David Frum has a very interesting response to today’s legislative defeat. In brief, Frum assumes that Republicans (and Conservatives) failed to consider the differences between the 1994 Clinton healthcare initiative and today’s overwhelmingly Democratic majority. His response? Republicans should have compromised on the current bill, a bill which broadly resembles Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts and one conceived by the Heritage Foundation in the early 90’s. Even more interesting, he blames Republican obstructionism on the unbending rhetoric of Talk-Radio Conservatives (Levin, Beck, Rush) bent on pillorying anything reminiscent of President Obama. Frum sees hysteria as the greatest contributor to Republican/Conservative defeat; his own words, “abject and irreversible defeat.”
It is much to early to offer any long-term historical analysis, but Frum’s proposal raises interesting questions on whether Republicans (and conservatives) can posit any other image than the stereotyped geriatric yelling at kids to get off his lawn.