Alex Massie

David Frum’s Warning

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David Frum gets it:

A federal bank takeover is a bad thing obviously. I wonder though if we conservatives understand clearly enough why it is a bad thing. It’s not because we are living through an enactment of the early chapters of Atlas Shrugged. It’s because the banks are collapsing. Obama, Pelosi, et al are big-spending, high-taxing liberals. They are not socialists. They are no more eager to own these banks than the first President Bush was to own the savings and loan industry – in both cases, federal ownership was a final recourse after a terrible failure. And it was on our watch, not Obama’s, that this failure began. Our refusal to take notice of this obvious fact may excite the Republican faithful. But it is doing tremendous damage to our ability to respond effectively to the crisis.

Precisely. Frum is a voice of sanity in a party that seems to think Rush Limbaugh can lead it back to power. It would be better for the Republicans to say nothing at all than continue to parrot the lines they hear on talk radio. For the moment, however, conservatives seem keener on congratulating themselves for "rediscovering" their conservative principles than on working out a plausible future for the country.

No wonder, then, that they continue to be viewed with scorn by a public that has been given no real reason to regret thinning the ranks of Congressional Republicans. Fully 79% of voters would like the GOP to reach out to the new President; just 39% think Obama should do more to act in a bipartisan fashion.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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