Obama administration, ‘ya think?

jefferson101 on March 8, 2009 at 8:37 AM

When you deal with a drunk the first thing you have to stop is those that enable him to continue to be a drunk

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM

We are in a depression folks and they want us to fight over Rush. DISTRACTION

RobCon on March 8, 2009 at 8:39 AM

We can do better. Rush Limbaugh does not speak for me. And neither does David Frum.

Well, thanks for sharing. I was on pins and needles.

Spirit of 1776 on March 8, 2009 at 8:41 AM

Instead of abusing Goldstein, Allahpundit, Patterico, or whoever, I think we need to concentrate on abusing those who actually deserve it. Like Frum.

jefferson101 on March 8, 2009 at 8:37 AM

Abuse?! It’s abuse to point out that Patterico just surrendered to liberal PC?!

JESUS! Is it any wonder we got stuck with McShamnesty?

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 8:41 AM

So you know his motives?
Maybe, just maybe he wrote this because he believes it.
Patterico makes sense to me. But I’m just an oddball.

jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:57 AM

Humorously speaking, does this mean that you, Patrick, and Allah are now officially Oddballs? We all have our peculiar ways of criticizing and characterizing how our govenment works, (and in Obama’s case, how it doesn’t), how the media distorts/fabricates simple dialogue or commentary, and most importantly, how to decipher most “political leaders” double-speek/true intentions. Patterico has admirably made it “an art” of taking the LA Times to task over their distortions and outright lies with his straight-forward prosecutor style, and IMHO, this hardly makes him an oddball. Funny that Rush’s simple comment about a certain oddball here at Hot Air has gotten enough attention to get conservative bloggers off their duffs to talk about the critical issues that effect us all. I fail to find anything odd about this course of action.

Thanks Rush—mission accomplished!

Rovin on March 8, 2009 at 8:42 AM

peacenprosperity on March 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Well said. It is like we are shooting our genrals as the enemy forces advance to our lines of defense. Insanity does not begin to describe what the Rino’s are doing to our party.

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Using the word “deranged” to describe liberals as a whole is just silly.

Now this is where I have to disagree….

duffyanneal on March 8, 2009 at 8:42 AM

@ jgapinoy on March 8, 2009 at 7:38 AM

All true, though I think Rush’s popularity (#4) is based to a considerable extent on his insults (#3). Not slamming him for this, by any means; it adds spice to the show, and it’s part of the entertainment value.

Pavel on March 8, 2009 at 8:43 AM

David Frum Does Not Speak for Me Any More Than Rush Limbaugh Does

Patterico Does Not Speak for Me Any More Than Allah Does

I figured since you felt the need to tell me, I feel the need for revelation. I know you have never proclaimed to be my spokesperson, but hey, neither have Limbaugh or Frum claim to be yours.

geckomon on March 8, 2009 at 8:44 AM

The republicans keep losing because they allow themselves to always be on the defensive about imaginary scandals.

Whimps to the right.

They are beginning “truth” commissions in congress to further distract the country while they dismantle our freedoms one by one.

peacenprosperity on March 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Crazies to the left.

This country is ripe for a takeover.

csdeven on March 8, 2009 at 8:45 AM

The USA is not the president. The president can fail and many have but the country survives.

unseen on March 8, 2009 at 8:05 AM

Exactly.

The slimy Left made this election about Obama, not Rush. The events we are witnessing is what happens when politics is about the man (or the woman), and not the ideology.

The pathetic thing is how the liberal elitists are hiding behind a black man to invoke their radical policies, while they pretend to be “moderate”. This is the most reprehensible form of racism perpetrated upon blacks since they were legally considered property.

When this fails, they will act in such a way as to be seen as the father coming to rescue the child from playing with fire.

Disgusting.

Saltysam on March 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM

We’re going to be debating this until 2012, whence we field another horrifically lousy candidate and lose again.
gryphon202 on March 8, 2009 at 8:27 AM

I’m thinking we need to keep our eye on the ball. 2010 elections are incredibly important. The One has approval ratings no higher than any new president, and slowly declining. Dissaproval ratings are up 10+%. Congressional approval is still 30%ish. If the trend continues as I think it will, Its entirely possible to regain control of congress, and highly probable to at least get control of cloture.

The further we get from Republicans = Bush, the better we will do. A lot can/will happen between now and 2012.

swede7 on March 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM

I really wasn’t concerned about who did or did not speak for patterico.

Blake on March 8, 2009 at 8:33 AM

That was the point of my previous post, at the tale end of this made for TV controversy, Patterico throws his name in the mix as one daring enough to challenge the almighty Rushbo and now the much maligned Frum, in an effort to boost his little image and hobby.

Amadeus on March 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM