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The Wall Street Journal’s Revisionist History

March 23rd, 2010 at 11:58 am David Frum | 93 Comments |

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The Wall Street Journal delivers a stinging editorial this morning, accusing me of selling myself for MSM gold. On the other hand, they also credit me as the main author of Beltway conventional wisdom, so I do have that going for me.

In Washington, political defeats always produce finger-pointing, so the conventional wisdom has suddenly turned on a dime and decided that Republicans were wrong to have opposed ObamaCare. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was especially taken yesterday with blogger and Bush speechwriter David Frum’s argument that if only Republicans had negotiated with Democrats, they could have somehow made the bill less awful than it is.

Mr. Frum now makes his living as the media’s go-to basher of fellow Republicans, which is a stock Beltway role. But he’s peddling bad revisionist history that would have been even worse politics.

I’ll get to the personal stuff at the end of this post. Let’s begin with the historical claim. Who is the revisionist?

According to the Wall Street Journal,

In the House, Republicans were frozen out from the start. Three Chairmen—Charlie Rangel, Henry Waxman and George Miller—holed up last spring to write the most liberal bill they could get through the House. Republicans were told that unless they embraced the “public option,” there was nothing to discuss.

As for the White House, House GOP leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor in May sent a letter to President Obama “respectfully” requesting a meeting to discuss ideas. The White House didn’t respond. Mr. Obama’s first deadline for House passage was July, and only after public opinion turned against the bill did he begin to engage Republican ideas. Yet in his September address to Congress attempting to revive his bill, he made no concession save pilot projects for tort reform.

In the Senate, a group of Republicans did negotiate with Finance Chairman Max Baucus for months, even as Senators Chris Dodd and Ted Kennedy were crafting a bill that mirrored the liberal House product. GOP Senators Chuck Grassley, Olympia Snowe and Orrin Hatch are hardly strangers to working with Democrats. In 2007, they helped Mr. Baucus expand the children’s insurance program over President Bush’s opposition.

Senate liberals kept tugging Mr. Baucus to the left, however, and eventually the White House ordered him to call off negotiations. Senator Snowe still voted for the Finance Committee bill, though even she fell away on the floor as Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted on pushing the public option and tried, as Ms. Snowe put it, to “ram it” and “jam it” through the Senate.

In the end, Republicans couldn’t as a matter of principle support even 50% of a bill that was such a huge and reckless expansion of government. If they had, they would have rightly lost the support of their own most loyal supporters. In the end, too, the bill was so unpopular—59% opposed in a Sunday CNN survey—that 34 House Democrats voted no and Mr. Reid is resorting to reconciliation to get the “fixes” of more taxes and spending through the Senate.

As I stressed in my “Waterloo” post, I don’t know whether a deal could have been done in the Senate Finance Committee. Maybe it was hopeless from the get-go. On the other hand, as the Journal itself says: “[A] group of Republicans did negotiate with Finance Chairman Max Baucus for months …” It would be equally accurate to say that Finance Chairman Max Baucus negotiated with Republicans for months. Months! Doesn’t that suggest something to you? Gigot? Henninger? McGurn? Anybody? Anybody?

Baucus, a moderate Democrat (the National Journal ranked him the 45th most liberal senator in 2009) representing red-state Montana, badly wanted bipartisan cover. Badly enough. Again, as I said, I don’t know. But the claim that Republicans pressed as hard as they could to find out is simply incredible. And if they HAD pressed, who would have fired at them more fiercely than the WSJ itself?

The Journal approved the plan to bet everything defeating Obamacare rather than endorse what it contemptuously called, “Baucus lite.” As a tactic for increasing Republican seats in Congress, that plan might have worked. But it represented a huge gamble: If Republicans failed to stop the Obama plan, their refusal to do business would yield a much worse bill than might otherwise have been obtained. Which is exactly what has happened. To repeat: if you go for all the marbles, you had better win. We lost.

Of course the strategy might still “work”: as the Journal noted, the Obama plan has been rendered more unpopular than it might otherwise have been. Some of the Republican congressional gains expected in 2010 might well be credited to the anti-Obamacare campaign. But what kind of argument is this for the Wall Street Journal to make? I can understand why John Boehner might say, “I don’t really care what the health care bill ultimately looks like – the important thing is to regain a GOP majority.” But the Journal? Aren’t they supposed to be about policy and ideas rather than committee chairmanships?

