Entries Tagged as 'Nancy Pelosi'

Newt, Your Ad With Pelosi Wasn’t Dumb

December 5th, 2011 at 11:59 pm 31 Comments

Newt Gingrich recently described his 2008 appearance in a 30-second ad with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “the dumbest single thing I’ve done.” Many conservatives share a negative view of it. Ron Paul, order for instance, search cites the ad as an example of Newt’s “serial hypocrisy.”

Curious, I took a look at the ad, eager to assess its dumbness. Here’s the full transcript:

Pelosi: Hi, I’m Nancy Pelosi, lifelong Democrat and speaker of the House.

Gingrich: And I’m Newt Gingrich, lifelong Republican and I used to be speaker.

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Make Schumer and Pelosi Defend Tax Deductions for the Rich

November 22nd, 2011 at 1:04 am 67 Comments

Michael Barone points out the three big tax deductions which are hard to eliminate: the charitable deduction, sale the home mortgage interest deduction, check and the state and local tax deduction.

I agree with him that elimination of the charitable deduction is wrong for Republicans. Home mortgage deductions could be eliminated for loans over $500, see 000 without eliminating middle class home ownership. (Though it would affect the building trades). But the real gold and political opportunity for Republicans is in State and local taxes.

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The Coming Super Committee Crack-Up

October 6th, 2011 at 12:00 am 21 Comments

Under any other circumstances, one would expect a technical, lobbyist-dominated group like the Super Committee to do what Congress always does when confronted with a crisis: Kick the can down the road. However, evidence suggests that won’t happen this time. Why? Because the only incentives the Super Committee has to get anything done are tragically unequal to the moment.

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The Shifting Balance of Power

David Frum August 28th, 2009 at 11:13 am 1 Comment

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just announced a new ambassador to Washington: Gary Doer, who will resign as the New Democratic Party premier of Manitoba. The NDP of course is Canada’s left-most party, although Doer is a relatively centrist NDPer as they go. Back when Republicans were important, Harper sent one of Canada’s leading conservatives: Michael Wilson, a close friend of George Shultz, and a legendarily tough on spending former finance minister. The steely-eyed Harper has apparently assessed however that the Dems are going to be running the show for some time. So he has suppressed his own inclinations and sent to Washington someone who can speak the language of Pelosi and Obama. Just another example of how the implosion of the GOP has ramifying implications for conservatives around the world.

The Reckless Right Courts Violence

David Frum August 13th, 2009 at 1:19 pm 90 Comments

A man bearing a sidearm appears outside President Obama’s Aug. 11 town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., under a sign proclaiming, “It is time to water the tree of liberty.”

That phrase of course references a famous statement of Thomas Jefferson’s, from a 1787 letter: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.”

Earlier that same day, another man is arrested inside the school building in which the president will speak. Police found a loaded handgun in his parked car.

At an event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona last week, police were called after one attendee dropped a gun.

Nobody has been hurt so far. We can all hope that nobody will be. But firearms and politics never mix well. They mix especially badly with a third ingredient: the increasingly angry tone of incitement being heard from right-of-center broadcasters.

The Nazi comparisons from Rush Limbaugh; broadcaster Mark Levin asserting that President Obama is “literally at war with the American people”; former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin claiming that the president was planning “death panels” to extirpate the aged and disabled; the charges that the president is a fascist, a socialist, a Marxist, an illegitimate Kenyan fraud, that he “harbors a deep resentment of America,” that he feels a “deep-seated hatred of white people,” that his government is preparing concentration camps, that it is operating snitch lines, that it is planning to wipe away American liberties”: All this hysterical and provocative talk invites, incites, and prepares a prefabricated justification for violence.

And indeed some conservative broadcasters are lovingly anticipating just such an outcome.

Here’s Fox News’ Glenn Beck clucking sympathetically that white males are being driven into murderous rage by “political correctness.”

Here again is Beck chuckling as he play-acts the poisoning of Nancy Pelosi.

Just yesterday, the radio host Sean Hannity openly contemplated violence—and primly tut-tutted that if it occurs, the president will have only himself to blame.

