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David Frum

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum  on the GOP  today and his tough new novel “Patriots.”

Author David Frum.

Author David Frum.

 

When George W. Bush told the world after 9.11 it was time to go after an “axis of evil,” the first name attached to that memorable, controversial  phrase was that of Bush speechwriter David Frum.

Frum was a darling of the GOP in those days.  Up-and-coming neocon.  Fierce on Iraq.  In-your-face conservative.

It’s been a long decade since then.  A long road for David Frum.  Ditched by his rightwing think tank.  Derided as Republican in Name Only.  Turned off  by the Tea Party.  He says he’s still a true Republican.

But he has a tough story to tell, in a new novel.  This hour, On Point:  David Frum and “Patriots.”

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and now, Contributing Editor at the Daily Beast/Newsweek and a contributor to CNN. His new novel is Patriots.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “Unlike in the Depression, we’re not “all in this together.” The United States of the 2010s is a much more stratified society than the United States of the 1930s. The media executives who oversee our popular culture lead lives far removed from those of less-advantaged Americans. They sell into a market more internally segmented and subdivided than the market of the 1930s.”

Daily Beast “And finally, a word from our sponsor: Patriots is my attempt to think through all that has gone wrong in Washington these past years. I hope you’ll find it entertaining, but even more that you’ll hearken to its message. I’m bold enough to believe it’s worth a hearing. “

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  • American Pissant

    Bush, cheny, his associates, BP, Halliburton, WMD industrialists, Wall Street and all Bush ‘patriot’ legions belong in prison–they are criminals, terrorists, against democracy and humanity, and stand in the way of a better world, a harmonious world, social human progress of any kind–they claim to be ‘patriots’ waving flags and wearing nazi-like flags on lapels while they do everything in their power to divide America, corrupt America, dehumanize Americans, and defecate on Americans and everything America stands for…I hope this guy is not giving us more apologies or waving a patriot flag.  We would be better off burning the flag–the symbol has been corrupted and usurped–it now looks more like  a swastika than a sign of hope or democracy.  

    • ClementiHolstrofer23

      Are publishing industry payoffs the reason you have guests like this instead of someone with something of significance to relate: like any one of a thousand people that are typically ignored by the totalitarian mass media? Now I suppose I will see this ugly mug on every media circle jerk on the air. You know, the kind were someone who knows someone has his book published then the same corporation that owns the publishing company has his appear on a number of news/talk shows that they also own as part of their unending parade of mediocrity that they are numbing our brains with? Where are all the outcries about corporate profits and control of everything like we had on the space mining show? 

  • Zero

    What?  No counterpoint?  NPR, once again, showing its conservative bias!

    • Gregg

       Frum is about as conservative as David Brooks.

      • Richhead

         anything left of crazy is seen as liberal.

      • Joani

        Oh? do you have a meter that measures ?
        At least Brooks is a thoughtful writer,thinker, and a humanist.
        Just keep in mind that Fr-m. is the one who gave us the measure of “evil” countries, as if our own, MY own is pure, democratic, just and generous,F. is  one who enabled fut=rther the very evil acts and actions of our military and our CIA and our FBI and Cheney—the man who finally got a heart that will probably reject HIM, and…F. the “true Republican”.is ingersted only in promoting himself and his book(s).
        Where I live, Vermont, we call him a S—bag, because he collects and disperses it.Rich boy who never went soft.

    • Adks12020

      You’ve got to be kidding me.  If there is a liberal writer/commentator on here conservatives cry liberal bias; if there is a conservative on the show liberals call conservative bias…look at the guests through time and tell me there is a bias….if you do you’ll be lying.  Tom brings in views from both sides regularly.  They don’t always have to be on the same show.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      SELLING a book, by  a ‘conservative’, as usual.  NO counterpoint to them allowed!

    • Zero

      Apparently no one picked up on the sarcasm (especially in light of the Krugman show).

  • Victor Vito

    When he wrote speaches for G-Dub, did he write “nuclear” or “nukyehler”?  Inquiring minds are dying to know!

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      In all seriousness, did he or anyone else in the Bush admin have the balls to correct Bush?

      • Gregg

        For examples of yes men see the Obama administration.

        • J__o__h__n

          I don’t think his problem is yes men but that he listened to the wrong advisors like Summers and Geithner. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Cheney pulled the strings! 
          ‘W’ was radio-controlled, SO OBVIOUSLY for the first four years!  I guess they used a cattle-prod to finally keep him from  cocking his head to the right, before MANGLING another common phrase, or simple sentence!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Makes the furor about President Obama’s teleprompter look CHILDISH!

    • Gregg

       Did you ever hear Carter say it?

      • Victor Vito

        If he did, it is equally sad.

        • Gregg

          It’s a Southern thing not a stupid, sad thing. It is only an issue because of hate and ideology. It means nothing.

          “U.S. presidents who have used this pronunciation include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton[5], and George W. Bush.
          President Carter was, in fact, not a layman as he was a nuclear power
          engineer on a US Navy nuclear submarine. Others who have used this
          pronunciation include Vice Presidents Walter Mondale and Dick Cheney, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin…”

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

          • Ray in VT

            It’s still an incorrect pronunciation, and it just grates on me, as does the southern accent in general.  I worked hard as a kid to drop my accent, although I do still say quepon instead of coupon.

          • Gregg

            I really is much ado about nothing.

          • Gregg

            I meant “it”.

            I’ll get crucified over that one on several layers.

          • Ray in VT

             I knew what you meant.  Mis-keys happen to us all.  I don’t think that pronunciation or regionalisms are  a particularly big deal, but some do rub me the wrong way.  In the end, though, it doesn’t matter if it’s called soda or pop.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            When YOU correct, NO.  When the same people make the same mistakes, repeatedly, AFTER many corrections, what else can be done? 
               Some have continued willfully wrong, while implying to correct others!

          • nj_v2

            Don’t fret. Either pronunciation (‘kü-pän or ‘kyü-pän) is acceptable.

          • Ray in VT

            My wife hates it, though, so, of course, I use it on purpose.

      • Chris B

        Doubtful.  Carter was a nuclear engineer so I think it’s a fair bet he could pronounce it properly.

        • Gregg

          He pronounced it the same way Bush does.

          • J__o__h__n

            Did Romney switch to nucular for the primaries and then back to nuclear for the general?

          • Gregg

            I don’t know if you are serious or not. That makes it even funnier.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s a good one.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Makes ‘leaders’ sound EXTREMELY UN-educated, doesn’t it?
         ESPECIALLY when the mis-pronouncer is a PROPONENT?

  • Hidan

     “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

  • Sofia

    Oooh–No story on May Day and the plight of international workers–or even just plain ol’ American workers? But this book promotion is SO MUCH more important than the true patriots who built and died for (until OSHA regs) this country’s corporate bandits pirated the ship of state. Led by speechwriters like Frum, who gave them their propaganda voice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

       Yes, so many other issues like why the media is so definitive about this whole phoney Osama Bin Laden death, while the govt refuses to release fotos.  Are Americans such mindless sheep?

      But NPR would rather promote the books and agenda of the political elites like Frum that blatantly propagandize and manipulate the masses.  Bush and Obama are just wooden puppetsin the hands of ventriloquists like Frum and his cabal.

      • ana

        Why are Bin Laden’s wives and children  being moved to Saudi Arabia?  Does his death have something to do with that?
        Would the Navy Seals perpetrate such a hoax?
        Would Hillary, Gates et al sacrifice their careers just to put one over on the American people?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

          Why was Bin Laden’s family in Texas and then flown out of the country on 9/11 ???

