Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bettering The Instruction

If you need something for your workout, you could do worse than watch this 50 minute debate between David Frum and Gershom Gorenberg. There is something slightly pathetic, hence irresistible, about an American neoconservative, clinging to the militant simplifications that got him so far, so fast, and seeing in his eyes the vague recognition that his formulations have been dangerously hollow. But the real point of watching is Gershom's deft use of Frum's stabs to instruct him, and us, on complexities Frum can barely fathom. I once knew Frum--before he chose to become notorious--and thought him smart and decent. Now his wishful thinking seems somewhere in the league of Sydney Webb. And if you are asking, Who is Sydney Webb?, you are getting a piece of my point.