Are We Going to Fist City? Reply

This is a pretty good take-down of the Frumist-Kristolite faction of the neocons, which has successfully colonized the Democrats and co-opted virtually the entirety of the US “left,” but what this author is missing is the degree to which the neocons have embedded themselves in Trumpism. Perhaps there is a reason why lifelong neocon stooge Dinesh D’Souza is a Trumpist? Or why Podhoretz son-in-law Elliott Abrams is running Trump’s Iran policy? Or why professional grifter Candace Owens is a flunkie for uber-neocon Dennis Prager, himself a Trumpist?

Douglas A. Jeffrey, Claremont Review of Books

Too much of journalist David Frum’s Trumpocalypse and most of political scientist John Pitney’s Un-American could be reassembled into a day-by-day catalog, spanning five years, of anti-Trump talking points aired on CNN. To this extent the books are dull as ditchwater.

It is easy to make light of the lengths to which the authors go to press their case. Frum’s analysis of Trump’s base, for instance, includes the category of “people who would not conventionally be thought of as white.” (To support Trump, Frum explains, “you just have to agree that white is best.”) His examples include Dinesh D’Souza, Candace Owens, and—perhaps Frum is simply an underperformer on cognitive tests where you identify which item in a list doesn’t belong—Santino Legan, the shooter who killed three and wounded 17 at last year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Pitney is if anything less circumspect than Frum. While Frum at least qualifies, with the word “reportedly,” the claim that Trump ordered fleeing border crossers shot in the legs—the claim, after all, was reported in the New York Times, citing anonymous sources—Pitney presents it as a simple fact. It is safe to say there is no fake news about Trump where Pitney is concerned. Indeed, he argues that Trump got the idea of decrying fake news from 1970s mob boss Joe Colombo, who denied the existence of the mafia. Pitney’s proof? As a reader of tabloids, “Trump surely took note of Colombo’s public relations strategy.” QED.

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