          Would a few Navy Seals follow orders and keep their mouths shut?….yes.  Maybe some were killed in a strange plane crash later on…. who really knows who they were?

          Hillary, Gates..careers, including the entire congress and most govt agencies, are dedicated to putting one over on the American people.

  • Gregg

    Perhaps Mr. Frum can comment on the use of words “I, me and my” in Presidential speeches.

    The difference between Bush and Obama is stark. Here’s President Obama:

    “I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing
    or capture of bin Laden the top priority . . . even as I continued our
    broader effort. . . . Then, after years of painstaking work by my
    intelligence community I was briefed . . . I met repeatedly with my
    national security team . . . And finally last week I determined that I
    had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . .
    .”

    Here’s President Bush after capturing Sadaam Hussein:

    He called that success “a tribute to our men and women now serving in
    Iraq.” He attributed it to “the superb work of intelligence analysts who
    found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was
    carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our
    servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers. .
    . . Their work continues, and so do the risks.”

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303916904577374552546308474.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

    • J__o__h__n

      Where was Bush’s speech about Bush’s capturing Bin Laden?

      • Gregg

        Although he transformed the military and dramatically increased the special forces capable of such a mission, Bush did not gloat. Water boarding led to the info that cracked the case but Bush won’t get any love for that.

        • J__o__h__n

          He and Rumsfeld invaded Iraq with insufficient equipment (“go to war with the army you have”) and no exit strategy beyond being greeted as liberators. 

          • Gregg

            And made it possible for Obama to kill Bin Laden.

          • J__o__h__n

            How did diverting military resources to Iraq help?

          • Gregg

            Bush set up Gitmo, defined enhanced interrogation, put emphasis on special forces and military technology and many of the policies that led to the information needed to accomplish Bin Laden’s killing.

        • Don_B1

          “Mission Accomplished”!!!!

          Water boarding was a singularly UNSUCCESSFUL approach. (See the FBI interrogators reports.)

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          I believe that you are mistaken, waterboarding did not crack the case… as Don_B1 points out it is very unsuccessful…

          Now consider some facts that I did not know:
          Waterboarding has been a war crime for over one hundred years! The U.S. prosecuted its own soldiers for war crimes for using waterboarding in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

          The United States hanged Japanese soldiers for war crimes involving the use of waterboarding after WWII.

          There’s no question under U.S. law, U.S. history and U.S. military doctrine that waterboarding is unlawful and illegal under U.S. law.

          Waterboarding can kill. It is NOT a benign technique: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_boarding

          Again, reconcile these facts with how those guilty of this perpetrating this travesty tell their supporters to interpret the definition of torture. 

          If you still believe them, then go try and present your arguments to John McCain who was waterboarded in Vietnam. Then get back to us on this issue…

          Not to mention
          1) Torture does not work:.
          2) Torture galvanizes resistance of one’s enemy once news of it gets out.
          3) We used to be the good guys. We can no longer say that now thanks to Dubya.
          4) The damage done to America’s reputation will be counted in lives. Those tortured, those damaged forever and those lost.

          Now ask who are patriots: those who fight for it’s reputation: a just and civil nation, or those who will do anything to achieve their personal political gains expediently?

          • Gregg

            I hate Obama is spiking the football and making this conversation necessary. 

            Only 3 were waterboarded and it did work. Did you see 60 minutes interview with Jose Rodriguez? 
            http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57422476/ex-cia-chief-defends-waterboarding-of-al-qaeda-leader/ 

            Further, the information gathered by  policy Bush created led to the name of the courier that led to Bin Laden. It just did, Leon Panettta admitted as much because it’s true. Also look up the “Library Tower” in LA and the roll KSM’s waterboarding played in preventing it’s demise.

            God bless John McCain but he did eventually crack, it worked on him. But he was really tortured, bones were broken and rebroken, he was starved and beaten to within an inch of his life. We don’t do that.

            Our special forces are water boarded as part of their training. Journalist have volunteered just to write a story.

            Finally, yes I do know about the Japanese war crimes but the procedures we used were not comparable at all. Not even close. I saw an interview with Mark Theisin (I think) by Christian Armanpour that debunked it well. I’ll try to find and post it.

          • Gregg
      • Terry Tree Tree

        The ‘W’ that said he would NEVER rest, UNTIL HE got Osama bin Laden?  The ‘W’ that bragged that HE would get bin Laden?
           THAT diety?  ‘W’?

    • Hidan

      Your Partisanship is showing, As if Bush never used I.

      Written by
      Michael Mukasey
      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Michael_Mukasey

      Who is Mukasey?
      -appointed by Ronald Reagan
      -Mukasey allowed detention of U.S. citizens detained on U.S. soil without criminal charges
      -Support for torture policies
      -Defended Patriot Act
      -Son in Giuliani’s Firm which defends Verizon; Possible Conflict of Interest on FISA
      -Mukasey’s involvement with tobacco

      Just another Partisan hack that supports the worst of American laws who greg is trying to play off as something else.

      • nj_v2

        Greggg is all partisan, all the time.

        • Ray in VT

          Nah, not all the time.  Sometimes, maybe even often, but not all of the time.

        • ana

          Even though to get there he has to embellish a few facts.

    • nj_v2

      Greggg wants to go down the road of Bush quotes…

      “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
      —G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

      “I want justice…There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive,’”
      —G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

      “…Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he’s maybe in control of a cave. He’s on the run.
           Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we’re going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that’s what’s happening. He’s on the run, if he’s running at all.
           So we don’t know whether he’s in a cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open—we just don’t know….”
      —Bush, in remarks in a Press Availablity with the Press Travel Pool, The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/02, as reported on official White House site

      “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
      —G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

      “I am truly not that concerned about him.”
      —G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts, 3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

      • Gregg

        Great quotes, thanks.

    • John in Amherst

      Bush was a.) only nominally in charge and, b.) more than willing to distance himself from anything that might have negative political consequences.

    • J__o__h__n

      Saying “I” is still more humble than landing on an aircraft carrier to celebrate “Mission Accomplished.”

    • ana

      In all due repect,  you sometimes focus on trivia.  Does it really matter except as just a chance to stick it to Obama?  You really have the time to research the amount of I’s and We’s  which probably evens out on the long run? 

      • Gregg

        Ana, with all due respect I think it is worth noting. I am not the first one to notice. Many have and for a very long time. I think it’s a character flaw but that’s just me. They don’t come close to evening out.

        • ana

          I think that may be just you.
           

    • Brett

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/08/the-secret-language-code.html

      Also, I’s might just indicate acceptance of responsibility

      • Gregg

        It looks like narcissism to me but you know how I am.

  • Ray in VT

    Mr. Frum fairly recently gave up his segment on Marketplace, saying that he no longer felt that he represented the mainstream of American conservatism, or something to that affect.  If Mr. Frum is going to be addressing political issues during this hour, rather than his new novel, could he address why he thinks that this is and what commentator may currently be a better representative.

    • Hidan

       Most likely an Partisan hack like Byron York or Tucker Carlson. See the ombudsman thread and see that the extreme Right has been pushing for an Openly partisian hack from the Right(actually more than one) and decrying any connections or supposed connections to any of it’s reporters/journalist from the left.

      Mara L had a piece where she said “she misspoke” NPR than went back and re-recorded her piece and replaced the “mispoke piece” with the new one. One would think if NPR would give such a benefit to anyone else esp if it was from the Right and if the Ombudsman would not only support such act but congratulate both NPR and Mara L. for doing it.

