Gingrich: Good Punditry, Bad Politics

June 24th, 2011 at 8:08 am David Frum | 49 Comments |

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You know what? That sounds like an interesting speech that Newt Gingrich gave the Maryland Republican party last night.

“No administration in modern times has failed younger blacks more than the Obama administration,” Gingrich said. He explained that “in May, we had 41 percent unemployment among black teenagers in America.”

That means if Republicans can put on a brave face, they might be able to turn the African American vote their way. “Think of the social catastrophe of 41 percent of a community not being able to find a job. But we have to have the courage to walk into that neighborhood, to talk to that preacher, to visit that small business, to talk to that mother. And we have to have a convincing case that we actually know how to create jobs.”

“The morning they believe that, you’re going to see margins in percents you never dreamed of decide there’s a better future,” Gingrich said. “It takes courage, it takes hard work, it takes discipline and it’s doable.

“I will bet you there is not a single precinct in this state in which the majority will pick for their children food stamps over paychecks,” he said.

As so often with Gingrich, what is true and right is fused to what is absurd and false. It’s true, this recession has wreaked social havoc on poorer Americans. The Center for Immigration Studies tallied some numbers in their most recent release:

  • In the first quarter of 2011, the standard unemployment rate (referred to as U-3) for U.S.-born workers who have not completed high school was 22 percent.
  • Using the broader measure of unemployment (referred to as U-6), that includes those who want to work but have not looked in the last four weeks and those forced to work part-time, the rate for U.S.-born workers who have not completed high school was 34.6 percent.
  • The U-6 unemployment rate for U.S.-born workers who have only a high school education, but no additional schooling, is 21.5 percent. The situation for younger workers with only a high school education is even worse.
  • Looking at all less-educated U.S.-born adults (ages 18 to 65), 26.9 million were not working in the first quarter of 2011. Less-educated is defined as having either failed to complete high school or having only a high school education. If we include all less-educated adult citizens, both U.S.-born and naturalized, 28.7 million were not working in the first quarter of 2011.
  • The above figures do not include the 7.2 million American teenagers (16-17) not working. It also does not include the 17.1 million working-age citizens with some college, but not a bachelor’s degree, who are not working.

We are living through the longest period of extended unemployment since World War II. This unemployment is occurring in a society without very much of a social safety net for working age people. The result is a social catastrophe.

So far, Newt Gingrich is making sense. He’s making sense too when he asserts that the social catastrophe creates a political opportunity for a party that can bring forward practical ideas to revive economic growth.

But here’s where he stops making sense: Conservatives cannot recognize — or refuse to acknowledge — that non-conservatives do not share their disdain for President Obama and are therefore unlikely to be impressed by overstated criticisms.

Non-Republicans do not agree that Obama “made it worse.” They agree that Obama “failed to make it better.” That may seem like a small difference, but it’s a hugely important one.

The beginning of wisdom on the politics of this recession is this: Even according to the highly Republican-friendly Rasmussen poll, more Americans blame Bush for the recession than blame Obama.
These findings are replicated (and with much bigger margins) by pollsters like Marist and Hart/McInturff.

Some practical implications from these findings:

  • Rush Limbaugh may speak of the Bush years as the good old days, but that is a highly unusual and unaccepted point of view. Republicans remain a party of economic failure in most voters eyes. Voters may be dissatisfied with Obama’s effectiveness, but they will only reject him if they are offered a superior alternative. For now, the GOP alternative remains even worse than the Obama status quo.
  • Given that minority voters in particular do not blame Obama for the bad economy – in fact, continue to respect and admire him – the mood of raging Republican contempt for the president almost guarantees that we will speak about him in ways that deny us any audience for our policy message.
  • That is, assuming we had a policy message calculated to appeal to them. But even if the door were open, how would a platform of tighter money, big benefit cuts, and upper-income tax cuts appeal to hard-pressed voters, African-Americans being some of the hardest-pressed of all?

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49 Comments so far ↓

  • jcm433

    “Conservatives cannot recognize — or refuse to acknowledge — that non-conservatives do not share their disdain for President Obama”

    Thank God for David Frum.

    • medinnus

      One step further – not only do they disagree with the GOP litany of “Obama failed”, but even people like me who disagree with most of Obama’s actions find the GOP lies contemptible, and those who promulgate them (like Faux News) to be utterly without credibility.

