Hometown boy David Frum sacked after speaking his mind
Prominent Toronto-born conservative David Frum is going to have to find another tank in which to do his thinking. Last week, after being a little too pointed in his blog-based criticism of Republicans’ failed strategy to defeat health care reform (shouting racial epithets at congressmen, calling democratically elected leaders fascist dictators, etc.), Frum was fired from his $100,000 job at the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He also turned down AEI’s offer of an unpaid position (presumably because working for free would have been socialist). Since then, the media has not been able to get enough of the story, with Frum appearing on Good Morning America today and Christopher Buckley rushing to his defence in the Daily Beast.
AEI denies that Frum’s relationship with the organization is ending because of his blog post, which also ran in Monday’s National Post, calling Barack Obama’s health care victory the Republicans’ “Waterloo” and the “most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.” For his part. Frum speculates that his departure was a result of outside forces. He told Politico:
But the core of the story is the kind of economic pressure that intellectual conservatives are under. AEI represents the best of the conservative world…But the elite isn’t leading any more. It’s trapped. Partly because of the desperate economic situation in the country, what were once the leading institutions of conservatism are constrained.
To us, this sounds like a political way of admitting he was fired for what he wrote. Conservatives were quick to defend Ann Coulter after her recent dust-up in Canada, so why can’t they do the same for David Frum? Though something tells us the former wouldn’t sympathize with the latter.
• David Frum fired after lamenting Republican failure on health care [Globe and Mail]
• Frum denies criticism cost him his job [National Post]
• Waterloo [Frum Forum]
• What the republican party can learn from the British conservatives [Slate]
• Mike Allen’s Playbook [Politico]