David Frum and the Closing of the Conservative Mind

David Frum and the Closing of the Conservative Mind

Alan Johnson: David Frum and the Closing of the Conservative Mind

Conservative author and former Bush speech-writer David Frum has been fired by the American Enterprise Institute days after flaying the GOP leadership for its flat-out opposition to Obama?s health care plan. Frum wrote:

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. [But] we followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat. (…)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.

Yesterday I posed the question why the GOP had traveled “from Richard Nixon to Dennis Prager” (i.e. from seeking universal health care in partnership with liberals to seeing the same objective as The End Of The World As We Know It). David thinks part of the answer is the rising influence of “responsibility-free talkers on television and radio.” He points out that:

“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.”

And three days later he was sacked.


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