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Frum on the use and mis-use of anger in opposition

David Frum @ National Review on keeping cool in the opposition:

Here’s another thing to keep in mind:

Those who press this Ayers line of attack are whipping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that is going to be very hard to calm after November. Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for the next president, incidentally the first African-American president? Anger is a very bad political adviser. It can isolate us and push us to the extremes at exactly the moment when we ought to be rebuilding, rethinking, regrouping and recruiting.

I’m not suggesting that we remit our opposition to a hypothetical President Obama. Only that an outgunned party will need to stay cool. A big part of Obama’s appeal is his self-command. It’s a genuinely impressive quality. Let’s emulate it. We’ll be needing it.

Right now, I'm willing to bet this will get Frum pilloried (outside the NRO set, at least -- those guys are usually so far up their own asses into their own heads that (unlike Frum, here, or David Brooks who left) they have lost whatever capacity they once had to recognize the dimensions of their own reality tunnel.

Going forward, slightly cooler, much cleverer heads (like Newt Gingrich's contemptably clever head) will take the pragmatic aspects of this view to heart and into opposition. (I'm sure Newt got all his financial ducks in a row before he started his macchiavellian campaign to derail the bailout package and set himself up as a 2012 presidential contender.)

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