Conservative bashes his own party’s hostility to democracy: ‘It’s always Republicans’

Conservative bashes his own party’s hostility to democracy: ‘It’s always Republicans’
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Conservative David Frum blamed the Republican Party for undermining U.S. democratic institutions.


The former speechwriter for George W. Bush told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that President Donald Trump’s hardcore base was hostile to democracy, and both they and the president pose a real threat to constitutional law even if he loses in November.

“I think he’ll issue a spate of pardons to his intimates, relatives and to himself,” Frum warned, if Trump loses the election. “We’ve never had to test the question, whether a president can pardon himself. I imagine, I expect that we will be testing that question.”

The problem was not just Trump, but also the party that nominated him — which imposes minority rule at the state and federal level.

“The attack on democracy we’ve seen is not a Trump-specific problem,” Frum said. “Look, we have states, where with 45 percent of the vote, the Republican Party — and it’s always the Republican Party — gets close to 65 percent of the seats. It is not just south of the Mason-Dixon line, Michigan and Wisconsin are very bad actors.”

Frum said Democrats must leverage their likely gains in this year’s election to take back some power in states they’re less likely to win.

“We have a census coming up in 2020,” he said. “We’re probably going to have some Democratic gains in 2020 at the state level. How do you make sure state governments reflect the votes cast? [My] book has ideas on how to do that. One thing I suggest is Democrats use their gains in 2020, in the states where they do well — North Carolina perhaps, Wisconsin perhaps — and draw two maps. Say, here’s what we could do to you, here’s what we should do to you. Now, we can do either map. If you will make — if you, Republicans, will use your power in Texas and Georgia to draw fair maps, we’ll use our power in North Carolina and Wisconsin to draw fair maps. If not, not.”

“I mean, it is crazy that in the United States, politicians draw their maps,” he added. “I’d like to do away with that, but that’s not practical. What is practical is to restore deterrence. The courts, since 2013, have stepped away from any role as guardians of democracy in the United States. They gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, they allowed partisan gerrymandering in the last session of court. They say, so long as it is not racial, because partisanship and race match in the United States, whenever you do partisan gerrymandering, you are doing racial gerrymandering.”

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