Wednesday, November 23, 2011
David Frum has a lot of problems with the present-day Republican party:
Yes, it's David Frum, but he writes a long essay, When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?,
with many data points. Over at the New York Magazine. Excerpt:
Conservatives have been driven to these fevered anxieties as much by their own trauma as by external events. In the aughts, Republicans held more power for longer than at any time since the twenties, yet the result was the weakest and least broadly shared economic expansion since World War II, followed by an economic crash and prolonged slump. Along the way, the GOP suffered two severe election defeats in 2006 and 2008. Imagine yourself a rank-and-file Republican in 2009: If you have not lost your job or your home, your savings have been sliced and your children cannot find work. Your retirement prospects have dimmed. Most of all, your neighbors blame you for all that has gone wrong in the country. There’s one thing you know for sure: None of this is your fault! And when the new president fails to deliver rapid recovery, he can be designated the target for everyone’s accumulated disappointment and rage. In the midst of economic wreckage, what relief to thrust all blame upon Barack Obama as the wrecker-in-chief.
The Bush years cannot be repudiated, but the memory of them can be discarded to make way for a new and more radical ideology, assembled from bits of the old GOP platform that were once sublimated by the party elites but now roam the land freely: ultralibertarianism, crank monetary theories, populist fury, and paranoid visions of a Democratic Party controlled by ACORN and the New Black Panthers.
"crank monetary theories" are definitely riding high at the moment.
Over the past two decades, conservatism has evolved from a political philosophy into a market segment. An industry has grown up to serve that segment—and its stars have become the true thought leaders of the conservative world. The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. ....
But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. (...)
We used to say “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.” Now we are all entitled to our own facts, and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.
I have half a dozen conservative friends who'd I like to show this to but I'm not going to bother. If they've already drank the Kool-Aid then they're not going to believe any of it.
"Now we are all entitled to our own facts, and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information."
This describes our friend jms to a T. Everything he says here is 100 percent, Grade-A Rush Limbaugh-approved right-wing agitprop. jms buys his Kool-Aid by the barrel.
"In the aughts, Republicans held more power for longer than at any time since the twenties, yet the result was the weakest and least broadly shared economic expansion since World War II, followed by an economic crash and prolonged slump."
Good job! Way to go, GOP! Shows that this country learns nothing from its history. The GOP's neo-Hooverization of the economy can only be completed by electing any one of the occupants of the GOP Crazy Clown Car of presidential candidates.
I love living rent-free in DPT's head! I haven't even had a chance to post on this thread, and here I'm being pre-rebutted!
I'll just stick to the part of Frum's article that Mr. Truck quoted so we can work from mutually agreed upon facts, or at least opinions, or, well, quotes:
In the aughts, Republicans held more power for longer than at any time since the twenties, yet the result was the weakest and least broadly shared economic expansion since World War II, followed by an economic crash and prolonged slump [when the Democrats took power in 2006 and 2008].
Republicans: The weakest and least broadly shared economic expansion since World War II
Those pathetic, failed Republicans! Taking over after the Clinton era under extremely difficult circumstances (the Y2K/Tech/Internet bubble had just popped, wiping out the high-tech industry, followed by 9/11 and it's decade-long social and economic aftershock), they turned a complete mess into an actual economic expansion. Even Frum has to admit that, under the cake icing of qualifiers. Of course, there were crippling, intolerable unemployment rates in the 4% range, and a deficit that was about 10% of the current deficit, so it wasn't perfect like the Democrat/Obama economy.
Democrats: An economic crash and prolonged slump
Way to go, Democrats! Taking over from the Bush era under extremely difficult circumstances (the housing bubble and financial sector were in trouble), they turned a mess into a full-fledged crap sandwich, with unemployment officially double the Bush years but probably five times the Bush rate because so many people have given up looking for work, an exploding national debt and deficit so embarrassing that the Democratic Congress hasn't even bothered to pass a budget since taking power.
Oh yeah. Disparity of wealth. You all seem so concerned about that. How's that front going? Is it better or worse under Obama and the Democrats?
So this conclusively shows the failure of Republicanism.
Frum is the one who has lost touch with reality. Actually I don't think he has. He's just lonely and looking for new friends since AEI let him go, so he's saying things that liberals want to hear to see if he gets some traction and maybe a little more steady gig. I don't think it will work, but he's got every right to take a shot at it.
jms refers to AEI letting Frum go without providing the details of what brought it about. That's actually a badge of honor for Frum.