The Party of Turdblossom
Well well…it seems the season of the long knives continues. Yesterday, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) President Arthur Brooks unceremoniously dumped David Frum, the neo-con best known for having coined Bush’s ‘axis of evil’ nonsense, for having had the temerity to suggest that nasty Republican demagogue Jim Demint got things slightly backwards when he suggested that Republicans could use the healthcare debate to engineer Obama’s “Waterloo”. In a typical slip-the-knife-gently-between-the-ribs maneuver, Brooks suggested that Frum “transition” from his reported $100k/yr “Scholar” role to being one of those guys who gets tossed the occasional scrap if something he throws over the transom happens to seem tasty. The word is that some substantial group of the AEI’s donors slapped Brooks around with their checkbooks, and his reflex was to kick the dog.
So…inside baseball, you say? Why should I care if one typically obnoxious ex-Bush/Cheney flak gets what most of us clear-eyed folks see as a little karmic straightening? One less hack to pollute the conversation, right? Well, not exactly. Frum is no patsy (Scott McClellan) or turncoat (Paul O’Neill). Nor has he ever had a reputation of being a political opportunist (Arlen Specter), nor a Narcissistic mandarin too blinded by his own bullshit to recognize his heinously toxic fuck-ups (Donald Rumsfeld). Frum is and has always been a true believer, and a party loyalist. For a political party that has always been absolutely loyal to the principle of taking care of its own – if nothing else—this is the stuff of “ol’ yeller.”
The AEI has always served as something of a soft-landing zone for The Faithful when they find themselves between gigs. And relative to those kinds of gigs, Frum’s AEI ‘scholar’ position was in no way noteworthy– an entirely conventional, business-as-usual place for him to stay relevant while waiting for the next opportunity to be a henchman. Think of it as the Republican Party’s Triple A league…a means of keeping the bench deep (can you tell yours’ truly is getting amped for opening day? ).. In baseball, one of the early signs of desperation is when managers start eating into their minor-league teams to try to save a season (Anyone remember Craig Hansen…? No? Exactly!). The equivalent move in politics is when you start sacrificing stalwarts for criticizing the flavor-of-the-moment.
So, what was ol’ Dave’s big crime? He had the temerity to point out that the Emperor (well-represented in this little drama by the dickweeds who stood on the balcony of the House of Representatives inciting the mob) might actually be a little bare-assed with his comment that every once in a while obstructionism backfires. Oh! The horror!
Frum’s sudden transition from reliable water-carrier to apostate is yet another sign that the gums of the Republican Party are slowly receding, leaving once-protected roots exposed and causing otherwise healthy teeth to be ejected. (Picture a hillbilly whose brief flirtation with dental hygiene fizzled in a fog of cheap beer and Glenn Beck repeats. Nice imagery, eh? Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.)
Take heart, mes frères et soeurs! The a-hole wing of the Republican Party may be filling the air with stench and a fine mist of pus today, but, like any mindless virus, they’re devouring the host. I say we let the fever rage. That much easier to kick it in the head come November.