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Bloggingheads
04-22-2008, 03:52 PM

ohcomeon
04-22-2008, 05:32 PM
And let the hysteria begin... David Thomson you should obviously go first.

bjkeefe
04-22-2008, 05:37 PM
ohc:

I don't know how hysterical this is in the sense that you invited, but I thought it was hysterically funny to hear David Frum talking about how he's a big believer in people being forgiven for past errors in judgment.

David Thomson
04-22-2008, 05:37 PM
Richard Nixon's number one problem during the Watergate scandal was the fact he was a Republican. A Democrat president would have been allowed to throw a few fall guys to the wolves---and everything would have gone back to normal. I highly recommend reading Victor Lasky's It Didn't Start With Watergate.

Joseph Schumpeter long ago warned that the sons and daughters of yesterday's business class might tend toward anti-capitalist doctrines. They simply take their affluence for granted. Also, far too many embrace the dishonest pacifism of the elites. These people live very safe lives. Rarely are they victims of violence. This allows them to delude themselves that the world is a relatively safe place. They can conveniently ignore the harsh reality that our lives are relatively secure because brave police officers and military personnel put their lives on the line on our behalf.

bjk
04-22-2008, 05:39 PM
Frum keeps predicting the end of the conservative coalition, and yet there's a much simpler explanation for Republican losses in 2004 and 2006: the war. The voters are not drifting away from the old Reagan conservatism, they're repudiating the neocon foreign policy. If Frum wants to identify the cause of Republican losses, he might start with the Axis of Evil speech.

bjkeefe
04-22-2008, 05:39 PM
David:

Richard Nixon's number one problem during the Watergate scandal was the fact he was a Republican. A Democrat president would have been allowed to throw a few fall guys to the wolves---and everything would have gone back to normal.

How, then, do you account for the hysteria engendered by the Republicans regarding Clinton's blow job?

Wonderment
04-22-2008, 05:39 PM
Where's Barry?

bjkeefe
04-22-2008, 05:43 PM
bjk:

I agree that the war was a factor, but don't you think economic issues are at play, too? As well as civil liberty considerations from libertarians?

bjkeefe
04-22-2008, 05:44 PM
Wonderment:

No baiting. Prefer positive reinforcement.

ohcomeon
04-22-2008, 05:50 PM
Keep em coming, David. I have my drink. Entertain me.

ohcomeon
04-22-2008, 06:03 PM
At this point I want to state that Julie Nixon Eisenhower is now an Obama supporter. What can that possibly mean?

Bobby G
04-22-2008, 06:03 PM
I doubt civil liberties are much of a concern. I think most voters, Republican and Democrat, either aren't worried about war-on-terror-based encroachments on civil liberties (because they aren't personally affected), or think that most of the people affected by them deserve to be affected by them. And those voters who are worried generally wouldn't vote for a Republican anyway (except for the handful of libertarians).

bjk
04-22-2008, 06:28 PM
You really have to be brazen, after being a proponent of the disaster in Iraq, to then turn around and give Republicans electoral advice. It's like sinking the boat and then offering swimming lessons. Thanks, David. I think the Republicans can do just fine without your help.

ohcomeon
04-22-2008, 06:44 PM
My favorite part is where he keeps asking if the liberals have learned any lessons. I, for one, have learned we must fight like hell to keep our government out of these people's hands.

osmium
04-22-2008, 07:01 PM
that made me laugh.

breadcrust
04-22-2008, 07:07 PM
David Thomson,

You're wrong if you think that only (D) prez's get away with throwing a few fall-guys to the wolves for their mis-deeds. Neither Reagan nor Bush 41 suffered much for Iran-Contra even though Reagan's excuses concerning Iran-Contra were hilarious, obvious lies. And many in his admin. were tried and convicted (and maybe hired later by Bush 43.)

You should ask G. Gordon Liddy (proponent of 43's package) about who was actually thrown to the wolves.

popcorn_karate
04-22-2008, 07:59 PM
Rick Perlstein was great!

Frum usually gets away with rearranging and whitewashing history on BHtv. I think, because he sounds so sure of his "facts" that people doubt their understanding of history. It was nice to see Perlstein call him out on some of his... revisionism ( i don't think he lies, exactly, just gerrymanders the facts to fit his views)

ohcomeon
04-22-2008, 08:20 PM
Good point. I enjoyed each time Perlstein asked him to provide some specifics on an allegation. None were forthcoming.

bkjazfan
04-22-2008, 10:54 PM
Was Frum even living in the U.S when the riots occurred in the 60's? I seriously doubt it after hearing his remarks about that period. Having lived in Los Angeles then and later being a federal troop called into quell the riots he is all wet on his history.

