Frum: This election, vote GOP

Commentator David Frum.


Kai Ryssdal: A dynamic political system takes all kinds. It takes the press people on the inside of the campaigns -- the communicators -- whose jobs it is to get the candidate's message out. It takes pollsters to count noses and tell us who's up and who's down. And it takes pundits to tell us what to think.

As we continue our series on the people behind the machinery of politics, one of our regular pundits: commentator David Frum. He's weighed in on just about everything this election cycle. And so today, why he has decided to vote the way he will.

David Frum: I know, I know, I know! There's Christine O'Donnell, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle. Never mind Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Fox News. There's the crazy guy in Texas who says that revolution is "on the table." And anyway, what kind of fiscally conservative party campaigns on a pledge to protect Medicare exactly as it is?

Yet I will, nevertheless, be voting the straight Republican ticket on Nov. 2, and here's why: The Obama Administration has launched more big bold initiatives than any administration since Lyndon Johnson's, from health care reform through Afghanistan.

Now ask yourself this: Which of these measures has produced the results promised? Of them all, in fact, there's only one that has done the job -- and that was a continuation of a Bush-era policy, the Troubled Asset Relief Program. TARP averted a second Great Depression. But the Obama stimulus did not ignite job creation. Health care reform will increase the number of insured Americans somewhat, at enormous cost, but it will not slow cost inflation. It will mean higher subsidies and more taxes. The auto bailout is just plain bad economic policy. More disappointments.

The financial regulation fix ignored as "too hard" -- the status of the government mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "Green jobs" is an excuse for government boondoggles. Meanwhile, the crucial goal of energy security is no closer today than two years ago.

We need a change of course. And ironically, the biggest winner from such a change might be the president himself. Again and again, this president has excessively deferred to Democrats in Congress. He let them write his stimulus and his health care bill.

Obama won't defer to Republicans, which means a big Republican win will not only redirect the country, it will also remind this president that it's his job to lead, not just preside.

Ryssdal: David Frum is editor of FrumForum. In earlier days, he was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Next week in this slot, our regular commentator Robert Reich. Your opinions are always welcome, no matter when.

Log in to post54 Comments


When Obama won the election, I told myself to have patience and let America learn its lesson. What I knew was once they got a wiff of all that stank, they would regret it. So, now I'm in the same predicament with Jerry Brown, I say you want him, ok learn your lesson CA!

When the going got tough and our side was getting thrashed, some chose to jump ship. Some took delight in spewing their contempt while we were down. Frum, Parker, Brooks: you know who you are. So now we're back and those who couldn't stand us want to try and say, "Hey, I'm on the team, right." No David, we know who our friends are. We really don't give a rat's ass who you vote for. Try the other side; maybe you can get the opening gig for Parker/Spitzer.

Blasting Frum as a neocon is rather hilarious. Accusing him of being a Republican shill is the height of liberal ignorance.

Quite frankly, as a conservative voter, I found his comments to be far too kind and gentle regarding the hacks who have driven our government's agenda for the past four (note to leftists: not two) years.

All that being said: Please, oh enlightened leftists of the world, answer Mr. Frum's question. "Which of these measures has produced the results promised?"

Stimulus? Unemployment below 8%? Obamacare? Premiums not rising? Afghanistan? "Defeating the people who attacked us on 9/11"? Auto bailouts? Billions of unconstitutional dollars to buy shares and force GM to make a $41,000 electric car that no non-hippie will buy? Fannie and Freddie excluded from fin-reg? What, Dodd's cottage in Ireland and Barney's boyfriend both need upgrades or something? "Green jobs?" What is that, exactly? $1,000,000 in taxpayer dollars to subsidize a company that pays a few guys $50,000 a year for two years until it goes out of business?

Yeah, okay libs. Frum is way out in right field.

I've never laughed so hard in my life than I have reading all the hand-wringing, teeth gnashing lunatics ranting on about David Frum. Frum may be a Republican but he's no conservative. Nobody, and I mean nobody, cares what he thinks. The rest of you, living in talking points land, take a pill and get a grip. Sheesh!

How nice David, but really now, no one cares what you plan on doing. It's always interesting when someone thinks the public in general care. It's like reading about a newspaper giving their endorsement. So!!


Frum is a schlep of an excuse for a conservative, but to see you guys up in arms over this is causing me great joy today. Good luck to all you nutroots. I hear Markos Moulitsas needs some traffic... g'wan over there and give out some sympathetic glances down your noses. :-)

I'll resist the temptation to pretend how shocked I am that Bush's axis of evil speechwriter is at heart a Republican hack and instead take issue with this claim from Frum:

"The Obama Administration has launched more big bold initiatives than any administration since Lyndon Johnson's, from health care reform through Afghanistan."

A much more historically accurate claim would be that Obama has proposed more big bold initiatives than any president since Nixon, or perhaps Reagan, even though this upsets Frum's idealized narrative of American politics.

Wow. Frum's party has opposed all action just because the opposite party is in power, and somehow Obama is to be blamed for Republican intransigence?

The GOP hasn't offered a single alternative to what Democrats have put to vote. The GOP's singular purpose and focus has been to stope everything. And, we should vote for these guys because Obama can't overcome their stubbornness?

This is yet another reason why I keep turning my public radio station off (I turned off the radio mid Frum) and keep refusing to pay a penny to stations that air such drivel.

Marketplace is driving away its moneyed, educated listeners in order to compete with CNN and Fox. Marketplace will probably be wiped out eventually.

I'm listening to podcasts and foreign news sources these days. The demise of Marketplace will be regrettable.

I do believe that the president may benefit from the Republicans taking back at least the house; the senate still appears up for grabs. However, my reasons are different. As of now, with the executive and legislative branches both in the hands of Democrats, they have become the easy targets. (Aren't they always?) However, should the Republicans ascend the legislative ladder with nothing but empty rhetoric at their disposal (and I write this as a conservative Republican), come the 2012 election, any GOP gains are obliterated and the Democrats keep the presidency and congress. If, however, the Democrats keep it all this time around, they risk losing it all in two years, not an unlikely scenario given their current degree of fecklessness.

"Obama won't defer to Republicans, which means a big Republican win will not only redirect the country, it will also remind this president that it's his job to lead, not just preside"

The truth is that the Republicans will not defer to the President. They are determined to oppose a Democrat. Their singular aim is to topple the President who is supported by the Democrats. Nothing else.


With Generous Support From...