David Frum

11.06.12

Election Night Open Thread

David will be answering questions (from Facebook) over the course of the evening. We'll try to get each of them responded to as quickly as possible.

(9:22) Here's the first:

Do you think it would help if the term of office for US House of Representatives is increased to 3 or even 4 years?

My favorite reforms: 19 year fixed term for Supreme Court justices; limited terms; but the 2 yr limit for House is perfectly workable if only we can figure out a way that members need no longer spend 2/5 of their time fundraising.

(9:46) Another:

If Romney loses, how will the GOP react? Will there be even more of a visceral response rejecting Obama? Or will there be a "come together moment" as the Republicans can look like a governing body capable of directing the nation in hopes of going into the next election cycle with an advantage?

I can't predict. All I know is: this is a discussion Republicans * must * have , and I'll be doing my utmost to contribute productively to it.

(10:13) A question on partisanship in electioneering:

In your CNN column you highlight problems of partisanship in election commissions and last minute court struggles over voting law. Would you support something like Ohio Issue 2? If not, what sort of solutions would you suggest?

I think we need a bigger, bolder reform: put election administration entirely into nonpartisan hands, as they do in Wisconsin. Politicians should have no rule deciding voting hours, placement of polling places, rules on early voting, etc. etc. etc.

(11:02) A question that zooms out a bit:

Reihan Salam and Ross Douthat seem to think the way to winning is to win over the Sam's Club Republicans in the Midwest. Sometimes when I read you I feel like your preferred path forward for the GOP is to break into the "coalition of the ascendant" that has brough Obama to power. Is that a fair reading, or do you see more confluence between you and Reihan/Ross than I'm suggesting?

The GOP has to be a party of enterprise, technology, dynamism. By the time we reconvene in 2016, the American social insurance system will have been reconfigured in ways that will force some very radically rethinking. It's too early for any of us to insist too much on our particular 10-point plan. The first job is to agree that reform and renewal are necessary, and that the existing path leads only to failure.

(11:20) Fox News calls the election for President Obama. A congratulations to the President on winning a second term.

(11:32) On the VP nominees:

In May 2011 on FrumForum (http://www.frumforum.com/mitch-daniels-wont-run/#comment-296247), I said Romney would win the nomination and his best chance at winning would be to pick Marco Rubio or Nikki Haley as his running mate- Given the closeness of this election and Romney's poor performance, would you agree that Romney would have done substantially better with Hispanics or women if he had went with either of my VP picks? If you don't agree, would you please explain why? Possibly, the race would already be called by this time of night and we could all be getting a good night sleep by now.

There were substantial problems with both those picks, but Paul Ryan was about the worst possible choice. Changed the subject away from jobs & incomes and instead redirected election to exactly the Obama campaign's preferred subjects: Medicare and Medicaid.