Neocon establishment dumps Frum

The strange career of David Frum as a conservative political journalist for the last twenty years, and his much stranger career as a conservative apostate since November 2008, has reached a culmination with his rude firing from the American Enterprise Institute (see CBS News’ informative account). . As I’ve been chronicling, Frum after Obama’s election became an open enemy of the conservative movement, while still calling himself a conservative. Apparently his pronouncement earlier this week that the GOP had suffered its “Waterloo” in the passage of Obamacare, and his even more off-the-wall statement that its passage was the GOP’s fault because it had not sought a compromise with the Democrats, was too much even for the collegial community of mutual backrubbers at AEI. The firing, delivered by AEI President Arthur Brooks at lunch with Frum today, and memorialized by Frum in a letter of resignation that he posted at his website at 2:49 p.m., was so rude and sudden that Frum had to ask Brooks to allow him to keep his AEI office until he returns from travel next week. Take that in. Brooks evidently wanted Frum to move out of his office today. Such treatment by the neocon establishment of one of their own is unheard of. Also unheard of was the tongue lashing David Horowitz gave Frum last September over his despicable cover article in Newsweek smearing Rush Limbaugh.

I first said a year ago that Frum should leave political journalism and go into some other field, since he has played out his hand and alienated everyone on the right, while, at the same time, he has no recourse to an explicit, Huffington-like departure for the left, as he still thinks of himself as conservative.

So, is this David Frum’s Waterloo? Frum has repositioned himself so many times that he has ended up as a man with no identity, in a place that makes no sense. A man without qualities doesn’t have a Waterloo.

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LA writes:

The CBS News story on the firing (linked above) contains this:

UPDATE: Frum told Greg Sargent that Brooks said he “welcomed and celebrated” Frum’s Waterloo post and that Brooks said he was asking Frum to leave AEI because “these are hard times.” Frum said Brooks offered him the opportunity to keep writing for AEI, though without compensation.

This is unbelievable on its face, baldly contradicting Frum’s letter to Brooks in which he indicates that he had to vacate his office almost immediately—he wasn’t given even two weeks’ notice after being at AEI for seven years.. He writes to Brooks: “I have had many fruitful years at the American Enterprise Institute, and I do regret this abrupt and unexpected conclusion of our relationship.” [Italics added.] If Brooks were only asking Frum to leave AEI because they couldn’t afford him any more, and not because they were displeased with him, the ending of the relationship would not have been “abrupt and unexpected.” “Abrupt and unexpected” clearly indicates that they were annoyed with him and were kicking him out.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 25, 2010 11:50 PM | Send

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