Monday, April 13, 2009

David Frum, the thinking conservative

In a time when Republicans have become nothing more than a regional party, devoid of ideas and vision, there seems to be only two conservatives engaged in original thought and who truly understand what conservative rather than theocratic principles are all about.  One is Andrew Sullivan and the other is David Frum.  Frum's interview in The Economist is instructive.  I can't agree with much of what he says, but it's nice to know there is a thinking opposition and that we can still debate ideas and not religion.  Money quote:

Today's Republican party is too beholden to factions generally. No social conservative has ever done the party as much harm as those Republicans who kept insisting against the facts that the Bush economy was "the greatest story never told". The greatest problem Republicans faced in 2006 and 2008 was not Iraq but the stagnation in personal incomes since 2000—and yet we refused even to acknowledge the fact, never mind rethink policy to deal with it.

At the same time, we have evidence (like this Muhlenberg College survey of the half-million plus Pennsylvania Republicans who reaffiliated as Democrats between 2004 and 2008) that a perception of our party as excessively religious and sectarian is doing us tremendous harm.