Stories by David Frum

David Frum is the editor of FrumForum.com. Frum is the author of six books, including two New York Times bestsellers: The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush (2003), and co-author with Richard Perle of An End to Evil: How To Win the War on Terror (2004). His newest book is Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, published by Doubleday on December 31, 2007 and released in paperback in January 2009.

All Good Things…

David Frum January 6th, 2012 at 10:09 am 215 Comments

-FrumForum Goes Live

FrumForum launched itself almost exactly three years ago, on Inauguration Day 2009. Over the subsequent interval, our hundreds of contributors have reached more than 5 million individual readers. I like to think that together we have helped to move the national debate. When we launched, Sarah Palin was a leading candidate for president and Glenn Beck was broadcasting conspiracy theories on cable TV. Three years later–not so much. OK, maybe we can’t claim all the credit. But we won’t refuse some fair share.

Now like all good things, this adventure is coming to an end. (more…)

The Cordray Crisis

David Frum January 5th, 2012 at 11:02 am 89 Comments

Constitutional abuse begets constitutional abuse.

President Obama has engaged in a dubious maneuver to force a recess appointment through a Senate that denies it has recessed.

(Brad Plumer has a good run-down of the legal issues, here.)

The president’s action has ignited a fireworks show of Republican outrage. And yes, Obama has here pushed presidential power beyond past limits.

But it’s not only presidents who can bend the rules. (more…)

Santorum’s Flawed Plan for Working America

David Frum January 5th, 2012 at 12:00 am 35 Comments

In my column for The Week I discuss the problems with Rick Santorum economic plan:

Santorum’s concern for the American middle class has been one of the most attractive features of his candidacy for the Republican nomination. Alone among the Republican candidates, he took note of the freezing of upward mobility and the stagnation of middle-class wages even before the financial crisis of 2008.

So what’s his plan? Santorum has proposed a special lowered rate of federal tax for manufacturing.

(more…)

Ron Paul’s Bad Memory

David Frum January 4th, 2012 at 10:14 am 33 Comments

Odd experience on CNN this morning.

I was on a panel that had a chance to interview Ron Paul. I asked this question:

“I attended a precinct caucus last night where the person who spoke on your behalf praised you as a strong social conservative: pro-life, anti-gay marriage. He also described you as pro-defense, he said you voted in favor of the war in Afghanistan and supported the killing of bin Laden. That’s at variance with the things you yourself have said. Would you today affirm that you support the Afghanistan war and the bin Laden killing?”

Paul said yes, but that is not in fact true, at least as to the killing of bin Laden.

(more…)

The Expectations Game

David Frum January 4th, 2012 at 7:57 am 118 Comments

Byron York has a tough read on the meaning of the Iowa result for Romney.

In the end, Romney escaped humiliation, and he did it at far less cost than in 2007-2008, when he gave Iowa everything he had in his first run for the GOP nomination. “If you look back four years ago, we had 52 paid staff in Iowa, and this time around, we have five paid staff,” top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said a few hours before Tuesday night’s results came in.  “In terms of advertising, we spent $10 million in the run-up to the caucuses four years ago, and we’ve spent a fraction of that this time.  And in terms of the candidate’s own appearances in Iowa, he was here 100 days or so four years ago, and this time we’re at about 15 days.”  [It was actually a few more, but that doesn't change Fehrnstrom's point.]

(more…)

The Secret of Ron Paul’s Success

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 11:11 pm 30 Comments

Based on the tiny unrepresentative sample at the precinct caucus I attended: his core group are true believers, ampoule who have absorbed his message on Austrian economics and foreign policy non-interventionism.

But when they communicate to the broader Iowa Republican

rank-and-file, they repackage Paul as a much more conventional conservative: pro-life, pro-military, small government, and supportive of the operation that killed bin Laden. If Paul ever does gain altitude, he will be very vulnerable to negative advertising that exposes the truth of his beliefs and background.

Wargaming The Caucuses

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 3:48 pm 38 Comments

Result 1:

Romney wins, Santorum second, Paul third, Gingrich fourth, Perry fifth.

This is the result indicated by last day’s polling. If it eventuates, this will be a very short nominating contest. Romney will proceed to win in New Hampshire. Perry and Gingrich will try to make a last stand in South Carolina. Unless one or the other wins outright, their money will dry up after three consecutive losses. Santorum and Paul may remain in the race, but it will essentially be ballgame over by the time of the Florida primary on January 31st.

(more…)

Ron Paul’s Personal Responsibility

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 12:31 pm 209 Comments

Andrew Sullivan complained yesterday that I had engaged in a “McCarthyite” attack on Ron Paul by writing the following:

A politician isn’t answerable for the antics of every one of his supporters. But there’s surely a reason, isn’t there, that racists, anti-Semites, 9/11 Truthers, and Holocaust deniers are so strongly attracted to the Paul campaign. They hear something. They continue to hear it too, no matter how firmly Ron Paul’s more mainstream supporters clamp their hands over their own ears.

Andrew’s riposte:

(more…)

Waiting Time in Iowa

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 9:33 am 27 Comments

I attended Romney’s closing rally last night in Des Moines. Very professionally done, introduction by Senator John Thune.

Three themes really stood  out:

* Romney opened with a statement about the danger from Iran. Without mention of Ron Paul, it astutely poked at the top vulnerability of the second-polling candidate here.

(more…)

Government Jobs Won’t Pay the Bills

David Frum January 2nd, 2012 at 4:54 pm 36 Comments

What is wrong (and right) with Joe Stiglitz’s analysis of the Great Depression? Click here for Part 1. Click here for Part 2. Click here for Part 3.

Back in the 1960s, Daniel Patrick Moynihan once offered this solution to the economic problems of black America: restore Sunday mail delivery.

The line was sort of a joke, but sort of not. The Post Office of those days really did provide secure employment to large numbers of black Americans, and a seventh delivery day would require the employment of still more.

Government can always create direct employment. It’s often said that the three biggest employers on earth are the Chinese Red Army, the Indian state railways, and the UK’s National Health System, government enterprises all. (more…)