Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, November 28, 2011

David Frum Asks: "When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?"

Former George W. Bush speech writer and conservative pundit, David Frum, asks an important question.

When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

All we have to do is look at the recent GOP "debates" to understand that the top contenders for the GOP presidential nomination are not serious politicians with serious ideas. And, at this moment, the leading GOP contender is a guy who left the House speakership in disgrace and who took almost $2 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a lobbyist while saying that Rep. Barney Frank should be thrown in jail for his Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ties.  The other top contender, Mitt Romney, is a politician who has changed his position on every single major issue in order to ingratiate himself with the extremists in the GOP base.  The rest of them:  Perry, Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, and Paul, have no chance at all of winning a national election.

Frum explains:

"But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) “the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.”...

Some call this the closing of the conservative mind. Alas, the conservative mind has proved itself only too open, these past years, to all manner of intellectual pollen. Call it instead the drying up of conservative creativity...

I refuse to believe that I am the only Republican who feels this way. If CNN’s most recent polling is correct, only half of us sympathize with the tea party. However, moderate-minded people dislike conflict—and thus tend to lose to people who relish conflict. The most extreme voices in the GOP now denounce everybody else as Republicans in Name Only. But who elected them as the GOP’s membership committee? What have they done to deserve such an inheritance?...

This is, unfortunately, not merely a concern for Republican voters. The conservative shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology has ominous real-world consequences for American society."


Rational Nation USA said...

Interesting post. Frum makes some cogent points. He is a man desirous of preserving his party. However, in the spirit that was once a vastly different political environment.

BTW, did you catch the article with Bill Clinton throwing some kudos the way of Newt?

What's up with that?

Infidel753 said...

If the Republican party ever does return to sanity, the country will owe Frum and people like him a great deal.

Unfortunately, it's hard to see what could bring the party to its senses other than a massive electoral defeat (or several) and that doesn't seem to be in the offing. The electorate cares only about who is most likely to bring job growth, and at least so far, there isn't a broad consensus on that, however obvious it may be to us.

Infidel753 said...

What's up with that?

Big Dawg knows his politics.

SouthernGirl2 said...

BTW, did you catch the article with Bill Clinton throwing some kudos the way of Newt?

What's up with that?

Can't trust him!

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN: "What's up with that?"

"We’ve seen how Bill Clinton tried to manipulate the media the other day with kind words spoken about Newt Gingrich. MSM loves this affirmation of a carefully maintained lie, not even bothering to question Clinton’s motives."

Octopus said...

David Frum: "I’m only surprised Clinton didn’t add, “And his third wife? She’s fabulous. No wonder he dumped the other two."

A double cheap shot. Frum should not have ended his post with that. What rhymes with Frum? 'Crumb' and 'Dumb!"

Shaw Kenawe said...

(O)CT(O), but that's tame compared with what the toxic Coulter said about Sen. Kennedy.

Octopus said...

Auntie Shaw,
What ever happened to decorum and good taste? For far too many years, commentators and pundits have been pushing boundaries further into the wilderness to the extent that no one even knows what polite and proper discourse IZZZ anymore! Frum's remark was not just a cheap shot at Clinton and the Grinch, it was also disrespectful and sexist towards women.

About the Counter Coulter, there is not enough ink in the Cephalopodium to get me started.

Malcolm said...

David Frum is on point with this article. In answer to his question, I think the GOP started losing touch with reality during the Bush II administration and really went off the deep end around the time Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee for POTUS. It's sad that the far right slaps the "RINO" label on conservatives such as Frum, Joe Scarborough, and David Brooks while at the same time lifting divisive hucksters such as Limbaugh and Beck to heroic status.

Dave Miller said...

Amen Malcolm...

But I worry about the Dems doing the same to make sure people are left enough to be considered Dems...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Malcolm, I've repeated the same thing. Why did the GOP reject a smart, experienced guy like Huntsman? I was worried that they would nominate him after the debating and primary process, because he would be a formidable challenge to Mr. Obama.

Instead the GOP has allowed the crackpots supported by the extremes in their base carry the day. Herman Cain? Michele Bachmann? versus Huntsman? or even Pawlenty? And now Sarah Palin's fans have put out a video begging her to run, as though she had the intelligence or judgement to lead this country.

Dave, I can't think of a science-denying exteme religionist, ultra-liberal who ran in the 2008 Democratic primary. Dennis Kucinich is a far left liberal, but you wouldn't hear him mangling American history or bragging that America needs "leaders, not readers," or saying Evolution is only "a theory" and should be taught in public school with creationism, a religious doctrine.

I can't remember who else on the far left participated in the 2008 primary, but the two leading contenders were two very smart people: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Joe Biden was another contender, Chris Dodd. None of these people could be considered fringe politicians pandering to anti-science and anti-intellectualism.

Michael Moore is pretty far left, but he's not running for any office, nor would I support him for one.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, But I am convinced that our side has our litmus tests also. Think pro-choice, minority friendly, etc.

There are certainly views that a Dem could hold that would disqualify him or her from the Presidency.

At this point, thankfully, academics and a fatal resistance to compromise are not among them... yet.

okjimm said...

// and let students decide."//

yes...14 and 15 yr olds really need to make more big decisions

We don't need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
pink floyd

Yessiree Bob...Let them decide about pollution, too. oh,oh and how about nuclear science..which I hear is just a theory... oh oh, and Relativity is just a theory as well...ask Einstein.

Gravity is only a theory...ask Newton.

personally, I think Bachmann is only a theory, too.... the Theory of Dumbness....which states, " there is a direct correlation between the time it takes for Bachmann to open her mouth and something to to spill from the said orfice."

Malcolm said...

Dave: Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Hopefully, liberals don't play the "purity test" game the way many on the right do. It'll be just as disastrous for us as it has been and likely will continue to be for them.

Shaw: I hope things are going as well as possible in your time of mourning. I was afraid of Huntsman too. However, we needn't have worried because a large portion of the GOP base has no interest in a sensible candidate like him. Sadly, he has recently resorted to pandering by back pedaling on his belief that global warming is real.