British Conservatives can tell Republicans at least one thing about recovering from electoral rejection: don’t believe that what makes a media product successful will do the same for a political party. For years, the Tories looked at the popularity of The Daily Mail, a brilliantly produced newspaper, and imagined that if they could ape its style, tone and positions they’d be onto a winner. But that turned out not to be the case: people wanted something very different from a potential government than they do a newspaper. Equally, a political party has to appeal to far more people—in the British context about 40 percent of the electorate, in the US one around 50 percent—than any newspaper, TV show or radio show has to.
David Frum is receiving an awful lot of flak for taking on Rush Limbaugh, the most influential talk radio host in the US. But I don’t see how anyone can doubt his basic argument, if Rush Limbaugh is seen as the opposition to Obama the Republican Party is the loser.