'Not From Here,' stories by Nathan Deuel

Did conservative attack dogs eat one of their own?

David Frum. Image source is a screen shot from...

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum. (Image via Wikipedia)

Can the Republicans get anywhere by being the party of “no?” This is the question The New York Times takes up in a wide-ranging and provocative new piece.

At the heart of the essay, though, is the human tale of David Frum, a former George W. Bush speechwriter. In the wake of the health care reform bill, Frum wrote a searching, honest post, in which he pondered the Republicans’ position of no-compromise and the bulling, silencing power of the conservative “entertainment industry”:

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. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or — more exactly — with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother? I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters — but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead …

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

via Can ‘No’ Revive the Republicans? – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

In the wake of the post, which went viral, Frum was reportedly called in to meet with the head of the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute, where he had long been a resident scholar. They evidently fired him.

It’s creepy stuff — check out the whole Times piece. I may not agree with much of what Frum has written over his career, but I hate to think the situation among conservatives has become so poisonous and paranoid that one of their own would be dumped for speaking his mind.

Correct me if I’m wrong — would love to hear more context and opinion.

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Filed under: Healthcare reform, Media, New York Times, , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. […] Did conservative attack dogs eat one of their own? – Nathan Deuel … […]

  2. craig says:

    The only way that I could say that you are wrong is that you say the situation among conservatives has become like this. It has been this way for a long time. The republican party has been attempting to destroy anyone that voices dissent for many years. Remember when they tried to teach the French a lesson with freedom fries? Even more to the point, remember this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Street_Project

    Anyone who disagrees with their cause must not only be shut out of the process, but demonized as well.

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