Do You Believe in Magic?

July 27th, 2011 at 12:47 pm David Frum | 23 Comments |

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My new column in the Week (misattributed a few minutes ago to my estimable Week editor, nurse Ben Frumin, no relation) praises the Boehner plan for its artful use of smoke and mirrors.

Tea Party Republicans confront a party establishment unanimously representing the Boehner plan as a huge victory for the Tea Party, a crushing defeat for Obama, and an honest-to-God-for-real plan to shrink government starting now.

I cherish these sentences from an op-ed Wednesday by Bill Kristol:

“To vote against John Boehner on the House floor this week in the biggest showdown of the current Congress is to choose to vote with Nancy Pelosi. To vote against Boehner is to choose to support Barack Obama.”

Yet the Tea Party can rightly reply: But wait a minute — the Obama White House is defending the Boehner plan!

The fact that the Republican leadership is not honest, however, does not mean that it is not right. The GOP has marched itself into a fatal confrontation — not only with the Obama administration — but with the whole global economy. It has threatened to force an unnecessary U.S. bankruptcy unless it gets its unpopular way.

Click here to read the entire column.

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • TAZ

    On the one hand I am 100% behind the Tea Party when it comes to their utter die hard stance we should do something MEANINGFUL and REAL about our budget and debt.

    But they lose all support by demanding totally unrealistic term to reach such a goal.

    No revenues?

    No tax / cut bargain?

    A demand that any deal MUST contain a BBA?

    Geez guys, get real.

    I would have jumped on the gang of six plan when Obama was offering it!

    Dont let a demand for purity get you NOTHING…………………..

  • balconesfault

    “To vote against John Boehner on the House floor this week in the biggest showdown of the current Congress is to choose to vote with Nancy Pelosi. To vote against Boehner is to choose to support Barack Obama.”

    Kristol, in his inimitable style, lays it out there.

    There is no reason at this juncture to think that anyone in the GOP caucus is acting out of what is best for the country.

    At this point, it’s completely acting out of what is worst for Obama and the Democrats.

    Krugman put it best:

    If you believe that default will quite possibly be a catastrophe — and leading Republicans probably do believe that — their unwillingness to take the action I’ve just described (passing the Reid plan, which is a big win for the GOP) means that they are risking America’s future rather than pay a price in their personal political careers. That’s cowardice on an epic scale, even if it’s the kind of behavior we take for granted nowadays.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Anything short of a repeal of the ACA, 90% of government, and the resignation of Obama and Biden would have to be viewed as a catastrophe for the teabaggers. After all any bill that Obama would sign would mean it does not go far enough.
    In fact, lets just forgo this whole Democracy bit and round up every Democrat and execute him…in Jesus name. Amen

    • Hunter01

      Don’t forget the Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Gays, Californians, and every living thing in Massachusetts including plant life. LONG LIVE THE CLAN!

      Oh, let’s burn some books, too.

  • medinnus

    As I’ve said before, this was an utterly lose/lose proposition politically for the GOP in general, and for Boehner in particular. The only one who comes out gaining is the Obama WH (who is winning the public approval game) and Eric Cantor, who gets to be the Tea Party champion in this scenario.

    Regardless of whether or not the Tea Party forces a default, in the public eye they’ve become political/economic terrorists, and if you think the general population will forget the close brush with default, I’m sure the Dems will remind everyone at length in 2012 how the Tea Baggers sabotaged the economy for political gain, possibly with Wall Street backing as the Tea Bagging GOP has pretty much burned that bridge, too.

    A stupid, unnecessary hill to die upon, and it didn’t have to happen.

  • JohnMcC

    In the mess they’ve created, the TeaParty faction has applied immense tension to their party — the stories about the U S Chamber of Commerce and others twisting Repub’s arms to get a settlement are indicative. They’ve also applied immense tension to the Constitution. Boehner’s plan is the one that allows for a ‘Super’ or ‘inner’ Congress of 12 Reps & Senators to determine budgets plans that the rest of the US Congress can either accept or reject as a whole. The only other outcome that saves us from default seems to me to be the use of the 14th Amendment.

    All for a ‘housekeeping’ chore that should never have taken more that an hour of the Congress’ time. What an amazing display of stupidity. Future generations will shake their heads.

  • valkayec

    Quick note to FF website designers: the menu of design options for comments has disappeared. Are you returning to user html?

    Frankly, I’m still struck by the by ideological need to “humiliate and defeat Obama and the Dems” as the primary goal of the GOP. The Reid plan provide greater deficit reduction, according to the CBO, and it will satisfy the ratings agencies more because it raises the debt ceiling until 2013 which S&P has said is necessary to avoid a downgrade.

    The politics of the GOP completely elude me. They’ve focused more on destroying the president than on saving the country. It’s really time the reasoning, thinking public and politicians took the gloves off and hammered these twits who would ruin our credit rating, jeopardize the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and create havoc in the world economy.

