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New York: When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality? by David Frum


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When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

http://nymag.com/news/politics/conservatives-david-frum-2011-11/index3.html

This excerpt is from the middle of the article.

1. Fiscal Austerity and Economic Stagnation

We have entered an era in which politics increasingly revolves around the ugly question of who will bear how much pain. Conservative constituencies already see themselves as aggrieved victims of American government: They are the people who pay the taxes even as their “earned” benefits are siphoned off to provide welfare for the undeserving. The reality is, however, that the big winners in the American fiscal system are the rich, the old, the rural, and veterans—typically conservative constituencies. Squeezing the programs conservatives most dislike—PBS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, tax credits for the poor, the Department of Education, etc.—yields relatively little money. Any serious move to balance the budget, or even just reduce the deficit a little, must inevitably cut programs conservative voters do like: Medicare for current beneficiaries, farm subsidies, veterans’ benefits, and big tax loopholes like the mortgage-interest deduction and employer-provided health benefits. The rank and file of the GOP are therefore caught between their interests and their ideology—intensifying their suspicion that shadowy Washington elites are playing dirty tricks upon them.

2. Ethnic Competition

White America has been plunged into a mood of pessimism and anger since 2008. Ron Brownstein reports in the National Journal: “63 percent of African-Americans and 54 percent of Hispanics said they expected their children to exceed their standard of living. Even *college-educated whites are less optimistic (only about two-fifths agree). But the noncollege whites are the gloomiest: Just one-third of them think their kids will live better than they do; an equal number think their children won’t even match their living standard. No other group is nearly that negative.” Those fears are not irrational. In postrecession America, employers seem to show a distinct preference for foreign-born workers. Eighty percent of the net new jobs created in the state of Texas since 2009 went to the foreign-born. Nationwide, foreign-born workers have experienced a net 4 percent increase in employment since January 2009, while native-born workers have seen continuing employment declines. Which may explain why President Obama’s approval rating among whites slipped to 41 percent in January 2010 and is now testing a new low of 33 percent. The president’s name and skin color symbolize the emergence of a new America in which many older-stock Americans intuit they will be left behind.

It is precisely these disaffected whites—especially those who didn’t go to college—who form the Republican voting base. John McCain got 58 percent of noncollege-white votes in 2008. The GOP polls even higher among that group today, but the party can only sustain those numbers as long as it gives voice to alienation. Birtherism, the claim that President Obama was not born in the United States, expressed the feeling of many that power has shifted into alien hands. That feeling will not be easily quelled by Republican electoral success, because it is based on a deep sense of dispossession and disinheritance.

3. Fox News and Talk Radio

Extremism and conflict make for bad politics but great TV. Over the past two decades, conservatism has evolved from a political philosophy into a market segment. An industry has grown up to serve that segment—and its stars have become the true thought leaders of the conservative world. The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much. As a tool of political mobilization, it backfires, by inciting followers to the point at which they force leaders into confrontations where everybody loses, like the summertime showdown over the debt ceiling.

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.”

more at link......

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Did you read the whole thing? Seriously, this is a Conservative and formerly a regular on Faux News, he worked with the Bush administration....this is NOT from a Democrat.

I skimmed it all, read some parts more closely than others. I'll read the whole thing when I get home. But I don't care whether he was a Fox regular or not. At least here, Fox is more of a tool for liberals than conservatives. It's usually used to quash a conservative opinion when actually having to think of a response would be too labor intensive.

I wonder if there's a way to search "Fox News" and "Faux News" on the site. I'd love to compile the number of references from known liberals and known conservatives and see who has more. I don't think it would even be close.

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Hmmm ... interesting. I'm surprised to see Frum, who ain't exactly a commie pinko, pummel his fellow conservatives.

Exactly, apparently he has been ostracized because he dared to challenge the logic of allowing Rush Limbaugh to lead the GOP, he talks some about it in the latter part of the article.

BTW H_H, weak sauce buddy, you know as well as I do that the Tea Party soaks up Faux News like a sponge. You can do all the searching on ES that you want but not even you believe that Liberals are watching more Faux News than Conservatives.

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sorry senor hogg.. but that was a lame response :)

YOU assert that this article is pinko trash.

ASF responds that the author you have just labeled as a pinko commie is a well known conservative with conservative credentials (a fox news veteran).

YOU respond that pinko commies always use Fox as the wipping boy when they want to aviod discussion.

that is pretty weak swill you are serving.

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Hmmm ... interesting. I'm surprised to see Frum, who ain't exactly a commie pinko, pummel his fellow conservatives.

