I was reminded of that little incident on reading this piece by Stanley Kurtz at NRO. In the article, Kurtz draws attention to the efforts of William Galston and David Frum to establish a new organization called “No Labels”, the purpose of which, ostensibly, is to fight the “’hyper-polarization’ of American political debate.”
On the surface, it sounded as if No Labels was going to be merely another exercise in centrist blather, the kind of “no plague on anybody’s house”, middle-of-the-road applesauce one has come to expect from opinion mongers whose logical faculties prevent them from swallowing all of the basic assumptions of Democratic Party utopianism, but whose educational and professional backgrounds make them personally uncomfortable with populist conservatives – in short, a kind of punditry analagous to the generic beer that gave me a such a chuckle back when. But not so. As Kurtz demonstrates, through recounting an earlier episode in which Frum tried to torpedo even the idea of discussing Obama’s radicalism by attacking Kurtz’s book, Radical-in-Chief, before it was published, Frum is not so much interested in maintaining standards of civil debate as he is in arrogating to himself the right to determine the parameters of the debate, itself - and in such a way as to reinforce the insidious encroachments on our liberties of a “progressive” agenda by denying us even the right to call it by its correct name. This is not generic, “no labels” centrism, but leftist arsenic in a conservative aspirin bottle.
Permit me to suggest that the setting up of oneself as a modern-day Solomon is an awesome undertaking, and even if such a thing were possible (or desirable), it is obvious that Frum is not the man for the job. No, Frum is more like the young Joseph, son of Jacob, who keeps dreaming that his brother pundits will one day bow down to him. Well, Dave, as the saying goes, dream on.
Update - Larry Sheldon in the comments:
In Palo Alto, across from the California Avenue train station there was a store that specialized in the black-on-white generic products (competed with the been-there-for-years Co-Op up the street I suppose.Larry's given me a great idea: I think I'll just change the name of this thing to "Blog".
Anyway--most days, there was a delivery truck, painted white with [drum roll please] in black block letters "TRUCK".
Now days I suppose those product say "Great Value" on them, and the trucks say "WAL*MART"