The conservative stalwart takes measure of the current administration and finds it sadly wanting—and dangerous, and immoral, and….
Atlantic senior editor Frum (Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, 2007, etc.) finds the Trump White House pointed evidence of declining faith in democracy. However, the thing to worry about, he writes, “is not the bold overthrow of the Constitution, but the stealthy paralysis of governance” and complete disregard for the “rules of the game” on which constitutional democracy is founded. Clearly, the author holds Trump in contempt; just as plainly, he gives Trump credit for the political cunning that enabled him to leverage such things as the birther hoax to capture a sizable segment of an embittered, angry populace. What bothers Frum is less the specter of a buffoonish bully than the acquiescence of the Republican Party. He writes, “the most radical attack on American norms of governance in his first year was attempted not by Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Anthony Scaramucci, or any other late-night demon figure, but by the regular Republicans of the House and Senate.” The author goes on to reckon with a host of factors that led to the current debacle, from racial tension and economic insecurity to the self-interested demands of baby boomers and the unholy wedding of the institutional GOP to a president who is, by all evidence, creating a third party. Against all this, refreshingly, Frum finds hope that the Trump administration will be remembered “as the end of something bad, and not the beginning of something worse.” In support of this qualified optimism, he notes that even as Trump continues to occupy the White House, other bullies and abusers have toppled, while the left has come to have a newfound appreciation of national security and elements of the right are accepting that government can, in fact, be a force for good.
Evenhanded, ideologically consistent, and guaranteed to generate a slew of angry tweets should a copy land at the White House.