Ted Frier

Ted Frier
April 02
Ted Frier is an author and former political reporter turned speechwriter who at one time served as communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party, helping Bill Weld become the first Bay State Republican in a generation to be elected Governor. He was Chief Speechwriter for Republican Governor Paul Cellucci and Lt. Governor Jane Swift. Ted is also the author of the hardly-read 1992 history "Time for a Change: The Return of the Republican Party in Massachusetts." So, why the current hostility to the Republican Party and what passes for conservatism today? The Republican Party was once a national governing party that looked out for the interests of the nation as a whole. Now it is the wholly-owned subsidiary of self interest. Conservatism once sought national unity to promote social peace and harmony. Now conservatism has devolved into a right wing mutation that uses divide and conquer tactics to promote the solidarity of certain social sub-groups united against the larger society while preserving the privileges of a few.

Ted Frier's Links

JANUARY 31, 2015 3:17PM

Bernie Sanders: Modern Day Moses?

Watching Bernie Sanders's tussled white forelocks flying in the air as he rails against the predations of oligarchs and plutocrats who've reduced America's once secure middle class to a state of dependence and near-penury, it's hard not to visualize Vermont's self-described "socialist" Senator as… Read full post »

Massachusetts' new Republican governor is off to a good start.

The vision of his new administration that Charlie Baker unveiled in his inaugural address earlier this month was a serious, intelligent, broadminded and compelling statement of the role government plays in people's lives.

It was… Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2015 12:22PM

The Long Lost "Conservative Disposition"

You get the impression reading Peter Wehner's New York Times op-ed ("Conservatives in Name Only") that his model for a new and improved American conservatism is the stuffy but sensible Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey who, in a recent episode, refused to allow the introduction of a… Read full post »

Political parties are not just collections of like-minded folk or the embodiment of the issue platforms they purportedly stand on. They are also, in the final analysis, a business. And like any business enterprise, they are out to make a profit, even if the profit for Republicans… Read full post »

Racism no longer exists. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a racist. That, incredibly, is the developing Republican storyline as conservatives endeavor to explain their disposition in a range of recent controversies, from immigration reform to what seems to be an escalation in police gunfire pointed… Read full post »

Some conservatives I know wish I would be more respectfully open-minded and tolerant of their heart-felt belief that President Obama is a degenerate job-killing monster, anti-business and anti-American to his core, a Marxist redistributionist who only pretends to be a God-fearing Christian while… Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2014 2:29PM

Forced to be "Free"

There are times, wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his revolution-making work, The Social Contract, when men must be "forced to be free."

To James L. Buckley, brother of the late William F. and former conservative Senator from New York, the arrival of Republican majorities poised to take over both bran… Read full post »

What's the matter with Kansas?  Nothing that a little get-tough-on-Wall Street economic populism wouldn't cure if we listen to Democratic strategists wondering what to make of the sudden popularity of Elizabeth Warren after the Massachusetts Senator stood tall against her own President and S… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2014 8:44AM

Obama Plays Race Card -- And Wins

Like Jacob Marley's ghost whose chains were forged in life, link by link and yard by yard, could there be a better metaphor for the shackles Republicans have fashioned for themselves than their petulant calls to impeach the President or, better yet, to slam the Capitol's doors in… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2014 9:07AM

Land of the Free?

I have a modest proposal for members of the St. Louis Police Officers Association who think a professional football game is no place to make a political statement and so were highly offended when five members of the St. Louis Rams raised their hands in a "don't shoot me" show of… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 28, 2014 10:15AM

Obama: Glass Half Empty or Full?

Whenever someone starts off with a flattering portion of over-the-top encomiums, it's a sure sign the other shoe is about to drop with a "thud." And so it is with What's the Matter with Kansas? author Thomas Frank who begins his take-down of Paul Krugman on Salon by… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2014 11:12AM

Entitled to Their Own Facts

One of these days, and soon, we are going to have to retire Daniel Patrick Moynihan's famous quip about everyone being entitled to their own opinion, because the truth is most people think they are entitled to their own facts as well.

