Conservatives oust David Frum for telling the truth

David Frum is a Republican, a former speechwriter for George Bush best known for crafting the phrase “axis of evil.”  But he thinks for himself, and he doesn’t always like what he sees on the Republican side of the aisle.

When he disagrees with Republicans, he criticizes them. On his blog last Sunday, he issued a harsh critique of the GOP’s strategy of refusing to negotiate on the health care bill:

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s. . .A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

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.

For that, apparently, he has just been kicked out of his job at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. From the WaPo:

Three days after calling health-care reform a debacle for Republicans, David Frum was forced out of his job at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

The ouster also came one day after a harsh Wall Street Journal editorial ripped the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, saying he “now makes his living as the media’s go-to basher of fellow Republicans” and accusing him of “peddling bad revisionist history.”

Frum made clear, in a letter to AEI President Arthur C. Brooks, that his departure after seven years as a resident fellow at the conservative think tank was not voluntary. “I have had many fruitful years at the American Enterprise Institute,” he wrote, “and I do regret this abrupt and unexpected conclusion of our relationship.”

If conservatives can’t tolerate dissent, they’re likely to be wandering in the political wilderness for a long time.

393 comments Add your comment

Reality

March 26th, 2010
8:41 am

I totally agree with Frum on this. All the republicans have done this year is to say, “no.” For whatever reason, they feel that rather than negotiate with the other side, it is more important to remain steadfast and not budge at all and to just say, “no.”

Do they really think that they will win elections in November by not voting for anything at all? Or, by not proposing any viable legislation at all? Or, by not negotiating at all? Will the conservatives really vote for that guy that just sits there and says, “no”?????

Jack

March 26th, 2010
8:46 am

Political football with little to no emphasis on the people. How many people does it take to make a mistake like not allow kids with pre existing coverage until 2014? Because both the Rep and Dems are worried about themselves and their next steak dinner paid for by a lobbyist. If somehow you feel connected to DC, I can probably sell you some swamp land.

Call it like it is.

March 26th, 2010
8:49 am

Negotiate, are you kidding me. The Dems blocked every single attempt at anything Republicans offered. And they did it again yesterday. The Republicans offered up around 47 changes, and every single one was shot down. They were given 2 points of orders. It’s a two way street people, Yeah we want your vote, but only if you completely agree 100% with what we want!

Bosch

March 26th, 2010
8:56 am

Call it like it is,

“The Dems blocked every single attempt at anything Republicans offered.”

And the Republican amendments (from what I heard near about 200) added into the bill (well, now I can say law) was what exactly? The Republicans didn’t even vote for the bill when lots of it was based on their own ideas.

neo-Carlinist

March 26th, 2010
8:57 am

Jack (and Frum) are spot on. The metaphors tell the story (”football” “marbles”). To the politicians (and lobbyists), governing and legislation are “games”. They’re at best ideological contests and at worst, games of chance (with risk assumed by others). If the RomneyCare plan failed in Massachusetts, why not try to determine why it failed, and move forward? Note to politicians and pundits; this isn’t a game to taxpayers.

MiltonMan

March 26th, 2010
8:58 am

Comparable to Zell Miller being tossed out by the Demorats.

Sick&Tired

March 26th, 2010
8:58 am

Call it like it is – there are items in the healthcare LAW that were offered by the Republicans over the last 20 years; including 2009. Mr. Frum is only telling the truth, but you don’t want to hear it.

I’m so glad the Dems are finally doing what they were elected to do and that is not take orders from the Repugs. President Obama said it right in IOWA – Bring it ON (referring to the Repeal).

Middle of the road

March 26th, 2010
9:04 am

The Republicans offered amendments to the bill before it left committee. They asked to add items like medical malpractice lawsuit limitations. Not a bad idea. They asked for expansion of the HSA. Not a bad idea. They asked for minimum levels of deductibles so everyone had skin in the game. Not a bad idea.

The problem is that most people did not pay any attention to what was going on until after the bills left the committees. By then the GOP had been put in a corner and they fought with the only thing they had left.

You want to say the GOP can’t handle the truth. I would say that is the pot calling the kettle black.

