Bush speechwriter: Reform is ‘Waterloo all right: ours’
Republicans promised political tragedy for Democrats if they passed health care reform, but one conservative commentator and former high-ranking GOP operative asserted that the “disaster” will be faced by his own party.
Invoking Republican Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) infamous remarks last July that killing the legislation would be President Obama’s “Waterloo,” David Frum offered a dire assessment of the GOP’s fate. “[I]t’s Waterloo all right: ours,” he wrote on his blog Frum Forum.
“Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s,” said Frum, a former speechwriter and adviser to President George W. Bush. “It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster.”
“We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat,” he explained, on the day the House of Representatives cleared the historic legislation for the president to sign into law.
Frum sternly rebuffed the predominant right-wing memes about the allegedly partisan process, alleging the “blame” for their forthcoming political woes lies with conservatives and Republicans for adamantly refusing to compromise on any level with President Obama and Democrats.
“Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan,” he retorted, adding that it was “too late” for the GOP to negotiate some of their wishes or alter the components of the package. “They are all the law.”
“No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed,” he cautioned his party’s lawmakers, who have pledged to campaign on rescinding the Democratic effort. “How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition?” he asked, promising that the legislation will be popular once it takes effect.
Since leaving the Bush administration, Frum has staked out his own territory as a moderate Republican who isn’t shy about rebuking the purported extremities of the party. In this respect he is unique; most conservative commentators have largely remained loyal to the GOP and focused their criticisms on Democrats and liberals.
“Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible,” said the former Bush operative. He warned that the problematic spiral is likely to continue as Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives will capitalize off the anger they helped create, fueling the extremism.