More on the Frum Firing

Sorry for all the Frum posts, but I have been following this story pretty closely and stumbling on some good stuff that I want to pass along.

First, our friend Tom Piatak has weighed in on the matter at Chronicles.

Salon has the story here. As expected they are sympathetic with Frum’s centrist attacks on the GOP right, but they also note the irony of the former purger getting purged.  

but that kind of bombast — “war is a great clarifier” — sure doesn’t look great in retrospect. Frum and his allies weren’t just trying to drum some unsavory types out of the movement. They were also working at making it impossible for a Republican to oppose the party line on the crucial issue of the day — an issue on which they turned out to be disastrously wrong themselves.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Now is where it gets really interesting. Frum insinuated to Politico that his firing was related to donor pressure. This had seemed to be the universal assumption.

Charles Murray, also an AEI scholar, objects to this view at the National Review Online blog and defends the climate of intellectual freedom at AEI. He suggest Frum was fired because he never actually bothered to show up at AEI.

Frum responds defending his claim that the firing was politically motivated. Frum wonders if AEI was holding back in the health care debate for fear of misstepping.

Bruce Bartlett, who was also fired from his job at a conservative think tank for straying from the party line although his dissent was from the right, weighs in here. (For whatever reason [bitterness perhaps?] Bartlett is now a Frumesque centrist himself.)

And last but not least, our friend Daniel McCarthy weighs in at AmConMag. Dan points out, as did Bartlett, that mandating insurance coverage was actually one of those ”conservative” counter-proposals that movement “conservatives” often trot out when they are trying to offer up some liberalism light ”free market” alternative to whatever outright socialist proposal the Dems are pimping at the moment.

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5 thoughts on “More on the Frum Firing

  1. Patroon

    Judging by what I’ve read, what probably happened is that a donor or some donors probably didn’t like what Frum was writing, then checked around and found out Frum hardly spent any time at AEI for the $100,000 he was getting in salary. Maybe this person or persons also found out the company Frum was now keeping at FrumForum. Raised some hackles and Brooks asked David pretty please if he’d work on retainer just to keep AEI’s tie to (as we all know the world famous) David Frum. He said no and Brooks said please clean out your office where you never spend any time in and mail stacked to the ceiling after seven years. Obviously Frum’s work habits didn’t upset AEI until now, so something happened (an article, no?) that triggered all this.

    You’re right Red, Frum is searching for a new centrist coalition to work with. Don’t be surprised that this coalition will be backing Obama in 2012 and make a big show of it as well (ala David Horowitz’s endorsement of Ronald Reagan in 1984).

  2. roho

    Neocons aren’t “Liberals That Got Mugged”, but “marxist” that will join any movement to encourage U.S. citizens to die on the battlefields of the middleast for the “Likunics” paranoia!

    Screw Frum!

  3. James

    Neoconservatism is a real ideology with genuine believers. Neocons like Frum, however, while they may certainly be true believers are, first and last, careerist opportunists who put their own position in the power structure ahead of any question of ideological consistency or policy proscription. Frum feels the winds shifting in the liberal direction; he moves in the liberal direction. Remember where these people came from originally. They were leftists who feel out of love with socialism and the Soviet Union in the 50’s and 60’s and signed onto the ‘New Right.’ It was a good ride for them with lots of perks (jobs in government and think tank money in the bank), but now that the Conservative Movement appears dead or is fatally fractured they decide to abandon it like rats jumping a sinking ship and leap onto the boat that appears to be headed to the land of milk and honey; the neoliberal Democrats and Obama. “Drop the zero and get with the Hero.” It’s about winning. It’s about power. Oh sure, its about ideas too, but those ideas can’t be advanced unless they (ie. Frum) are in power. They are the Platonic guardians that the Neoconservative godfather Alan Bloom told them they were. I would not be surprised if Frum is a White House speechwriter for Obama before it’s all over with.

  4. James

    Neoconservatism is a real ideology with genuine believers. Neocons like Frum, however, while they may certainly be true believers are, first and last, careerist opportunists who put their own position in the power structure ahead of any question of ideological consistency or policy proscription. Frum feels the winds shifting in the liberal direction; he moves in the liberal direction. Remember where these people came from originally. They were leftists who feel out of love with socialism and the Soviet Union in the 50’s and 60’s and signed onto the ‘New Right.’ It was a good ride for them with lots of perks (jobs in government and think tank money in the bank), but now that the Conservative Movement appears dead or is fatally fractured they decide to abandon it like rats jumping a sinking ship and leap onto the boat that appears to be headed to the land of milk and honey; the neoliberal Democrats and Obama. “Drop the zero and get with the Hero.” It’s about winning. It’s about power. Oh sure, it’ about ideas too, but those ideas can’t be advanced unless they (David Frum) are the ones in power. Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative; it does not matter. I would not be surprised if Frum is a White House speechwriter for Obama before it’s all over with.

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