Frum on health reform: ‘Repeal is literally impossible’
David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter who angered many of his political allies with his declaration that health reform is the GOP’s “Waterloo,” says that repeal of the new health law is “literally impossible.”
Responding to declarations by many Republicans that they will seek to repeal the health law signed by President Obama last week, Frum suggested the strategy was unrealistic.
“I think a lot of Republicans have been a lot more focused on regaining the House and Senate than they were focused on saving the country from the worst consequences of this bill,” Frum said on ABC’s Good Morning America. “And you see it now with this talk of repeal. Repeal is literally impossible. You need the president’s signature, which you won’t get, or you have to override his signature with two-thirds of both houses, and it’s mathematically impossible to win two-thirds of the Senate.”
Frum suggested the GOP’s strategy in the health debate may end up harming the party if it is seen as principally being interested in blocking reforms.
“We cannot allow it to be the case that Democrats are the party of health care, and Republicans are the party that want to use unhappiness about health care to win votes,” he said. “This is such an enormous thing that has happened — I think in many ways a negative thing. We need to be focused on that and not on the political gain. This is the most important piece of social legislation since the sixties.”
HEALTH REFORM SUPPORTERS SILENCED?
Frum’s latest comments will likely once again frustrate many of his conservative colleagues. Last week, after declaring that the health law was the Republican Party’s “Waterloo,” Frum went on to declare that the GOP now “works for Fox News.”
Those comments are likely behind Frum losing his job at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. Shortly after Frum and the AEI parted ways, Forbes columnist Bruce Bartlett blogged that Frum had told him the AEI had ordered its health care experts not to talk publicly because many of them agreed with many of the things in the Democrats’ health care overhaul.
Since [Frum] is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI “scholars” on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do.
Frum has since said he was wondering aloud whether the AEI was muzzling its health care experts, due to their low profile in the health care debate.
“This was something I asked many months ago in private conversation, not something I allege today in public debate,” Frum blogged.
This video is from ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast March 29, 2010.