The republicans are in the swamp politically and I don't think the dems have much to worry come November. Bush has turned out to be a major disappointment. On the other side of the ledger, the Pelosi/Reid Congress is nothing to shout so far.

John

nojp
04-23-2008, 12:41 AM
It seems David came to a Diavlog with a phone.

perlstein: only Nixon had a general Haag telling the military not to obey his orders.

Frum: uh uh yea but.....


as the kids are fond of saying nowadays, frum got OWNED!





again

TwinSwords
04-23-2008, 02:16 AM
Rick Perlstein was great!

Agreed! He is extremely impressive. I loved it when he very simply replied, "no he didn't (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10391?in=00:19:40&out=00:20:04)" to Frum's charge that LBJ had broken into RNC HQ. He was polite, but he wasn't going to let that kind of falsehood slip through.

I hope he comes back often. Hats off to Frum for leaving the echo chamber and subjecting his narrative to challenge.

pod2
04-23-2008, 10:52 PM
Any response to the notion that Nixon was the last of the liberal presidents? Is there any substantive way of denying this? (note: this is not sarcastic)

jstrummer
04-24-2008, 01:09 PM
So I read Before the Storm, and let me say I'm a big fan of Barry Goldwater. So I was skeptical that a writer for the Nation could be fair. Well, Before the Storm is my favorite book about the 1960s. It was fantastic. Fair, judicious, and so well written.

As far as Frum goes, who pays this guy? To quote Rumsfeld back at him: "He doesn't know what he doesn't know" which would be ok, if he weren't such a preening fool.

Perlstein just schools him. Frum should read a book or something.

whalleywhat
04-25-2008, 12:42 PM
Frum sounds very knowing when he says Liberals/Progressives are going to have a lot of surprises in store. I wonder if he knows some particulars of how the economy is going to be made to scream.

r108dos
04-29-2008, 02:49 AM
Talked to Frum in San Francisco today at a book signing. My girlfriend suggested he got an ass-whipping from Perlstein on BHtv. David's comment was that he was left speechless when he heard that Nixon wanted to use the military to over throw the government! Great Diavlog, thanks.

Pam94707
04-29-2008, 03:37 PM
r108dos is in so much trouble when he gets home! I'm the girlfriend (libertarian/conservative) who brought him (a progressive/liberal) to the Frum book signing in San Francisco. r108dos misstated my case. I thought Perlstein won only a TKO. Basically David seemed slow on his feet because as nojp points out, he was using a quaint phone.

That said, I think it is great that progressives like Perlstein are seriously examining the political reformation this country experienced during the last 30 years. Maybe they'll learn something about how to listen to their fellow Americans and stop treating us as proles. Barrack Obama certainly could benefit from reading Perlstein on Goldwater.

TwinSwords
04-29-2008, 03:38 PM
Talked to Frum in San Francisco today at a book signing. My girlfriend suggested he got an ass-whipping from Perlstein on BHtv. David's comment was that he was left speechless when he heard that Nixon wanted to use the military to over throw the government! Great Diavlog, thanks.

Three cheers for your girlfriend!

TwinSwords
04-29-2008, 03:40 PM
David seemed slow on his feet because as nojp points out, he was using a quaint phone.

LOL, good one! Fifty points for originality.

graz
04-29-2008, 03:59 PM
r108dos is in so much trouble when he gets home! I'm the girlfriend (libertarian/conservative) who brought him (a progressive/liberal) to the Frum book signing in San Francisco. r108dos misstated my case. I thought Perlstein won only a TKO. Basically David seemed slow on his feet because as nojp points out, he was using a quaint phone.

That said, I think it is great that progressives like Perlstein are seriously examining the political reformation this country experienced during the last 30 years. Maybe they'll learn something about how to listen to their fellow Americans and stop treating us as proles. Barrack Obama certainly could benefit from reading Perlstein on Goldwater.

Well it seems to be the case that Obama has called for an acceptance of good ideas regardless of their pedigree. His nods to Reagan and Bush the elder have raised some eyebrows on r108dos side. Happy to know that opposing political sentiments can share space in SF.
Kidding aside, Frum's logic isn't ill served by an old phone or prole associations... it's more a case of bad presentation and suspect assumptions.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-29-2008, 04:27 PM
After reading Ross Douthat's review (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200805/nixon)of Nixonland, I've added it to my list of must-reads. I really enjoyed this diavlog, and hope that Frum and Perlstein can do this again in the future.

