Monday, March 22, 2010

Republican Waterloo?

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum on why Sunday's vote is such a crushing defeat for Republicans:
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.


  1. Doesn't this cut both ways though? The Dems made such a big deal out health care reform that they had to get SOMETHING passed. I don't pretend to know the first thing about what this bill is actually going to do for me, you, or the illegal immigrant that was just washing my windows (wait, no found the answer to that one, the illegal immigrant is still screwed.) That doesn't mean I haven't read scores of opinions on it from both sides, just I'm not sure what's fact or fiction and I'm too lazy to read the 2000+ page bill myself. Similarly I'm sure most members of congress are too "busy" (most likely selling their constituents on it/against it in their attempts to get reelected,) to read it either. They've got their staffers to tell them what it says, but I have yet to find my trusted source to tell me what to believe...

    In the meantime though back slaps all around, universal coverage and it will lower the deficit! Even the big health care stocks seem to be taking it in stride. Now we just have to wait four years to find out what Obamacare means for all of us.

    Stay classy DC!

  2. You think we'll get any sad Republican Tiggers out of the deal? Or will they still be forced to keep spinning on the same ridiculous premises?