I do want to answer, finally, the Journal‘s ugly personal remark. I worked on the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page for three years. Through much of that time, one of my duties was to see into print the column written by Paul Gigot, now the paper’s editor. We know each other pretty well. Paul cannot seriously believe that my views are for sale. But if he did believe it, surely he’d credit me with the acuity to know where the highest price is paid: and that it’s not where I’ve raised my flag.

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93 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    ……you’re not the first WSJ ed page alumni to describe their revisionism …..Kinsley described them as Stalinist and it doesn’t get much more revisionist than that……I thought when Gigot took over from the very nutty Bartley, with his Foster murder theories, things would improve but they haven’t…..they’ll be painting you out of office party photos next David

  • Carney

    The editorial doesn’t actually say or even imply that Frum has no fixed opinions and mouths whatever viewpoint is the most lucrative.

    Instead, what it said or implied, rightly or wrongly, was that Frum has carved out a niche for himself as an “even conservative Republican David Frum says…” -style critic of conservatives and Republicans from their left, the kind that the left and media has always loved to quote. Kevin Phillips, David Gergen, and others have filled this role in the past.

    Doing this for a living can be perfectly consistent with one’s strongly and sincerely held personal views; no “voice for the highest bidder” conduct need be implied when noting it in others.

    So, indignantly pointing out that Rush Limbaugh and other more conservative voices make far more money, and thus that being hardcore rather than moderate is the path to riches, and thus that one’s moderation is a sign of sincerity rather than a mercenary bent, is not a refutation of what the WSJ really was saying (or implying).

  • TerryF98

    Ha, the Wall Street Journal also known as the Wall Street Pravda.

    I would wear it as a badge of honor.

  • sinz54

    Frum: Baucus, a moderate Democrat (the National Journal ranked him the 45th most liberal senator in 2009) representing red-state Montana, badly wanted bipartisan cover. Badly enough.
    Doesn’t matter.

    Baucus had no real power, though he made lots of noises.

    Baucus didn’t write this bill.

    Baucus got slapped down by Harry Reid, at least twice:

    By David M. Drucker and Emily Pierce
    Roll Call Staff
    July 7, 2009, 5:35 p.m.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday ordered Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to drop a proposal to tax health benefits and stop chasing Republican votes on a massive health care reform bill.

    And yet again:

    By Alexander Bolton – 02/11/10 07:37 PM ET

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is rewriting a jobs bill after Democrats complained of too many concessions to Republicans.

    Reid announced Thursday that he would cut drastically back on the jobs bill Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced only hours earlier, essentially overruling the powerful chairman.

    The Finance Committee estimated that Reid’s proposal would cost approximately $15 billion.

    The Baucus bill, which was estimated at $85 billion, included $31 billion in tax extenders that Reid has decided to leave out. A Senate Democratic leadership aide said Reid decided to drop the tax extenders after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to endorse the Baucus package.

    “We’re going to move this afternoon to a smaller package than talked about in the press,” Reid said.

    A spokesperson for Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee and the co-sponsor of the Baucus bill, said Reid’s move risks turning a bipartisan bill into another partisan vote.

    And Harry Reid took his cues from Obama and Pelosi.

    All this negotiating was a sham. The Dems were never going to agree to any bill that had significant GOP concessions, such as tort reform. To liberals, the fact that they graciously agreed not to pursue a single-payer bill is supposed to be a “concession.”

    That’s like a mugger telling his victim: “I’m not going to shoot you to death. You should thank me.”

  • ottovbvs

    4 sinz54 // Mar 23, 2010 at 12:26 pm


    Your purple prose spin that the Republicans were willing to negotiate is very entertaining but doesn’t convince anyone outside of the choir(even Frum doesn’t buy it and he’s in the choir !)……The Republicans have just spent 14 months demonstrating they are the party of NO on this issue…… just as they were the party of NO on the stimulus bill and a mass of other subsidiary stuff like student loans…….This idea is now firmly planted in the public consciousness……just check any opinion poll that shows about 65% of Americans believe Obama made and effort to reach out to Republicans…..cunning that Obama isn’t he?…..by all indications the Republicans are just about to repeat their performance on financial regulation.

  • TerryF98

    Sinz I know facts are not your strong point, or consistency of argument for that matter, however.

    There are over 200 GOP amendments in both bills.

    The stocks of both Health insurance companies and drug manufacturers rose significantly on the bill passing. The free market has spoken and it likes what it sees.