I think some commenters are being way too critical of Frum. It's true that Perlstein seemed a little more knowledgable about historical events in the 1960s era than Frum did, but that seems perfectly reasonable given that he's spent the last several years writing two books about this period. Sure, Perlstein pointed out a few factual errors made by Frum (e.g., claiming that LBJ wiretapped RNC headquarters, when Frum actually meant Goldwater's plane), but these errors were minor and forgiveable. In terms of the "big picture" discussion of the Nixon era, both sides scored points.

I was also really impressed with Frum's discussion (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10391?in=00:06:45&out=00:11:08) of the coalition of conservatism and Republicanism in the pre-WWII era. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his ultimate conclusions, Frum is definitely worth listening to for his insight and analysis.

bjkeefe
04-29-2008, 07:14 PM
Elvis:

I think some commenters are being way too critical of Frum. ... Sure, Perlstein pointed out a few factual errors made by Frum (e.g., claiming that LBJ wiretapped RNC headquarters, when Frum actually meant Goldwater's plane), but these errors were minor and forgiveable.

This is always a tough call. I don't think you would argue that there have been endless examples of people repeating stuff that they knew to be wrong (or, at minimum, have no excuse for not knowing), particularly in politics, and that a lot of this behavior has been on display by Bush allies, particularly in the first six years of his administration. It's possible that any given example might be a instance of merely misspeaking, but there are people who have a history of frequently "misspeaking," and it is at least arguable that Frum has been one of these people.

If you're interested, Perlstein goes on at some length in support of this, on his blog (http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/notso), reflecting on this particular diavlog.

TwinSwords
04-29-2008, 08:14 PM
If you're interested, Perlstein goes on at some length in support of this, on his blog (http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/notso), reflecting on this particular diavlog.
That was great; thanks for posting the link. I appreciate the fact that he makes no pretense of courtesy or respect for Frum.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-30-2008, 02:51 PM
Elvis:


If you're interested, Perlstein goes on at some length in support of this, on his blog (http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/notso), reflecting on this particular diavlog.


I'm in the camp that thinks Perlstein is being too pedantic. Wow, in this diavlog David Frum said a majority of House Democrats co-sponsored a bill for single-payer health care when its actually only 89, and Frum had earlier written that 75 House Democrats supported such a bill. ZING!

Most of the errors Perlstein points out were either minor mistakes to be expected from someone who hasn't just spent several years writing a book about the 1960s, or weren't really factual errors at all but disagreements over the emphasis placed upon particular facts. Frum thinks Watergate wouldn't have been thought of as such a big deal a few decades earlier (and cites several examples of prior Presidents doing similar things to political enemies, which Perlstein doesn't really dispute (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10391?in=00:19:33&out=00:21:48)), but Perlstein still thinks Watergate was an impeachable offense. This is a dispute about context, not facts.

bjkeefe
04-30-2008, 03:39 PM
Elvis:

I don't disagree with your view, as regards most of the particular quibbles that Perlstein expressed in this diavlog. But I do think his larger point stands, that there has been a pattern on the part of Frum and other GOP/neocon spinmeisters to be less than honest, or at least, less than accurate, and that it behooves one not to let them keep getting away with distorting matters. Sure, on any given point, one sounds like a fussbudget for disputing it, and sure, it's always possible to say the point was a simple case of a tongue slip or too trivial to worry about. But one has to jump in somewhere, and just saying, "You're distorting the facts!" is going to provoke the response, "Really? You have any examples?"

On a related note, I see that the RNC has an ad out now, making a big deal about Nancy Pelosi being out of touch with Americans for saying gas now costs $2.56/gallon. Seems to me that it's entirely possible she meant to say "$3.56," or that its ridiculous to try to make a point over the idea that the third-ranking person in our government not filling her own tank. So, it's not like Perlstein is alone in straining at the occasional gnat. The VRWC loves to harp on inanities such as these.

As for Watergate, trying to make the case that Nixon wasn't so bad because other administrations did similar things doesn't hold much water for me. Two wrongs, and so forth. I grant that the degree of wrongness is somewhat subjective, but not completely. I also think it's indicative of a mindset that anyone would bother trying to downplay this, especially when that person is closely allied with people who still can't stop talking about the Clenis.

