David Frum Fired From AEI

Frum broke the news yesterday that he’d been terminated from the American Enterprise Institute, and today he tells Mike Allen that he does think it was a result of his “Republican Waterloo” post that’s been tearing up the internet since Frum wrote it. Assuming that’s true, and I don’t see any reason to think it isn’t, it’s an incredible sign of just how rigid the right has become in demanding complete and total conformity on  a number of isses. After all, it’s not like Frum is endorsing the Affordable Care Act, indeed, his basic premise is that the ACA is horrible, and that Republicans made it more horrible than it needed to be (in Frum’s eyes) by refusing any number of opportunities to jump at a desire of some Democrats to compromise and drastically scale down the bill. Instead, they simply opposed the bill in lockstep at every turn, forcing the Democrats to stick together and pass a comprehensive bill. I happen to think that, from a conservative standpoint, Frum is right. Had Chuck Grassley and Olympia Snowe reached some sort of compromise with Max Baucus last July and been able to brng 4 or 5 Republican votes along with them, comprehensive reform would have been dead. By opposing in lockstep, especially after Democrats pushed their caucus to 60 members, Republicans forced marginal Democrats like Baucus and Ben Nelso to negotiate with more liberal members of their caucus instead of less conservative Republicans like Olympia Snowe or Richard Lugar. But even if you think Frum’s analysis is off-base, it can hardly be said that it represents some sort of grave ideological sellout. Frum isn’t criticizing the underlying ideology of opposition at all, rather he’s criticizing the tactics Republicans used. But apparently we’ve reached a point where even criticism of Congressional Republican strategy won’t even be tolerated on the right.

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