    Tort reform would make insignificant savings and to put a cap on the value of peoples suffering is a denial of personal liberty. It’s Socialist government control.

  • Independent

    Good-DavidF of the 2DavidsFame, I have to say that I completely agree with the Wall Street Journal’s editorial and it probably should have run as a legit story because it does paint you accurately, correctly. Facts are facts; not “revisionist” history as you suggest.

    I said weeks ago that you were becoming the darling of the MSM and a gun-4-hire when the liberalest of the liberal talk shows needed someone to hawk an anti-Bush, anti-Cheney, anti-GOP sentiment. If the producers at MSNBC and Bill Maher and Jon Stewart don’t have you on speed dial, I’d be surprised.

    The “GOP Waterloo” sham is the most obvious example of your rush to out McClellan the farLeft’s last darling –ScottieBeamMeUpMcClellan. And trying to promote the notion that Bill OReilly agrees with you that the failure of the GOP to work with the most partisan, harshly arrogant political animals in Washington is the GOP’s Waterloo?

    Dishonest and disingenuious. Just like ScottieBeamMeUpMcClellan stint as the last darling of the Left democrats and and their enablers in the liberal MSM. The WSJ has it right: the stamp on your forehead should be “sell-out”. The House GOP never had a chance when the farLeft Democrats were secretly meeting to outline the Obama sCare bill. The uber-partisan Democrats didn’t need the GOP and, frankly from what NancyWithThePlasticGrin has been saying, didn’t want their input. Remember Obama’s famous line on another topic: “We won. We get to decide”?

    Good-DavidF, you got yourself into this box and now far higher authorities with much, much more respect in the media, are calling you out for what you’ve become.

    This week it’s the disembling on Sean Hannity and the rush to publish… getting the facts wrong… gleefully overjoyed you and fellow diarists could participate in some good ol’ fashioned gangland mugging of Hannity.

    Then it’s the “Thank you Bill OReilly” misdirection –and, I think, intentional lie.

    Now, the WSJ is calling you out.

    And all you do is cry “Foul”? Parse words. Look for safety in the land of the FrumBots?

    Sorry, you deserve it all, Good-DavidF. Hopefully you’ll resurrect yourself after these hideously personal and professional setbacks and do better.

    I know you can. You can’t have been in the Bush WH and around all that talent and not learned anything.

    If you had, you might have skipped the “GOP’s Waterloo” nonsense and written this instead:

    “What they (the GOP) can do now is take credit for fighting on principle, hold Democrats accountable for their votes and the consequences, and pledge if elected in November to stop cold Mr. Obama’s march to ever-larger government.”

  • ottovbvs

    ……Just as a humorous aside….is it me or does that picture of Gigot make him look like a (former communist) dictator in one of those central Asian republics like Azerbaijan

  • blowtorch_bob

    Don’t worry about it. Let’s face it. This whole rotten stinking mess we call the the “free press” (where we hand out more journalism prizes than the rest of the world combined) has been bought and paid for ages ago.

    Why take a look at the run up to the Iraq invasion (who’s 7th anniversary we marked a few days ago). How anybody forget. Back then you couldn’t open a newspaper or turn on a TV without running into Saddam’s “WMD’s” which were poised to rein death and destruction on the world any day now.

    Of course, the rest of the world was laughing at us because it was all a hoax. But did you find a hint of doubt in the pages of our “free press?” Nope.

    BTW David next time you are by the WSJ office you might ask them about those files on Bernie Madhoff said to have been sitting in somebody’s desk drawer for years. Allegedly the WSJ could have blown the whistle on Bernie years ago but….well you fill in the blanks.

  • Churl

    Contrast how Frum dishes it out to Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Tea Partiers… with his whinging when he gets a bit of criticism himself.

    Nothing wrong with selling yourself – we all have to do some of this to get a job – but to be such an obvious self promoter and then complain when somebody notices your sales campaign is a bit on the tacky side.

  • mpolito

    David, some of the stuff on this site after the passage of the bill has approached masochism. What negogiating chip did the GOP have? The aura of bipartisanship was clearly not as valuable to the Dems has having a big, left-wing bill. Because they had the seats, that was a trade-off they could choose to make. But to take them in good faith seems like a strange thing to do.

  • Independent

    blowtorch bob: “Allegedly the WSJ could have blown the whistle on Bernie years ago but….well you fill in the blanks.”

    Actually, the WSJ files also contain checks and dates of payments that Bernie Madoff and his wife made to the Senate Democrat Campaign Committee –$25,000 a pop, year in, year out.

