Frum Admits He's Not Conservative, Calls For Replacement
David Frum, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, has become known in recent years less for what he's contributed to conservatism and more for his falling away from right-of-center thinking. It was not that long ago that he wrote conservatives who opposed the Iraq War out of the movement, rather memorably headlined "Unpatriotic Conservatives."
But when other people started wondering whether he was accurately called a conservative, he didn't take it so well.
At first. He claimed he lost his salary from right-of-center think tank as part of an ideological purge.
I'm not entirely sure that it was Frum's politics that hurt the relationship, so much as his lack of output. Still, it was somewhat sad that the purger had become the purged.
But in an interesting turn of events, Frum did quite an honorable thing and voluntarily resigned his position as the "conservative" on Marketplace, the American Public Media radio show that discusses business and economics. He'd long been the "conservative" counterpoint to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.
Well, whereas Reich is a solid liberal -- and then some -- Frum fits the media template of a conservative. Meaning, he's not that conservative. Even as a media critic, I don't bother fighting this common situation -- where two moderates represent conservatives and two liberals represent liberals and it's called a balanced roundtable.
Frum conceded this week, though, that he is "not very representative of the conservative mainstream" on "the issues that today most passionately divide Americans." "I can't deny that there is something false about the situation," he wrote, adding that conservatives are "entitled to hear somebody articulate that view as well as it can be articulated."
And he stepped down.
I admire this move immensely, even if I wonder how out-of-touch the management at Marketplace must be to have to be told by the guy they're paying that he's not the right guy for the job.
But this leaves an opening. Who do you think should replace Frum? I'll add my nomination below.