  • ottovbvs

    Non-Republicans do not agree that Obama “made it worse.” They agree that Obama “failed to make it better.” That may seem like a small difference, but it’s a hugely important one.

    In February 2009 when the president took office we were losing jobs at the rate of 750,000 a month and the economy had been shrinking for 14 months. The economy has now been growing for 18 months and we’ve added about 1.2 million jobs in the last year. Even someone with the math skills of a ten year old can do this sum. Perhaps they might agree Obama “Is not making it better fast enough.” Of course they might also agree that this is largely due to relentless Republican opposition to efforts to make it better for what are entirely partisan political motives.

  • CentristNYer

    “But here’s where he stops making sense: Conservatives cannot recognize — or refuse to acknowledge — that non-conservatives do not share their disdain for President Obama…”

    This is where Newt stops making sense? How about he stops making sense by proposing that the economy is only going to right itself by handing out bigger and bigger tax cuts for the people who need — and deserve — them the least?

  • sinz54

    Frum: “how would a platform of tighter money, big benefit cuts, and upper-income tax cuts appeal to hard-pressed voters, African-Americans being some of the hardest-pressed of all?”

    Can we please forget about the black vote already? It’s a closed issue.

    Look at the polls on Obama’s approval rating. Approval of Obama from every other cohort has declined sharply since he was inaugurated–even Hispanics. But black approval of Obama has remained constant, always over 90%, any variation explainable by margin of error. That’s despite a black unemployment rate of 20%.

    In 1980, many blacks abandoned President Carter over his austerity policies, and supported Ted Kennedy instead. But Carter was a white Southerner. Abandoning a white Southerner is a lot easier for blacks than abandoning an urban black man from Chicago like Obama.

    No white politician–from either party–is going to pull black voters away from The First Black President(tm). Racial solidarity alone guarantees that, and is the only way to explain why millions of blacks who got laid off during Obama’s term will vote for his re-election anyway.

    The GOP has to start with this calculation: Obama is going to get 90+% of the black vote, no matter what state the economy is in. Because of the immigration issue, Obama is going to get a majority (hopefully not a big majority) of the Hispanic vote, no matter what state the economy is in.

    The GOP is being inconsistent here. They have no problem with evangelical voters sticking with the GOP in economically tough times for non-economic reasons–why should they be surprised when black voters stick with a black President in tough times for non-economic reasons?

    • Graychin

      It isn’t true that blacks support Obama because he is black. They support Obama in just about the same numbers that they support any Democrat over any Republican. Hillary Clinton had strong support among black voters during her primary races against Obama.

      It’s not about the candidate’s race – it’s about the policies of the candidate and his party. Black voters aren’t as obsessed with race as Republicans imagine. Blacks are probably less obsessed than Republicans are!

      You won’t lure voters from a group experiencing 20% unemployment by promising more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    • ottovbvs

      The GOP is being inconsistent here. They have no problem with evangelical voters sticking with the GOP in economically tough times for non-economic reasons–why should they be surprised when black voters stick with a black President in tough times for non-economic reasons?

      For once I agree with you Sinz but then there’s nothing new about Republican inconsistency is there? And before you say the Dems are inconsistent too, I agree, but not on anything approaching the same scale. And you’re going to be dissappointed with the Hispanics. Post Arizona, Georgia, etc he’ll probably get a larger share of the Hispanic vote than in ’08.

  • Graychin

    Non-Republicans do not agree that Obama “made it worse.” They agree that Obama “failed to make it better.”

    Close, but not quite. Non-Republicans agree that Obama failed to make it ENOUGH better, QUICKLY ENOUGH. The actions that Obama and the Democrats took in the early part of 2009 stopped the free-fall that the economy was in when Obama took office. Republicans preferred Hooverite policies, and still do. They continue to oppose any actions that might create demand or create jobs – except, of course, more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    Otherwise, DF’s analysis of the problem with Newt and the rest of the Republican field is excellent: “Conservatives cannot recognize — or refuse to acknowledge — that non-conservatives do not share their disdain for President Obama and are therefore unlikely to be impressed by overstated criticisms.”

    And this: “For now, the GOP alternative remains even worse than the Obama status quo.” Bingo!

    • ottovbvs

      And this: “For now, the GOP alternative remains even worse than the Obama status quo.” Bingo!

      Bingo indeed. And pace Intelliwriter below, he’s right, basically Americans like this guy. Which is more than can be said for the sweaty, very nasty, Gingrich.