    • J__o__h__n

      I posted this on Marketplace’s site after he left:

      I thought David Frum was an informative and thought provoking counterpoint to Robert Reich.  Now instead of a reasonable conservative point of view working to establish a middle ground, I fear we will have a right wing extremist who will provide the Republican point of view which can be summed up as no taxes, no regulations, and no to everything Obama proposes.  I’m a Democrat, but if you are hiring, I can repeat those talking points.  While you are at it, Robert Reich isn’t necessarily a good spokesperson for the Democrats as he has a spine. 

      • Ray in VT

        I’ve been missing Marketplace a lot recently.  Who’s been doing Frum’s old segment?

        • J__o__h__n

          I think it might be rotating.  I’m not sure as I haven’t been able to listen as much as I usually do lately. 

  • Hidan

    Seems NPR is making up for having Paul K on the Prior day 

    • Gregg

      Kudos to On Point if that is their intention. I find they attempt to be fair. Mr. Frum is an example but as Ray points out below, he no longer represents Conservative opinion. If Republicans carry the mantle of conservatism then that makes Mr. Frum a RINO. I don’t mean that in a bad way. This is why I say “attempt” to be fair. Krugman is wacko extreme left, Frum is hardly an equally extreme  counterpoint.

      • J__o__h__n

        He is only a RINO because the party has gone so far to the right.  Reagan would be a RINO if judged by today’s GOP primary standards for conforming to right wing othodoxy.  Krugman is not wacko extreme left. 

        • John in Amherst

           Imagine what the current crop of conservatives would say if Ike delivered his warning about the “military industrial complex” today….

          • Ray in VT

            They’d probably call him a Communist or something, like McCarthy alleged.

        • William

          The GOP is anything but “far right”. They have not got any reductions in spending, downsizing of government etc…nothing..despite having all the power under Bush II, they expanded spending and the size of government.

          • J__o__h__n

            They got their tax cuts, two wars, reactionary judges, faith-based initiative . . .  

      • John in Amherst

        Political perspective is all relative. 
        con·serv·a·tive   [kuhn-sur-vuh-tiv]
        adjective 1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
        It could be argued that the Teabaggers and Evangelicals are wrestling the GOP away from conservatives to impose a new political order on the US, based on their view of libertarian economics, apocalyptic, judgmental morality, and a muddled understanding of the Constitution.  The GOP is becoming less retrograde and more radical.

         

        • Gregg

          It’s not the Republicans that have moved America towards Socialism.

          • John in Amherst

             Neither have the Democrats or Obama.
            so·cial·ism   [soh-shuh-liz-uhm] 
            noun 1. a theory or system of social organization  that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

            There is a difference between establishing rules for the free market to prevent predation and subjugation, and socialism.  Likewise with “bailout”  to prevent catastrophic job losses or economic collapse and nationalizing en route to  common ownership.

          • Gregg

            Perhaps Fascism works better.

          • Ray in VT

            I would certainly charge that it is the GOP that is more in line with that ideology.

          • Gregg

            I know you would Ray, we disagree. I still like you.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, and that’s cool.  Right back at ya, Gregg.  I think that you’re a good guy.  I’m sure that your opinions are based upon your experiences and how they’ve shaped your worldview.  Can’t we all just get along?

          • John in Amherst

            I know many on the right have trouble with the facts these days, but:
            fas·cism   [fash-iz-uhm]
            noun 1. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.  Sounds more like the GOP to me

          • Gregg

            Yes, the government take overs of the auto, insurance, banking and medical industries fits “regimenting all industry, commerce” better.

            And the dictator thing:

            http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/14/constitution-anyone-obama-promises-to-rule-without-congress/

          • John in Amherst

             mo·nop·o·ly   [muh-nop-uh-lee] 
            noun, plural mo·nop·o·lies. 1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices. Compare duopoly, oligopoly.

          • nj_v2

            Typical Greggg pattern:

            Greggg makes stupid assertion/accusation/statement (America is moving toward “socialism”).

            Greggg gets called out.

            Greggg deflects/diverts/distracts with something completely irrelevant or trivial.

          • Gregg

            What are you talking about? We have decidedly moved towards Socialism. Ray has the honesty to say so. I’m not saying Obama is a Socialist or a Fascist but we have certainly moved in that direction. How can you deny that?

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that I would say that we’ve decidedly moved towards socialism.  I think that the government should divest itself of some of the “assets” that it assumed during the meltdown, as I don’t like the government owning part of GM, and I don’t think that it likes it either.  If one wants to call a move towards national health care a move towards socialism, then fair enough, but I wouldn’t say that it is.

          • Don_B1

            Gregg mainly likes to play mind-games while interjecting Republican talking points that often have no relevancy to the issue being discussed.

          • Don_B1

            There are those that claim the reign of Julius Caesar after deposing the Roman democracy worked better, mostly because Caesar was relatively enlightened.

            But a dictatorship is real hard to change once it gets established. That is where democracy does have the Churchillian advantage: “… try everything until we finally get it right.”

            The problem is that sometimes there is not enough time to try everything, which could well be the case with Climate Change.

            An interesting experiment is going on in China, where they basically have a dictatorship with term limits; every 10 years they choose a new “politboro” from which the leaders are chosen.

          • ana

            Thank you for the correct definition os socialism-been meaning to post  it for a while.

          • Ray in VT

            I would take a move towards European social democracy, or even the sort of economic distribution that existed in this country in the middle part of the last century, over what I see as a move towards an overtly religiously inspired social policy that is coupled with the greater empowerment of big business and/or the extremely wealthy to dominate the nation any day.  That’s where I see the GOP’s agenda taking us.  That sentence really ran on on me.

          • Gregg

            Fair enough Ray but I would say we have moved towards that “European social democracy” and the move to the right you describe is just a boogie man.

            The left also loves big business (solar, GM, unions, etc) and God.

          • Ray in VT

             And I would pretty much see a your comment in the total reverse.  Funny how perspective works, huh?

            I know that the Democrats, which aren’t all necessarily really left, and perhaps the left, such as it is in this country, have ties to large industries and Wall Street that are cozier than I and many others like me would like, but many of us see it as better than the alternative and a party that can be reshaped/reformed.  Sound like your POV vis-a-vis the Tea Party and the GOP?

          • Don_B1

            What has been achieved is a move back from the cliff the Republicans had taken the economy to, where prospects for a better life and real freedom from health induced bankruptcies, house foreclosures (causing lost property values for neighbors), etc. were becoming the routine for the middle class.

            That is not a move toward “socialism,” other than anything that moves away from naked capitalism/plutocracy has to be a move left on the line but still within the conservative band.

          • Newton Whale

            The progressive reforms that you decry as socialism were, in fact, brought to us by Repubicans Teddy Roosevelt and Bob LaFollette.

            “Throughout both terms, Roosevelt disappointed Republican conservatives by pressing hard for a variety of reforms.He attempted to increase railroad regulation with two major pieces of legislation and, heavily influenced by the muckrakers, sought protection of the nation’s food and drug supplies.The president further surprised his party by threatening management in order to settle an ongoing coal strike. His vast program of public lands conservationdrew both praise and criticism, but established his most enduring legacy. Westerners generally applauded his efforts to reclaim arid lands.Roosevelt achieved great public acclaim with his trust-busting initiatives, starting with the taming of J.P Morgan’s Northern Securities Company.The Panic of 1907 was blamed on the president’s progressive policies by the Republican conservatives, but fostered the beginnings of major bank reform.”http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h961.html LaFollette is best remembered as a proponent of progressivism and a vocal opponent of railroad trusts, bossism, World War I, and the League of Nations. In 1957, a Senate Committee selected La Follette as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators,In 1906, La Follette resigned the governorship to accept a Senate seat, where he would remain for the remainder of his life. From the beginning, he presented a stark contrast to the establishment types who represented the other states. His basic aim was to protect the common man from the special interests. In that vein, he attempted to strengthen national railroad regulation law, befriend organized labor and fight against the Payne-Aldrich Tariff. He gained great national exposure for filibustering against the Aldrich-Vreeland bill, arguing that changes in national banking policies would only benefit the bankers.In 1911, La Follette was the acknowledged Congressional leader of the progressive wing of the Republican Partyhttp://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h988.html 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Sounds like one heck of a TRUE PATRIOT!

