David Frum Latest To Be Driven Out By Conservative Movement

David Frum has been pointing out what is wrong with the conservative movement recently, such as earlier this week when he warned conservatives about the harm that talk radio and Fox are doing. While he has correctly identified many of the problems with the movement, he did not pay enough attention to one of them–their tendency to ostracize those who do not go along with the most extreme elements. There is some ambiguity as to what happened, but most observers believe that Frum was forced out of the American Enterprise Institute–a conservative think tank which appears to want to limit actual thinking.

Bruce Bartlett has described a similar situation:

As some readers of this blog may know, I was fired by a right wing think tank called the National Center for Policy Analysis in 2005 for writing a book critical of George W. Bush’s policies, especially his support for Medicare Part D. In the years since, I have lost a great many friends and been shunned by conservative society in Washington, DC.

Now the same thing has happened to David Frum, who has been fired by the American Enterprise Institute. I don’t know all the details, but I presume that his Waterloo post on Sunday condemning Republicans for failing to work with Democrats on healthcare reform was the final straw.

Since, he is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI “scholars” on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do.

It saddened me to hear this. I have always hoped that my experience was unique. But now I see that I was just the first to suffer from a closing of the conservative mind. Rigid conformity is being enforced, no dissent is allowed, and the conservative brain will slowly shrivel into dementia if it hasn’t already.

Considering how many ideas in the health care reform legislation are similar to those proposed by the Heritage Foundation and the Republican Party in response to the Clinton plan, it comes as no surprise that many at the AEI agreed with the plan.

House Passes Fixes To Health Care Legislation

Health care legislation is finally complete (hopefully with some improvements to be made through separate legislation. The House passed the bill previously passed by the Senate on Sunday along with some fixes to be passed in the Senate through budget reconciliation. As is often the case with such reconciliation measures, there were some technical problems. Therefore the bill had to be sent back to the House after it was passed by the Senate earlier today. The House has just passed the bill containing the fixes.

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