March 9, 2009

Rush Limbaugh toxic to GOP, says fmr Bush speechwriter

Posted: 08:30 AM ET

By David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W Bush

It wasn't a fight I went looking for. On March 3, the popular radio host Mark Levin opened his show with an outburst (he always opens his show with an outburst): "There are people who have somehow claimed the conservative mantle … You don't even know who they are … They're so irrelevant … It's time to name names …! The Canadian David Frum: where did this a-hole come from? … In the foxhole with other conservatives, you know what this jerk does? He keeps shooting us in the back … Hey, Frum: you're a putz."

Now, of course, Mark Levin knows perfectly well where I come from. We've known each other for years, had dinner together. I'm a conservative Republican, have been all my adult life. I volunteered for the Reagan campaign in 1980. I've attended every Republican convention since 1988. I was president of the Federalist Society chapter at my law school, worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and wrote speeches for President Bush—not the "Read My Lips" Bush, the "Axis of Evil" Bush. I served on the Giuliani campaign in 2008 and voted for John McCain in November. I supported the Iraq War and (although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect) the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I could go on, but you get the idea.

I mention all this not because I expect you to be fascinated with my life story, but to establish some bona fides. In the conservative world, we have a tendency to dismiss unwelcome realities. When one of us looks up and murmurs, "Hey, guys, there seems to be an avalanche heading our way," the others tend to shrug and say, he's a "squish" or a RINO—Republican in Name Only.

Levin had been provoked by a blog entry I'd posted the day before on my site, Here's what I wrote: President Obama and Rush Limbaugh do not agree on much, but they share at least one thing: Both wish to see Rush anointed as the leader of the Republican party.

READ MORE of Frum's commentary HERE

Filed under: Rush Limbaugh

Share this on:
Michael C. McHugh   March 9th, 2009 9:50 am ET

Unless the Republicans are content to be the party of 19th Century free market capitalism and the Confederacy, then yes, Rush Limbuagh is toxic to them. People have simply stopped listening to them because their policies have been tried and failed over the last 30 years–the Second Gilded Age. It ended in a crash, and now the government has to pick up the pieces. Obama is using Keynesian deficit spending and semi-nationalization to do it, and he will have to reform the World Bank and IMF to keep many parts of the world from going into default, but at least he's doing something. Republicans offer no answers but more of the same, and only care about the 2010 and 2012 elections, which I predict they are going to lose very badly.

hugh ~ california   March 9th, 2009 10:21 am ET

Rush Limbaugh isn't just a republican conservative; he is that and much more–he is evil incarnate!

Pietro Sirianni   March 9th, 2009 10:22 am ET

The Republicant party is now officially divided, and as we know " a house divided can not stand." Rush Limbaugh may be the symbol of this division but he is just a symptom of a deeper disease. The party is fundamentally flawed. The curtain has been drawn and the public now sees the wizard is nothing but a small man with smoke, mirrors, and misdirection. The party that says "let the rich do as they wish and their wealth just may trickle down to you, if your a good boy" is dying. The party that cries for fiscal responsibility then gives no-bid contracts to its own members corporations to fight a non-sensical war is gone. The party that once championed family values is now championed by a drug addicted, obese, Jabba the Hut type figure while its congressmen solicit homosexual activities in public restrooms. The party that demanded patriotism now wishes we, as a nation fail. The elitist party that courted the lowest common denominator because of their lack of intelligence and over abundance of fear now lies gasping for air.

The republicant party represented every grotesque quality known to man kind. It was endorsed by the devil himself. It was a monument to greed. Its lack of compassion made sociopaths envious. Now it dies the slow painful death it deserves. It is a good day for Americans, and the world as a whole!

Pietro Sirianni   March 9th, 2009 11:53 am ET

Is Mr. Frum the man who invented the word "strategery?"

And also Mr. Frum, please be careful of Mr.Limbaugh and his sycophants. They are beginning to look like Hitler and the SS. They may try to "strong-arm" you into submission. Scary thing is, I am not even joking about that!