      • abj

        “The actions that Obama and the Democrats took in the early part of 2009 stopped the free-fall that the economy was in when Obama took office.”

        That’s not quite accurate either. They did cushion the blow somewhat, but characterizing it as “stopping the free fall” is overreaching.

    • PracticalGirl

      Close, but not quite. Non-Republicans agree that Obama failed to make it ENOUGH better, QUICKLY ENOUGH.

      The bone truth. The most dangerous element about the Republican message machine is their ability to create discord without presenting a viable alternative. AND without pointing out the gains made in the face of the disaster they left.

      The last time the GOP had the reigns (total control for 6 years, agenda control for another 2), the NET gain in private sector jobs was 188,000. In 8 years. No, the Democrats can’t run against Bush again, but they are running against (largely) the same policies that created these anemic numbers. And, under Obama, 763,000 private jobs were added in 2010.

      Is this “fast enough”? No for the still unemployed, but it took us 8 years to suffer almost total meltdown. A steady recovery is the healthiest, and Newt and company know this. But they simply can’t sell it, so they practice misdirection, combine it with nasty rhetoric and hope that it sticks.

  • IntelliWriter

    The other thing conservatives miss is that this president has a lot of good will from a majority of Americans. In poll after poll, he has a high likeability rating…usually in the 60% range. Even people who are disappointed in his policies like the man. He has also conducted himself as a respectful family man, to which most American can both relate and aspire. The vitriol and hatred coming from the right is more than a turn-off, it’s close to psychotic. It won’t win them any elections.

  • politicalfan

    Need a Republican ‘uniter not a divider.’ Personality and intellect matters!!!

    People get caught up on strategy and forget basic psychology.
    Who is going to vote for a candidate that has a ton of video evidence slamming the left and ‘everyone else’ that they do not agree with?

    Play the tape, find a strong candidate and move forward. A strong candidate is going to be needed to compete with the President in 2012. The man is very much liked even though people do not agree with all of his policies. He is the serious guy in the room at the moment and (did I add), his likeability percentage is higher than his detractors would like. http://www.redstate.com/bs/2011/06/09/barack-obama-the-american-idol-president/

  • Hunter01

    There is only one way that Republicans can win the black vote, and that is by insisting that the first black president was not born in American and that he has no right to hold the office, that he is not a Christian but is in fact a Muslim, and — this is important now — by having lots of local Republican politicians circulating photoshopped pictures of him looking like a monkey. That should do the trick.

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  • HighCountry

    Great piece, David. I have been saying for a long time that there may be plenty of reasons to criticize the Obama admin., disagree with him, etc. But the Republicans have been so overboard in their criticism of him, making up lie after lie about him ever since he took office, that they have managed to turn off many, if not most, reasonable, moderate people. I think they are going to get a major wake-up call in ’12, might even get their asses handed to them in the election on all fronts…though they may not actually learn anything from it…

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  • Frumplestiltskin

    Sinz: Can we please forget about the black vote already? It’s a closed issue.
    Translation: Can we please forget about the blacks already? Since they won’t vote Republican why even bother to throw them crumbs.

    And the only reasons poor evangelicals stay with the Republicans is God, gays, and guns. Their own conception of morality, not money, is what drives these voters. It is a false equivalency to black voters who support Democrats because Democrats support the poor and the middle classes (and who also don’t treat minorities with contempt and disdain as do the Republicans)

  • lnexus01

    Mr. Frum,

    I am no conservative. Still, I have found your site an interesting antidote to the mindless dribble from most sources of your part of the political spectrum. (I also stay away from most sites of the other side.)

    I’m astounded today to find that the actions of Mr. Cantor can barely be found on the “front page” of this blog. Please, here’s an opportunity for you to do some good. I know what I think of what he has done, but, I’m interested in knowing your perspective on this, and yet, you shy away.

    I don’t know if anything of more or even equal importance happened yesterday. Newt Gingrich? C’mon!

    • Bunker555

      ^+1 lnexus01

      The constant idiotic diatribe and lies by the likes of Faux News and Drugster Limbaugh is laughed at outside the Tea Bagger base of the GOP. The rest of the world is just amazed at the idiocy of the lunatic right.

