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March 22, 2010

David Frum: You Know, That Skirt Was Kind Of Short So She Had It Coming

David Frum knows who is responsible for the massive taxes and government power grab yesterday...conservatives like Rush Limbaugh. (warning, link to Frum's site)

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

...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.

First, it's hard not to read a lot of Frum's rants and conclude he's burning with envy for people who have success and influence he can only dream of. I mean, he's David Frum! He wrote 2/3's of the phrase 'axis of evil' (he wrote 'axis of hatred' and Michael Gerson had to fix it)! Why don't people pay him millions of dollars and listen to his advice?

Let's pretend for a second Frum has a point that deserves to be taken seriously.

There's no proof that Obama wanted Republican votes. I mean, he'd happily take them but not at the cost of adding any Republican ideas into the bill. Sure, he'll add some undercover patients to ferret out Medicare abuse or a shell of a tort reform project. But real tort reform? No. Real efforts to eliminate state barriers? No.

You know why Obama wouldn't compromise on those things? He didn't have to. Frum admits this when he points out that the House and Senate Democrats have larger liberal bases than they did in the early 90s.

Ideologues like Obama don't compromise when they don't have to. Obama didn't have to. Well, that's not true, he wanted a single payer system but had to compromise on that. Yet Frum thinks a guy who only gave up on the idea of socializing the entire health care system in one shot was actually dying to cut a free market deal with Republicans.

There's a name for people who believe that sort of thing...idiot.

David Frum may well be comfortable with a half a loaf of freedom (which will quickly shrink under ever increasing pressure for ever more 'reform') but that just means he's a liberal.

I know this maybe hard for you to understand David but some things are worth fighting for.

Added: Slublog reminds me of something I meant to include...Jake Tapper reports that Gibbs is passing around this column by Frum.

There's a two word name for guys like Frum...Useful Idiot.

ObamaCare delenda est!


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posted by DrewM. at 01:04 PM

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