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

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2013 7:54AM

Dictatorship v. Democracy

Readers familiar with my work know that one of my favorite quotes about the nature of politics, and democracies in particular, comes from Walter Lippmann's Essays in the Public Philosophy, where the preeminent American journalist of the 20th century tried in 1955 to diagnose why fascism and… Read full post »

MARCH 6, 2013 6:23AM

Emperor Antonin Scalia

Why does Justice Antonin Scalia presume he can discern the "original intent" of long-dead Founding Fathers when he whiffed so badly on the intent of 98 United States Senators who voted unanimously just seven years ago to extend the protections of a Voting Rights Act the right… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 1, 2013 3:57PM

"Madhouse" Speaker John Boehner

Bloomberg blogger (and self-described Republican) Josh Barro shows us how it is done.  

In Florida, nearly 60% of voters oppose the expansion of Medicaid benefits, apparently vindicating the foot-dragging obstruction of that state's Republican governor - and convicted health care fraudster &nbs… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2013 10:50AM

Conservatives Demand New Republican Party

Add one more name to the list of conservatives who are unimpressed with Republican efforts to reinvent themselves in response to the thumping they took in the last election.

If Republicans are going to be successful in the future, writes Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, they… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 15, 2013 8:21AM

"Active Inertia" of a Dying Party

Take pity on poor Marco Rubio. You'd be reaching for a bottle of Poland Springs, too, if you had to spit out the dry-as-dust bromides and the well past their sell-by date Reagan-era platitudes that Rubio was forced to expectorate as the Republican Party's designated responder to… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2013 12:38PM

Bay State Republicans a Different Breed

As I was cleaning out my basement this weekend I stumbled upon a pile of ghost-written pieces I'd penned for Massachusetts Republicans back when I worked for the party a quarter century ago.  

Among the collection was one published in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle for the thirty-something chairma… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 9, 2013 12:02PM

No "Gipper" To Save GOP This Time

In Republican mythology, Ronald Reagan was just Barry Goldwater with a smile.  

To the right wing true believer, Reagan and Goldwater were congenial political bedfellows, their ideas about government being the problem not the solution cut from the same ideological cloth. This was delightful… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2013 2:16PM

Hagel Blows Chance to Show Israel Who's Boss

A prospective Defense Secretary who can't even defend himself. That was the unfortunate impression left by Chuck Hagel at this week's confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The most charitable thing you can say about the former Nebraska Republican Senator's stumbling, bumbl… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2013 8:57AM

GOP A House Divided

A house divided against itself cannot stand. But that has not stopped David Brooks from trying to build one.

In a column this week, the New York Times conservative concedes it is probably hopeless to expect a regional faction like the Republican Party, rooted in the mentality… Read full post »

JANUARY 28, 2013 3:50PM

"Liberal! Liberal! Liberal!"

Conservatives really need to get their history straight.

Either President Obama is a "reactionary" liberal, as Charles Krauthammer insists, committed to an "unyielding defense of the 20th century welfare state" while still clinging "zealously to the increasingly obsolete structures of Social Securit… Read full post »

JANUARY 19, 2013 10:17AM

Faith v. Democracy

"Truth is truth and does not change because of the Mob." So says a fundamentalist friend of mine, call her Lori, from my days long ago at Montgomery Catholic High, deep in the Heart of red state Dixie.

Lori and I picked up right where we left off… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 8, 2013 5:17PM

Conservative Political Correctness

As required class reading, I am tempted to assign to George F. Will an essay in December's American Conservative written by former Reagan economic adviser and Republican apostate Bruce Bartlett, called "Revenge of the Reality-based Community."  In it, Bartlett chronicles his excommunication from… Read full post »

When Republicans talk about a "Big Tent" nowadays it's not to welcome newcomers but to shelter refugees who've either been pushed out or fled by themselves (like me) rather than take part in a party intent on making itself over into a leaner, if meaner, political machine.… Read full post »

The Tea Party Republicans who mutinied against their own House Speaker rather than raise taxes on the wealthy even a little bit are cut from the very same cloth as the leadership of a National Rifle Association whose answer to gun violence is to give everyone a gun. Both… Read full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2012 10:36AM

When Children Pay For Our Sins

Aberfan Disaster, October 21, 1966

Aberfan Disaster, October 21, 1966

The deaths of 20 small children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last week was sufficiently shocking to dislodge from my memory reminders of another appalling tragedy that horrified me when I was just a boy, and continues to haunt… Read full post »

DECEMBER 19, 2012 2:45PM

Republicans Ambush Labor in Michigan

It takes a lot to get Theodore J. St. Antoine mad. But what really got my Uncle Ted's Irish up (our family hails from County Roscommon) was Michigan Governor Rick Snyder conspiring with the Republican-controlled legislature to turn the ancestral home of American labor into a "right-to-work"… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2012 9:09AM

When Conservatives Play God

Former Democratic Chairman Howard Dean wondered aloud the other day whether Republicans even believe in democracy. Dean said he had his doubts after listening to Republican campaign consultant Scott Tranter (whose company was paid more than $3,000 by the Romney campaign) state matter-of-factly du… Read full post »

There were two noteworthy occurrences in the US Senate this week. The first was the Senate's rejection along party lines of a UN treaty aimed at creating equal opportunity for disabled people around the world. The second was firebrand South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint's bombshell announcement tha… Read full post »

Who is in charge here, anyway? That, more than sequestered spending or how much we raise in new taxes, will be the most important question resolved by this "fiscal cliff" stand-off between President Obama and the GOP.

More than Republicans and Democrats forging an elusive consensus… Read full post »

DECEMBER 4, 2012 9:40AM

GOP: America's "Ruling Class?"

Forget the fiscal "cliff." The metaphor which best describes the Republican predicament today is: "caught between a rock and a hard place."

In August 2011, Republicans put the full faith and credit of the United States at risk in order to blackmail Democrats into paying ransom on budget cuts th… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2012 10:56AM

Susan Collins No Independent Moderate

I have always thought that Maine Senator Susan Collins reputation as a moderate voice of bi-partisan reasonableness was vastly overblown. That prejudice was confirmed again this week as Collins prostituted her credibility as a centrist to the gang bang Republicans, led by John McCain and Lindsey Gr… Read full post »

When Hostess swirled its last cupcake and packed its last cream-filled Twinkie, conservatives like George F. Will were quick to scold striking workers for not swallowing a 50% wage cut and surrendering to the reality that "market forces will have their way."

And when Bain Capital bought and then out… Read full post »

Conservatives always need their dragons to slay. And so, to fully appreciate the furor which has erupted on the Right over the tragic deaths of four Americans at that remote consulate in Benghazi on September 11th it is necessary to recall the right wing outrage four years ago when the Obama… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2012 12:16PM

Angry Republicans Shout Out Rebel Yell

At least when disconsolate Democrats lose an election they have the good manners to leave the country. When Republicans lose, on the other hand, they arrogantly think they're entitled to take the country with them.

Now that President Obama has defied Fox News' predictions and won a… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2012 10:19AM

Two Views of the Republican Party's Future

If Republicans are ever going to be a national governing party again they will need people like James A. Peyser in their corner.

In Sunday's Boston Globe, the one-time education adviser to three Massachusetts Republican governors says it is not enough for moderate Republicans like Scott Brown (and e… Read full post »