In almost always referring to Paul Ryan, in one form or another, as "the intellectual leader of the congressional Republicans," is David Frum mocking him and the GOP's soi-disant intellectualism? Or is Frum attempting, however artificially, some level of respect?
My questions are genuine, for I really don't know the answer. What I do know is that Frum, although I don't read him every day, has become increasingly hostile to what he recognizes as Republicans' colossally phony intellectualism. They're dishonest about their premises, underhanded in their argumentation tactics, and downright fraudulent in their conclusions--per Frum's piece today--and to bundle all that as some common species of "intellectualism" is the ultimate insult.
Frum knows this. I've admired his libertarian lucidity ever since I first violently disagreed with his impressively written Dead Right. So why can't he take that final step to ultimate clarity and just call a spade a spade? To just say, openly and without false respect, in honor of some higher civility which Republicans abjure, that Paul Ryan is no more "the intellectual leader of the congressional Republicans" than was Soupy Sales.
The time has come for conservatism's authentic intellectuals to drop the charade--to stop pretending that "intellectual" and "Republicans," within contemporary political conservatism, can any longer find harmony or oneness in the same sentence.
Let me be clear. I'm not advocating an escalation of harsh rhetoric and polemics. It's just that this "gentlemanly" conservative routine from conservatism's actual thinkers has become so patently disingenuous, it is, in itself, quite unseemly.