My guess is that… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2014 1:35PM

New Third Party in the Bay State?

The ink wasn't even dry on Governor-elect Charlie Baker's acceptance speech before the Massachusetts Republican was getting political death threats from his party's unreconciled right wing warning of a primary challenge in 2018 should Baker become the Governor he promised to be.

"If Charlie Baker tr… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 13, 2014 11:38AM

Veterans Day: Bah Humbug

When it comes to Veterans Day tributes call me Scrooge. As a military brat and the by-product of three generations of West Point graduates who fought in every war from the Spanish American to WWII (and even that ill-fated "punitive expedition" against the Mexican bandit Poncho Villa), I guess I feel… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 5, 2014 6:47AM

Two Republican Parties

I will have more to say on last night's election later.  But for now I'll admit I am confused.  Two years ago after the Republican Party lost its second national election in a row, I wrote in the essay below that the GOP was

Read full post »
NOVEMBER 4, 2014 2:47PM

Schisms and Civil Wars

Want to know why modern conservatism has become such an incoherent cacophony of inconsistencies, hypocrisies and imbecilities? Just read the New York Times editorial page.

In one corner is conservative heavy-weight David Brooks urging Americans to abandon their partisanship because group loyalty and… Read full post »

OCTOBER 30, 2014 11:55AM

America's Crisis of Political Legitimacy

As we approach another election next Tuesday, America faces a crisis of legitimacy. The character of our democracy does not correspond to the conditions that justify it. Instead of democracy and majority rule we have rule by minorities and special interests.

The incestuous relationship between Washi… Read full post »

I'll bet the Washington Post hasn't spilled this much ink on a single story since it printed the Pentagon Papers in defiance of President Richard Nixon's unconstitutional restraining order (or so said a 9-0 Supreme Court) way back in 1971.  

And so I have nothing new to add… Read full post »

In 1962, the expansion New York Mets finished their first season 40-120. They trailed league-leading San Francisco by an astonishing 60½ games. They suffered the most number of losses of any major league team since 1899!

When Jimmy Breslin later wrote his book-length account of that memora… Read full post »

OCTOBER 15, 2014 2:03PM


Former Republican speechwriter John Avlon pulls no punches when he writes about his former teammates if we're to judge by the title of his most recent book: Wingnuts.

Oh sure, as some critics have charged, Avlon (now a Daily Beast editor) is sometimes guilty of the usual bi-partisan scolding, as… Read full post »

OCTOBER 8, 2014 9:48AM

American Theocracy

Most judges are generally said to lean liberal or conservative. But it's no coincidence that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is one of just two (Clarence Thomas is the other) whose rulings reliably conform to a specific school of jurisprudence since Scalia is, by far, the most ideological jurist… Read full post »

OCTOBER 1, 2014 9:47AM

The New Secessionists

If there is a silver lining in a recent Reuters/Ipsos survey that found nearly a quarter of the American public supports their state breaking away from the Union, it's the reasons respondents cited for why they wanted to rebel in the first place. By and large, these complaints identify… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 7:26AM

Power To The People

On September 17th, America celebrated the 227th birthday of a constitution that, when ratified by “We the People” two years later, would create the world’s only democratic republic at that time, the United States of America.

Ever since this “Miracle in Philadelphia,”… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 12:45PM

"Constitutional Conservatives" Are Frauds

The only authentic “constitutional conservatives” in American history were the 55 well-to-do white guys who emerged from Independence Hall 227 years ago today, September 17, 1787, to give America, as Benjamin Franklin famously put it, “a republic, if you can keep it.”

Since t… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 6, 2014 9:38AM

S&P Downgrades Supply-Side Economics

It won’t be long now before the Right Wing Noise Machine – what Harper’s editor Louis Lapham once called the “tentacles of rage” – begins wheezing and snorting into high gear as slavish apologists for Wall Street’s power and privilege hysterically denounce St… Read full post »