I should add that I think Frum is far from the worst of the revisionists, and I do find his thinking on some matters well worth hearing.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-30-2008, 06:07 PM
I'm in the camp that thinks Perlstein is being too pedantic. Wow, in this diavlog David Frum said a majority of House Democrats co-sponsored a bill for single-payer health care when its actually only 89, and Frum had earlier written that 75 House Democrats supported such a bill. ZING!



Actually, the quibble was not the 89 vs. 75. It was that Frum claimed a majority of House Democrats had cosponsored Single Payer legislation, when it was actually 89/234.
He follows up with the quote from Frum's book to be sure that he's being fair to Frum -- perhaps there were more cosponsors when Frum wrote his book.

Just a factual correction -- I don't intend to make any wider claim about Frum and dishonesty or Perlstein and pedantry.

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-01-2008, 01:35 PM
I understood what Perlstein was saying. I'm just pointing out that Frum previously wrote that the bill had been sponsored 75 Democratis, and this indicates that his subsequent statement in the diavlog was very likely just a minor mental lapse, rather than something duplicitous. And I do mean minor. Frum said that a majority of House Dems. sponsored the bill, when in actuality it was only 89 Democrats -- that is, 28 less than a majority. Burn!

The fact that Perlstein would believe an error like this suggests that Frum is either a liar or an idiot says more about Perlstein than it does about Frum.

bjkeefe
05-10-2008, 05:44 PM
You can read a review (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/books/review/Will-t.html) (by George Will) and the first chapter (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/books/chapters/first-chapter-nixonland.html) of Nixonland on the NY Times's site.

bjkeefe
05-14-2008, 08:16 AM
Rick Perlstein continues his conversation about Nixon and his book Nixonland, this time with regular BloggingHead Ross Douthat. (Audio link available on Ross's blog (http://rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/talking_nixonland.php).) It's about 45 minutes long.

The conversation was recorded shortly after Ross's review of Rick's book (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200805/nixon) was published on The Atlantic's site. It's less of a battle than this diavlog was. Ross, of course, is a conservative, but he has less invested in defending the good name of Richard Nixon ... pause for laughter ... than does David Frum. Consequently, rather than arguing about facts, they debate issues. It's quite good.

TwinSwords
06-06-2008, 02:32 AM
The conversation was recorded shortly after Ross's review of Rick's book (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200805/nixon) was published on The Atlantic's site. It's less of a battle than this diavlog was. Ross, of course, is a conservative, but he has less invested in defending the good name of Richard Nixon ... pause for laughter ... than does David Frum. Consequently, rather than arguing about facts, they debate issues. It's quite good.

Ooh, good find. Thanks for posting that. My copy of Nixonland just arrived this week and I've been enjoying it enormously.

I am praying Rick returns to BhTV. But I'm afraid his appearance was a one time treat to promote his book.

TwinSwords
06-06-2008, 02:09 PM
If anyone is interested in Nixonland or the subjects addressed therein, you might find this recent Perlstein essay worthwhile reading:

The Meaning of Box 722 (http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/meaning-box-722)

For a taste:

You could draw a map of the boundary within which the city's seven hundred thousand Negroes were allowed to live by marking an X wherever a white mob attacked a Negro. Move beyond it, and a family had to face down a mob of one thousand, five thousand, or even (in the Englewood riot of 1949, when the presence of blacks at a union meeting sparked a rumor the house was to be "sold to ******s") ten thousand bloody-minded whites. In the late 1940s, when the postwar housing shortage was at its peak, you could find ten black families living in a basement, sharing a single stove but not a single flush toilet, in "apartments" subdivided by cardboard. One racial bombing or arson happened every three weeks.... In neighborhoods where they were allowed to "buy" houses, they couldn't actually buy them at all: banks would not write them mortgages, so unscrupulous businessmen sold them contracts that gave them no equity or title to the property, from which they could be evicted the first time they were late with a payment.

...

And in 1966, a teenager answering a job ad walked over the border from Chicago into the all-white city of Cicero, and for that sin and no other was beaten to death. That was what Martin Luther King came to fight in Chicago.

With the nomination of Barack Obama to lead the nation's predominant political party, we can certainly say we have made a lot of progress.

TwinSwords
06-08-2008, 02:32 PM
Rick Perlstein has posted more from Box 722:

I'm incredibly gratified at the outpouring of response to my post yesterday on The Meaning of Box 722 (http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/meaning-box-722). In fact, I could write about the meaning of box 722 for days, for these are among the richest texts I've ever uncovered in my study of history.

See, More Box 722 (http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/more-box-722).