    • balconesfault

      It’s not just defeat and humiliate.

      They want to be able to throw another temper tantrum and force everyone to pay attention to them again 6 months from now.

  • TerryF98

    Conservatism is now nothing more than a cult. To be part of the cult you have to believe some things. Things like. Just add your own favorite ones.

    Cutting taxes always increases revenue.
    Government should stay out of medicare.
    The heat index is a government scam.
    The earth is 6000 years old.
    ACORN and the New Black Panther Party are the biggest threat to America.
    The Democrats are always wrong.
    There is no recession.
    There need be no regulations
    Business is always right.

    H/T BJ

  • Graychin

    “You’re either with us or against us.” – George W. Bush

    That’s what it means to be a good Republican – there can never be any middle ground.

  • Grace

    Has everyone writing here called their representatives today? If not, get off this blog and make calls or send faxes. All numbers can be found here:

    Remember, these people work for you. Provide your name and zip code. Tell them what you want to see your representative vote for. Be polite, but don’t apologize for your position.

    And keep calling and writing them, daily if you’d like. Email just evaporates into the ether, so don’t waste your time with that.

    If you can honestly share that you are involved with or have influence with any kind of group of local voters (e.g., local small business org), make them aware you plan to share your concerns with its members. If you did any kind of get out the vote or work for the party, tell them that, and flatly state that you don’t intend to do it again if they won’t govern responsibly.

    And call even if they’re doing the right thing, to encourage them to continue doing the right thing. Call the White House too.

  • rbottoms

    So which of you idiots voted for the GOP last November?

    Sympathy meter, zero.

  • Oldskool

    None of this comes as a surprise. We have been Foxed/Murdoched for so long, a functional government would be an exception rather than the rule.

    The hard-to-believe part is that so many influential people have bought into the whole “anything government does is evil” mantra.

    So here we are, basically in the middle of a depression, doing the very things we learned NOT to do from the last one. We are an official Idiocracy.

  • Hunter01

    The fiscal crisis aside for the moment, the nation is facing a political crisis that will be with us for a long time with no obvious solution in sight.

  • rbottoms

    The fiscal crisis aside for the moment, the nation is facing a political crisis that will be with us for a long time with no obvious solution in sight.

    There is an obvious solution, don’t vote for f****** Republicans.

    • Traveler

      Those of us posting here that voted in 2010 are not to blame the current congress (I assume the rational posters didn’t vote for Teabaggers). The real blame lies with all the fair weather democrats who stayed home in 2010 and let the bagheads into the cookie jar. I think this was BO’s biggest blunder to not campaign effectively and muster the base. They let him and themselves down big time.

      We get what we vote for. Its a great nation, what? But if the electorate doesn’t participate, then we get what we deserve. So next time, you all better vote, and let the chips fall where they will. Its not a political crisis. Its a crisis of responsibility, on all of us. We haven’t really done anything exceptional as a nation since the moon landings. Instead, we drive our leased SUVs into the sunset of exceptionalism won by our forebears.

      At least we can still vote.

      • rbottoms

        Yes, yes, always Obama fault the Teabaggers are racist jerks, the GOP is an anti-abortion fiscal jihad and the complaint is Obama isn’t saving us from the dipshit neanderthals people keep voting for.

        Screw that.

        It’s the same bullshit Frum pushes about how Obama needs to be a better liberal and start kicking his guy’s asses.

        Don’t. F*****g. Vote. Republican. Ever.

        There are no bad Democrats, there are NO good Republicans.

  • Bunker555

    Bravo Mr. Frum. Great column in The Week. Encourage everyone to read it. Link above.

  • ggore

    The one thing that everyone needs to remember, and the general public (voters) are quite aware of this as well, is that the “job creators” the Republicans refuse to increase taxes and eliminate tax loopholes on…. they are the CEO’s, board members, and owners of the plants that eliminated millions and millions of U.S. jobs by moving them overseas and to Mexico starting many years ago and that process still continues today. Therefore, I refuse to accept the premise that they are “job creators” at all and therefore do not need to contribute a dime to our fiscal problem.

    • ggore

      Small business owners are a completely different animal compared to the CEO of Firestone who received the benefits of the Bush tax cuts and then proceeded to close plants in Oklahoma and South Carolina and move those jobs to Mexico. With that action he and others that have presided over such closings and movement of jobs, in my opinion, forfeited their rights to the Bush Tax Cuts.

      Obama has recommended on numerous occasions that true entrepreneurs and small business owners be given tax breaks for plant expansions, equipment purchases, etc but of course all those efforts have been rebuffed by Republicans. And Obama’s revenue proposals have been carefully designed to mainly impact those in only the highest earners in the country, which exempts 99% of small business owners, but Republicans howl that Obama is trying to tax the owner of Joe’s Corner Gas Station out of business when it’s the CEO of Firestone, et al that he’s after.

  • zephae

    Oh my god…a FrumForum article with a title I LIKE?!?