He's been doing it since Obama came into power.

I skimmed it all, read some parts more closely than others. I'll read the whole thing when I get home. But I don't care whether he was a Fox regular or not. At least here, Fox is more of a tool for liberals than conservatives. It's usually used to quash a conservative opinion when actually having to think of a response would be too labor intensive.

That's actually part of Frum's point. Because of Fox News and various pundits, it is hard for some conservative talking points to be taken seriously, when they are making a joke out of the whole thing. They work in their own universe that any American who actually thinks about what they are talking about more than likely rejects.

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sorry senor hogg.. but that was a lame response :)

YOU assert that this article is pinko trash.

Ah yes, another tried and true left tactic here. Show me where I said that. I said it was painted with a broad brush, and it was.

ASF responds that the author you have just labeled as a pinko commie is a well known conservative with conservative credentials (a fox news veteran).

I labeled a pinko commie? Show me where I said THAT too while you're at it.

YOU respond that pinko commies always use Fox as the wipping boy when they want to aviod discussion.

A perfect 3-for-3. I didn't say that either. I said they scream "Fox News" when taking the time to formulate an argument would require too much effort.

Weaksauce is making **** up, assigning it to someone else, and arguing with it.

that is pretty weak swill you are serving.

Wait until you hear the REST of what I'm gonna serve. (Wait, you already have, since you're making it up as I type.)

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It's painted with a brush wielded by a guy who would rather paint the other way.

This isn't your usual hit piece, it's David Frum, an accredited Conservative thinkitankian.

til, as stated, he questioned, and was ostracized for daring to be concerned over the issues he sees.

Perhaps instead of constantly listening to the 'conservatives" who continually tell you their misguided bull is not only correct, but the only thing you can do to save your country, you can listen to a real one who recognizes the very real problems that now exist within the party he most identifies with.

Just swiping over every time someone says something else about the conservative bubble that doesn't match their constant propaganda just makes the work of insidious propagandists easier and easier.

Quit feeding at the trough and look what you're eating. Guys like Frum are trying to show it to you, and benefitting Democrats is certainly not his motivation.

~Bang

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Sorry, Bang. Can't answer the baseless attack. Don't want to hijack. But you might want to read my posts, oh, say around the last presidential election. Yep. I was a trough-feeding Obama republican. :ols:

And ASF, as you know, #2 is a hot-button for me. I am less optimistic. And the reason for that is simple. I'm a member of the first generation in a long-ass time to have a lower quality of life than my parents. I pray the same won't be true for my kids. But while we were told affirmative action would be in place "until the glass ceiling is broken" it still exists; despite the fact that the most powerful man in the country -- and indeed on earth -- is black.

Now it's "not every minority has those opportunities." And that's true. But neither does every white. This is why I agree with the president's position (sorry Bang, stepping out of party bounds again...my bad) that AA should be NEED based, rather than race based. Treating people differently based on race is the definition of racism, and is inherently bad. And as long as it exists it will, and should, cause resentment. (And I say that no matter WHO is on the losing end of the difference in treatment...white, black, hispanic, or otherwise.)

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I will say this, I find myself agreeing more and more with principles of conservatism. But I have two problems with actually voting or registering GOP, in general.

1. I think the principles make sense, but not when they are applied as rigidly as some of the GOP are trying to apply them. I believe in pragmatism and educated decisions, rather than a strict adherence to any amorphous general principle on politics. And I don't think many GOP are even attempting to show that they have principles that they start with, but are also willing to make common sense decisions when those principles yield poor results.

2. I don't really think many of the GOP are what they say they are. They don't want big government, supposedly, but they do want it in a lot of ways. They want big defense, they want handouts for coporations, they want the government to make life easier for business. Why? I see the GOP picking and choosing winners as much as, and honestly, more than the democrats these days.

And finally, it seems like a lot of the GOP is just moving farther and farther to the right. Its true, no matter what anyone says, that the individual mandate was a GOP idea. When Obama compromised and adopted it to get healthcare through, it became a "socialist" conspiracy. The same can be said for cap and trade, for example, and a host of other ideas. These conservative ideas, that have actually won support from a lot of dems, are no longer conservative. They are now socialist.

If the GOP candidates were a little more practical in balancing the budget, and willing to compromise, they may have me. But so far, being called a "compromiser" is like being a four letter word. Or even worse "an Obama-lover."

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Sorry, Bang. Can't answer the baseless attack. Don't want to hijack. But you might want to read my posts, oh, say around the last presidential election. Yep. I was a trough-feeding Obama republican. :ols:

Like i said. This guy is not writing this to give an edge to the liberal agenda.

