May 14th, 2012
03:01 PM ET

Frum: Fear fueling Republican extremism

Editor's note: David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast and a CNN contributor. He is the author of seven books, including a new novel, "Patriots." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.

Last month, two political scientists published one of those rare op-eds that gets the political community talking.

The thesis of the piece was contained in the title: "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem."

In case that was not clear enough, the authors elaborated: "We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional." ...

The piece drew its authority from the authors' identity: Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two of Washington's most veteran watchers of Congress. Both men have hard-earned reputations for nonideological independence of mind despite their institutional affiliations: Mann works at the liberal Brookings Institution, Ornstein at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. (Ornstein is a friend of mine, and was a colleague until I was given the heave-ho from AEI in March 2010.)

Now they have backed their provocative op-ed with a new book, "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism."

Read more from David Frum about why he thinks radicalization of the GOP is a function of changes, not only in U.S. politics, but also in the U.S. economy.

Topics: Politics

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. JAL

    Disillusion can only be fought with grass-roots manners and courtesy to others. This is a nasty cycle, however.

    May 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Shouldn't the Tea-Baggers be blamed for the lack of "courtesy to other"? Their aggressive rhetorics hit sometimes below the belt.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • Patrick-2

        Well put, j.von hettlingen. The Tea Partiers are a radical right-wing organization.

        May 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
      • JAL

        We should give Romney a chance to deal these folks.

        May 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  2. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  3. ✠ RZ ✠

    I told you the current system of government is an OLD JALOPY ! Dysfunctional ?!? Collides with extremism ?!? Worse than it looks ?!? Just thinking about it makes me laugh ! Then cry ! Then scream ! Then want to strangle my kitty and pray for Alzheimer's to kick in full time. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

    May 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  4. 100% ETHIO

    Who knows, things are kept changed without the Majorities knowledge.
    We didn't even know, what really motivated Taliban and Alqeadas to attack US on 9/11. We just learned after it happened.

    The public interests has been ignored.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      That's about right my Ethernopen friend. If the robot zombie public wants an opinion, the government and media will give it to them.......... "Must...trust... government, ....must..believe...politicians, ....must.. listen... to CNN, must... fear terrorists, ......"

      May 15, 2012 at 12:04 am | Reply
  5. Pooter

    The Republican extremists seek to minimize their extremism by accusing liberals and Obama of extremism. I sometimes think American people hate their fellow citizens more than any other country...except for where civil wars are going on like Syria.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
  6. anti Imperialist

    No One Can destroy American dominance . But Republican and their conservative supporters will bring America at its knee . Do not need a war to destroy America , to do so , american just need to elect pure Conservative like Santorum.

    May 15, 2012 at 6:45 am | Reply
  7. randall

    YOU PEOPLE DO N0T HAVE A CLUE YOU VOTE FOR WHO THEY OFFER AND WHO DECIDES THAT ? OK WHAT ABOUT THE INFRASTRUCKTER . LETS SPEND BILLIONS ON WAR AND BE TRICKED AND BELIEVE ITS FOR DEMOCRACY WHEN REALLY . IN IRAQ ITS OIL IN AFGAN ITS POPPY PLANTS(OPIUM) THE POLITACAL SYSTEM IS PUPPETS THAT ARE PUT IN PLACE BY GANGSTERS . WE ARE AT THIER MERCY SO SOMEBODY GIVE ME A CANADATE THATS NOT SHAKING HANDS WITH THE WORLD BANK OR CORLEONE

    May 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  8. randall

    @.100%etho the answer is bush im sorry but we have to look on the crimanal side. LIKE I said before gangsters what other ideals except oil and opium americans are dying for power and money.. For life and librety use to be to stop comunist agresstion(vietnam) i dont think i need to sell any bullets to you .give me a patriot. Not a politician. Or gangster

    May 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
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    May 16, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply
  10. joe anon 1

    "Editor's note: David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast and a CNN contributor"

    not mentioned: david frum is a liar, deceiver, israeli-only propagandist.

    May 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  11. Pete

    David Frum is what's wrong with America,wrapping himself in the flag,but still talks positive of the "great things" his messiah Bush did while in office.Even now he's oblivious to the destruction his employers left on this country and the struggles this president has had with this republican obstructionistic party",the party of NO" against returning this country to its financial and political levels achieved before Frums boss took office.He's either a hypocrite or is in such a state of denile that he'll never recognise his past bosses mistakes,mistakes that cost lives and futures ,all across this great country.I recommend deploying Frum to Antarctica for a rest,best keeping the hypocrite as far away from anyone ignorent as him as possible...

    May 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  12. Laiisa

    Self defence and raiilaetton by Israel against attacks by vile, openly genocidal enemies is hardly "abuse". The "Palestinian Semites" your deluded heart bleeds for could have peace any time they wanted it simply by stopping their attacks. Problem is they (and especially their Iranian and Syrian masters) don't want it and never have. Your support for Hamas terrorists is equivalent to supporting the Nazis before and during WWII. Stop being a useful idiot.

    July 10, 2012 at 5:51 am | Reply

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