David Frum is a former Bush aide who pushed the Iraq war and is said to have coined the Axis of Evil formulation. I’ve always thought that he is Israel-centric but like other smarting/hunted neocons he’s cagey about it. Once when he gave a sermon in a synagogue and called the United States "this new Israel, this America," I wrote about it as a confession but Frum bridled, and said it was a biblical metaphor. Well the fancy metaphors are over. Here’s Frum writing about Tom Campbell, the leader in the Republican race to take on Barbara Boxer in California and endorsing him "since he is the candidate with the clearest and most detailed pro-Israel platform in the California Senate race". Excerpts:
Former U.S. Congressman Tom Campbell has stepped into the lead in the polls. Campbell is a superb candidate: a brilliant intellect, a protégé of Milton Friedman’s, a principled and sophisticated free marketer.
In recent weeks, however, a whispering campaign against Campbell has burst into fuller view. Campbell – it’s charged – has an “Israel problem.” He is unsympathetic to Israel, or worse. He is soft on terror – or worse.
I am a national security voter, with a special concern for Israel. If I thought for a minute that Tom Campbell had a “national security problem” or an “Israel problem,” I would not care if he were the most brilliant mind in American politics, the most consistent free marketer in the entire state of California: I’d never support him.
But on the basis of Campbell’s proven public record, such aspersions seem to have arrived from somewhere outside the space-time continuum, in some outer dimension created by wild and unchecked oppo research.
Against the aspersions and insinuations, measure these facts:
When Saddam Hussein was firing Scud missiles at Israel in 1990, Campbell flew to Israel (on El Al by the way) to put his own safety on the line.
The column concludes with a battery of questions that Campbell had to answer, including, Do you believe in the Israel lobby? Says Scott McConnell, "This is revealing about the state of play on the right–Frum’s declaration, combined with his defense of someone accused of being tepid for Israel… The neocon whispering campaign against a candidate early on… Judging from Campbell’s own quotes (‘I have not read the Goldstone Report, and would need to do so before offering an informed opinion’) he’d probably be an improvement on Boxer. One of the interesting things is the comments on the American Spectator blog post attacking Campbell. A lot of ‘what the f— do we care what his views on Israel are, he’s supposed to represent us.’" Great thread; check it out.