David Frum, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was a special assistant to President George W. Bush in 2001-2002. He is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again," and the editor of FrumForum.com.
The great free-market economist Milton Friedman argued that the right policy in the 1930s was a bank rescue -- but the bank bailouts (begun under a Republican president, lest we forget) are even more unpopular among conservatives than Obama's stimulus.
A few days ago, I was talking to a roomful of young conservatives about the crisis. All agreed in denouncing both the bank bailouts done under TARP and the stimulus. I asked: OK fine, what was the alternative?
There was a short pause, and then somebody laughed: "I guess it's lucky that we weren't in power."
That's not much of a motto for a would-be national governing coalition. If all we conservatives have to offer is oppositionism, then opposition is the job we'll be assigned to fill.