Terry, TX   March 9th, 2009 12:26 pm ET

Rush Limbaugh is a talk radio host.... lively speaker. ..good sense of humor. Carries a larger audience than CNN and MSNBC. He chews on Dems and on the Repubs....obviously you have not listened to him on the radio. Have you listened to Air America...I have listened to both. It's funny we have freedom of speech and listening... even though there was an attack by the Dems on radio freedom of speech and it failed.

Now I am listening to "evil incarnate", "hitler", "SS", "Jabba the Hut", "confederacy" .... you guys are trying to do a Palin on him ...those tactics don't work anymore. The economy is tanking and this is the best we can do?

Terry, TX   March 9th, 2009 12:43 pm ET

Before any whining "Bush" and another "Palin" ....There was a peaceful change of power…economy Belong to Oabama and the Dems now.

I am sick of it...The lines…because this is what I am going to hear.... "the very same policies that got us here"…”the last 8 yrs”…”I inherited it”…”it was on my desk” ... constantly …since he took the job.

My answer …. you campaigned for the job, you knew what occurred with Fannie and Freddie and Bear Sterns and you knew the state of the accepted the job. It is your presidency, your do have the power to veto...your recession now… were made aware of it at the same time Bush and the country…go to work . No other President has whined so much ..... not Lincoln during the Civil War, JFK during the missile crisis or FDR during WWII.

If Obama and the Dems can't handle it…without crying…. step down...
If not stay focused and fix one thing at a time.... economy the election that’s all you screamed about….nobody could talk about nothing else…there was no other issue. The sound bites right now should be really hilarious…

What happened to targeted, temporary and timely… HA...we are talking Rush Limbaugh. I thought financial crisis was in banks, retail, production and manufacturing….. listening to him talk ….did we have 100% unemployment in education and health and pork….to throw the type the money he is throwing at them in a financial crisis….it couldn’t of waited until we were healthy.

hugh ~ california   March 9th, 2009 12:55 pm ET

@Terry, TX
One could say the same about you–and suggest you stop whining! Nobody is "doing a Palin" to this toxic blowhard, people just don't like Rush Limbaugh, except folks like yourself who like to listen to a bloviating jerk shoot his mouth off and spew his hate over the airwaves. If Rush entertains you–good, the rest of us are sickened by his negative barrage on a daily basis. Rush Limbaugh is a sick puppy, but if you like him–go for it! I still think his is an evil sick human being.

Terry, TX   March 9th, 2009 1:31 pm ET

Hugh...California: Struck a's a OK not to like him and if I take all the "Palin" attack garbage out of your text occasionally you make your point with me...that's my point...freedom of speech.... just like you can spew ....everyone else can too. Some of this stuff becomes mute after awhile. The entertaining part of this...I listen to Air America....the times I have heard their hosts... I don't go on a "Palin" attack mode.

Well it's been fun sparring to go...I don't "hate" you, or think you are "evil sick human" you are just a guy with the freedom to blog...have a great day. ..I am still laughing...this was good. Thanks Hugh.

hugh ~ california   March 9th, 2009 1:40 pm ET

Well, at least we agree on something–freedom of speech. I don't hate you either, so have a good day as well.

Pietro Sirianni   March 9th, 2009 2:48 pm ET

Is Texas still part of the U.S.A.? I thought we sold it back to Mexico for 50 pesos and a years worth of burritos? Well if we didn't sell it yet we should.

Alex   March 9th, 2009 6:59 pm ET

Pietro is unable to stick to a subject. He hates people who don't agree him, he insults Texas, Hispanic Americans who back freedom of speech and E-Verify to be sure all these trillions get into the hands of Americans and oppose any revision of our American gun laws. I guess Texas believes in the constitution. Actually it is Pelosi, Reid and Obama who took out the American Citizen Verification....Pietro where we suppose to send them to. By the way, the next Texan you come across be sure and talk tough in front of them just the way you do ladies.

hugh ~ california   March 9th, 2009 8:04 pm ET

Being married to an Hispanic wife I can say with candor I do not like illegal aliens taking away American jobs. I did not say I dislike Hispanics–on the contrary; however come here legally or face the consequences if you get caught. I welcome those who play by the rules, but right now I know Americans would do any of the jobs that shady employers decide would better suit their profit margin by hiring illegals for less money so they don't have to fill out W-2 forms or pay for SSI or workmans compensation. These small business owners who prefer to hire illegal workers over American citizens so they "can compete" are no better than wallstreet CEOs who outsource American jobs to increase their profits.