  • Deep South Populist

    This analysis is flawed. Excluding the 20% to 25% of the electorate who will support Obama no matter what he does, people are sick of Obama and his proxies blaming Bush. The 20% to 25% have no credibility because they never say at what point Obama should start being regarded as the owner of this economy.

    In January 2009, the argument that “this is the Bush economy” made sense. The argument made sense in 2010. But we are now in 2011, and we are still hearing the same tired saw “this is the Bush economy.” It has become a very dubious claim, because Obama has been in office for two and half years now. And for the first two years, he had a damn near veto proof majority on his side and could have done whatever he wanted.

    So here is a question for any Obama supporters who care to respond to this point: when in your opinion will it make sense to quit talking about the Bush economy and begin talking about the Obama economy?

    The end of 2011? 2012? 2014?

    • nickthap

      Well, my answer is that I didn’t realize that Presidents are single-handedly in charge of the domestic economy.

    • ottovbvs

      Excluding the 20% to 25% of the electorate who will support Obama no matter what he does, people are sick of Obama and his proxies blaming Bush.

      Bringing your Obama Derangement Syndrome porkies over this thread DSP? The last time I checked his poll average is around 47.5% and I don’t think he’s ever been below 42%. And in just about all the recent polls I’ve seen around 55% still hold Bush responsible for the recession. If you’re going to lie DSP you might at least do a better job of it.

      . And for the first two years, he had a damn near veto proof majority on his side and could have done whatever he wanted.

      Another blatant lie. In fact in a senate where 60 votes are needed to pass anything these days the Republicans exercised a minority veto over legislation. Go get help.

    • Grace

      2016? It took Bush eight years to drive us fully into a ditch (almost off the cliff?)– seems Obama should be given just as long to try to dig us out of it.

  • Cforchange

    Why do you have to be a Democrat to be turned off?

    Persistent over reaction and an unclear vision reveals incompetence. The snake oil salesmen technique works well with evangelicals but really is quite boring.

    Deep South Populist – not an Obama supporter but Bush Blame can only stop when the credit card war is paid and all those empty McMansions are occupied by owners who are current on their mortgages. Georgie owns those 2 problems, just no way to wiggle out. That’s what this entire article is all about – denial combined with an alligator mouth coverup. Snooze…………

  • zahnartz62

    I wrote sen Hutchins when we started Imperial warfare in Iraq..do as Rome did..always make war pay for itself by looting the country we invade to cover our expenses. I am 74, WASP, Episcopalian, professional..and former Republican. Thank you David Frum..you remind me of the Repubs I used to know. With Bush I voted Democrat and for Obama to punish the Bush disaster and the dreadful Palin choice. I knew in 1975 where we were headed and I do not think for a second we have even started to hit bottom. Thanks to Cantor, McConnel et al political warfare is destroying our ability to clean up the mess the Repubs have made. Obama asked for R help as both parties must work together or America fails. The tax cuts are a disaster, borrowing money from China to wage war..crazy. Start traiffs now, demand Am companies bring jobs back, stop lobbists drianing money..I could go on..Poor America..I read a line in a history book recently..it said the merchants, the bankers, the patricians, the special interests and leaders of the plebes feasted on the corpse of the Empire while they looted the treasury.

  • Solo4114

    [q]So here is a question for any Obama supporters who care to respond to this point: when in your opinion will it make sense to quit talking about the Bush economy and begin talking about the Obama economy?

    The end of 2011? 2012? 2014?[/q]

    I would wager that the Obama supporters will cease blaming Bush when the GOP stops trying to blame Obama for the mess we’re in.

    I think the issue is that the GOP’s message of “It’s Obama’s fault” rings false with people. At the very least, they need to revise their message to “Obama hasn’t helped enough and we could have done better.” Then they need to explain how they’d do better. But they aren’t doing that. Instead, they try to pin the whole mess on Obama.

    This is akin to putting a plane into a nose-dive, flaming out the engines, then stepping out of the cockpit and trying to blame the fact that the plane is going down on the guy who stepped in and managed to at least bring it into a controlled glide. “We’re crashing and it’s all your fault!” Oh, and some Obama supporters envision the GOP saying that while holding its hands over the new pilot’s eyes.

    Now, could Obama have done better? Absolutely. I expect that even his most ardent supporters would say as much. But the way the GOP message comes across (which, for all I know, is not how they intend it to sound) is that an intervening presidential election somehow absolves them of any responsibility for the state of the economy today.

