Epistemic Closure Watch

I'm not sure I could name a single policy question on which David Frum has seriously changed his mind in the last few years. He's still in favor of the Bush concept of the war on terror, he's still a neocon in foreign policy, he wants the right to prosper, he likes small government and individual liberty and balanced budgets. He voted for McCain. He has not had the Iraq epiphany I have had, along with a re-think of America's global reach. He has not been as radical a critic of the Christianist forces within "conservatism" as I have; and he's no real libertarian. But he is not allowed to be a part of the conservative hive of blogads, cutting him off from some of the financial support that could actually stimulate a debate on the right (if the right-wing blogosphere were in any way interested in a debate about anything).

Yes, David has questioned the rigidly closed minds and abstract extremism of the Tea Party tendency. He is appalled that any serious political movement could actually regard Sarah Palin as a potential president. And he has criticized the GOP tactics of total obstructionism - because he thinks it will enable liberalism. That's it, so far as I can see. A career of thinking and writing on the right, a time in the Bush White House, the man who wrote one of the more embarrassing hagiographies of Bush, is no longer a conservative. Because he will not obey the dictates of the fringe crackpots, he is to be punished. Go read John Hawkins' post defending the purge mentality, exposing the core truth of what I wrote the other day:

For the current right, "liberal" simply means "the other side." Since their side is defined in almost suffocatingly orthodox terms, any critic of any aspect of today's Palinite conservatism is a "liberal."

And they punish the dissenters not just by criticism, but by organized financial pressure. I told you it would get worse before it gets better.