CNN Opinion: Republicans Doomed and Clueless

The front page linked to an editorial by David Frum. Before it starts the editor would like us to know that Frum is a conservative.

Editor’s note: David Frum, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was a special assistant to President George W. Bush in 2001-2002. He is the author of six books, including “Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again,” and the editor of

So what does Mr. Frum have to say?

The Republican fratricide in the November 3 special election in upstate New York may prove just an opening round of an even more spectacular bloodbath in Florida in 2010.

In New York, Republican feuding lost the party a seat in the House of Representatives. At stake in Florida is not only a senatorship — but very possibly Republican hopes for 2012 as well. Wow. Somehow the rejection of a Republican candidate who was liberal enough that she endorsed the Democrat and was herself endorsed by unions has started dominoes falling that have doomed the Republican chances for the presidency 3 years later. Forgive me if I am unable to follow the dotted line that Frum lays out.

The middle of his article seems to miss the point. Pro-stimulus Crist has fallen out of favor to fiscally conservative Rubio. Frum doesn’t see this as an indicator. Instead he sees it as a sign of civil war. The events of 2009 have made it clear that fiscal conservatism is going to be one of the driving issues of the near term elections. It is only logical that support for candidates (in both parties) shift as that realization sinks in to party leaders.

At the end, Frum focuses on the lack of an alternative to stimulus and large scale government intervention. But bizarrely he uses an unnamed (and unqualified?) source to make his argument.

A few days ago, I was talking to a roomful of young conservatives about the crisis. All agreed in denouncing both the bank bailouts done under TARP and the stimulus. I asked: OK fine, what was the alternative?

There was a short pause, and then somebody laughed: “I guess it’s lucky that we weren’t in power.”

That’s not much of a motto for a would-be national governing coalition. If all we conservatives have to offer is oppositionism, then opposition is the job we’ll be assigned to fill.So who are these “young conservatives”? Because they don’t have a plan, then clearly anyone opposing big government doesn’t have a plan?

My questions of course are rhetorical. Frum writes what he writes because he seems desperate to start sewing the seeds of conservative civil war and disaster in the coming elections. Logic and reason aren’t part of the equation. And while CNN adds the disclaimer:

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.

something tells me they wholeheartedly agree.

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