David Frum v. The Washington Times
What does Mr. Frum propose we do about this mess? Apparently, like the major media that largely provided him with the secondary material for this book, he wants Mr. Trump to depart, period. After which, he suggests, there might be reconciliation councils set up, as was done in Bishop Tutu’s South Africa. Perhaps, before we unseat the tyrant and purge all the legislators of his party, we might ask for something a bit more substantial. But enough. As Mr. Frum writes, “Every book is a journey, and the wise reader will examine the credentials of the guide.” Precisely. And if those credentials are suspect, perhaps we’re allowed to get off before the end of the journey — or not get on in the first place.
—John R. Coyne Jr., Washington Times, Jan. 31, 2018.
David Frum has usually been at or near the front of the pundit pack with a succession of articles in The Atlantic, where he is a senior editor. Most commentators are dyed-in-the-wool liberals who exhausted the language of fulmination during George W. Bush’s presidency. Frum worked for Bush and even had a hand in writing his “axis of evil” speech. Most commentators regard conservative America as an alien land inhabited by monsters. Frum has been writing sharp but sympathetic books on that land since his first, “Dead Right,” on the weaknesses of Reaganism, in 1994. The central theme in Frum’s excellent new book, “Trumpocracy,” which draws on his Atlantic articles, is what Trump’s career tells us about the deeper structural problems of America in general, and conservative America in particular.
–Adrian Woolridge, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2018.