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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

What's the GOP message if the economy booms?

By David Frum, CNN Contributor
updated 6:46 AM EST, Mon November 26, 2012
A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange, which has seen rising prices due to optimism about the prospects of a
A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange, which has seen rising prices due to optimism about the prospects of a "fiscal cliff" deal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Frum says signs pointing to the economy gaining steam in next two years
  • He says household debt is down, consumer confidence is up, jobs are returning
  • Republican message in 2010, 2012 was that Obama's plan wasn't working, he says
  • Frum: GOP needs a new message if the Obama economy produces real gains

Editor's note: David Frum, a CNN contributor, is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He is the author of eight books, including a new novel "Patriots" and his post-election e-book, "Why Romney Lost." Frum was a special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002.

(CNN) -- Here's the next thing the Republican party needs to rethink. What does it say if and when the United States returns to prosperity?

For five years, U.S. politics have been shaped by economic hardship. In 2008 and 2010, voters rejected the party in power, booting Republicans out of the White House, and then sweeping Democrats out of Congress.

Mitt Romney campaigned in 2012 on the slogan, "Obama isn't working." President Obama responded by attacking Romney as out of touch, assuming (probably correctly) that he could not win by running on his record.

David Frum
David Frum

But the indicators are suggesting that by 2013 and 2014, the Obama record will begin to look a lot better, assuming, that is, that the two parties in Washington don't recklessly push the country off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year.

The nation's economy added 171,000 jobs in October 2012, for a total of almost 700,000 in the four months before Election Day. More than half the jobs lost in the crash of 2008-2009 have now been recovered, even as public-sector employment has shrunk by a net 500,000.

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The economy is recovering because consumers are less burdened by debt. They are paying down their credit cards, building home equity and strengthening their personal balance sheets.

As household debt burdens become lighter, consumers express more confidence. They are allowing themselves to spend a little more. They are even buying new homes again. Housing starts in October 2012 rose to a level 41.9% over a year before.

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Accelerating economic activity is rapidly reducing the budget deficit. The deficit has contracted since 2009 at the fastest rate since the end of World War II, faster even than during the late 1990s boom.

Wages remain flat, and will likely stay flat until unemployment contracts more, but Americans can begin to see better times ahead for the first time in a long time.

As they do glimpse that better future, two things will happen in politics:

1) President Obama will begin to claim more credit. In 2012, the word "stimulus" went unmentioned by Democrats. It was Republicans who tried to make political use of the $800 billion spent on job creation in 2009-2011. In 2013-2014, however, the shoe may suddenly rematerialize on the other foot.

2) Republicans will discover that their old "Obama isn't working" theme has become obsolete. By 2014, again assuming that Congress does not leap off the fiscal cliff, it will likely look as if Obama is working. What then? If negative messaging failed in 2012, it will fail bigger in 2014.

For too long, the Republicans have predicted apocalypse, debt crisis, the loss of freedom, the overthrow of the constitution. As the economy improves, that doom-saying will seem even more out of touch than ever.

Republican political chances will depend on the Republican ability to devise a positive program to address the country's fiscal problems in ways that improve people's lives. It's a new day, guys, and it demands a new game.

by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM
Replies (21-25):
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Folks who think like her are not going to change their mind.

If the GOP wants to survive, they will need to move past this faction of the party.

Folks who think like this will have to adjust, most likely by spinning off their own faction.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I know. Which is so dumb on its face but oh well, he just writes books on the subject, how does that even compare to kitty's CV?

Look, the more they stay like her, the more irrelevant they will become.


Quoting NWP:

When I have discussed Frum before, I have been told he is a RINO who works for the liberal media....Just look for what Kitty will say once she responds to the fact that I pointed out a Republican wrote this article.

Quoting shannonnigans:

What floors me is that this is written by a Republican.  He gets it.  But none of them here seem to, at least not the ones that I've run across. 




New World Peace

shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Nov. 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM
1 mom liked this
I truly don't get it. How can someone not see this? How does it make sense?

Remember the Poseidon Adventure? The ship has pitched upside down, and that idiot is saying "just stay put, help will come from the bridge". That is what they are. They cant psych it out. Hey dummies, the bridge is under water!


Quoting NWP:

Folks who think like her are not going to change their mind.

If the GOP wants to survive, they will need to move past this faction of the party.

Folks who think like this will have to adjust, most likely by spinning off their own faction.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I know. Which is so dumb on its face but oh well, he just writes books on the subject, how does that even compare to kitty's CV?



Look, the more they stay like her, the more irrelevant they will become.





Quoting NWP:

When I have discussed Frum before, I have been told he is a RINO who works for the liberal media....Just look for what Kitty will say once she responds to the fact that I pointed out a Republican wrote this article.

Quoting shannonnigans:

What floors me is that this is written by a Republican.  He gets it.  But none of them here seem to, at least not the ones that I've run across. 