Beans

March 26th, 2010
9:05 am

To “tell it like it is” your comments just underscore Frum’s point: the republicans ideas were largely incorporated into the bill and evrry single one of them voted against it. That’s the trouble when fox news owns a political party and our elected officials are afraid to cross them.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 26th, 2010
9:07 am

Frum was my editor the one time I had an article published in the WSJ. Nice guy and talented wordsmith, but he was always a middle of the roader. We wish him well. On the other hand, any suggestion that he is now, or ever has been, a “conservative” is a misrepresentation.

martin

March 26th, 2010
9:07 am

http://www.breitbart.tv/shocking-audio-rep-dingell-says-obamacare-will-eventually-control-the-people/

This bill that passed will ensure that Democrats stay in power forever. That is there plan, when Social Security needed to be fixed, which it’s broke right now and when Medicare needed to be fixed, its broke financially now and Republicans try to make it better, Democrats only campaign strategy is, those evil Republicans are going to take away your Social Security, your Medicare. Now they have a new weapon, those evil Republicans will take away your health care. You have no choice but to vote Democrat now. They have you by your throat and you don’t even notice or care. You are now totally dependent on the gov’t to provide for your health insurance and your retirement check. You are now enslaved to the gov’t. If you don’t vote the way the politicians tell you, your life is over. That is a dictator’s dream. This bill was about the gov’t controlling the people, and it will always be about controlling the lives of its citizens.

Bubba

March 26th, 2010
9:10 am

What a scandal! I can see the banner headlines now: FRUM OUSTED FROM AEI

Amount

March 26th, 2010
9:10 am

Enter your comments here

martin

March 26th, 2010
9:10 am

If this health care bill is so great, why don’t they implement every provision now! Right this second! Also, why are members of congress, their staffers, and the executive branch and their staffers exempt from every provision of this bill? All you have to do is look at the bill and see that Congress and its staff are exempt. Why is that?

The Udder side!!

March 26th, 2010
9:10 am

worm

March 26th, 2010
9:00 am

That happens to be the sillest post so far on theis blog ( and thats saying alot!!)

ctucker

March 26th, 2010
9:11 am

The Udder side!, If you don’t like my posts, I’m sure you can find a blog more to your liking

Keep up the good fight!

March 26th, 2010
9:11 am

Grassley proudly proclaims how the law includes several of his ideas. Individual mandate was originally proposed by Republicans in 1990s. But still we hear the distortions and lies that Republicans (who proposed how many amendments) and actually had a chance to discuss with Obama on television in addition to in private, were “kept out.” Go back and look as Steele’s early comments “you got the votes, do it without us.” Yes we did.

But even more interesting is what Frum said on tape about Fox…namely to the effect “We Republicans thought Fox worked for us, we found out we worked for Fox.”

ED Delton

March 26th, 2010
9:12 am

worm said: “….what about that racist tax on white people who like to Tan?”

Omg I just laughed loud enough to wake the hubby.
Malt liquor? LOL
Why didn’t you just use Fried Chicken or Watermelon?

And…how did you ever figure out how to turn on your computer?

ctucker

March 26th, 2010
9:13 am

Ragnar, I’d love to hear your definition of “conservative.” Since you’re obviously a fan of Ayn Rand, I’m assuming you’re more likely a libertarian.

kayaker 71

March 26th, 2010
9:13 am

This whole fiasco goes much further than just health care. It could have been immigration, cap and trade, revision of the tax code….. most any arena would do. We have a gigantic divide regarding political philosophy. Close of 85% of the American people have a health care plan. The majority are pretty happy with it. The other 15% would have health care if they could afford it. Laws could have been passed to include dependents on their parent’s health care plans past age 23…. we could have passed a law to eliminate pre-existing conditions, we could have seriously looked at the malpractice phenom, all of which would have improved the system without government intervention. In steps the government. Let’s not take steps to lower the cost of health care insurance, let’s not attack the real cause of the problem, let’s put a government fix on it, which all of us know, will always work. We don’t want government running our lives, getting more intrusive into our finances, spending other people’s money like it was some sort of game and the debt doesn’t matter……. we can always get more monopoly money from China.
And this is just the beginning. If you don’t think that single payer option is the next step, you are living on the wrong planet. More government dependence, more government interference with our lives and more debt. And most responsible, thinking people don’t want to walk down that path that just leads to more of the same. What’s not to like?

