David Frum: When did the GOP lose touch?


I caught this interview from my blog’s NPR sidebar. Neocon and and former Bush speech writer David Frum lost his job at the American Enterprise Institute last year due to speaking out of turn during the healthcare debate and while the GOP was busy purging RINO’s and others who didn’t toe the T-Party line.  It looks like he’s at it again with this NPR interview where he openly questions the direction of the GOP.  I happen to think the direction of that party is down the tubes, notwithstanding its attempt to double back on a moderate track.  Take a listen.



  • LTE

    I can see why you love this.
    To respond to Frum, I think Blacks and Hispanics (the 2 other ethnic groups he is referring to) do not have a grasp of international economics and a very limited view of domestic economics.
    International view of the American economy matches the “white” view of the American and International economy. The argument over taxes is primarily paying more taxes is just throwing good money after bad.
    I do agree with Frum, Obama is not the man to “fix” things.

    • >>>To respond to Frum, I think Blacks and Hispanics (the 2 other ethnic
      groups he is referring to) do not have a grasp of international
      economics and a very limited view of domestic economics.<<<

      Oh really? Well let's see.  Even Frum suggests that the entire deficit/low tax debate is a canard because neither has anything to do with the impending banking crisis thats about to hit Europe first and then the US due to unknown  and unregulated derivative exposure on European debt.  The problem is similar to that which befell AIG who had collected premiums on credit default swaps (i.e agreed to insure) on mortgage backed debt but didn't have the resources to pay up when the debt went south due to mortgage defaults.   Just to be clear, this works very much like a life insurance company ensuring the lives of people and collecting premiums from everyone, but not having the money to pay up when someone dies.  Of course, one of the reasons we have state insurance regulators is to ensure sufficient assets are ring fenced so that doesn't happen.  The event being insured against here by investors is default or not being paid back the money. AIG collected the premium,  wrote the insurance and didn't have the money to pay up hence necessitating a taxpayer bailout that essentially went to Goldman Sachs and others.  But you people keep things so confused that half the public doesn't even know what  really went  down as all they hear from your party is "tax cuts" and "cut spending".    Describing that position as oxymoronic is charitable.

      Because your party thinks that regulation is bad (as Frum points out) and that taxes and deficits are THE issue, the fallout and exposure on US banks of the impending credit event in Europe (i.e. debt  defaults of European banks and sovereigns)  will largely come  seemingly by surprise and blamed on Obama/the deficit/the debt rather than needed regulation on derivatives markets that your party rails against (as Frum again points out).   So, if this position represents the "white" view of international finance, the world could certainly do without it.

      • LTE

        Many Republicans wanted no bail out at all. I was one of them. Regulations have their place and it was Republicans that started regulation back in 1887 with the Interstate Commerce Act. Since the passage of the ICA, Republicans have added more regulations as needed. The Republicans do not feel there should be a regulation for every purse and purpose and in slow economic times, regulations should be eased up on.
        The 2008 financial crash had it’s genesis from the loopy feel good era of the 1960’s where fairness cast aside sound finances. More regulations wouldn’t have stopped it and the real problem was the regulations in place were not enforced. For that, I blame a Republican, Chris Cox. On rare occasion I won’t blame Obama, but I try not to make it a habit.
        As for derivatives, no regulations really needed except one: A 20-25% reserve account is to be set up by the seller so derivatives are backed in gold, silver or other high value commodities. In other words for every $1 of derivative sold, there is always 25% available for pay out.

      • Anonymous

        Excellent response.

        David Frum’s question–“When did the GOP lose touch?”–has an easy answer. Never! They’re in “touch” with their goals, and their party’s agenda, which is to unseat President Obama, to win back congress, and to enable corporations to make as much profit as is possible, without the burden of taxes or regulations.

        “[A]ll they hear from your party is ‘tax cuts’ and ‘cut spending.” And not without purpose. We know the following: The tax burden is at an all-time low. Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars, and presumably are waiting for consumer demand to grow before committing any of it to expansion. 

        We know, too: Without a robust economy, job growth and consumer demand will stagnate, and finally dry up altogether–and this is assured without some sort of government intervention. We can’t “cut” our way out of this economy of weeds and, because Republicans have maligned raising taxes on the 1%, and government intervention,  the spender of last resort, as an interference in the free market (choosing as they see it, “winners and loser”), we’re doomed to chase our tail until exhaustion sets in or we drop dead.