          • Gregg

            Thanks for the history lesson but I’m not a fan of progressives. 

          • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

            In socialism everyone every class supposedly benefits relatively evenly. 

            In our current version of capitalism, our wealthy ‘capitalists’ and ‘wall street elite speculators’ have prospered disproportionately well… better than in any prior manifestation of our capitalism… they pay lower taxes than people who work for a living. Corporations making huge profits are paying no taxes!!! So how then is this socialism by any stretch of the imagination?

            Please reconcile those facts and explain to us how we have socialism.

          • Gregg

            We don’t have Socialism… yet. It can be argued how far away we are, or how far we’ve moved. That Obama has “moved America towards Socialism” cannot be argued IMHO.

      • nj_v2

        Remember, this comes from someone who takes people like Flush, Allen West, and drooling Annie Coulter seriously.

      • jimino

         The current Republican party in no intellectually honest evaluation represents what have historically been termed conservative interests. 

        • Gregg

          I disagree but what’s worse is I missed Bela’. I had a gig (I was thinking it was Sat.) and could not go. Bummer.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Sorry you missed Bela’.  I knew I had other plans already.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Are you listening to Frum now, or do you just snipe in advance?

  • http://twitter.com/MJ_Q Matthew Q.

    I sadly did not know much about Mr. Frum until I looked at today’s On Point line up. I am also a Republican who has grown frustrated by how the party has changed these past 25 years.  I have enjoyed reading up on his career and look forward to today’s show.

  • http://twitter.com/MJ_Q Matthew Q.

    “Some of my Republican friends ask if I’ve gone crazy. I say: Look in the mirror” -David Frum (New York Magazine, Nov 2011)

    As a Republican, I agree and empathize with this statement.

    How does Mr. Frum suggest someone in the GOP go about making a positive change and help rebuild the party?

    The GOP has to become a functioning group instead of factions and special interests who only know how to say no.

    The political arena has become so toxic, the average citizen does not dare enter the ring; they can only cast jeers and throw objects like spectators at the colosseum. But that in fact is the problem. The only way our democracy will work is if we, the average citizen, become educated on the topics that affect our society and participate in the process.

    • Patrik

      Jon Huntsman tried.  Honestly he was the best chance… they didnt even say goodbye

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Vote Democrat, until the Republican Party gets the message?
         UNLESS a third-party candidate, with a good platform, and history, becomes viable?

  • Gerald Fnord

    Who out there reading this is 0.) truly undecided about much, and 1.) likely to be swayed by the sort of arguments and pseudo-arguments one sees on this board?

    I am certainly guilty of acting as if someone’s mind were going to be changed, but it suddenly just seemed more likely just to be primate dominance signalling (‘UGGHH! GRUNT! My ideology is bigger than that other guy’s—now watch as I fling words at him!!!!,’) and not worth my time writing or that of someone reading it.  

    • John in Amherst

       “When you get down and quarrel every day
      You’re sayin’ prayers to the devils I say
      Why not help one another on the way?
      Make it a little bit easier”
      - Bob Marley

  • Sean

    Tom,

       That was an oxymoronic statement… there is no “non-fiction world in the GOP.”

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       The same could be said about the Democrats.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    In other words, the newly elected president looks a lot like Eisenhower?

  • nj_v2

    Tom A. in the lead-in (paraphrasing): “Republicans, what do you think? Democrats, what do you think?” This is supposed to represent “balance” i suppose.

    People are leaving the two corporate parties in droves. Why does Mr. Ashbrook not care about the 25% of registered voters who are not affiliated with the Republicrats?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Bipolar thinking has been around a long time, despite the fact that the world is more complex.

    • Don_B1

      Because with the way our election process is structured that 25% will have to vote, choosing from the two parties, or stay home. The only other choice, seldom made, is to write-in a candidate, and that is not always allowed.

  • Michael Tinstman

    Is there a John Stewart/Daily Show or Stephen Colbert proxy in his book?

  • Tncanoeguy

    Is Frum saying through his novel that there is a grand conspiracy by the right to get people to vote for them but do things that are not in those people’s interests?  I think it’s pretty clear that abortion, guns and gays are used as wedge issues.  You think Karl Rove wants those issues to be solved, to go away? 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       No more than abortion, guns, and gays are wedge issues for the left.  Cynicism isn’t limited to one major party.

      • Tncanoeguy

         agreed

      • J__o__h__n

        Isn’t false equivalency a form of cynicism?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           False equivalency?  You have an example of that to discuss?

          • J__o__h__n

            Gun control is not much of a wedge issue for the left.  Obama hasn’t touched it and there aren’t any votes there.  Gays aren’t trying to divide the country for political gain but to get equal rights.  Emily’s List can be somewhat alarmist about abortion but I don’t know if it isn’t justified considering the recent surge in legislation restricting it. 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Calling something a wedge issue is a means of dismissing the concerns of one’s opponents.  People on both sides genuinely care about their positions.  Each side would do better if it would stop saying that the other is filled with liars and selfish people.

          • J__o__h__n

            A wedge issue is one that is designed to divide the electorate by stiring up the masses. 

          • Ray in VT

            I agree with your sentiment, Greg, but that can be difficult when, if you support gays rights, you see someone running for President who compares homosexuality to bestiality, or some other such ridiculious thing.  Granted, Senator Santorum may earnestly believe that to be an apt comparison, but I still think that it makes him an ignorant bigot.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             I support gay rights.  I just see too much dismissiveness on the part of many on the left.

          • Ray in VT

            In terms of just declaring opposing positions to be invalid, or something to that effect?

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    David,
    If you had written this book 20 years ago, it would have been great fiction, but today it’s far too tragic a parody for me to immerse myself in because right now, I feel like I’m living in a political reality based TV show, a really horrible TV show. Call it the Bubble Masters.  OMG “1984″ was entitled 30 years too early.

    • Steve_T

       IMO “1984″ was a warning, much like other books and film for what we are experiencing today.

      Some say “I wish I’d known that was going to happen.”
      Some say “I told you but you didn’t believe me.”

      • Terry Tree Tree

        George Orwell indicated that he INTENDED “1984″ as a warning about the totalitarian regime he saw in Russia, that disenchanted him from the Communist Movement.
           Orwell saw how this could happen anywhere, with the technology, and the corruptness of GREEDY rich.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I don’t know what Frum’s specific policy proposals are, but his main point about public spirit is spot on.

  • Stillin

    As I have heard lately…with liberty and justice, for some. Money, for some, life, for some, hope for some, a future, for some. who gets to be the “some”?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The GREEDY rich?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    WOW!!  ANOTHER work of FICTION, by one that is STARTING to get in touch with reality, SORT OF! 
       Is he just wanting to write for Democrats now?  Is he really starting to see the world as it is, IF you aren’t GREEDY rich?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Writing for Democrats, but in touch with reality?  There’s a fantastic creature. . .