Posted on CafeMom Mobile
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Nov. 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I grew up in a dichotomous family. My mother's side is moderate, left leaning. My father's side is EXTREMELY conservative, evangelical religious and has become more so as the years have gone by. It gives me an insight into both perspectives. My father's family consists of good people who firmly believe in their faith and nearly everything their pastor says. If an idea or thought or opinion or interpretation comes from what they perceive as God, then there is no arguing with it. And if the ship goes down with everyone on it, then the end times are finally here.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I truly don't get it. How can someone not see this? How does it make sense?

Remember the Poseidon Adventure? The ship has pitched upside down, and that idiot is saying "just stay put, help will come from the bridge". That is what they are. They cant psych it out. Hey dummies, the bridge is under water!


Quoting NWP:

Folks who think like her are not going to change their mind.

If the GOP wants to survive, they will need to move past this faction of the party.

Folks who think like this will have to adjust, most likely by spinning off their own faction.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I know. Which is so dumb on its face but oh well, he just writes books on the subject, how does that even compare to kitty's CV?



Look, the more they stay like her, the more irrelevant they will become.





Quoting NWP:

When I have discussed Frum before, I have been told he is a RINO who works for the liberal media....Just look for what Kitty will say once she responds to the fact that I pointed out a Republican wrote this article.

Quoting shannonnigans:

What floors me is that this is written by a Republican.  He gets it.  But none of them here seem to, at least not the ones that I've run across. 







New World Peace

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Sounds like your father's family is faith filled...It's great if one is able to live their life in such fashion.

The religion gene skipped me- I am OK with that too-

We are who we are-

Quoting NWP:

I grew up in a dichotomous family. My mother's side is moderate, left leaning. My father's side is EXTREMELY conservative, evangelical religious and has become more so as the years have gone by. It gives me an insight into both perspectives. My father's family consists of good people who firmly believe in their faith and nearly everything their pastor says. If an idea or thought or opinion or interpretation comes from what they perceive as God, then there is no arguing with it. And if the ship goes down with everyone on it, then the end times are finally here.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I truly don't get it. How can someone not see this? How does it make sense?

Remember the Poseidon Adventure? The ship has pitched upside down, and that idiot is saying "just stay put, help will come from the bridge". That is what they are. They cant psych it out. Hey dummies, the bridge is under water!


Quoting NWP:

Folks who think like her are not going to change their mind.

If the GOP wants to survive, they will need to move past this faction of the party.

Folks who think like this will have to adjust, most likely by spinning off their own faction.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I know. Which is so dumb on its face but oh well, he just writes books on the subject, how does that even compare to kitty's CV?



Look, the more they stay like her, the more irrelevant they will become.





Quoting NWP:

When I have discussed Frum before, I have been told he is a RINO who works for the liberal media....Just look for what Kitty will say once she responds to the fact that I pointed out a Republican wrote this article.

Quoting shannonnigans:

What floors me is that this is written by a Republican.  He gets it.  But none of them here seem to, at least not the ones that I've run across. 








NWP
by guerrilla girl on Nov. 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM

They are, but they are far from perfect. In them I see good people who are capable of great hypocrisy and of great compassion. Folks are complex, not simply "good" or "bad" in general. It just drives me nuts when they, and some folks on here, hide behind their faith and refuse to believe that is true of anyone but themselves and those just like them.

Quoting Sisteract:

Sounds like your father's family is faith filled...It's great if one is able to live their life in such fashion.

The religion gene skipped me- I am OK with that too-

We are who we are-

Quoting NWP:

I grew up in a dichotomous family. My mother's side is moderate, left leaning. My father's side is EXTREMELY conservative, evangelical religious and has become more so as the years have gone by. It gives me an insight into both perspectives. My father's family consists of good people who firmly believe in their faith and nearly everything their pastor says. If an idea or thought or opinion or interpretation comes from what they perceive as God, then there is no arguing with it. And if the ship goes down with everyone on it, then the end times are finally here.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I truly don't get it. How can someone not see this? How does it make sense?

Remember the Poseidon Adventure? The ship has pitched upside down, and that idiot is saying "just stay put, help will come from the bridge". That is what they are. They cant psych it out. Hey dummies, the bridge is under water!


Quoting NWP:

Folks who think like her are not going to change their mind.

If the GOP wants to survive, they will need to move past this faction of the party.

Folks who think like this will have to adjust, most likely by spinning off their own faction.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I know. Which is so dumb on its face but oh well, he just writes books on the subject, how does that even compare to kitty's CV?



Look, the more they stay like her, the more irrelevant they will become.





Quoting NWP:

When I have discussed Frum before, I have been told he is a RINO who works for the liberal media....Just look for what Kitty will say once she responds to the fact that I pointed out a Republican wrote this article.

Quoting shannonnigans:

What floors me is that this is written by a Republican.  He gets it.  But none of them here seem to, at least not the ones that I've run across. 









New World Peace

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