Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Message Good, Messenger Maybe Not So Much.

I don't much like David Frum, who had served as speechwriter for GW Bush but has clearly evolved from that kind of politics into I'm not sure what, perhaps a certain sort of self-critical post-conservativism, assuming conservatives can be self-critical, just like liberals.

Nor do I agree with everything Frum says in this otherwise very stand-up piece.

For example, in contrasting Trump with Bush Frum writes:

Even where the politician did not intentionally lie, as George W. Bush did not intentionally lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, important statements exposed as damagingly untrue inflict untold political damage.

This is by way of Frum arguing that Bush made mistakes in re Iraq whereas Trump starts with zero respect for any difference between truth and fiction, and no taste for it. A liar, in short, knows there is such a thing as truth. A bullshit artist of Trump's stripe doesn't.

I think in the case of Bush and Iraq Bush was more a liar than Frum, who was working for him,  allows. Bush wanted, lusted for that war, no matter what untruths had to be deployed to get it. And the execution of that war suffered from and was doomed by the same fantasies that had engendered it.

Still, Frum's calling Trump out, not just in the name of conservatism but on behalf of United States history, including history of the presidency, is smart and welcome.

I hope it has due influences.

Moving on, the more I hear from Sanders the less I like him, the less I think of him not as the principled and idealist alternative to Clinton I wanted him to be but as a bygone blowhard.

To put it bluntly, I hope he gets creamed in California.


Because California Gov. Jerry Brown, who shares many of the Sanders ideals, endorses Clinton.

In effect, Brown is saying ideals good, messenger bad.

This take on Sanders as a messed up messenger of high ideals is furthered by Sanders promoting Cornell West to the Democratic platform committee to come up with the plank on Israel and Palestine.

No, look, I like Brother West as much as you do, but I didn't really dig his pissing contest with fellow black intellectual Michael Eric Dyson, over, among other things, access to the Obama White House.

Nor could I stand Brother West's attempted uncle Tomming of President Obama.

Bernie, Burlington, not the White House, is the place for you. Sooner you get that, the better you'll be.

Better we'll all be.

Message good.

Messenger loud but tired.

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