Educated

March 26th, 2010
9:13 am

I dare say none of you liberals on here have read a single line of this bill. I don’t believe you have read any op pieces other than the ones that share your same view. To say the republicans offered nothing proves your lack of education on this matter. You “can’t handle the truth”. To think CT has read the legislation is laughable. I have no doubt that she managed to piece this article together by using articles written by Al Sharpton and other uneducated libs.

There’s literally no substance behind your thought CT. I am still puzzled how you receive a paycheck from AJC.

bytejockey

March 26th, 2010
9:13 am

Ms. Tucker will never have to worry about losing her job for telling the truth.

The Udder side!!

March 26th, 2010
9:14 am

ctucker

March 26th, 2010
9:11 am

Ms. Tucker, My comment was in reference to worms’ 9:10 post…..

Oh Brother

March 26th, 2010
9:14 am

Jack

March 26th, 2010
8:46 am
“Political football with little to no emphasis on the people. How many people does it take to make a mistake like not allow kids with pre existing coverage until 2014? Because both the Rep and Dems are worried about themselves and their next steak dinner paid for by a lobbyist. If somehow you feel connected to DC, I can probably sell you some swamp land.”

AMEN, and AMEN. Too bad you’re preaching to the choir. Most of these loyalist idiots-DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN- don’t get it.

ctucker

March 26th, 2010
9:14 am

Middle of the road, Last year, Obama invited a group of Republican leaders into his office and asked what they wanted in the health care bill. Of course, they mentioned medical malpractice reform. He said OK. Now, how many of you are prepared to vote for it with that in it? Not one raised his hand.

Madison

March 26th, 2010
9:17 am

Udder side, CT is not the sharpest tool in the shed!

Scout

March 26th, 2010
9:19 am

Ms. Tucker:

Good morning.

Since you are allowing posts on this thread I read it this morning.

Some people are stupid

March 26th, 2010
9:20 am

kayaker 71 -
A lot of that stuff is in the bill. In fact, kids stay on to 26.

Keep up the good fight!

March 26th, 2010
9:20 am

Martin….give it a rest on Dingle. He misspoke. He admitted it. He is one person. Every government agency needs rules and regulations, forms and systems to operate and for management control. This borders right up there with the birthers.

Brian

March 26th, 2010
9:20 am

They tax tobacco and liqour already, whats wrong with taxing tanning? If your going to be a liability to the system you better be ready to either put up or shut up. Of course this would be a complete non-issue if Americans weren’t generally fat disgusting pigs that shoved deep fat fried foods into thier gluttonous gullets at a rate that makes the rest of the world queezy. If we took care of ourselves, ate right, worked out, and kept the genetically faulty from breeding we wouldn’t have these issues at all.

Matt

March 26th, 2010
9:21 am

Its a shame that being “middle of the road” has become a byword in American politics. No wonder there is so much hate and very little gets accomplished.

Chris

March 26th, 2010
9:22 am

That’s like bribing me with free nachos in a bill that allowed a child molester to be the new kindergarten teacher.

You can’t put one or two things into a bill someone likes and expect them to overlook everything else they hate. Let’s use some common sense here, if that’s possible.

I like about 3-4 things in this bill. Everything else I pretty much hate. You expect me to vote yes on it?

Reality

March 26th, 2010
9:23 am

@Middle of the road
Um, yes – those ARE bad ideas. Limits on malpractice have already been shot down here in GA by the courts. THAT is unconstititional for a law to set any limits on that type of liability – the limit is set by the JURY and not by politicans.

Some people are stupid

March 26th, 2010
9:23 am

Matt-
I agree with you. It’s either you are far right or far left. There is no in-between.

Open mouth, insert foot

March 26th, 2010
9:24 am

So like I said, if your local Republican incumbent doesn’t run for re-election in November don’t be surpised to see them on the Board for Pfizer or Aetna. LMAO, some are already signing deals right now. Don’t be fooled, sheeple. Your reps are having their pockets lined to “fight the good fight.” They care not about your tax $

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Dear CT @ 9:13, fair statement, I separate myself from my Wooten-esque friends on a handful of issues, e.g., free immigration, legalization of drugs – mostly those few areas where conservatives affirm government is smarter than the market. To your point: a conservative is a libertarian-wannabe, but is one unable to overcome personal revulsion at those personal choices he despises. I think “tolerance” is the virtue that distinguishes my ilk from my conservative friends.

