David Frum to Palin, Jindal, Cruz: Shut Up About 'Duck Dynasty'
Establishment Republican David Frum slammed politicians like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for taking the side of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson in his battle with A&E over the right to express his religious views without being punished for them.
In a recent podcast interview with the left-leaning Political Wire, Frum said the Duck Dynasty controversy was a "perfect opportunity" for a Republican politician "to say nothing."
He said Robertson's remarks to GQ magazine were "insulting" and then, proving he neither read the GQ interview nor the statements of the politicians he slammed, accused Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal of agreeing with the notion that "blacks are happier under Jim Crow" and "homosexuals are hateful and murderous."
Jindal said absolutely nothing of the sort--and neither did Robertson.
Here were Robertson's supposedly "anti-gay" comments:
Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.
Robertson then paraphrased Corinthians from the Bible:
Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.
And if that wasn’t explicit enough, the “Duck Commander” added:
It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.
And here were Robertson's comments about the Jim Crow South:
Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana
I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.
Writing at Breitbart News, Jerome Hudson noted that nothing from Robertson's interview would make one think that he is a racist:
The fact that Phil Robertson has a mixed-race adopted grandson is also rarely reported. Does having a mixed-race grandson mean that Phil Robertson isn’t a racist? No. But with no evidence to the contrary, the existence of racial animus should not be automatically assumed.
If your claim is that Phil Robertson is a racist homophobe, then the burden of proof is on you.
But until that evidence presents itself, can we please stop the witch-hunts?
Robertson never implied gays were "murderous" or blacks were happier under Jim Crow. And Jindal certainly did not say he agreed with Robertson's remarks. Jindal just emphasized that Robertson had a right to express his religious beliefs without being suspended, especially when A&E already knew what those views were.
TMZ's Harvey Levin and blogger Andrew Sullivan, both of whom are gay, also said it was ridiculous for A&E to suspend Robertson in the first place. Frum could not believe Republican politicians actually criticized A&E for suspending Robertson before they reinstated him, and even called Palin, the politician considered to resonate the most with Duck Dynasty nation, an "ambulance chaser" for criticizing A&E.
As Breitbart News reported, establishment Republicans were silent during the ordeal, with Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus focusing instead on celebrating Kwanzaa. At the same time, establishment Republicans in the Senate and the House focused on promoting amnesty, which the Congressionnal Budget Office determined would lower the wages of working class Americans, many of whom watch Duck Dynasty regulalry.
Palin said on December 18–the night Robertson was suspended–that A&E had caved to the "'intolerants' hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion." She said that "free speech is an endangered species," and those "intolerants" are "taking on all of us."
Jindal and Cruz followed suit the next day:
The next morning, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said, "I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment."
"It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended," Jindal wrote.
Later in the day, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Robertson's suspension was an affront to those who value freedom of speech and religion.
"The reason that so many Americans love Duck Dynasty is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: a family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith," Cruz wrote.
As Breitbart News later reported, "Palin, Cruz, and Jindal were repeatedly mentioned in stories in the mainstream media about Robertson." Frum did not like that, as he represents the type of elitist Republican whose silence during the controversy–and utter disdain for those who defended the Duck Dynasty family over Hollywood–reinforce the suspicions of the "Teavengelical" base. That conservative base has "always suspected that the Republican elite on the coasts and in D.C." abhors and is ashamed of them and their "flyover country" values.
Frum, who was more stinging and vitriolic in his criticism of Andrew Breitbart on the day of his death than he has ever been with President Barack Obama or the mainstream press, is often the first to run in front of the cameras to attack Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, conservatives, and the Tea Party movement. Call him an establishment "ambulance chaser." He infamously slammed Rush Limbaugh in Newsweek, which is no longer in print, and conservatives months after Obama won his first election, imploring conservatives to be Obama-lites because Frum, like the Republican establishment, felt that was the "way to win" in the age of Obama.
Frum--as he usually is about the conservative movement he neither understands nor of which he is a part--was wrong.
But that has not stopped him from continuing to offer up the same advice about how Republicans should be more "moderate" and not "offend" the D.C., New York, and Hollywood elite.