Frum redux

David Frum has posted a rebuttal to my rebuttal of his rebuttal of Stephen Marche’s New York Times op-ed against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s nine years in office. It’s thin gruel, unworthy of a response except that it typifies the smugness and intellectual dishonesty that often characterize Frum’s style of argument.

He suggests my piece betrays embarrassment over Marche’s heated commentary among “upholders of Canada’s liberal orthodoxy.” No. I thought Marche’s piece was great, as did hundreds of Canadians who commented thoughtfully and gratefully on the Times website.

Frum doesn’t trouble to counter any specifics in the case against Harper except for a minor point about library closures that neither Marche nor I raised. He dismisses the dozens of specifics we did raise with a single line: They are merely “Stephen Harper’s obstinate and perverse insistence on governing in ways not to the liking of Parker Donham.”

This is true enough, as far as it goes, except that my dislike of Harper’s cavalier disregard for parliament, his partisan tampering with election rules, and his efforts to suppress ideologically inconvenient information and science apparently makes me undemocratic.

In an election where every poll shows more than two-thirds of voters want Harper sacked, this is beyond silly. How telling that Frum can muster no better argument in Harper’s defense.