      • NAV

         Greg, you are entitled to your opinions, but at least the Dems stand for something and there is no work on the basis of fear.  Sure, they pony up to their side of the electorate just like the GOP, but, and this is the big difference, they don’t walk in lock step, they don’t block for the sake of politics, they give ideas a chance and often end up changing.  The GOP, which was right in Reagan’s time, jerked so far right in the last 10 years that they’ve become a cult, out of touch with science, out of touch with reality and the needs of all the people.  Cut no matter what.  Don’t believe the science of global warming.  Ignore the cultural changes and significant stratification of class and wealth.  Afford more for corps and allow it to distribute to the people (which it doesn’t do).  Please take your head out of the sand.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Perhaps you noticed that I criticize both parties?  I have no love for either these days.  I just get tired of smug left wingers who believe themselves to be the intellectual superiors of anyone who disagrees with them.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            If you check my history of comments on On Point, you’ll see that I, too criticize both parties?

  • Lindamc42

    Several years ago I heard (saw?) an interview with David and Thomas Frank about Frank’s book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas.” David said that much as many conservatives vote against their own interests in voting GOP as Frank’s book lays out, liberals do the same in voting for Democrats who want to raise their taxes. I was beside myself when Frank didn’t challenge him on that! NOOOOO, liberals who vote in ways that raise their taxes are NOT voting against their own interests–they know that if inequality continues to grow, that NO ONE’S interests are served. In other words they take the long view, the best view for our country’s future. While you may disagree with that as best for our future, at least recognize that the motivation for voting in ways that increase one’s taxes is not done in ignorance of what one’s best interests are.

    • Don_B1

      There are two results from neuroscience that might well apply here:

      1)  The shallower one thinks about a subject, the more the result is agreement with the conservative position. It takes more analysis and a wider scope of thought to realize why liberal policies benefit the whole of society rather than just a few. Liberals are not put off by new ideas or ideas from science that are not intuitive. They can sit down and think them through; that is one reason why they accept the science of Climate Change and recognize the real and present danger that it poses.

      2)  Conservatives do follow George Lakoff’s meme of liking a patriarchal, hierarchical society. Thus they treat symbols as inviolate, and take great umbrage at things like prayer, flag burning, gun rights, etc. Thus things that liberals understand can offend others do not affect conservatives since they seem to have less empathy for other people. Liberals show less empathy for conservatives who desire to impose their thinking on others than they do for those on whom the conservatives are imposing their ideas.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Tom Ashbrook, do have the conversation about policy with Frum.

  • Kevin Dole

    Mr Frum isn’t alone. I considered myself a republican for a very long time. That ended when it became obvious that it was moving towards supporting a feudal state where we are all dependent on our corporate overlords, rather than the governmental nanny that the democrats neofeudalism leans to.

    Both parties have left the realm of reality and neither represent nor respect the concerns on their voters with their actions. I’m not sure if I blame the 24 hour news cycle where they have to one up eachother every half hour or if the eternal campaigning that has replaced actually governing is to blame first. It might be a chicken-egg question, but either way, I don’t see politics becoming more normal becuase the money is on the radicals.

    We got the country we deserved.

    • Don_B1

      Campaign finance reform where candidates get most or all of their money from the government is a must to break the connection between the moneyed interests and the public interest.

      If every voter from the previous election was given a $50 bank account from which a donation to the candidate(s) of choice could be made, it would create a pool of money that would exceed the private donations and make them MUCH less important.

      If making a donation got people to pay more attention to what the candidates stood for, and encouraged candidates to support a more balanced agenda, that also would redound to the public benefit.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      I also think Americans have got to get a lot more comfortable with the truth and begin to understand it’s not the other guy who’s the problem, but it’s everyone’s problem and act accordingly.

  • Ann

    Mr Frum is the first Republican I’ve heard telling the truth. His comments about who holds power and the effects on those who don’t are the reality. Thank you Mr Frum.

  • winky

    As I listen to David Frum, I started to think that the Republican party has become a cult. Driven by fear, demanding absolute loyalty, creating an insular us vs them mentality, eschewing science and logical thought for ideology… it’s scary.

    • Sean

      Yep, especially scary when you think that most of the most viscious, horrifying political movements in history started the exact same way…

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Carl in Nashville is a rational voice.  Fiscally conservative, socially liberal, and wishing that parties would represent him.  I’m with you, Carl.

  • Jhenry

    David and the republicans are just so out of touch it is sad. I have found it very amusing lately that so many Jews and Italians are joining the far right wing. Don’t you all know your own history? Our history? Republican history?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       In what way is Frum out of touch?

  • Thinkin15

    I don’t understand why the Republicans, whose who agenda is about gaining personal wealth, object to middle class workers and the poor trying to raise their wages and benefits. Those who are trying to hang on to their basic standard of living are demonized by the right as though they are “not worthy”.

  • artemus

    if the GOP embraces conversations from a more diverse public, it will only be to gain votes, not to include those whom they pretend to listen to for part of a year

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Your cynicism only works when it’s aimed at both parties.  The Democrats do exactly the same thing.

  • Thinkin15

    Frum is a Romney supporter so that means keeping the statis quo.

  • Steve in Virginia

    Tom,

    Your Web site calls you a “Journalist” but your Leftist, liberal leaning was prevalent throughout the interview with Frum. How many times did you characterize Frum as the “Axis of Evil” guy? Please consider objectivity in your reporting. It would be such a breath of fresh air. I wish PBS and NPR would, for once, realize that a good portion of their listeners are conservative Republicans.

    As for your conversation today, the entire thing was predicated on the assumption that conservatives and Republicans today are a group of uneducated, unsophisticated idiots who clearly don’t understand what’s right and what’s good, and that Fox News has risen to its height of popularity, not because there is any truth to what is being said, but because conservatives are just a bunch of country bumpkins who will swallow whatever “hogwash” is thrown at them. How offensive. Republicans may disagree with Democrats and with others on the Left, but that does not warrant the kind of condescension leveled at and downright nastiness spewed at Republicans by pundits all across the media spectrum.

    And as for the “political discourse” needed to solve today’s health care crisis, I would ask, where was the “discourse” when the Democrats crammed Obamacare down the throats of duly elected Republicans? There was no discourse then. Perhaps an equally important question is this: Where was the media questioning the complete lack of “political discourse” at that time?

    • jefe68

      Funny how most of the health care plan you are complaining about was originally from the GOP.
      The mandate was a n idea hatched up by the Heritage Foundation. What your whining about is that because the show did meet your expectations of right wing rhetoric and back slapping that it was biased. Your entire comment is biased. You are so entrenched in your right wing dogma that you can’t see it.

      • Steve in Virginia

         Jefe,

        “Most of the health care plan you are complaining about was originally from the GOP.” Most? That is a huge stretch. As I said in a reply above, New York City started out as a small Indian Village, but the city of New York bears little resemblance to that small village today. The Affordable Healthcare Act as passed, has few similarities with what came out of the Heritage Foundation.

        To be clear, I am not whining. Nor do I expect or want any news show to be Right-leaning or Left-leaning. I just want objectivity. I think this is reasonable.

        I don’t see how you could possibly know me enough from one post to claim that I am “entrenched” in right wing dogma.  That’s the kind of vitriolic spewing I was talking about in my original post. As I said to Ben above, a man who cannot articulate his point civilly, without resorting to
        vitriol and insults, either has no real point to make or simply lacks the means
        to articulate it.

        • Gregg

          That was a most excellent reply. Honest debate is not a lot to ask for.

    • ana

      As a former listener to Fox and and as a  news “junkie”, there is a rather large dalliance with the truth from that station in addition to it’s  right leaning extremism.
      MSNBC is left to the extreme, but seldom misrepresents, but has lowered itself to partisanship forsaking true journalism. 
      The only close to objective reporting is to be found on public media.
      As a listener to NPR for years, I have found them to be emminently balanced.

       

      • Steve in Virginia

         Ana,

        Reluctantly, I have to agree. Fox is no more “fair and balanced” than is MSNBC.