        I agree: Republicans have built up their base with the tenets of cutting taxes and cutting spending. Even if they regain congressional and presidential power, they’ll still have to support these two canons, if they wish to stay in office, although they’re keenly aware just how much adherence to them have already brought this nation to its knees, not in prayer, but under the crushing weight of Republican policies that have failed miserably to keep the economy steady, on it’s feet, and upright.

  • Anonymous

    “We need a strong and forceful president.”

    I hear this criticism of the president crop up again and again. Looking back over the several previous White House administrations–Republican and Democratic–the criticism appears almost gratuitous–something that is said (almost casually)  if you’re a Republican, and wish to keep your membership in the Republican party in good standing.

    Bush One was criticized for not invading Iraq during Desert Storm, and deposing Saddam Hussien. Bill Clinton surrendered liberal values to appease a Republican congress, and mostly gave them what they wanted in order to appear “strong and forceful.” We know, too, that his presidency was hamstrung by a sex scandal, one that Republicans exploited all the way to an impeachment. George Bush showed his Texas cowboy strength and force by embroiling this nation in two wars, squandering a budget surplus and enacting tax cuts in a time of war–bold but foolish actions that precipitated the huge federal deficits that’s hounding the nation now.

    I heard this criticism again when the congressional Supercommittee failed to reach consensus on a debt-reduction packet. It as though the president is expected to take each member of the committee behind the woodshed and give them a good thrashing until they relent and give him what he wants. I call this the papafication of the presidency–where the president, to be considered an effective leader, must find a way or ways to coerce the legislation that’s required from a fractious congress, or be considered weak and lacking force.

    Without a willing congress, nothing gets done in Washington. What this president needed in order to be seen as “strong and forceful” was to know the dirt on each Republican in congress, and the will to expose it if each refused to give him what he wanted. Anything short of that, we have what we have now–stalemates, and obstructionism.

    “The president is overwhelm. I don’t think he’s the man for the job.

    “But He’s not leading the country on the path of socialist ruin as matter of policy and intention. And the danger of thinking so–that’s a very powerful way to mobilize followers and  raise money…but it also traps you. Because when you mobilize people to that extent, the leaders find themselves unable to lead.  And we saw that happen most dramatically this summer with the crisis over the debt ceiling, where suddenly Republicans who desperately wanted to make a deal, who understood the consequences, they were terrified, they wanted a deal and they couldn’t–because they had a wall of people behind them that would not allow them to step back.”

    I agree that the “president is overwhelm.” With what Obama inherited from George Bush, it would have been a daunting task for any president to overcome, especially when Republicans in congress are more interested in helping the president “fail” than succeed, doing nothing to stem unemployment, or boosting the economy, in hopes that their inaction will help them achieve their end.

    With patriotism like that, one thing is clear: We’re fighting the wrong “war on terror.” The terror with which this nation must contend is inflicted from the Right, and from within the hallowed halls of congress. The Republican Party has done more to damage this country than has Bin Laden and his  merry band of  jihadists. 

    The Occupy Wall Street Movement is a response to this “terrorism,” and it’s ironic that the full weight of our nation’s police forces has been brought to bear to quash it.  It’s also telling that a large segment of this society is more supportive of the terrorism on the Right than is championing the efforts of OWS to bring this terrorism to an end.

    Frum’s statement above clearly places the lack of leadership squarely at the feet of Republicans. Their entrenchment–which, by the way, is of their own making–may garner party support, but it also paralyzes their will, and capacity, to do more than that.

  • LTE

    Gregg, I am going to go off topic. I had spotted this article and thought it was worthy of comment due to the symbolism involved.
    .The article:http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/11/hundreds_rally_at_16th_street.html.I'd be curious as to your thoughts on this. I know Diaspora2 is boycotting me (those black liberals love a good boycott) but he is free to comment on this as well.
    I found the story troubling.

    • LTE

      Darn formatting…
      I’d be curious as to your thoughts

    • LTE,

      Why don’t you just let us know why you think this is a problem.  Also, what’s the symbolism that’s so apparent here?

      • LTE

        Illegals comparing themselves to the 4 girls that were blown up by a  bomb. I found it a remarkable attempt at trying to cash in on the deaths of 4 innocents to advance their own cause. Why else would they use the 16th Street Church?
        I am suprised the pastor permitted this.

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