Hyperbolic accusation and fantasy murder may well serve a talk-radio industry facing a collapse in advertising revenues—down 30–40 percent over the past two years, reports FrumForum.com’s Tim Mak.

As revenues dwindle, hosts feel compelled to intensify the talk-radio experience, hoping to win larger audience share with more extreme talk. It’s like the early days of the pornography industry: At first a naked woman is thrilling enough, but soon a jaded audience is demanding more and more, wilder and wilder.

For the radio hosts, it’s all mostly a cynical marketing exercise. But the audience? Not all of them know better.

In April, the Department of Homeland Security released a report warning of the danger of right-wing political violence in the United States, and mainstream conservatives erupted in offense.

National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg wrote: My real objection to this report is that its source material amounts to “everybody knows.” Everybody knows the right is full of whack-jobs, hatemongers, and killers, and if we don’t remain vigilant, bad things will happen.

Michelle Malkin asked in her syndicated column: What and who exactly are President Obama’s Homeland Security officials afraid of these days? If you are a member of an active conservative group that opposes abortion, favors strict immigration enforcement, lobbies to protect Second Amendment rights, protests big government, advocates federalism or represents veterans who believe in any of the above, the answer is: You.

Newt Gingrich tweeted: “The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired.”

I don’t think the former speaker could tweet such a thing today in good conscience. The person who drafted that homeland security memo has gained very good reason to be worried. The guns are coming out. The risks are real.

It’s not enough for conservatives to repudiate violence, as some are belatedly beginning to do. We have to tone down the militant and accusatory rhetoric. If Barack Obama really were a fascist, really were a Nazi, really did plan death panels to kill the old and infirm, really did contemplate overthrowing the American constitutional republic—if he were those things, somebody should shoot him.

But he is not. He is an ambitious, liberal president who is spending too much money and emitting too much debt. His health-care ideas are too over-reaching and his climate plans are too interventionist. The president can be met and bested on the field of reason—but only by people who are themselves reasonable.


Originally published in The Week.

Read David Frum’s follow-up post here.

Limbaugh: No Retraction on Nazi Comment

David Frum August 10th, 2009 at 9:57 am 87 Comments

On “Meet the Press” this weekend, David Brooks used the word “insane” to characterize Rush Limbaugh’s analogy of Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. Byron York of the Washington Examiner contacted Limbaugh and received this comment:

Everyone seems to ignore that Pelosi started this, saying town hall participants were showing up with swastikas, etc. That’s calling them Nazis, as Dick Durbin referred to our Gitmo interrogators from the Senate floor. I’ve been listening to the left compare George W. Bush to Hitler for eight years. I’ve been listening to Democrats and the left compare conservatism to Nazis my whole career. This time I responded.  In kind, by comparing the radical left policies of the Nazis to today’s radical left leadership of the Democrat Party.  I’m not surprised they don’t like it.

Yes but Durbin tearfully apologized on the Senate floor for his foul remark.

When Moveon.org briefly hosted a member-produced ad equating Bush and Hitler, that group too hastily disavowed and retracted the ad.

Those are the only two examples I recall from the Bush years of any prominent Democrat or left-of-center group using this kind of language. I would hope that sincere regret motivated Durbin and Moveon. I suspect though that they were also aware that they had done themselves extreme political damage with these reckless comments. The American voter dislikes and punishes intemperate talk – one reason that, for example, Howard Dean never made it to the presidency.

When Rush Limbaugh talks in this way, it’s not just Democrats who do not like it. It is everybody who cares about truth. Everybody who respects the conventions of American democracy, which takes for granted the basic good faith of people on the other side of the political divide. Oh – and also – everybody who does any real honor to the memories of the Nazis’ victims.

Rush does not care about any of that of course. He’s the center of attention, which is how he likes it. President Obama likes it too. The crazier Republicans look, the more reasonable Obama looks by comparison. When Rush calls Obama a Nazi, that does not hurt Obama. It hurts every Republican who by remaining silent, seems to assent.