David Frum appeared on Morning Joe yesterday and blasted what he called the "conservative entertainment complex" that has "fleeced and exploited and lied to" Republicans.
The problem with Republican leaders is that they're cowards, not that they're fundamentally mistaken. The real locus of the problem is the Republican activist base and the Republican donor base. They went apocalyptic over the past four years and that was exploited by a lot of people in the conservative world... Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex.
...Because of that... (they) are so mistaken about the nature of the problems the country faces... What happened to Mitt Romney was he was twisted into pretzels. The people who put cement shoes on his feet are now blaming him for sinking.
What Frum was presumably alluding to was the fact that outlets like Fox and talk radio focused on inflaming over birth certificates and Sandra Fluke and "You didn't build that," while the real issues such as taxes, the deficit and social programs became obscured.
Joe Scarborough got his two cents in, too:
And he (Romney) would never stand up to the most extreme voices... Conservatives have been lied to... by people engaging in niche marketing and made tens of millions of dollars engaging in niche marketing. And I'm a capitalist. God bless 'em, they can do whatever they want to do. But that's not an electoral strategy. That's a business strategy for them.
I'm sure Fox Newsies will jump all over David Frum as an elitist RINO but I think conservatives ignore his comments at their own peril.
I imagine they are like the people I see playing slot machines or buying $20 worth of lottery tickets every day. They should just take their donations (lottery or slot money) and put them in an interest earning account.
Frum is totally delusional.
Proud wife turns ‘axis of evil’ speech into a resignation letter
And as we all know Frum wrote “axis of hatred” which was changed to “axis of evil” by someone else so wifey pride was another deception. Frum is somewhat delusional.
Ol’ David just seems to be jockeying for a more relevant position now. Fuck him.
The only time that they backed off a little was the week bin Laden was killed by the SEALs. And even then, they were trying to nip at his heels. (Of course, Rush Limbaugh went all-in on ridiculing him the next day anyway, and his audience ate it up.) Within a week, they’d established their own narrative of “You Didn’t Do This”, giving the credit instead to Bush and the SEALs.
With that as their backdrop, and with the political and economic situation stagnating while the GOP locked arms and said “NO!” to everything they could rather than trying to get anything done, Fox pundits then followed a narrative that Obama couldn’t win a second term and by their polling, ANY Republican could beat him. Bill O’Reilly repeatedly got that into his Talking Points – usually intoning that things didn’t look good for the President, or that the President’s reelection chances were “in serious trouble.” Add to that Sean Hannity’s gleeful cry of “We’re on the road to 2012!” after the 2010 midterms, which was only a slightly disguised meme of “Countdown til he’s voted out of office!” We should also note that Hannity spent the entire 2 years of 2010 repeatedly assuring his viewers that he was certain that Obama would be defeated.
In the final months of the campaign, the Fox pundits repeatedly called on Dick Morris and Karl Rove to explain by numbers how Obama was certain to lose the election. Morris took the bait and proclaimed a Romney landslide on any occasion he could, while also promoting the most extreme candidates he could and denigrating moderate Republicans. Rove’s White Board never showed Obama having a chance – it always showed danger and gloom for the Dems.
By the final week of the campaign, when you would think the pundits and prognosticators would settle into something more reasonable – such as a close election that either candidate could win, with the edge going to Obama – several of the pundits chose to double down on the concept of a Romney landslide. This included Morris, Michael Barone, Eric Bolling, Greg Gutfield and even Rove at times. Some of the Fox personalities were a little more cautious – Hannity and Krauthammer both went with the idea of a certain Romney victory but not a landslide. Bill O’Reilly, to his credit, was the only one saying “I don’t know how this will turn out” – although the actually polling results were pretty clear that Obama had an advantage that Romney was trying to pierce.
So it should come as no surprise that when the actual results were announced and wound up mirroring not the Fox pundits’ view but instead the statistics shown at Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight blog, the Fox personalities and viewers were completely blindsided. And the biggest symbol of this was Karl Rove’s on-air meltdown. Faced with reality, they were completely unprepared and and simply imploded.
If it was Fox’s intention to provide “Fair and Balanced” coverage of this election, and to honestly inform their viewers of what was happening, they spectacularly failed. I was noting in the days before the election that what they were doing was spectacularly irresponsible – they were setting their viewers up for a horrible disappointment. Even if this somehow generates more ratings for Fox, one has to wonder about the morality of it.
I forget which show I heard this on but the host said they say a bumper sticker that said: Vote Democrat. We may not be perfect, but we’re not crazy.