    Yeah, let’s see those files on that scumbag Democrat felon!

  • ottovbvs

    mpolito // Mar 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    ……So it was a slam dunk was it?…..that’s why it took 14 months to do it and all you guys as recently as a month ago were running around singing…….” hey hey the wicked witch is dead”…… because you thought the NO strategy had prevailed ……..you really are pathetic at times

  • Independent

    TeaBagged at #6 writes: “Sinz I know facts are not your strong point, or consistency of argument for that matter, however. There are over 200 GOP amendments in both bills.”

    Well, now… if that isn’t the Kettle trying to paint the pot blacker, I don’t know what is.

    Facts, TeaBagged? Guess what, those 200 amendments that the “bipartisan” Democrats accepted from the GOP were mostly from the 161 amendments that the Senate Health, Labor Committee approved back in July 2009. Of the 161 amendments, most were simple technical amendments offered by GOP Senators to clear up faulty and misleading language –and the Democrats accepted them.

    A few were substantial –and meaningful. Like Lamar Alexander’s that is included in your wildly inflated 200 number (did you get that from the incorrect Daily Kos talking point memo?)… Lamar had a bipartisan and very meaningful amendment… he called for an Auto Advisory panel of private sector economists to assist Treasury on the GM bailout… in the Senate’s July version of a health care bill.

    Sunstantial or meaningless? I’d submit it’s the latter.

    Then, the Democrats met in secret with Rahm Emanuel in those private conference rooms that Harry gReid has all over the Senate wing of the Capitol… and most of the 161 so-called GOP amendments ended up on ol’ Harry’s Editing Room floor.

    The Senate passed the bill on a str8 party line vote… and then it languished in the House until the Obami woke up and realized it couldn’t get any worse than it was for them in public opinion and decided to let the wind rip, foul the air, toss a few freshman Democrats over the rails.

    Oh, Lamar Alexander’s bipartisan amendment didn’t make it into the Senate approved version… facts.

    You were saying about facts???

  • ottovbvs

    Independent // Mar 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    “Yeah, let’s see those files on that scumbag Democrat felon!”

    …….actually he also made donations (that’s what they’re called) to Republicans…..he was an equal opportunity crook

  • Independent

    Nice try at spin, my whirling Dervish boi… but ottoBS, the Senate Dem donations –excluding the special ones just to Chuckie Schumer and Hillary Clinton– were on a 6:1 ratio… the Democrats got a ton.

    The largest GOP recepient? Jack Fields, $7k from multiple Madoff accounts.

    You keep running with that line, ottoBS. It’s kind of like AutoMatic BS now, eh?

  • DFL

    The Wall Street Journal supports the selling out of the American people by its devotion to ideologically rigid positions on immigration and free trade. Sadly, the Journal has ossified over the past twenty years into an obtuse Capetian institution that doesn’t even understand the country of which it presumes to offer solutions. For the Wall Street Journal, every day is 1981.

  • ottovbvs

    Independent // Mar 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    ……So he made donations to Republicans…..thanks for the confirmation

  • The Greenroom » Forum Archive

    [...] go-to basher of fellow Republicans, which is a stock Beltway role.” Frum’s response: how dare you accuse me of selling my views! I do want to answer, finally, the Journal’s ugly personal remark. I worked on the Wall Street [...]

  • ottovbvs

    …..And that claim in the WSJ ed that a CNN poll showed 59% of Americans opposed the HCR bill…..well that was because 13% of them didn’t think it was liberal enough!(see link)……this is going to be very popular so I await with interest the Republican efforts to take insurance away from millions of Americans, allow denial of existing conditions, re-open the doughnut hole


  • Independent

    Nice try at spin, my whirling Dervish boi… but ottoBS, the Senate Dem donations –excluding the special ones just to Chuckie Schumer and Hillary Clinton– were on a 6:1 ratio… the Democrats got a ton.

    The largest GOP recepient? Jack Fields, $7k from multiple Madoff accounts.

    You keep running with that line, ottoBS. It’s kind of like AutoMatic BS now, eh?

  • Independent

    ottoBS notes: “so I await with interest the Republican efforts to take insurance away from millions of Americans, allow denial of existing conditions, re-open the doughnut hole”…

    Not at all, BS.