    I think what Mr. Frum is advocating is that the GOP shift it’s message to something akin to “He’s not doing enough, and here’s how we’d do it better.” The sad part is that they tried this with the Ryan budget and it’s pretty clear that people aren’t going for it.

    This also underlines the basic problem with the GOP today. On the one hand, the “party elders” seem committed to playing political games purely for the sake of power. These are the same guys who (A) previously wholeheartedly supported wars of foreign adventure, and now (B) call for enforcement of the War Powers Act on the matter of Libya. All while having, but a few weeks ago, wrung their hands about how the U.S. wasn’t leading the fight and was instead collaborating with the Europeans. All this looks like is naked political gamesmanship for the sake of securing power — and power for its own ends, I might add, not for any benefit to the nation. When you turn your policy stance on a dime because the White House shifted from “red” to “blue,” people tend to doubt your sincerity.

    Into this apparent policy vacuum has been poured the extreme policies of the Tea Party, which apparently include elimination of social programs, alongside the elimination of taxes. Now, while I will at least credit them for having the integrity of not trying to hoodwink the public by claiming that you can hike spending while also cutting taxes and somehow not run a deficit, again, coming from the same party which previously governed under exactly those principles, the whole thing seems rather a sham. If, on the other hand, the GOP has finally “got religion” about eliminating taxes and social programs, then it is a religion of which I want no part.

    Ultimately, I think this is Mr. Frum’s point — that it is not enough to simply point the finger at President Obama and claim that he has done ill. There must be more. There must be a policy offered that is not so unpalatable to the public that they reject it out of hand the way much of the public has with the Ryan Budget, and with claims like Tim Pawlenty’s (admittedly thin-on-details) proposal for economic growth. The GOP has to advance a serious policy alternative to the way the President is governing. In a sense, at least on policy grounds, the GOP has been outmaneuvered in this regard. Obama already occupies the “moderate center.” He is far from the bomb-throwing socialist radical the GOP portrays him to be.

    If the GOP were collectively smarter, they would, in fact, take credit for this result and show how their principled opposition has moved the country to the center, rather than allowing it to careen off into some lunatic socialist experiment doomed to eventual failure. But that’s not how politics works anymore, and ultimately, I think that is a big part of why the population as a whole has so much less faith in government institutions.

    Modern politics is all about conflict and vehement emotionally-driven opposition to “the other guy.” It’s just basic tribalism for the sake of tribalism. We might as well spend hours debating why my sports team is better than yours, and why my beer “tastes great” but yours is merely “less filling.”

    And all of it is completely pointless. The vehemence with which the GOP opposes Obama is idiotic and so much of it seems to be at best for show and at worst done purely to regain power for power’s sake. When the President adopts GOP-proposed solutions for health reform and the GOP rejects it out of hand and then doubles down by lying and fearmongering, why should ANYONE have any faith in the political process? But unfortunately, the optics of lawmakers actually working together to craft effective solutions borne of a common goal of national prosperity just don’t fly on cable news.

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  • ottovbvs

    “We’re crashing and it’s all your fault!”

    Nice metaphor Solo. Mines are more grounded or maybe aquatic. Obama is like the black repair truck driver who shows up at 3.00 am to pull the drunken Yalie’s Thunderbird out of the ditch he’s driven it into and gets berated by the drunk’s buddies for not being quick enough about it and putting some dings on the bodywork. This jerk DSP was over on another thread blaming the repair truck driver for not being quick enough sorting out an 8 year old mess in Afghanistan. In Feb 2009 Obama was given the wheel of the Titanic and told sort this out boy. In fact he’s sealed the leaks, the water’s being pumped out, and the passengers have got out of the lifeboats. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. But was it reasonably competent and infinitely superior to the ship going down. The answer is obvious if you’re not totally blinded by partisan rancor.

  • Grace

    Mr. Frum, kudos to you and almost every commenter for rationally exploring the toxic approach the GOP is taking to our national interest. I want to have hope that most Americans recognize that toxicity, but I despair over the corporate media’s lazy parroting of “both sides do it” coverage (at best) or promoting outright propaganda (at worst).

    Mostly, I despair at the success the GOP is having with exactly the approach we’re all decrying. We can criticize it, but since it seems to be working what incentive is there for it to change?