        Though it is not perfect, NPR and PBS are the most unbiased of all broadcast news outlets I am familiar with. But they are not without their biases. And they should be.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Frum put ‘Axis of Evil’, in MANY ‘W’ speeches, so wouldn’t that BE accurate journalistic reporting? 
          Frum comes from writing speeches designed to opress the people with calling them ‘unpatriotic’, and such, by people that had FAR WORSE records of patriotism, to a more realistic point of view?

      • Steve in Virginia

         Terry,

        You may feel that way about Frum. I may even agree with you. But it isn’t the job of a journalist or an interviewer to pass judgement on guests. Tom was clearly deriding Frum for his “Axis of Evil” speeches and putting a negative spin on Frum’s political career. That’s not good journalism.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Pointing out Frum’s dramatic change of position, while helping to sell his book, isn’t responsible journalism?
             ‘Axis of Evil speeches, are what Frum are best known for?  People want to know who he is, and WHY they should know his name?

    • William

      All very good points!

    • Kyle

      Steve-

      It’s pretty clear Tom’s not a Republican, but that doesn’t mean the show is badly unbalanced..  I usually find on these shows that the conservative position is pretty well represented.  When Tom’s interviewing a liberal guest, he’ll play devil’s advocate and so on.  The “axis of evil guy” phrase wasn’t intended to mock or disparage Frum, but to highlight the fact that Frum once worked very near the center of power in a very Republican administration.

      Moreover, if there is an ideological tilt – and I’d agree with you that there is a bit of one – that does not amount to a breach of journalistic standards.  The Economist, for instance, is a great magazine, and it’s completely transparent about its free-market conservatism. 

      I’m not sure that Frum takes the view of Republicans and conservatives that you attribute to him; remember, he’s still a Republican himself, and his argument seems to be that conservatives aren’t well-represented in politics anymore.  But suppose he did take a strong anti-conservative position:  surely that couldn’t mean that it’s “unjournalistic” to interview him!  The Diane Rehm show on NPR gave an hourlong interview to Ron Paul where he discussed his libertarianism; that’s not bad journalism either.

      Finally, as to this point about the Affordable Care Act being crammed down the throats of “duly elected” Republicans, what’s your point?  By “cramming down their throats” do you just mean that there were more votes for the law than against?

      • Steve in Virginia

        Kyle,

        We clearly perceived Tom’s show differently. I’ve been listening to On Point broadcasts for years and enjoy them. But it has been my experience that Tom’s perspectives, both personal and journalistic, have long been Left-leaning. And this is true with nearly all of NPR and PBS news shows. I hold that this is not as it should be and will continue to ask journalists, especially those funded partially by tax dollars, to work on being more objective. I just sent an email to Gwen Ifill along these lines last week. Yes, each has his or her own opinions, but when one works in the realm of journalism, those opinions should be relegated to a secondary position. I don’t mean to imply that Ashbrook or Ifill are akin to Colbert, Stewart or Matthews — not by any stretch — but these latter three are not journalists, nor do they claim to be. We may simply differ here.

        Yes, it’s true, the Affordable Health Care Act may have had distant beginnings with the Heritage foundation. And New York City started as a small Indian village. The final health care bill that was pushed through Congress bore very little resemblance to its early beginnings at Heritage. Frankly, I really don’t have any problem with the fact that Democrats passed the Affordable Healthcare Act. They had a majority in both houses and a Democratic president. To me, it was the perfect example of how our democracy works. If the law truly represents the wishes of the majority of Americans, it will stand. If not, it will fall. But the process of its passage was anything but bi-partisan and involved very little of the kind of political discourse warranted by such a huge bill. Claims to the contrary are unfounded. This is what I mean by “cramming it down the throats” of Republicans. Republicans and conservatives all over the country were desperately pleading with both houses for more time to read,  understand and debate the bill. But to no avail. There was no respect given to opposing viewpoints nor opportunity for discussion or debate. The Democrats pushed it through – as well they should have. They knew that if they had waited and discussed it, its passage would never have happened. Though I disagree with the law, I applaud them for passing it. But it was crammed down their throats, make no bones about it — I use that term not because I believe it was passed illegitimately, but because it was passed with complete disregard for legitimate objections or concerns. But now that it looks possible for a Republican majority to repeal the law in 2013, suddenly there are calls for political discourse over the issue. Well, there was no political discourse when it was passed. Not really. It was passed over the strong objections of nearly every Republican in the House and in the Senate (men and women who represented tens of millions of Americans). But our government operates on the premise of a majority. And those in the minority will always complain. Fact is, those in the constituency who object to the bill/law have the option to elect new officials to overturn it. That may well be what happens. Time will tell.

        We may have seen an end to bi-partisanship in America.  And I for one will point to the Reid/Pelosi congress and Obamacare as its death knell.

        • jimino

           They had 14 years of Congressional control to study, read, etc. and did nothing.  And still have no plan except opposition to the bill that was passed.

          • Gregg

            They did Medicare part D and HSA’s, that’s not nothing. You’d think the entitlement-lover types would love the prescription drug thing.

      • Gregg

        ACA was passed with bribes and kickbacks (Landrieu, Nelson), empty promises in the form of a meaningless signing statement (Stupek’s crew), use of parliamentary tactics (reconciliation) and not a single Republican vote (and against the will of the people I might add). Nobody read it. It’s constitutionality is severely in question.

        Yea, he rammed it through.

        • jimino

          Since you are a conservative and therefore likely to be  more cognizant of the Heritage Foundation’s and past Republican Party proposals, how was this constitutional question addressed when both of those entities made the individual mandate the cornerstone of their health care proposals back in the 90′s?

          Your other complaints, while valid, are par for the course in current national politics.  Check out how the Medicare drug bill as enacted and what Billy Tauzin did after getting the Medicare drug bill through Congress.  A more glaring prima facie case of corruption would be hard to imagine.

    • Ben

      My problem with so-called conservatives isn’t that you’re uninformed willfully ignorant louts, its that you guys say you’re the real patriots, but all you seem to want to do is dismantle, deregulate, and defund this country until it’s basically Mexico. Which country do you love again? The one that ends at the edge of your lawn?

      • Steve in Virginia

         Ben,

        You make my point for me. How you would arrive at the conclusion, based solely on my post, that I, personally, would want to dismantle, deregulate and defund this country or that I am so myopic as to be unable to see, understand or appreciate another’s position or point of view (beyond my own front yard) is beyond me. A man who cannot articulate his point civilly, without resorting to vitriol and insults, either has no real point or simply lacks the means to articulate it. Now, really, who’s being uninformed and ignorant?

        • Gregg

          I sound like a broken record but I will continue to point out that before a liberal can criticize you they must first tell you what you think.

          • Ben

            I find the conservative indignation here extremely hilarious.  Your party is the party of bullying, gridlock, and no-compromise, and you claim that you are being bashed and bullied with “Obamacare” when your leaders refused to come to the table despite countless invitations.  When they were in power, your leaders cut taxes and then spent the government into Trillions of massive debt with unecessary and unfunded wars and farm/oil subsidies.   If you vote Republican and disagree with your leaders policies and reductionist and counter-productive actions, then please stand up and do something about it.  Otherwise, go back to Fox News and put your head in the sand while the “Real Americans” do the heavy lifting of putting this country back on its feet.

          • Gregg

            Please dude, get a grip.

          • William

            Where is the compromise on the left? Even WaPo critized Obama for his lying on the budget deal last August. Why does Google, Apple get millions in subsidies? They are much more profitable than the oil/farm industries. Where is the blance on MSNBC?

