Sunday, April 10, 2011

Governance Republicans Fight Back

David Frum:
Three positive signs in this past week.

1) The Republican caucus accepted a deal to avert a government shutdown. The deal is a huge victory for governance Republicanism over talk radio conservatism.

2) Glenn Beck’s show was canceled. There remains plenty of angry extremism on the airwaves: Limbaugh, Levin, and so on. But the collapse in Beck’s ratings represents a heartening repudiation of John Birch society conspiracy-mongering by rank-and-file conservatives – despite the shameful attempt by Fox News to mainstream this junk.

3) Donald Trump shouldered aside Newt Gingrich in Republican primary preferences. This may not sound like good news but bear with me: It used to be that the person offering the Obama-is-African-not-American message to the Republican primary electorate was a former speaker of the House, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a Fox News contributor: in other words, an eminent and respectable personage. Now Trump has stolen the Gingrich spotlight, knocked Gingrich out of the top 3. With the result that the bearer of the Obama-not-American message is a clownish TV personality in an absurd hairdo. That’s progress. Birtherism is being quarantined within the GOP. Better if it were repudiated and extinguished, but although this week was positive, it was not miraculous.
I have long wondered whether the Republican Party should be reformed or whether is should be given to talk radio so that they can sufficiently destroy it. Then, from its ashes, responsible conservatives could build a conservative party focused on goverance. The problem with the latter is that talk radio doesn't care if the Republicans lose elections. In fact, they prefer it. There are more anti-Obama books to write when he is in office. Painting the other side as destroying American is good for ratings. Losing won't cause Rush to go away. So I am not sure how easy it would be to start over.

Reforming the Party and combating the extremism of talk radio is the route to go. And this week was a good one. Governance Republicans are beginning to fight back!


Anonymous said...

What a great way to look at the emergence of Trump.

And I agree with your assertion that talk radio/Fox News want democrats to win. Fox News had their highest ratings ever during the first year of Obama's presidency. Talk Radio always enjoys it's best numbers when there is a democrat presidency. Limbaugh's zenith, at least as far as influence is concerned, was during the Clinton years, not the Bush years.

BOSMAN said...

I have no problem with the way things turned out with the budget compromise.

Any real reform was going to go no where with a Democratic Senate and a needed Presidential signature.

What we've witnessed over the past week was the parties positioning for 2012.

Republicans will be on record for willing to tackle the deficit and to compromise.

Democrats are on record for not willing to cut entitlements and social programs.

What will determine which group is victorious will be determined by the 2012 elections. Both parties will need Independents to win as well as the baby boomers who are probably the largest VOTING block.

As far as talk radio goes, It's good business to know your audience and mirror what they want. That's all any of these guys do for good or bad.

Anonymous said...

David Frum is an idiot.

While I agree that the deal can be a good first step for the GOP, the secret to turning this situation into a win is to use the debt ceiling debate to extract further concessions from the Democrats. We need to defund Planned Parenthood. There's absolutely no reason for the American taxpayer to be supporting this partisan organization. The same is true of NPR. Even the Democrat Congress rejected cap-and-trade. For the EPA to try to implement cap-and-trade through regulation is wrong. Right now, the country needs jobs and not EPA regulation. If we can win these battles in the upcoming fights over the debt ceiling and the 2012 budget, then Friday's compromise will be good for the country. If Friday's compromise ends up being just a little speed bump on the way to Democrats bankrupting the country, then the neither making the deal nor refusing the deal would have mattered.

Glenn Beck's show was one of the great sources of real history and information on TV. David Frum's attacks on Glenn Beck only show that David Frum isn't worth hearing.

Newt Gingrich's comments about Obama were not primarily about birther issues and whether Obama was technically a "natural born citizen." Instead, Dr. Gingrich's comments were about Obama's allegiances. Obama clearly doesn't have the USA first in his heart. Newt Gingrich is right to make this point as often as possible.

Tracey said...

Thanks for sharing this blog. I agree totally with your analysis and I fear it is true. The thought that "so-called" conservatives are ready to take America over a cliff for their own personal gain is frightening. I really don't think our country can take any more giant steps toward socialism and then undo the damage in 2016. I think we have a chance at undoing some of the damage if we can elect Mitt Romney as our next POTUS.