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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Neocon discouraged that Tea Partiers not so interested in Palin's warmongering

David Frum considers his next sock puppet
(Mondoweiss) -- by Scott McConnell --

"Interesting — no applause for sanctions on Iran. No applause for Palin’s speculations that democracies keep the peace." –David Frum, YouTube blogging Sarah Palin’s speech to the Tea Party convention in Tennessee.

Who better than David Frum to discern whether a Middle American political movement can be captured by the neocons and used to expand the war against the Muslim Middle East? Because let’s be honest: no neoconservative is likely to actually know someone who participates in these events. One can just imagine the emails buzzing from AEI to the Saban Center to Mort Zuckerman. On Sarah Palin. Will they follow her? “The good news, she knows to wear an Israel pin on her lapel. The bad news, well. . . that we all know.” (Even Jennifer Rubin of Commentary is not optimistic.)

David Frum knows this game well. He knows the limits of influence—he now believes he was too optimistic about George W. Bush as a “war president”. Yes, Bush could read that phrase about the “axis of evil” if you could get it into a big speech (which wasn’t that hard, if you knew what you were doing) but did Bush really understand the implications? Would he follow through? On the one hand, he did start a war against a country that had nothing to do with 9-11. On the other hand, he wouldn’t repeat the performance, against Iran.

Now Palin, she may be easier to shape than Bush. No father in the way, no Scowcroft types interfering with those troubling personal letters. Still, I’d mark Frum as a pessimist on the Palin issue. He clearly knows she is an idiot. He missed that cruise up to Alaska, where Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes and the guys met her, and talked her up so she got on the ticket, and set her up with McCain’s foreign policy guy. And not to point fingers or anything, but he’s not going through any sort of mid-life crisis over her...

Moreover, the movement she’s supposed to lead doesn’t seem that into neoconservative issues. Of course they don’t think terrorist suspects should be given Miranda warnings, but who does, really? What about the important stuff. Like the parts in Palin’s speech where, Frum notes, “the foreign policy sections bear some impress of somebody who knew something of what he or she was taking about.” They fell flat in Nashville. “The applause seemed to falter.” The hall was silent for the bit about Iran sanctions. Silent for that boilerplate line about democracies. No exclamations when she talked about Israel as our critical ally.

Bottom line: Frum et al. will do better with Christian Zionists than with Tea Partyers. Got to get an invitation out to Huckabee to meet with some important people, knowledgeable about fund-raising...LINK

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