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Ear to the Ground

Conservative Fired for Speaking Truth to Limbaugh?

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Posted on Mar 25, 2010
David Frum
American Enterprise Institute

The Washington Post, among others, is reporting rather matter-of-factly that conservative commentator David Frum (who, as a Bush speechwriter, coined “axis of evil”) has been fired by the American Enterprise Institute for criticizing the Republican approach to the health care fight.

Neither the think tank nor Frum is saying much, but they did part ways conspicuously close to the publication of this post on Frum’s site.

Frum, who has been pitching moderation in the GOP since his book “Comeback” hit the shelves, wrote that the passage of health care reform is the Republicans’ “most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.” As Frum sees it, the GOP is letting the Rush Limbaughs of the world lead it around by the trunk, and the result is a Democratic victory that will be with us for years to come.

Here’s a telling chunk from the post that might have gotten Frum fired:

When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

The American Enterprise Institute could be said to have a similar bias. Anger is a powerful motivation for donation. But there’s no telling for sure—yet, anyway—why Frum found himself on the wrong end of a lunch-turned-forced-resignation with AEI’s Arthur Brooks. Will this have a chilling effect on all those tweeded conservative intellectuals? Brace yourself for group think tank. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear the talking points recited with a little added precision in the coming weeks.  —PZS

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By Inherit The Wind, March 28, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

“He that troubleth his own house will INHERIT THE WIND!”

I’ve seen Frum described as an “Honest Conservative” but what I see is the guy MADE the Tea-baggers possible.  He is a neo-con who set the foundation for the Limbaughs and Becks to move out of the fringe and into the mainstream.

Now he has paid for it.

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By robert puglia, March 27, 2010 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i will miss him, a lot, really. but we will always have milchig.

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By Suzan, March 27, 2010 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This, of course, could just be another part of the prevailing shell game, you know. Tell me when Frum starts to get real hungry.

After all, it’s hard to imagine what else the forces of health-care no-coveragers could have placed in the two-thousand plus page document to benefit themselves (but we’ll learn soon, won’t we?).

How could this possibly be a crushing defeat?

The polite slaves will have to wait until 2014 to have an informed opinion, no?

Frum, who has been pitching moderation in the GOP since his book “Comeback” hit the shelves, wrote that the passage of health care reform is the Republicans’ “most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.”

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By Francis, March 26, 2010 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I had earlier commented that David Frum said that he was not fired, and that is incorrect.  I misinterpeted a story I read at MSNBC.com where Frum indicated that he was not “angrily fired.”

(please add this comment or disregard both)

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Only Conservative Republican theatrics— wait a while and check and see where Frum goes.  Frum will just go from one Republican organization to the next and will be placed by the Republicans in one of their other conservative Republican EXTREMIST organizations against Liberals, Progressives, Unions, the populace and socialism for the populace.

Rush Limbaugh is doing exactly as he is told by his boss, Rupert Murdoch, who is following in Joseph Goebbels footsteps.  Rush Limbaugh, like Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and the Fox News Network, is a genteel peasant toady to Rupert Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. that pays him exorbitantly to use propaganda as a means to an end, the same end as Hitler’s Joseph Goebbels did declaring, “Propaganda is a means to an end, if that end is attained, the means are good; whether they satisfy exigent aesthetic requirements is immaterial.”

Conservatism’s Rupert Murdoch uses Dr. Goebbels Hitleresque “Principle of Falsification” code of ethics to make the populace believe anything they are told, if told to the populace the right way often enough on his Fox News Network through his toadies, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and all the other conservative Right-Wing EXTREMIST commentators.