  • Brett

    I’ve enjoyed listening to Mr. Frum for years…Frum’s ouster from the fold, as it were, exemplifies what is wrong with this Grand New['ish] Party of Neocons. What was once a group that offered inclusion for all factions of conservatism, now has made its “big tent” into a pup tent. He got the boot because he was calling for something (find common ground/work at solutions, etc.) which could have broadened the neocon message; he didn’t fall in line, he wasn’t on message and he wasn’t in lock step. These errors in form, if you will, created a major impropriety according to the neocon playbook. 

    The Republicans may just wind up finding themselves on the losing end of this collective debate, this election cycle and (more importantly to their longevity) the wrong side of history.  

    • J__o__h__n

      more of a big top than a big tent

      • Brett

        I actually inadvertently wrote “big top” to begin with then changed it. Either way, the clowns have taken over.

  • Gemli

    Frum is a patriot in the war on the middle class.

  • Bruce

    So now the author of “axis of evil” is lecturing us about the hazards of demonizing our ideological opponents and using hyperbole in our political discourse?!   I guess Mr. Frum has found “religion” (or is it humility) as he felt the heal of the boot unceremoniously exiting the back door of the Tea Party and other wings of the GOP that indulge religious orthodoxy, national chauvinism, phobic racism, and the politics of paranoia and resentment.
     
    He can now take solace in joining the ever-growing ranks of the RINO’s including Olympia Snowe although Frum probably lacks stature among some of the GOP luminaries listed below with the reasons for their RINO status in parentheses:
     
    –Abraham Lincoln (for waging a war elevating human rights above the laissez-faire, states’ rights rationale for maintaining the status quo)
     
    –Teddy Roosevelt (for supporting & implementing antitrust laws curbing the power of monopolies and corporate elites and for founding a conservation movement providing a model for sustainable, efficient resource use & biodiversity preservation)
     
    –Dwight Eisenhower (for warning against the military-industrial complex and the dangers of military adventurism and for completing one of the largest public infrastructure projects in US history, the interstate highway system which, by today’s GOP standards, would be condemned as a vast, left-wing conspiracy to unite us)
     
    –Ronald Reagan (for daring to reverse course and compromise with his ideological opponents by raising taxes on cigarettes, gas and telephone service and closing tax-loopholes for the wealthy after he recognized the failure of his supply-side, income tax-cutting experiment)
     
    How interesting, if I understood correctly, that the protagonist in Mr. Frum’s novel represents Rhode Island, home of another RINO, Sen. John Chaffee, who just happened to be a key sponsor of the Republican alternative to Hilliarycare in 1993.  You guessed it, the central provision of Chafee’s bill was the Individual Mandate!  L.O.L.

    • Bruce

      Corrections:  “heal” should read “heel” and “John Chaffee” should read “John Chafee” 

  • Neo-Cons are war criminals

    David Frum is no ‘patriot’.

    He’s a Zionist shill for the apartheid state of Israel who along with his fellow Neo-Con war-mongers, want to enlist the U.S. military to fight Israel’s wars in order to create Israeli hegemony throughout the entire Middle East.

  • GMG

    David Frum was instrumental in lying our country into an unnecessary war of aggression.  The fact that he has never had to answer for this despicable if not criminal act in any meaningful way demonstrates to what extent we have ceased to take our laws and international commitments seriously.

    • Dee

      Feeling the same. Why are we celebrating the work of a person who contributed to the needless deaths of millions of people? Folks at On Point…did you think this through before you invited Frum on?

    • Heaviest Cat

      It also shows how low NPR has gone in pandering to corporate and conservative America

  • Don Herzberg

    David Frum has gone from being full of cr_p while he was a Bush lackey to being full of cr_p now while he shills his book.  I love On Point.  This was the most information-free interview I’ve heard on the program.

  • Still Here

    The sheep of the echochamber do not like their worldview being challenged.  Please only troll-like economists like yesterday.

    • Ray in VT

      After a day of having some decent exchanges with Gregg thank you for reminding me that some people here aren’t interested in having a real discussion.

  • Skynet2100

    Sounds almost, ALMOST, as if David was espousing the creation of a third party…for just a moment. But he is absolutely correct about the way political donations are being managed corrupting the system. As if the average voter didn’t already know that. About the stratification of our society until it resembles another India; as if the average voter didn’t know that. About how, without the creation of a third party, or the GOP waking up to reality and making the hard decision to engage in meaningful dialogue, the public will only have the ability to choose between a lesser of two evils. Wait…I think the average voter knows that, too.

    I hate to be a pessimist…but I USED to be a Republican; until my party became so polarized and fractured that many of them had to resort to espousing the publication of outright lies to bolster their positions. But neither am I a Democrat. I still lean to “Liberal Republican”, if I was forced to adopt a label, but in the end, it will make no difference. The fact is, Big Money rules the political arena – in the forms of campaign contribution, PACS, and media control.

    The framers of our constitution left us a way out of this: by calling for the citizenry to be prepared to do the same thing they did. Unfortunately, “rebellion” has a very dirty ring to it; not to mention that the Patriot Act can be used to terrorize anyone for any reason that Homeland Security sees fit. We’ve created our own mess. I love free enterprise. I love the idea of hard work making a difference. But these are now pipe dreams for most. Be ready to see the results. Anyone ever see Soylent Green? Rollerball?

    Things have gotten to the point where the only way any kind of significant change will take place is through mass bloodshed, and that’s just sad. Sad that it’s gotten to that point, and perhaps equally sad that it will never again happen again for our country. Mark my words, and mark them well: within the next 20 years, the American public and the world will see our political system for exactly what it is becoming ~ a rotunda of figureheads that, though “elected”, become nothing more than well-paid corporate mouthpieces who play alongside the media, to keep the public confused and directionless, with just enough hope that we don’t rebel against the failed experiment of unrestrained American capitalism and greed. This country is doomed. I’ll post next from Australia, once I’m a citizen. At least they’ve got the balls to admit to problems, take the tough stand, and make needed changes.

    • robot11

      At the moment, the “stratification” of our society enables the dysfunction of our system and I think this aspect of our culture is being exploited and enhanced by those that wish to maintain the status quo for their own greedy interest, individuals like the Koch brothers come to mind.
      So long as we are divided against one another, so long as Americans hold such vastly differing and extreme views of what America is and should be, we will remain shackled to a system that serves only the few at the expense of the majority.

      However, when the reality on the ground becomes so completely out of synch with the fictional “reality” fed to American society by corporations and politicians, and when things get really hard for a majority of people, much harder than they are now, it is possible that a critical mass may be achieved.  When members of the Tea Party and members of the Occupy movement and many in between the two can agree on a common set of greivances and struggles, Americans may once again all be “in it together”.  When or if this occurs it will be possible to push the whole system towards fundamental change… (without bloodshed as you suggest), but certainly not without tremendous effort. 

         

      • Gregg

        Yes I agree, we have one side that says don’t spend 25% of GDP and the other side refuses to even pass a budget. One side wants to make entitlements sustainable and the other says it’s throwing grandma over a cliff. One side has a policy disagreement and the other side sees nothing but racism. One side says don’t raise taxes in this economy and the other says they are demanding tax cuts for the rich. One side want’s smaller government, the other says cutting back one iota is austerity. One side says don’t require religious institutions to provide insurance that covers the pill, the other calls it a war on contraception. One side sees American values as a positive worth preserving the other wants to fundamentally transform America.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          BUSINESSES of ‘religious institutions’, who’s clergy RAPE Children!  That’s just one minor point you ignore!  YOU worry about their ‘right’ to NOT pay for contraception, but IGNORE the CONTINUING TRAUMA they CRIMINALLY PERPETRATE aganinst the precious children, the weakest among us?

