Mr. Frum now makes his living as the media's go-to basher of fellow Republicans, which is a stock Beltway role. But he's peddling bad revisionist history that would have been even worse politics. The truth is that Democrats never had any intention of working with Republicans, except to pick off two or three Senators and calling it "bipartisanship." This worked for Democrats on the stimulus, and they had hoped to do it again on health care.
In the House, Republicans were frozen out from the start. Three Chairmen—Charlie Rangel, Henry Waxman and George Miller—holed up last spring to write the most liberal bill they could get through the House. Republicans were told that unless they embraced the "public option," there was nothing to discuss.
As for the White House, House GOP leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor in May sent a letter to President Obama "respectfully" requesting a meeting to discuss ideas. The White House didn't respond. Mr. Obama's first deadline for House passage was July, and only after public opinion turned against the bill did he begin to engage Republican ideas. Yet in his September address to Congress attempting to revive his bill, he made no concession save pilot projects for tort reform.
In the Senate, a group of Republicans did negotiate with Finance Chairman Max Baucus for months, even as Senators Chris Dodd and Ted Kennedy were crafting a bill that mirrored the liberal House product. GOP Senators Chuck Grassley, Olympia Snowe and Orrin Hatch are hardly strangers to working with Democrats. In 2007, they helped Mr. Baucus expand the children's insurance program over President Bush's opposition.
Senate liberals kept tugging Mr. Baucus to the left, however, and eventually the White House ordered him to call off negotiations. Senator Snowe still voted for the Finance Committee bill, though even she fell away on the floor as Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted on pushing the public option and tried, as Ms. Snowe put it, to "ram it" and "jam it" through the Senate.
In the end, Republicans couldn't as a matter of principle support even 50% of a bill that was such a huge and reckless expansion of government. If they had, they would have rightly lost the support of their own most loyal supporters. In the end, too, the bill was so unpopular—59% opposed in a Sunday CNN survey—that 34 House Democrats voted no and Mr. Reid is resorting to reconciliation to get the "fixes" of more taxes and spending through the Senate.
Without knowing the source where would you say that excerpt came from?
a) A conservative bog
b) FoxNews' website
c) A conservative columnist
d) The editorial board of a major newspaper
If you answered anything but D you would be mistaken.
This is actually taken from The Wall Street Journal and not from a columnist there but from the paper's editors. Thing of it is most of the places I have seen that linked to this column did so without noting at all the partisan ideologically slanted rhetoric throughout the piece. Maybe I'm naive but has there ever been a time when a paper like the Wall Street Journal published something this far to either side of the political spectrum from their editorial page? I can't believe that there has. And if that's the case why is nobody making an issue out of it?
It is scary to think that a major news outlet can be used for the purpose of smearing a political commentator on partisan grounds. And you know if they can do it to one of their own like David Frum, they will have no qualms doing it to a progressive or liberal.
Are we really going to let Rupert Murdock totally destroy even the standards for our print media?
If so we deserve whatever comes next...