Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs
David Frum
Cover of Comeback
Watch Video
Read Transcript
August 14, 2009

In 1996, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL acclaimed David Frum as "one of the leading political commentators of his generation." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH's 2007 survey named Frum as one of America's 50 most influential conservatives. Now, David Frum finds himself in the middle of a debate over the future of the GOP. After Rush Limbaugh was recently hailed as the savior of the Republican Party and conservatism, David Frum begged to differ in a cover story for NEWSWEEK entitled "Why Rush is Wrong:"
And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as "losers." With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence—exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we're cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush's every rancorous word—we'll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.

Rush knows what he is doing. The worse conservatives do, the more important Rush becomes as leader of the ardent remnant. The better conservatives succeed, the more we become a broad national governing coalition, the more Rush will be sidelined.
Frum talked with Bill Moyers about what he views as an essential element in restoring conservative success — their own version of health care reform. Frum maintains that defeating the Democrats is not enough because everyone has a stake in the health care system: "They're going to pass something. So the question for Republicans is, what do you want that to be? You have an interest here, too. You would like to see the rise in health care costs slow. And you would like to see more room in the federal budget for tax cuts in the future."

>More from David Frum on health care reform: "What if We Win the Healthcare Fight?"


David Frum, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the editor of by Robin Holland

Frum is the author of six books, including two NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers: THE RIGHT MAN: THE SURPRISE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH (2003) and AN END TO EVIL: HOW TO WIN THE WAR ON TERROR (2004) co-authored with Richard Perle . His newest book is COMEBACK: CONSERVATISM THAT CAN WIN AGAIN (2007). Frum is a regular commentator on American Public Media's "Marketplace" program and writes weekly columns for THE WEEK, Canada's NATIONAL POST and Italy's IL FOGLIO.

In 2001-2002, David Frum served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush. In October 2005, Frum founded and served as chairman of Americans for Better Justice, the lobbying group that led the opposition to the nomination of Harriet Miers to the US Supreme Court. In 2007-2008, he served as senior foreign policy adviser to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign. Frum is a member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

David Frum was born in Toronto, Canada in 1960. He received a simultaneous BA and MA in history from Yale in 1982. He was appointed a visiting lecturer in history at Yale in 1986; in 1987, he graduated cum laude from the Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Federalist Society.

Guest photos by Robin Holland.
Related Media:
Medical practitionersWendell Potter
With almost 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter saw private insurers hijack our health care system and put profits before patients. Now, he speaks with Bill Moyers about how those companies are standing in the way of health care reform. (July 10, 2009)

Medical practitionersMarcia Angell and Trudy Lieberman
Bill Moyers sits down with Trudy Lieberman, director of the health and medical reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and Marcia Angell, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor in chief of the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE. (July 24, 2009)

Medical practitionersRobert Reich
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Bill Moyers talk about the influence of lobbyists on policy, the economy, and the ongoing debate over health care. (June 12, 2009)

Medical practitionersMickey Edwards and Ross Douthat
What's happened to the conservative movement in America? Conservatives Mickey Edwards and Ross Douthat discuss why they believe their movement has gone off track during the last eight years and what it means for the Republican Party. (July 11, 2008)

Medical practitionersVictor Gold
Deputy Press Secretary to Barry Goldwater during the 1964 campaign, Victor Gold explains how he believes the Republican Party has gone astray in the last twenty years.(June 29, 2007)
References and Reading:
Explore the site edited by David Frum. Features are a podcast, video and a large slate of regular bloggers. Recent posts from David Frum include: "The Lunacy of the Birthers," and "A Politics That Will Kill Us."

Read the first chapter.

"Why Rush is Wrong," David Frum, NEWSWEEK, Mar 16, 2009.
Read Frum's cover story on the direction of the GOP.

ECONOMIST Debates: Honest Broker?
"This house believes that Barack Obama's America is now an honest broker between Israel and the Arabs." Read a July 2009 debate between Daniel Levy, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Task Force, New America Foundation and David Frum.

Also This Week:
A Conservative Plan for Healthcare? Bill Moyers sits down with former special assistant to George W. Bush David Frum, who is calling on Republicans to come up with their own plan for health care reform and suggests changes that conservatives can support.

Media analyst Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Kaiser Family Foundation president and CEO Drew Altman discuss the messages in health care ads today, and how well they reflect the real issues of health care reform.

The film CRITICAL CONDITION puts a human face on how three families face illness without health coverage.

Complete coverage of health care on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL.
For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