    The supposed 32 million new Americans that may one day be covered by the Democrat’s Obama sCare includes about 13.8m low income families that have had access to E-room services across America for almost 45 yrs now… the other 18.2m future covered souls will belong to young people FORCED to buy insurance or pay outrageous IRS penalties when filing for their rebates –which they won’t do because there won’t be any for them… and hence, we uncover yet another Obama sCare unintended “do-da-Dems-get-any-stupider” consequence: tax return non filings will take a huge bum when the penalties go into effect… unless the GOP can save the poor, young souls… who likely voted for the Obami and their spawn.

    Ahhh, the fun you guys are going to have because you “fixed” health care.

  • blowtorch_bob

    I would like to apologize to the WSJ for my above post where I stated:

    “Allegedly the WSJ could have blown the whistle on Bernie years ago but….well you fill in the blanks.”

    I didn’t mean to insinuate that Bernie was paying hush money to the WSJ. What I meant that the WSJ choose to sweep it all under the rug. Because let’s face it, what Bernie was doing was no different than the way rest of Wall Street operates. Maybe Bernie failed to cross a few “t’s” or dot a few “i’s” but it was no different.

    And I have to confess I have a soft spot for Bernie. In a way he has been turned into a sacrificial lamb.

  • ottovbvs

    22 Independent // Mar 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    “Ahhh, the fun you guys are going to have because you “fixed” health care.”

    ……..The wind is already starting shift:


    …….As long as Indie is typical of a Republican party who think the Emergency Room is the answer to everything, I don’t think Democrats have got too much to worry about

  • mlloyd

    In your Waterloo post, you wrote, “the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big.”

    And that is true. This is the Dole/Baker plan. This isn’t that big a policy defeat.

    Single payer wasn’t discussed. The public option, which the GOP decided to pretend to hate for some reason, was negotiated away. All for zero GOP support.

    This reform really isn’t anything all that bad from a conservative perspective. Except, as you point out about the WSJ, to be a “conservative” today means waving a “We’re #1″ foam finger for the GOP, without resort to any views on public policy.

  • Independent

    DavidF, aside from the shared tears shed by the farLeft FrumBots here, it seems they’re all helping you certify those “conservative credentials” you need to keep playing the go-to GOPer for the liberal MSM.

    You made it on HuffPo:


    Very supportive and they used probably the only photo of you that doesn’t feature a greasy head of hair.

    You made it on Crooks and Liars:


    A site that all conservative pundits would think might make your day near-perfect.

    You made it on the farLeft’s Talking Points Memo:


    And you made it multiple times on many discussion boards over at Democrat Underground –or, as I call it, Democrat Ditch Diggers Central.


  • ottovbvs

    ” includes about 13.8m low income families that have had access to E-room services across America for almost 45 yrs now…”

    …..as long as the Republican party thinks the emergency room is the answer to the healthcare problem I don’t think Democrats have much to worry about

  • ottovbvs

    “This reform really isn’t anything all that bad from a conservative perspective.”

    ……It’s a conservative plan because of the constraints of the US healthcare system……as this becomes increasingly apparent with no death panels, soviet commissars, millions losing their insurance, no vast tax increases and all the other baloney they spouted, the Republicans are going to find they have as much cred as Bush did when they didn’t find those WMD’s

  • Independent

    ottoBS spits: “I don’t think Democrats have much to worry about.”

    You’re like a drag queen losing her makeup in a South Beach musical review at 3AM… you keep believing in yourself, ottoBS -despite all reality to the contrary. It’s all you got at this point on the downhill slide –faster than Al Gore in a greased speedo.

    The Obami tried selling Obama sCare for 16-18 months, plus a few months of pre-prompting on the campaign trail. It didn’t sell; it wasn’t the message… it was the product.

    Now, it’s about both the product and the messenger –and the Obami are making a huge PR mistake… the best, and it aint much, they could do after the vote was move on a major jobs initiative that didn’t include more deficit spending.

    Instead, the Obami think talking more about an unpopular bill they could barely get their own loyal politicans to support even after bribes and kickbacks is going to save the Party.

    It’s going to be more like wake, not a party.

  • ottovbvs

    “It’s going to be more like wake, not a party.”


  • Independent

    ottoBS snipes: “no … soviet commissars” in health care?

    What, did Van Jones quit? Surely, shirley, there must be a few more soviet Democrats in the WH –besides Obama and Alexrod.

  • Independent

    #29 “….(yawn) ”

    Awwwh, a farLeft FrumBot who’s a bitsy-wittle tired? I’ll get you the pacifier, ottoBS. You probably need a nap after losing all the dust-ups here this day.

  • ottovbvs

    Independent // Mar 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    ….(double yawn)

  • sinz54

    TerryF98: There are over 200 GOP amendments in both bills.
    There are no GOP amendments in the bills.

    The GOP never offered any amendment that ever came to the floor for a successful vote. You watched the debate starting Sunday over the health care reform bill. What amendments were voted on?

    There are things put in the bills that are moderate–but those were written by moderate Dems, not by Republicans.

    For better or worse, the health care bill is entirely a concoction of the Dems.
    You own it.

  • sinz54


    What you need to understand is that the American people can be against implementing X; yet if X is put in place, they can be against repealing X too. That’s how all entitlements become firmly ensconced: Benefits are personalized and real; costs are socialized and abstract.

    The Dems understand that.
    They’re waiting for the GOP to propose repealing the part of ObamaCare that provides for guaranteed issue.

    Do you understand that’s a trap for the GOP?

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Mar 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    “Do you understand that’s a trap for the GOP?”

    …..Based on the acuity of Indies’ contributions does this seem likely?

    “For better or worse, the health care bill is entirely a concoction of the Dems.
    You own it.”

    …….Just like we own those other unpopular programs Medicare and social security you mean?……I see USA Today already has a poll up with a big opinion shift to the Democrats on Healthcare.

  • TerryF98


    Obama is up 8 points since Saturday. Yay everyone loves a winner.

  • ottovbvs

    “Obama is up 8 points since Saturday. Yay everyone loves a winner.”

    ……..The legions are coming home as they always would when he clocked up a big win and this is
    f$@%ing humungous

  • Churl

    TerryF98, Before saying “yay”, I’d wait see how everyone loves the consequences of Obamacare when it comes into full force.

  • ottovbvs

    Churl // Mar 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    …….Churl baby I can tell from some of your contributions that you’re not a complete twit so get real and admit this is going to be popular…..Billy Kristol wasn’t wrong in those far off days of 1994

  • TerryF98

    Within 2 months Obama will be above his election numbers. Which will mean that he has passed the toughest legislation and still has the same political capital.

    That will allow him to pass immigration reform and cap and trade well before November.

    So in 2 years in he will have achieved all the major goals set out in his campaign platform. The economy is on the way back big time and unemployment is set to fall into positive territory as the Stimulus funds that were held back for projects this spring kick in.

    November might be very different from the scenario painted on the right. The GOP may well have met their Waterloo

  • Independent

    Sinz54 at #33″There are no GOP amendments in the bills. The GOP never offered any amendment that ever came to the floor for a successful vote. You watched the debate starting Sunday over the health care reform bill. What amendments were voted on?”

    TeaBagged was using a Daily Kos line that’s worked effectively in some general blogs about the number of GOP amendments that were included in the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, et al… which was one of three bills that Harry gReid and Rahm Emanuel and a few other cast of characters –or the usual suspects– took into hiding and from which they secretly crafted the final Senate version that was scored by a knee-capped, clotheslined CBO.


    Sinz54 at #34; “They’re waiting for the GOP to propose repealing the part of ObamaCare that provides for guaranteed issue.”

    It’s no trap for the GOP unless you want Obama sCare to remain as passed by the House –and whatever tweaks the Senate machinations bring forth.

    Again, Sinz54, your position demonstrates nothing but a lack of understanding of the legislative process and politics in the Age of Chicago Thuggery. No GOPer need take away health care access for poor people –even if they once worked for ACORN.

    Let’s say the GOP gets the House majority from the 2010 midterms –a plausible likelihood to all except to the Democrat ditch diggers here.

    Suppose the GOP House begins dismantling Obama sCare first with getting rid of the taxes and mandatory requirements. Pass, pass, no? Right, it’s the deficit stupid… but that’s easily fixed by claiming they’d require HHS Secy to certify the $500b in “savings” that Obama and the Democrats lied about… and holding the Administration’s feet to the fire. We could also raise some $$$ by leveling the playing field for Cadillac plans –but more on that in a second.

    Then, let’s say the House GOP moves on to the abortion issue and reinforces the point about the Hyde Amendment –setting up a doozey of hot button for the Democrats to try to hide from in the 2012 elections… and an issue we can finally unmask Obama as the pro-abortionist he is proving to be. Win, eh?