    I encounter many, many people who don’t necessarily ‘buy’ the hyperbolic ranting but are increasingly just shrugging their shoulders, tuning out, and not even bothering to vote, because the poo-flinging is so unpleasant to endure and more rational voices are drowned out by the screaming. Coupled with the media’s “both sides do it” coverage, potential voters are discouraged from even trying to engage. I have to think that that is a psychological effect the GOP counts on when they push the howler monkeys center-stage: even if they don’t pick up a vote, if they can keep an unsold voter on the couch it makes the bar that much lower to get over. In that way, even a potential voter unconvinced by their ‘message’ can be valuable, if he is convinced just to stay home and not give his vote to the other side.

    Constructive ideas and a positive message are unnecessary if you’re successful without them, and let’s face it, they’ve been successful without them.

  • TAZ

    I’m Republican, I believe this is Obamas economy.

    That said, were not bleeding 750000 jobs a month any more. And, were not talking about the collapse of the world financial markets any more.

    The Bush hole was pretty deep, I am willing to give Obama his complete full term to get things back on track.

    Come election time, the Repubs better have a solid plan to lift ALL BOATS or I will give my vote to Ron Paul (write in) again.

  • PracticalGirl

    So here is a question for any Obama supporters who care to respond to this point: when in your opinion will it make sense to quit talking about the Bush economy and begin talking about the Obama economy?

    A piece of bait easy to bite on, since I live in the real world.

    Sure, this is Obama’s economy, just like if I signed over title to an unmaintained, barely running dented wreck of car to my mechanic to fix up for me, it would become his. But just because he accepted it and the challenge to keep it running wouldn’t mean that all the money and time he’d need to spend getting it in road condition would be his “fault”. And it wouldn’t legitimize my gripes of his not fixing it “fast enough”, even as it began to take some trips around the block. Nor would it be productive for me to demand the car back, claim that my old plan of non-maintenance would be far superior to the slow fixes my mechanic is making and question his citizenship for good measure.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Gingrich wrote: “And we have to have a convincing case that we actually know how to create jobs.”

    This is the GOP’s problem in a nutshell. They’ve turned to hyperbole and nastiness only because they don’t have any policies that haven’t already proved to be a complete disaster. If they knew how to create jobs or even reduce the deficit they wouldn’t spend all their time with rhetoric that’s completely detached from reality.

  • Lonewolf

    ” I will bet you there is not a single precinct in this state in which the majority will pick for their children food stamps over paychecks.”
    Actually, the entire philosophy of Republicans is that MANY will pick food stamps over jobs. Therefore, they reason, all remaining social safety nets must be cut to pieces, because that’s how you make people become productive members of society.
    Newt, to his credit, practises what he preaches. His profligate expenditures at Tiffany’s have created opportunities for dozens of unemployed young black adults to become diamond cutters, goldsmiths, gem setters and pearl stringers.

  • rbottoms

    Kind of sad David Frum pour all this wisdom into the GeorgeW. Bush presidency. Having assisted the captain if the Titanic in rushing into several icebergs he seeks to atone for in by trying to talk the GOP madmen down from their perch.

    Obama does need to make things more better, faster.

    And Newt Gingrich needs to go Cheney himself.

    • Bunker555

      Frum has always been a warmonger;

      “Following the election of George W. Bush in 2000, Frum was appointed to a position within the White House. Frum would later write that when he was first offered the job by chief Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson,
      I believed I was unsuited to the job he was offering me. I had no connection to the Bush campaign or the Bush family. I had no experience in government and little of political campaigns. I had not written a speech for anyone other than myself. And I had been only a moderately enthusiastic supporter of George W. Bush … I strongly doubted he was the right man for the job. He served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting from January 2001 to February 2002. While serving in the Bush White House, Frum was “one of the most vociferous voices . . . calling for war in Iraq,” and “wrote in 2003 about the Iraqis ‘welcoming their liberators.‘”

  • NRA Liberal

    “,,,That means if Republicans can put on a brave face, they might be able to turn the African American vote their way….”

    Yeah, that’ll happen, around the same time that retired oil company execs in the suburbs of Houston start voting Democrat.

  • jakester

    I heard Hannity and Niger Innis try to turn this issue into EPA regulations versus unemployed black youth.

  • jakester

    I don’t have a pathological hatred of Obama, but I am not impressed by him either and wouldn’t mind someone else. But the same goes for all those GOP hopefuls.

