Will David Frum and Ross Douthat follow Pat Robertson's lead?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The tele-evangelist told U.S. World and News Report that it was wrong for Rush Limbaugh to announce that he hoped Obama fails:

That was a terrible thing to say. I mean, he's the president of all the country. If he succeeds, the country succeeds. And if he doesn't, it hurts us all. Anybody who would pull against our president is not exactly thinking rationally.

But who else on the right will step forward and take on Limbaugh and the purposeful dumbing down being done by the Republican Noise Machine? I mention conservative writers Frum and Douthat because they both posted laments this week about the state of the GOP and what they say passes as the sorry attempt at public policy and public debate.

Wrote Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, after reviewing the GOP talking points during the stimulus 'debate'":

Could we possibly act more inadequate to the challenge? More futile? More brain dead?

Added conservative blogger Douthat:

I spent a lot of time during the election just past issuing complaints roughly like this one about the McCain campaign, and the GOP more generally. I've issued fewer over the last few weeks - partially out of exhaustion with the topic, and partially out of a sense that there's nobody to issue them to.

There's no real leadership on the right, according to Douthat, and Republicans at a time of national crisis are focused on pointless trivia, complained Frum. Together, the combination is producing insipidness, they seemed to agree.

But look at who Frum and Douthat don't blame. They don't blame the Republican Noise Machine. Conservatives helped build the media attack machine, and now its running the GOP--it now functions as the public voice of the Republican Party--but even GOP critics like Frum and Douthat are reluctant to blame Noise Machine stalwarts for doing damage to the conservative movement. (Frum though, does at least mention Glenn Beck and Limbaugh in his lament.)

I realize conservatives aren't likely to take my advice, but I'll offer it anyway: Until the rampant stupidity that defines the Republican Noise Machine is called out by GOP insiders like Frum and Douthat, the conservative movement--in the absence of any real political leadership--will continue to be defined by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Matt Drudge.

Good luck with that.

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