          • Gregg

            You’re creepy.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I’m NOT the clergy RAPING Children!
               YOU don’t find THEM creepy?
               WHY?

          • Warren

            You are obsessive and I too find it “creepy”

          • Terry Tree Tree

            So you have NO problem with clergy RAPING children?
              Are you one of those priests, or other clergy that RAPE children?
               THAT would be an EASY deduction!

          • Gregg
    • Terry Tree Tree

      I, too used to vote more Republican, although I have always been Independent.  George ‘W’ Bush opened my eyes to THAT error!
         You say ‘We’ve created our own mess’.  I maintain that we have been mis-led, and maneuvered into this, NOT by choice!
         The laws you cite, and MANY more, are there to control the 99%, as the 1% STEAL more!  THOSE laws will be enforced, as true laws are ignored, that would jail the CRIMINALS, that have taken charge!

  • Gregg

    When I was a kid and didn’t clean up my plate, my mom would admonish me, “Children are starving in China”. I never understood how they would be more satisfied if I finished my food or what kind of guilt I should beat myself with. It’s not my fault, is it?

    So now we (the kids) are being told by mommy (government) not to make too much money because people are hurting. It makes about as much sense.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      CEOs getting $MILLIONS in BONE-USes, for bankrupting companies, AFTER forcing the workers to take pay cuts, is HARD for you to understand as WRONG?
         Are you really THAT dense?
         When you were a ‘starving artist’, filching from peoples’ gardens to eat, did you think it fair that someone got MILLIONS of dollars from fraud, embezzling, and other theft?  Or is it because you ARE now wealthy?

      • Gregg

        Who are these people who condone fraud, embezzling and theft? 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Gregg, you are getting as dense as Moda!  I have explained THAT several times on here!

          I hope you don’t get as abusive, and as dishonest as Moda!

      • William

        Actors get millions even if their movies flop. What is the difference?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I explained before!  You THAT dense?

          • William

            No, you never explained anything. There is no difference between a highly paid CEO and a highly paid actor. Why should these actors get a large salary when the movie flops? It’s not fair. They need to give back part of the money to the shareholders. It’s only fair.

          • jefe68

            I agree. The actors, if they are the box office draw and receive millions should forfeit something. Some of them do in terms of box office returns, which is a common payout for actors. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chrisztopher-Wood/1793210828 Chrisztopher Wood

          It’s called contracts…a legally binding deal between producer and actor.

          CEOs have no contracts except for their friendship with Board members in which no contracts exist, exist for business agreements made using other people’s money…the shareholders.

          William…as the fictional character Willie Loman would say…such a putz. 

          • William

            All CEO’s have contracts when they get the job.  I know when I win the discussion when the other person starts name calling.

          • jefe68

            CEO’s have contracts. How do you think they get the compensation and golden parachutes?

             

      • Warren

        I find Capitalizations to be immature.Are you shouting.You seem to have a severe jealousy an oppressive covetousness.Some one called you creepy.I concur

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You concur that it’s ok that clergy RAPE Children?
              YOU don’t find THAT creepy?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          “You seem to have a severe jealousy an oppressive  covetousness.”? 

          JEALOUS of a CEO that STEALS from the company he is hired to LEAD?  Warren Buffet’s BILLIONS couldn’t make me THAT lousy a human being!!
             Get the money back on your Psychology degree!  Someone obviously defrauded you!

    • Ben

      If you believe that government is telling you to earn less, then you are probably eating too much money.

      Your poor, poor mother.  She tried, but she didn’t teach you anything about the difference between money and food.

      • Gregg

        Certainly government is punishing achievement and demonizing wealth.

        • Ben

          I am a accountant.  If you believe that government punishes wealth, you should probably fire your tax preparer.  Or better yet, don’t.  He is doing the rest of us a favor on your dime!  The legitimate tax loopholes for those with with more wealth than ethics are rediculous.   Of course it helps to have the private phone number of your state/local/fed legistlator.  It’s gets pretty specific, so specific in fact, that certain tax codes should just bear the name of the campaign donors who authored them.

          • Gregg

            I do my own taxes. I don’t assume wealth = lack of ethics. The rich are the scourge of the earth according to Democrats. Not me, I thank them.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chrisztopher-Wood/1793210828 Chrisztopher Wood

            Hopefully you prepare taxes better than you prepare comments…Review your work, Ben, before sending in.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ???

      • Warren

        I find the antipathy to business to be rife.I am a small businessman and all my contempories are hionest men.Corruption is a lousy business model.

        • Gregg

          That’s so true, a quick buck is gone in no time but a loyal customer base only grows with time. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chrisztopher-Wood/1793210828 Chrisztopher Wood

           But can they spell?

        • Brett

          For the “Losing Faith in Almost Everything” segment last week, you were a 92 year old WWII veteran who said he fought the “Italian Socialists” [um, Fascists]… Something’s fishy for sure. You should know that all of your comments will go along with your profile. Your lack of spacing after periods looks suspiciously like our friend (and I mean that!) MO-D! ;-) 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You noticed too?

          • Gregg

            Would you say you just argued Warren’s point on the merits? He had a good, honest, non-partisan point.

        • Gregg

          “Corruption is a lousy business model.”

          Warren, your excellent point is unassailable but overlooked for some reason. If it’s true then their argument falls apart. If there is a rebuttal, I haven’t seen it. I thought it should be emphasized in bold. So many people believe just the opposite.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Moda used to be so honest, that he claims he snuck into an asbestos mine to remove gems, WITHOUT the mine owner’s permission?

  • Petecalanni

    I listened to this thinking I could learn something. I did. He never answered any questions, he is just another self promoting DB with big pockets to fill for himself.

  • Gregg

    Mr. Frum in his most recent article has suggested Romney choose Bobby Jindal for veep. I like Jindal but the reasoning is all racial. Do people really weigh race so heavily? It’s weird. I refuse to go there. 

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/02/opinion/frum-vice-president-rubio-jindal/index.html

    • Brett

      You just did in your comment

      • Gregg

        I wasn’t clear, my bad: I refuse to let one’s race (or sex for that matter) factor one millisquidgeon in determining who I will vote for… or talk to, or be friends with, or respect, or anything. As far as debating whether to judge by the color of skin, I’ll “go there” all day long.

  • Bin

    Mr Frum – thank you for the honest interview. Your views make you simply a 2012 Democrat. Give up on a the Republican label that has sold out the American people.

ONPOINT
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Aug 1, 2014
A close up of newspaper front pages focusing on the Ebola outbreak, including a newspaper, left, reading 'Burn all bodies' in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa. (AP)

Israel-Gaza conflict heats up. The House votes to sue Obama. Ebola spreads in Africa. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Aug 1, 2014
In this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 file photo, Luis Mendez, 23, left, and Maurice Mike, 23, wait in line at a job fair held by the Miami Marlins, at Marlins Park in Miami. Increasingly, potential employers are turning to digital content as a way to judge job-seekers before they even apply. (AP)

They see you when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. Employers move to digital assessment in hiring, firing and promotion. We’ll check in.

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Aug 1, 2014
In this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 file photo, Luis Mendez, 23, left, and Maurice Mike, 23, wait in line at a job fair held by the Miami Marlins, at Marlins Park in Miami. Increasingly, potential employers are turning to digital content as a way to judge job-seekers before they even apply. (AP)

They see you when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. Employers move to digital assessment in hiring, firing and promotion. We’ll check in.

 
Aug 1, 2014
A close up of newspaper front pages focusing on the Ebola outbreak, including a newspaper, left, reading 'Burn all bodies' in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa. (AP)

Israel-Gaza conflict heats up. The House votes to sue Obama. Ebola spreads in Africa. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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