    Then it’s off the Doctors Fix and folding that cost into the Obama sCare package and, guess what… Obama sCare starts looking like the nightmare of deficits and sunk prouctivity that the GOP has been screaming about. Another win; we’re just telling the truth to the American people –why can’t the Obami and all their spinners, eh?

    Then, it’s time to address all the govt panels and groups being created and maybe take on HHS Secy’s regulatory control over insurance pricing. GOPers say, this is a matter for the states and we don’t need no stinking 347 new federal agencies and all their bloated, inefficient staff.

    Then it’s time to move on to real Tort Reform, allow for cross state insurance policy purchasing, move on to break up the Blues’ monopoly, tax the Cadillac union plans the same we are taxing every other Cadillac plan (just closing loopholes and making it a fair, level playing field)… then onto breaking the special deals that went into effect for all the corrupt-vote-4-Obama schemes.

    HOP House leadership could put all of it in the context of fixing Obama sCare, really driving down medical care costs, reigning in the corrupt, bloated BigPhrama guys who made out like bandits with Obama sCare… and on and on. Playing back the plays that put Obama sCare into place.

    We never have to strip the poor of access or coverage. We never have to retreat from the provisions of existing conditions. We don’t have to touch the portability issue –in fact, with broader access to more companies –we can improve portability and drive down insurance premium costs.

    All while hyping every case where a govt group tells some class of patients they can’t have mamograms before age 55, or can’t have a scooter, or can’t buy generics if they want them, can’t get OTC allergy meds, etc.

    Running those issues and tons of others right up the ol Obami White House… all the way to the elections in 2012.

    The House GOP doesn’t have to win these legsilative contests –just get them out of the House and over to, hopefully, the Democrat controlled Senate. The House GOP doesn’t even have to bargain away it’s soul to get the Senate to agree… or Obama not to veto. We don’t need to trade –we just need to make progress on a House GOP agenda that will drive the Obami into the sea… like the Israelis should have done with Yassir Arafat and the PLO in 1982.

    When we control a single chamber, it isn’t about governing –that’s for the WH. It’s about playing to political advantages and making the Obami pay dearly for their reckless, feckless actions.

  • msmilack

    Mr. Frum,

    It is not surprising the WSJ would come after you. That’s hat happens when people speak the truth. The fact that your article went viral (I just googled “Frum+Waterloo” and got 116 hits) is testament to how important your words are. From both sides, readers reacted the way people react when they recognize the truth. I admired your TV appearances on MSNBC where you clearly explained, in pragmatic terms, the problem within the GOP. To me, the most important point you made is that the right continues to choose politics over policy, thereby refusing to govern, and prefers to win — as if the two are equivalent.

    I was especially impressed when you debated the gentleman from Club for Growth (whom you eviscerated). Hearing his narrow rigid points made me aware that the media is not the only force stirring up the worst elements of the right. Are not the money-people behind the Club for Growth equally responsible for the impasse the Right has reached? The pledges for purity tests, followed by yesterday’s insistence that all “good Republicans” sign on to repeal Healthcare reform (instead of working to shape the bill) traces back to the tactics of Club for Growth.

    Similarly, I heard McCain pledge to now not help with any future legislation, as if he were punishing Obama when in fact such an attitude actually punishes the people who elected him; does such a pledge not disqualify an elected offical from holding office? That is not strategy, that is suicide.

    With the Club for Growth person, you made an important argument when you distinguished between holding onto principles versus acting as a principled individual who, above all, wishes to govern; your words fell on deaf and stubborn ears unfortunately but hearing his responses made me wish you, or someone at Frum Forum, would please write a an article on Club for Growth which we already know is behind the scenes choosing candidates who are the “right kind of candidates” as if they alone would know. The ideologues of that Club believe it is more important to be right than to be effective and in so doing remind me of the logical extension of such nihilistic thinking as came out of the Vietnam War in a line none of us will forget: “We killed them to save them.”

    Your article was brave and extremely important. Therefore, you should expect to be attacked even more by people you thought were on the same side. What can you do? Grow a thick skin, and take pride in having spoken the truth. Kudos on a well-written thoughtful piece.


  • Gramps

    mlloyd // Mar 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm
    “In your Waterloo post, you wrote, “the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big.”

    Didn’t Obama hold a special four hour publicly televised meeting with the Republican caucus; where he attempted to solicit their thoughts and concerns with respect to health care reform?

    The next day the representative’s were running around kicking themselves after Limbaugh and Beck referred to them as imbeciles for sitting down in a public forum with the President and having their lunch handed to them!

    Oh well… so much for bipartisan discourse when the conservative entertainment yakkers are the consummate leaders of the Grand Old Party and have the final word concerning their direction.

    Believe me the conservative yakker’s agenda is to keep the true believers in sharp, marching, order with their pitch forks and hammer handles, continually going in circles, on a daily basis; or they lose millions of listeners and viewers and multi-millions of advertising dollars!

  • ottovbvs

    …I didn’t see David’s MSNBC appearance perhaps he should put it up…..sound like a good discussion…..Toomey and these Club for Growth people are completely off their heads so I’m not surprised David decked him…..they are basically where people like Independant (sic) are and it’s ultimately fatal…….basically Republicans are proving they simply are not fit to govern.

  • ottovbvs

    TerryF98 // Mar 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    …..you forgot financial regulatory reform when the Republicans go into bat for the banking industry……..this will be on the front burner for the next six months and since we’re into military metaphors is likely to prover their Stalingrad

  • Independent

    ottoBS does the Easter Bunny dance so popular with wishful thinking demcorat ditch diggers these days: “Churl baby I can tell from some of your contributions that you’re not a complete twit so get real and admit this is going to be popular…..Billy Kristol wasn’t wrong in those far off days of 1994″

    The polling in swing Democrat Congressional seats says otherwise, ottoBS. You can hope it’s going to be popular, you can pray even –if you weren’t such an unabashedly atheistic secularist– that Obama will be able to do what he hasn’t been able to do since 2006… sell this turkey as a Good Thing.


    I know it’s not good to tell kiddies like you the Easter Bunny isn’t real, but when they’re saying that about Obama sCare in New Hampshire –it should make you worry… not enough, though, to lose the NancyPelosi grin I admit.


    “Obamacare: Another Washington scam

    In New Hampshire in October of 2007, candidate Barack Obama said, “We’re not going to pass universal health care with a 50-plus-one strategy.” On Sunday, his Democratic Party did exactly that. Like so much else that the President has said about health care reform, that promise was just talk.

    Obama’s reform will not reduce the federal deficit. Much of the bill’s taxation begins in 2011, but its biggest spending doesn’t start until 2014. The 10-year score appears to reduce the deficit, but only because of this sleight of hand. Once all the spending kicks in, the spending exceeds the revenue. A portion called the “doc fix” was removed from the bill and is to be passed separately. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that with the “doc fix,” health care reform will add $59 billion to the deficit in the next decade. It’s more if Congress doesn’t reduce Medicare spending.

    The Associated Press reported last week that the bill won’t lower health insurance premiums, as Obama promised. It simply subsidizes them.

    You might not be able to keep your current insurer or doctor, as Obama promised. The bill taxes insurance plans the government deems too generous, discouraging them. And a study reported on the New England Journal of Medicine Web site showed that 46 percent of physicians surveyed said they would be more likely to quit medicine or retire early if the bill passed.”

    All together now: “Here comes Peter Cotton Tail hopping down the bunny trail…”

  • TerryF98

    Yet More confirmation that some (a majority) of Republicans are crazy . Harris poll finds.

    * 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.
    * 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
    * 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
    * 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
    * Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”


  • Independent

    DavidF should worry more, it seems, when –as we predicted– the far Left FrumBots do their Easter Bunny dance to cheer up “their man”, DavidF, from a bad bad bad day in the woodshed.

    Honest guys, DavidF needs some plausible deniability that he isn’t in the back pocket of the liberal MSM and a disgruntled ol’ GOPer selling his gun out for hire to the highest bidder… you aren’t helping him with all the stroking.

    Besides, you really need to be comforting all those scared, skittish Democrats who are already looking for a new job –or, in Patrick Kennedy’s case, some meds.

  • TerryF98

    “The full results of the poll, which will be released in greater detail tomorrow, are even more frightening: including news that high percentages of Republicans—and Americans overall—believe that President Obama is “racist,” “anti-American” “wants the terrorists to win” and “wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one-world government.” The “Hatriot” belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” as set forth in the Constitution is also widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come. It’s the same claim made by Marine Lance Corporal Kody Brittingham in his letter of intent to assassinate the President Obama.

    This poll is the latest and most detailed evidence of the extent to which Wingnuts are hijacking our politics. It should be a wakeup call to all Americans and a collective reminder, as we move past health-care reform, that we need to stand up to extremism.”

    Daily Beast

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