Batool   March 9th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Not everybody got the chance to be successful in this life, all what we hear from you is negative commits that criticize the government, what did you do to help the American citizens? Did you offer a part time job for a new graduate to share broadcasting your three hours daily show on radio so you can help a few people to have a part time job? Did you sell your private jet and gave it to the people in the tent city in Sacramento? All what you are good at is “criticism” without even suggesting any solutions? Its time for every rich person like yourself to help and stop being selfish, we are the middle class who are dying and suffering here and its time for you rich people to get real and come down to earth, I challenge you to answer me Mr. Rush, I can have a debate with you life on your radio show and I don’t need your private jet to pick me up and I don’t want the $100 pound of meat.

Robert   March 9th, 2009 11:01 pm ET

Rush I use to respect you. But, now I see you are nothing more than a communist!!! To say you hope the President fells is to say you hope that all of us that are not rich should stay losing our jobs for the next four years. How selfish can you be. Even if you disagree with him you should hope for the best so that people like myself. And personal friends that I know who have lost jobs due to jobs going out of business get the help that we need. Now if his plan doesn't work then you can say I told you so. It's not about Obama it's about AMERICA have you ever heard of us. I wonder if you were living in the south. Making 30,000 a year for the last ten years, faithful to your job, promoted to the highest position at your job, and then your boss announces that the plant will be closing in seven more days. Would you then wish for Obama plan to fell!!! You really are a case of the have and the rest of us poor Americans!! And by the way because of your selfish views I am now an independent.

janette tx   March 10th, 2009 2:26 am ET

Give em grief Hugh.good to have you back it's gettin'
ugly again.

janette tx   March 10th, 2009 3:20 am ET

As for Rush if he would just go for a swim with a cement block
tied around his ankles ......Won't have to worry 'bout him no
more.The End

boworl   March 10th, 2009 4:02 am ET

Sensationalism is still alive with Rush. He will say anything to get attention and why should we be surprised? This guy has made a living making comments like this. The problem I have is: why is this comment a newsworthy item? He obviously is trying to get attention and you guys are falling for it. The fact is, he is not taken seriously by mainstream America. The cross-section of people that listen to him are riding to work and being entertained. I doubt that percentage of people makes a drop in the bucket in the total of American voters. The people that take him seriously make up an even smaller percentage.

hugh ~ california   March 10th, 2009 4:29 am ET

janette from texas,
I know there is still some sensible people in the Lonestar State–and some is better than none. Just kidding–well, maybe I'm not. Yes I am.

Janette, the world would be a better place without Rush Limbaugh and those like 'em. Rush is just a big huge tub of hate!

We'll both keep givin' 'em grief! I'll be lookin' for your future blogs.

Batool San Diego   March 10th, 2009 12:56 pm ET

How rude to wish for our country to fail Mr. Rush!!! we are number one nation and we will recover from this soon ,, at least Obama is spending the money inside our country not like Bush who spent all the money killing people and made the contractors richer,, people in the USA get over pay in all fields, the government should cap all jobs pay just like the military pay chart,, everybody should stop being greedy and get real and down to earth, no one destroyed our country like the Bush administration and all the top people who pocket all the money and Stoll it from the government, the time has to stop and all these CEOs and top authority government people need to stop and think as a normal American who wants the USA to stay number one nation in the world, Obama is doing the right thing so far, give the guy a chance to go with his plans, and stop being negative Mr. Rush if your that smart why you did not run for presidency ???

Comments have been closed for this article

Keep up to date with Larry

Follow him on Twitter

Become a fan on Facebook

Contact us
Go Behind The Scenes


LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.

With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.

Order from:
Barnes & Noble

King of Hearts

Larry King's King of Hearts

Saving a heart a day is the goal! Learn more about the Foundation and it's efforts to help the uninsured

Visit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP