Frum vs. Kudlow
April 08, 2010
David Frum is going through an interesting process as a conservative apostate. He used to be a conservative in good standing. Then he hit upon the idea that the Republican Party needed, primarily for tactical reasons, to reposition itself in the center in order to be politically competitive. (I think Frum's view on this is overstated, by the way.) This has increasingly alienated Frum from conservative figures and institutions he once trusted.
March 29, 2010
On the day of the historic House vote on the Senate bill and reconciliation package, conservative pundit David Frum wrote a piece titled "Waterloo," in which he stated that “conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.” Frum argued that, by opposing the entire legislative effort as a means to cripple the Obama presidency and refusing to negotiate in good faith, the Republicans ensured they would have no part in shaping the most significant domestic policy of the last 40 years.
March 25, 2010
Purged conservative think-tank denizen Bruce Bartlett empathizes with purged conservative think-tank denizen David Frum, and drops this interesting tidbit: Since, [Frum] is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI "scholars" on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do. Wow, socialists have infiltrated AEI too!
Frum Here To Eternity
March 25, 2010
David Frum got an enormous amount of attention for his blog post arguing that Republicans erred by refusing to engage with Democratic moderates on health care reform. Now he's resigned from the American Enterprise Institute. It doesn't look all that voluntary: I have been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute since 2003. At lunch today, AEI President Arthur Brooks and I came to a termination of that relationship. Below is the text of my letter of resignation. Dear Arthur, This will memorialize our conversation at lunch today.
How Republicans Blew It
March 21, 2010
From the standpoint of short-term political strategy, the Republicans have played their cards perfectly. Their slow withdrawal of any support excised the maximum political damage by forcing all Senate Democrats to agree, rendering the bill partisan and subjecting it to months of slow-bleed legislative wrangling. The Republicans will probably pick up more seats in November than they would have if they had pursued a bipartisan accord. But the policy costs have been significant.
Leave The Senate Alooone!
February 11, 2010
David Frum says the Senate Democrats are looking for excuses: The filibuster gives reluctant Democrats a perfect excuse for moving away from the president. “We’d love to be with you sir … but the GOP now has 41 seats, and we just can’t begin to figure out a way around that fact. So let’s drop the whole thing OK? Or postpone it until after our elections? Please??” They sound like lazy Boy Scouts inventing reasons to avoid the nature hike. “It’s cloudy – it might rain!
Why Don't Conservatives Understand Health Care Policy?
January 19, 2010
In my article about the health care bill I noted: the [Republican] party desperately lacks for genuine health care expertise. Being a member of a party long committed to defending American health care naturally makes one disinclined to study the horrifying reality of the system; likewise, a thorough understanding of the health care system makes one disinclined to support the party that has spent decades blocking its reform. Steve Bell's column at David Frum's FrumForum today offers some depressing confirmation of this view.
The Rise of Republican Nihilism
December 21, 2009
Does the Republican Party have any ideas? The query may have a familiar ring. Five years ago, the question of substance was demanded incessantly of the Democrats. Indeed, in one of those intellectual fads that periodically sweep through Washington, the political class became obsessed with the notion that conservatives had unambiguously won what everybody was calling “the war of ideas.” The notion was everywhere. The right gloated.
Sorting the Liars from the Loonies
October 19, 2009
David Frum, trying harder than usual to alienate himself from the derangement of his party, suggests a thought experiment to determine which conservative "entertainers" actually believe the lunacy they peddle: Suppose an agent arrived in the offices of Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity/O’Reilly etc. with an offer. “I can guarantee you a deal that will pay you twice as much - bring you twice as much fame - and extend your career twice as long - if you’d say the exact opposite of what you are saying now.” Which of them would sign? Frum's guesses: My nominations: O’Reilly accepts for sure.
October 06, 2009
On the first day of the Senate Finance Committee's hearings on health care reform, Senator Jon Kyl, a fiery free-market fundamentalist, assailed reform as a "stunning assault on liberty." By day two, he had turned to the more prosaic task of reversing the bill's cuts in the Medicare budget. The elderly, Kyl fretted, "have reason to be worried that portions of this bill could affect their care." Note that neither health care experts nor even the AARP believes the cuts would hurt senior citizens.