My brand of libertarianism – always note the lower-case “L” – is fully in sync with our conservative friends on the one meritorious element of our government, the military.

Some people are stupid

March 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Chris- What don’t you like about the bill
And second, if you already have insurance, the mandate to you is useless.

Yoyogrrrl

March 26th, 2010
9:26 am

Let’s try something new, shall we? Let’s try to have a discussion without making personal attacks? If all you can do is say the other side is stupid, you’re simply showing that you are a dull tool as well.

::smile::

Keep up the good fight!

March 26th, 2010
9:26 am

Eddjucated…..you have no idea who has read what. I have read through the bills and the law. So what does that prove.

To attack with “Al Sharpton” puts you in the same nut category as someone who claims tanning tax is a tax on white people………you go beyond ignorance into the stupid nonsense category

kayaker 71

March 26th, 2010
9:26 am

Brian,

Who uses tanning salons? I’ve never been in one but I am sure that it is that segment of the society that has little to no melanin in their dermis. Why don’t we tax rap concerts or companies that sell those large chrome wheels that go on all of those 1985 rust buckets? Seems only fair, wouldn’t you say?

Talk about calling the kettle...

March 26th, 2010
9:26 am

…”Tell it like it is” is a metaphor for CT putting out what SHE believes to be true while not letting other respond to her – see Wednesday’s rant by her where the general public was not allowed an opportunity to respond.

CK – tell it like it is, like why the real numbers are considerably higher than the budget office was “allowed” to post – tell it like it is about “why” the delay until 2014 for actual implemenation of the process (I think that senator/rep who said, when asked this question that it was because it “takes time to control people”) – tell it like it is – OK here goes,, to quote Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men” -

Democrats and Liberals “CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH” – but they can point fingers and cry RACISM at the drop of any salvo from “the other side”.

ED Delton

March 26th, 2010
9:27 am

“But even more interesting is what Frum said on tape about Fox…namely to the effect “We Republicans thought Fox worked for us, we found out we worked for Fox.”

So does this mean the Republicans are finally figuring out who is running the henhouse?

Open mouth, insert foot

March 26th, 2010
9:27 am

Kayaker71- will you be joining pill-popping Rush in Costa Rica? I’m sure you’ll enjoy the nice weather and free healthcare :-)

BRENDA ebonitia NERO

March 26th, 2010
9:27 am

NO INTEGRITY – nada – none…

Reality

March 26th, 2010
9:28 am

@Call it like it is….
Trying to attach amendments without negotiations does nothing. What the repubs did was attempt to delay the passage of this reconciliation bill – that is all. One of their proposed amendments….

Force doctors to search for legal background checks on patients before prescribing viagra. LOL! Yeah – this will decrease cost of healthcare!

Bubba

March 26th, 2010
9:28 am

Obama picks up a major endorsement on the health care bill: Fidel Castro

Josh

March 26th, 2010
9:28 am

CT

You simply amaze me. You put no thought in your blogs. You just copy and paste other people’s words and you thrown a sentence or two. Anyways, the REAL PATRIOTS are not the Democrats but the Republicans for standing up to this madness, this cancer. They still know what the Constitution and Declaration of Independence says and means. It appears, that you and the Democrats have no understanding of those documents that formed liberty and freedom in America. Its because you all do not believe in those documents but a government ran socialist, marxist, communist utopia where the government controls the people.

T-Bone

March 26th, 2010
9:29 am

I like that jab; he’s a republican that thinks for himself. Yes Frum is a free thinker maybe even enlightened like many of you that have adopted the religion of politics as your idol. The rest of us knuckle dragging Neanderthals have better learn that if we don’t adapt we will be shut out of any of the rest of the “change” that is in store for us. I can’t wait to see how this is going to turn out. Cap and tax, immigration reform and education reform. The road to destruction is wide and the gate is big many will follow it.

Rob

March 26th, 2010
9:30 am

Who cares?

Would the DNC have kicked out someone who supported Bush’s war?

DD

March 26th, 2010
9:31 am

Cynthia McKinney… I mean Tucker. It’s the same thing every day out of you and libs pie-holes…. Blah, blah, blah, I can’t wait to come back and visit this column 2 years from now to watch you all eat crow. Of course Ms McKinney, darn, did it again Tucker, has no lick of sense anyway. Clueless people.