Every now and then Newsweek columnist David Frum comes out of his own political bubble, seeks truth and finds it…
On Friday, author and former Bush speechwriter David Frum joined the Morning Joe panel, where he shared his blunt assessment of the current GOP.
When asked who can lead the Republican party now, Frum responded that he believes the Republican party is “a party of followership:”
The problem with the Republican leaders is that they’re cowards, not that they’re fundamentally mistaken. The real locus of the problem is the Republican activist base and the Republican donor base. They went apocalyptic over the past four years, and that was exploited by a lot of people in the conservative world. I won’t soon forget the lupine smile that played over the head of one major conservative institution when he told me that our donors think the apocalypse has arrived, that Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex.
Host Joe Scarborough asked him to repeat this slowly.
When asked to name names, Frum would say only to check in his book and that there are, really, “too many to name.” Right now, he continued, the leaders in the party have no space to operate.
As for Romney, whom Frum thought would have made an excellent president, he was “twisted into pretzels” only to find that “the people who put the cement shoes on his feet are now blaming him for sinking.”
Watch, courtesy of MSNBC:
David Frum is an old school conservative who feels his party has lost it’s way…
One can almost feel David Frum’s pain in this insightful and honest look at his beloved Republican party. You should read the entire piece in New York magazine to get a full sense of where Frum is coming from but here is the essence of what he is saying.
If we say something often enough, we come to believe it. We don’t usually delude others until after we have first deluded ourselves. Some of the smartest and most sophisticated people I know—canny investors, erudite authors—sincerely and passionately believe that President Barack Obama has gone far beyond conventional American liberalism and is willfully and relentlessly driving the United States down the road to socialism. No counterevidence will dissuade them from this belief: not record-high corporate profits, not almost 500,000 job losses in the public sector, not the lowest tax rates since the Truman administration. It is not easy to fit this belief alongside the equally strongly held belief that the president is a pitiful, bumbling amateur, dazed and overwhelmed by a job too big for him—and yet that is done too.
One of the key reasons for that mindset being what it is…
Extremism and conflict make for bad politics but great TV. Over the past two decades, conservatism has evolved from a political philosophy into a market segment. An industry has grown up to serve that segment—and its stars have become the true thought leaders of the conservative world. The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much. As a tool of political mobilization, it backfires, by inciting followers to the point at which they force leaders into confrontations where everybody loses, like the summertime showdown over the debt ceiling.
Continue reading here…
I read this article, and was reminded of a political pundit on the Martin Bashir Show who said something similar.
This current article by p.m. carpenter talks about the troubles Abe Lincoln had with his political opponents and the comparison to Obama’s political opposition today.
p m carpenter’s commentary
Not since Abe Lincoln took office has a president’s political opposition been so ruthlessly determined to oppose — even to the point of national disloyalty, which is precisely what the GOP’s treacherous machinations over the debt limit represent. It is futile to look back on Obama’s first two years and speculate that he should have done this, or that he should have done that, and then this or that might have proceeded better; it is futile because whatever path Obama might have chosen, his opposition was acrobatically hellbent on obstructing it.
If Obama is to be properly faulted, then his fault lies in the rather incongruent criticism of excessive rationality. No one, least of all a chief executive of profound intellect and with a corresponding belief in the great and unifying power of Reason, could have predicted in January 2009 that the spiritually broken Grand Old Party would redouble its preceding madness, and then double that, and double even that again. No one could have predicted the right’s absolutely surreal hypocrisy on debt and spending, its Obama-as-Hitler posters, its “death panel” frenzies and its birther lunacy and its Socialist Dictator! dementias. Neither could anyone have predicted the activist left’s infantile behavior and ceaseless crankiness.
No one could have, and no one did.
Yet now we encounter the magnificent bounty of hindsight. And it’s pointless. Because the right was always determined to sabotage Obama’s presidency — if “unusually extreme and intransigent” methods, as Frum grants, proved insufficient, then what the hell; economic treason might do the trick — and with each passing day, it doubles down on its determination.
Again … not since Lincoln.