Chait charges that "to appeal to conservatives who don't share his beliefs about public policy, [David Frum] often frames his case" as a crass electoral calculation. Chait continues, noting that Frum predicted before the 2008 elections that Republicans would lose seats in 2010. He warns that Frum is "staking his case on electoral predictions that won't necessarily come true, which will make him easier to ignore." Frum replies:

[T]he trend lines were clear in 2008 and will emerge again as the economy recovers: a party that does not offer practical solutions to workaday problems – that builds itself on a narrow social and ethnic base – and that is more excited by protest than by governance – will not be a success in either political or policy terms.

This challenge will not be dispelled by large Republican gains in 2010. It could even become more difficult, if Republicans draw the wrong lessons from a big success. And that’s one prediction that cannot be gainsaid.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to