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.

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In his first two sentences Frum gave us 5 reasons to never vote republican again. His diatribe sounds more like a republican attack add than MarketPlace commentary. Typically, there were no solutions recommended, just unsubstantiated "tea-whiner" attacks. I am really disappointed in the MarketPlace staff for putting this partisan attack on the air so close to the election.

I listen to NPR for neutral, objective,
nonpartisan reporting. Was this opinionated one sided testimonial retribution for the Juan Williams firing or has NPR decided to abandon the integrity of professional reporting? I would assume that the cry to end public funding for NPR as a result of the Juan Williams firing is now silenced.

Frum, as well as the commenters below, have missed the point: the problem isn't the various efforts to "fix" the economy. The problem is the gigantic deficits we have accumulated under all politicians. We must insist that the taxpayers stop subsidizing all political parties.

Come on Frum, do you really think that the stimulus program did not create jobs -- a lot of jobs? How about we ask the independent FactCheck.org? "As we have written before, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report in August that said the stimulus bill has "[l]owered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points" and "[i]ncreased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million."" Their conclusion? "Did the Stimulus Create Jobs? Yes, the stimulus legislation increased employment, despite false Republican claims to the contrary."

The idea that a Republican win will "redirect the country" is also foolhardy. The direction of the country only changes when one party controls Congress and the White House, which will not happen here. The American public knows this, and for this reason rarely gives one party control of both bodies. Prior to the last election, when did this happen before? Oh yes, that would be the administration you served in. And how did that turn out? Oh yes, it nearly put our country into the second Great Depression and forced us all into a position where we HAD to do TARP, the stimulus bill, GM, etc. It wiped out billions of dollars in American wealth, turning many 401(k)s into the proverbial 201(k)s. Two wars. Tortured prisoners. Must we go on and on about this, because you seem to have forgotten?

At least you admitted (as you must) that TARP was a Bush administration policy. Maybe you should discuss that fact with all the Republican candidates running away from it, and all the Tea Partiers (and Republicans too) who are blaming it all on Democrats. They need your "enlightenment" a lot more than the intelligent audience of Marketplace, which can see right through your political tripe.

I'm incensed that you gave an open mike to a partisan former speechwriter for a political (not even actually pseudo-financial) screed less than a week before the election.

Then, Kai, you said "Next week Robert Reich will be back." Dude... next week is after the election. Whether intentional or accidental, your timing here is atrocious and indefensible.

I want to hear a full-on opposing view from someone else, someone substantial and articulate, BEFORE election day. Sheesh. What were you thinking? Were you thinking?

Further, Frum's utterly predictable 'straight vote for Republicans' was rationalized by criticism of what came up short during Obama's two years. Did he mention bleepin' ANYthing that the Republicans proposed that was actually better? No. Whose policies caused all this? No. Did he, or you, give any credit for things Obama did that worked? No. Like maybe mentioning a tax cut people have gotten? No. Like new employment claims lower than on inauguration day? No. GDP higher than on inauguration day? No. Non-farm payroll higher than the post-recession low? No.
Double-check for yourself:
Kai, you just ran an unpaid ad against the Democrats, and didn't say 'boo' about its contents. That's unacceptable.

(The above was written while still listening to the show.)

Grrr. You just closed with a chipper report that millionaires are now happier than before 2007. ... AND. NO. COMMENT. Are the rest of us happier? No. Did the millionaires get hurt as badly as the general public? No. Did you mention that? No. Again, (what) were you thinking?

Kai, you have some 'splainin to do, and the sooner the rebuttal runs, the better.

Oh my gosh, a Republican operative from the Bush administration is going to vote Republican in the upcoming election. Stop the presses!! We must get this on the air immediately -- out listeners will be so intrigued!

Why does American Public Media provide a podium to Frum and his idiotic ilk? Fair and balanced? More like dumb and dumber.

I expect more from Marketplace listeners about hearing an opposing point of view- LAUGHABLE AS IT IS!- Lets give a little time for the poorly informed to show us what they are thinking. Beyond all the bizarre interpetations Frum has about the economy- how can he imply (with a straight face) that Republicans will make us more energy independent? Oh right! Ethanol! Drive baby Drive! Drill baby, drill!

I loved your commentary. You summerized the situation so well. As a History and Economics major, I couldn't agree more.


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