Shrinking The Tent

David Frum continues his debate with David Horowitz:

I speak out against people like Palin, Limbaugh and Beck because in my estimation they do enormous harm to the causes in which I believe. In my view, the talk-and-Fox complex marginalizes Republicans – and backs us into demagogic and unsustainable political positions. David, do you really want to abolish the Federal Reserve? Do you think the United States should have allowed Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other banks to follow Lehman into bankruptcy in October 2008? Do you think that any cuts to Medicare amount to a death panel for grandma? Do you think we can sustain an adequate military – never mind finance future tax reductions – if we allow healthcare to continue rising from its current 16% of GDP to a projected 20% of GDP a decade from now if nothing changes?

I can’t believe you do. And if you don’t believe these things, is it not dangerous to have talk-and Fox whipping a couple of million conservatives into frenzy over things that are not true?

David has ammunition in the latest NYT poll. It shows some cooling on Obama - but only from ridiculously high levels. But the verdict on Republicans is devastating:

76 percent said Republicans had not even laid out a clear health care plan. And by a lopsided margin, respondents said that Mr. Obama and not Republicans had made an effort to cross party lines and strike a deal that has the support of both parties. ... Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they believed Republicans in Congress were opposing Mr. Obama’s bill only for political gain, rather than because they believed it was bad for the country; just over half said Democrats in Congress backed the bill for political reasons.

Just 30 percent said they had a favorable view of Republicans in Congress. By contrast, 47 percent said they had a favorable view of Congressional Democrats.

In stoking the base, the GOP has persuaded the center that they are not a serious party interested in governing.