  • Houndentenor

    This may be how these things play out now. The right overstated its case against Clinton (claims the Clintons had people murdered, etc.), the left against Bush and now the right again overstating claims against Obama. The result is sympathy among those in the middle.

  • Arms Merchant

    Am I missing something? Your excerpt from the speech has one assertion, “No administration in modern times has failed younger blacks more than the Obama administration,” and a bunch of stats, none of which refute the 41% figure (BTW, the Puget Sound Business Journal says unemployment among black teens in Washington state is 40.7% according to a study by the pro-business Employment Policy Institute). That seems reasonable compared to the other stats you present.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2011/06/13/washington-state-teen-unemployment.html

    OK, so Gingrich is not overstating the problem. Is he overstating when he said the Administration has failed young people [on the employment front] more than any other in recent times?

    Well, how could paying off banksters, union cronies and public employees in a useless “stimulus,” picking winners and losers in the mortgage market, imposing crushing new regulations that won’t do anything to control health spending or rein in Fanny or Freddy, doubling the national debt, doing nothing to staunch the borrowing/printing of new trillions annually, threatening to “punish our enemies,” and starting a new, expensive, unauthorized war NOT undermine business confidence and stable expectations?

    Hell, under those circumstances, I wouldn’t hire anyone either.

  • nhthinker

    Frum get is wrong again.

    Overall, Americans consume much more per capita than their equivalents in Asia.

    This is basically caused by the glory days of the 1950s when American workers were many times more productive than their equivalents in Asia.

    Americans came to believe that Americans deserved more and spent without understanding of competitive productivity.

    Over the past 60 years, American politicians worried about pandering to different voters and assumed some sort of large politically spending would continue to allow Americans to consume at a much higher rate than the average “middle-income” world citizen. (This is not a recent Bush versus Obama issue: they both doubled down on government overspending that increased the inefficiency of Americans compared to the competitors of the 22nd century.)

    Frum continues with the pandering: What is the government doing FOR African-Americans? What is the government doing FOR illegal aliens?

    Government is supposed to be concerned about “general welfare”- government to be used by all citizens, not special interest pandering to a voting block.

    Frum has devolved into just a pandering political “strategist”- he is no longer the man espousing principles instead of politics that William F Buckley found so inspiring.

  • ggore

    Everything Newt says is “Never has there been”, “the worst in our country’s history”, “Never have we seen”, “worst ever”, etc etc etc when referring to Obama. Anyone with a sane mind knows this is not true, not me, nor any other potential voter, so to try and pin Obama with those monikers is just turning off voters as it has every other time he has used those expressions.

    The Bush years WERE the start of this Great Recession, and yes I do not believe Obama has made things much better himself, but unless I read the Constitution wrong, legislation is done by Congress, not the President, so I place some good portion of the bame firmly in their laps as they have not been able to get anything meaningful done on their own because of their silly partisan squabbling, be it right or wrong in anyone’s eyes.

    When you hamstring the stimulus programs by never actually giving OUT the majority of the money, you cannot come back later and complain that the stimulus did not work!

    When you deregulate the oil & gas markets so that speculators can come in and buy up the entire supply, run up the price based on NOTHING but that speculation which causes what little recovery the economy has made to come to a screeching halt, you cannot then blame Obama for releasing some of the Strategic Reserve in order to drive some of those speculators out of the market and get gas prices to go down a little in an effort to jumpstart the economy again. Demand for oil/gas is DOWN, people, there was NO reason for gas prices to be skyrocketing like they were, but Republicans saw this as a great way to blame Obama for not doing more for the economy, and the sensible voters among us see right through that ploy!

  • politicalfan

    Demand for oil/gas is DOWN, people, there was NO reason for gas prices to be skyrocketing like they were, but Republicans saw this as a great way to blame Obama for not doing more for the economy, and the sensible voters among us see right through that ploy!

    Bush got blamed for a lot of things as well if we’re to be honest. If we didn’t have to sit through the series of tit for tats, we might actually get something done. Do they recycle this stuff every 4 years?

    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-07-17/politics/congress.oil_1_drilling-anwr-pelosi?_s=PM:POLITICS
    (‘Two oil men’ to blame for high gas prices, Pelosi says).

    http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/is-obama-to-blame-for-4-gasoline/
    (“Is Obama to blame for $4 gasoline?”)

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/24/news/economy/gdp/index.htm
    Where does Newt come in to this equation? (Unemployment and higher inflation).

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