He's trying to show conservatives the problems in the conservative agenda because the last people who seem to see them are the conservatives. The problems are getting exacerbated to the point where our government is entirely dysfunctional.

You can joke all you want about how you're not stepping over party lines, etc, but the fact is you did gloss this over and wave it off as broad brushed attack in less than ten minutes from it's posting, and since folks have been trying to tell you it's not what you think, and who wrote it and why, you've stuck you fingers in your ears and begun the 'nanana' routine.

I know you think it's not like that, but it is.

Now for some reason it's steering to affirmative action and who you voted for.

the last paragraph in the excerpt the OP posted says a lot. You' have to be willing and able to step outside the narrative to see how ridiculous it's getting.

~Bang

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Like i said. This guy is not writing this to give an edge to the liberal agenda.

He's trying to show conservatives the problems in the conservative agenda.

You can joke all you want about how you're not stepping over party lines, etc, but the fact is you did gloss this over and wave it off as broad brushed attack in less than ten minutes from it's posting, and since folks have been trying to tell you it's not what you think, and who wrote it and why, you've stuck you fingers in your ears and begun the 'nanana' routine.

I know you think it's not like that, but it is.

Now for some reason it's steering to affirmative action and who you voted for.

~Bang

It painted "conservatives" with a broad brush. Like the point that the GOP base is made up of uneducated whites. That may be true of some, but certainly not all. That's what? A broad brush.

And #2 is about ethnic competition. If you're having trouble reading it, I'll call you and read it to you. Sorry for going on topic. Maybe you'd like to try it as well.

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David Frum

Former speechwriter for George W Bush, where he invented the "axis of evil" line

Former editorial page editor for the conservative Wall Street Journal

Former columnist for Forbes Magazine

Former editor for National Review

Author of a book defending the Iraq invasion

Former fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank

Former advisor to Rudy Guiliani

Most recent book entitiled "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again" was published in 2008.

Gotta hate it when those liberals start painting the other side with a broad brush.

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It painted "conservatives" with a broad brush. Like the point that the GOP base is made up of uneducated whites. That may be true of some, but certainly not all. That's what? A broad brush.

I don't think he claimed the GOP base is made up of uneducated whites. I believe he claimed it is made up of disaffected whites. And, he's probably right. The GOP base is pretty pissed off and pretty white.

And #2 is about ethnic competition. If you're having trouble reading it, I'll call you and read it to you. Sorry for going on topic. Maybe you'd like to try it as well.

In that section, he (1) said the GOP base is pretty white, pissed off, and pessimistic and (2) talked about poll results. The former is, at least in my view, true. The latter is undoubtedly true (the poll results are the poll results).

---------- Post added December-14th-2011 at 05:16 PM ----------

Frum has been writing this same article for like 2 years now. i mean he's right, make no mistake. but it's hardly surprising at this point that he's the one saying it.

I'm fairly surprised by it because I haven't paid much attention to him over the past few years. In fact, I haven't ever paid much attention to him because he strikes me as a weenie.

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It painted "conservatives" with a broad brush. Like the point that the GOP base is made up of uneducated whites. That may be true of some, but certainly not all. That's what? A broad brush.

And #2 is about ethnic competition. If you're having trouble reading it, I'll call you and read it to you. Sorry for going on topic. Maybe you'd like to try it as well.

I thought he went out of his way to say that he doesn't think its possible that he's the only conservative who feels the way he does. Maybe you do too?

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Ah yes, another tried and true left tactic here. Show me where I said that. I said it was painted with a broad brush, and it was.

I labeled a pinko commie? Show me where I said THAT too while you're at it.

A perfect 3-for-3. I didn't say that either. I said they scream "Fox News" when taking the time to formulate an argument would require too much effort.

Weaksauce is making **** up, assigning it to someone else, and arguing with it.

Wait until you hear the REST of what I'm gonna serve. (Wait, you already have, since you're making it up as I type.)

that is a fine, and completely expected response from you.

and i will just leave it there, and let our dear readers judge whether the presented figleaf covers the emperor's exposed butt.

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It painted "conservatives" with a broad brush. Like the point that the GOP base is made up of uneducated whites. That may be true of some, but certainly not all. That's what? A broad brush.

Actually, he's addressing specifically the GOP not necessarily conservatives of which he is one.

And #2 is about ethnic competition. If you're having trouble reading it, I'll call you and read it to you. Sorry for going on topic. Maybe you'd like to try it as well.

You're right, and I tend to agree with you that if we are going to have AA then it must be needs based rather than race based.

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