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David Frum Shows His True Colors

Reported by Ellen - January 4, 2005

Last night, Alan Colmes hosted a truly fair and balanced debate on his radio program, FOX News Live with Alan Colmes. The topic was the politics of disaster aid to the tsunami victims. The debaters were National Review's David Frum and The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel. It was an intelligent, reasoned discussion, a refreshing change from the usual FOX fare. However, David Frum, who defended Bush's response (or tardiness thereof) to the disaster, revealed his stinginess and lack of compassion for the victims when Colmes asked about the unseemliness of spending $40 million on Bush's re-inauguration at a time when so many are suffering.

AC: Why not say, "In honor of the fact, that in memory of those who died, we're gonna not have this lavish bunch of balls and security. This year we're gonna request that those who would contribute to this rather give their money to help the victims of the tsunami?"

DF: I think it would be completely unnecessary. The United States can certainly afford to honor the rituals of its democracy... It can afford to do what it needs to do, upholding its international commitments... One way to save a bunch of money on the inauguration would be if the peaceful protesters wouldn't come.

Comment: Frum completely missed the point of Colmes' suggestion, which was not to save money but to a) display some sense of sympathy for the victims by refraining from lavish gaiety at such a time and b) ask the wealthy donors footing the bill to re-direct their money in order to maximize the amount of aid to the victims. Instead, Frum chose to blame the protesters. I didn't notice him suggesting that the money saved on security, if the protesters stayed home, be used for the victims. Also, wouldn't the money for security come out of public coffers, not the private funds raised by Bush's wealthy donors?

In other words, Frum is saying, why should the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people spoil the Republicans' good time? Let the protesters be glum instead.

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