Saturday, October 26, 2013

David Frum fantasy Ted Cruz hellscape

By Frank Moraes

You all know what I think of David Frum: he's an idiot. And people just love him! He's that most beloved of figures in the mainstream media: a "reasonable" Republican. And what did he do to get that? Oh, a few things here and there. He isn't a ranter; that's probably the most important thing. But he's also for minor forms of gun control. And after decades of being against same sex marriage he came out for it two years ago. But he's still against legalizing cannabis. He wrote, "If somebody could prove to me that marijuana was harmless or that legalization would not lead to an increase in marijuana use, I'd change my mind about marijuana legalization." So when no reasonable person anywhere can argue a point, Frum is right there to sign up. He's a special kind of follower: always last.

When it comes to economic and international policies, Frum is as bad as they get. So I'm not inclined 
to think that he's reasonable. Now if same sex marriage was the most important issue in the world to me, I might think differently—even though Frum came to the party pretty late. Ditto for gun control. And other than that, what exactly does he offer? He doesn't question President Obama's birth certificate? Whatever.

Today at The Daily Beast, Frum wrote a very strange column, How Ted Cruz Can Win in 2016. After reading it, I doubt that most people will have any idea if it is supposed to be ominous or encouraging. He really doesn't tip his hand. But if you look at other things he's written, a pattern emerges. First there was, Why Does Ted Cruz Inspire Such Animosity? Then there was,Can Ted Cruz Win by Losing? Frum doesn't lay it on thick, but he clearly likes Cruz and would appreciate working for him in the White House. (Alright, I'm speculating about that, but even I'd rather work for Cruz than Bush Jr.)

The actual winning plan is pathetic. Basically, the Democratic Party gets split between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. There is an economic crisis. Cruz picks Chris Christie as his running mate, and they squeak into office. What makes this really pathetic is that the only thing that matters in the story is the economic crisis. If things take a major turn for the worse, whatever Republican runs for president in 2016 will probably win. That's just political science fundamentals. We all know that if everyone is out of work, they will throw out the party in power. That will mean that the party that is most responsible for the bad economy will be rewarded. That sucks, but that's America.

So this is what the prototypical "reasonable" Republican uses his very big platform for: dreaming about a world in which food is denied the poor, healthcare is denied the sick, and war with Iran is imminent. It also shows you just how important gun control and same-sex marriage is to him: Cruz is very much against both. I suspect that Frum would say the same thing I do, "Those issues are not as important as economic and foreign policy issues." The problem is that making the economy and international relations worse is what Frum is willing to trade these issues for.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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