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Trish Wood Headshot

Hey, Mrs. Frum -- It's a Long Way Down

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I bet you think David Frum's devoted Republican wife would be doing her spouse a solid by closing her MacBook and stepping away from the keyboard. Danielle Crittenden's shameless attempt to re-brand her Iraq-War-hawk husband as warm and fuzzy is as transparent as the beleaguered Richard Nixon's desperate invocation of Checkers, his children's black and white pup. Not once. Not twice. But four times we learn that the Frums are dog owners! They have three dogs!

Mrs. F. has taken a stand here for poor David who it seems is being cut loose by his Republican benefactors. This week, he jumped or was pushed from AEI -- the so-called "think tank" that paid certain neocons to "think" America into Iraq. Richard Perle, John Woo, Paul Wolfowitz and yes, David Frum: what a roster of foreign policy geniuses. Does Danielle really think his reputation can be rehabilitated? That taking a few easy shots at the GOP's lunatic fringe and its audiovisual department at Fox "news" makes him a thoughtful moderate?

David's pithy, nonsensical offerings, including the marquee-value "axis of evil" provided Roger Ailes and his androidal half-wits along with the rest of the mainstream media just enough snake oil to lure a frightened, post-911 nation into the Middle East sinkhole. Those who got Iraq right and warned of a quagmire were shouted down by the Bush/Cheney enablers, including David Frum.

Interesting that he didn't ramp up criticism of his party's gun waving, democracy hating, faction until after it failed to stop President Obama's health care package. But what if the lunatic strategy had worked? Exactly when did David see the light? Didn't he support the candidacy of John McCain - the man responsible for giving Sarah Palin and her paranoid fantasies a very loud megaphone? Why didn't he speak out before? He had concerns about Palin's vapidity during the campaign but brushed them off by suggesting: "she'll learn". What if McCain had won and Palin was actually the VPOTUS now? (Imagine it: secret service code-name MOOSE).

Despite these discrepancies Crittenden wants us to believe her husband is just speaking out, "no matter what the consequences to him" for the "ideas" he believes in. How brave. Just what consequences is David suffering for enabling the Iraq war? Is he at least going to admit he was wrong? Is he sorry?

Perhaps as a "consequence" he could donate the royalties from "An End to Evil" to Veterans for Common Sense. Maybe the money from "The Right Man", Frum's homage to George W. Bush should be put in trust for military families who need it. My friend, photographer Nina Berman could point him in the right direction.

Mrs F. writes that she and her hubby are part of the "conservative movement" - a benign little description that evokes soft, sepia memories of Ronald Reagan. Reading Crittenden's post, it's as if the last eight years never happened. Her breezy, we-are-all-friends-here tone just can't paper-over the thousands of on-going human tragedies caused by the "thinking" and "ideas" of her husband and his former colleagues. Major cognitive dissonance.

"Put down your pitchforks," she pleads. What a bizarre choice of words from a woman who maintains she is a defender of civil debate. Wasn't the pitchfork the only tool available to peasants who needed to defend themselves? Just asking.

Mahatma Gandhi warned against "politics without principle" and he might say that Frum and his fellow Iraq War propagandists have a lot to answer for. But I'm not holding my breath they would even hear the message. I'm sure to the macho folks still at AEI, including the bellicose John Bolton - Gandhi was a wimp.

As for David and Danielle - good work keeping this controversy alive! It can only ensure a healthy advance for David's next book. Has he been on the phone to his agent yet? Maybe David Frum's next chapter will include a 12-step, foreign policy intervention and rehab somewhere? That would sell.