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By rollzone, March 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

hello. paradigm shift, vote for none of the above, a new government restart, the wisdom of think tanks, all because a gentleman assumes the motivation of another must be financial. money is now required for internet information. it is a strong point to declare: all the kid had to do, was take everyone in his private back room, and show them his GoldenSacks balance, and cut them a check for whatever they wanted, and bribe a law into existence. bribery has been prospering corporations as business as usual, and until he broke out his checkbook, for a comisserating year, the entire global economy was collapsing. it still could. if we work hard enough we could bring it down, and restart with new rules of engagement. censorship is not always about an ideology, it can be what is perceived as declining profits, lower ratings. money wants to control money for self satisfaction. our paradigm may be shifting towards totalitarianism, but the engine of money is always the source. if we had free energy, abundant clean air and water, money would corrupt the arts. we can not speak out about the money behind the machine, only the names we label upon each other. the great grinding to a halt may not come in my lifetime, but it will come. media censorship and lies are for the masses, and business information is for those with money. they are two different sources of information targeting opposing audiences, and in this instance they trespassed each other. money will sort it out. i despise great hordes of money, but do not tempt me to own it.

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By Charley Barcelo, March 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is to Mr Tayes who is glad that David Frum got fired.  Tayes believes that conservatives must hold to their principles.  Which ones are those Mr Tayes? Are they the principle of giving 700 milliom dollars to the banks in a Socialist menner.  Is this conservative principle the one which stops unemployment to the AMERICANS who have been damaged by the SOCIALIST give away to the rich?  Is it threatening any one who employs the American Democratic way, as the conservatives are presently doing?  Is it preventing aid to the soldiers who the conservatives sent to die for them and to become horribly maimed?  Indeed Mr Tayes perhaps you wish to bring back slavery and kill some more Indians like the Conservatives have done for Centuries.  Are these the values you wish to adhere to?  Do you advocate being led by the Drug Addict Rush the Lush Limbaugh and the dry drunk Beck? Have you ever read AMERICAN HISTORY except in books put out by the Texas revisionists?  My word Mr TAYES YOU CERTAINLY HAVE A STRANGE WAY OF EXPRESSING YOUR TWISTED MORALITY, OR PERHAPS YOU ACTUALLY ARE SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Just another layoff.

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photoshock's avatar

By photoshock, March 26, 2010 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

C.Curtis.Dillon, yes this is the correct analogy for the Republican Party, they are being led around by their long trunk, by people whose only concern is their bank accounts, and they said ‘Greed is DEAD!’
One need look no further than the television and listen to the radio to find out that greed is not dead,
and this for both sides of the aisle.
The Democrats are as much to blame for the mess this country is in, they pander to the same puppet masters as the Republicans. No longer are there two parties, whose differences are apparent to the thoughtful watcher. There is only one party of politicians, whose makeup has to be put on properly and the donations for their reelections come pouring into the camping coffers. That is not a misprint or typographical error, for the political class of this country is now camping out in Washington, D.C.
Once elected by the people, actually duped is a better word, these men and women, chose to continue their lifelong struggle to retain the power of being in Congress. One need only look at the Kucinich debacle to find that the political class, do not give
a damn about the people, only themselves and the benefits that accrue with time in Congress.
What needs to take place, what is paramount if this country is to continue as a republic, is the ouster of all, everyone one of the political class and the bureaucracy from their positions of power and with that form a new government of, by and for the people.

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By DasBoot, March 26, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

It’s rather ironic that the author of books such as “The Right Man” (about George W. Bush!) and “An End to Evil” (with Richard Perle) now looks like the sane one.

I suppose this proves that in the realm of the blind, the one-eyed is king.

Still, you got to admire Frum for saying it out loud: “We thought Fox News was working for us, but we found that we are working for Fox News.” Fox News IS a conservative propaganda network, and Republicans have made themselves utterly dependent on the crazy rhetoric. Good luck digging yourself out of that hole. In this fight I am rooting for nobody.

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By rebelle, March 26, 2010 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think everyone is missing the zeitgeist. Something
is evolving here and now and it is of great importance. Major
societal, institutional and governmental change is afoot and no one seems able to
grasp it.

The dems with their heads in the sand and the pubs
with their heads up their… don’t notice or
acknowledge anything is any different from what it
was in the mid 20th century.

I have felt this major shift has been upon us for
quite sometime and others I know are also admitting
the old ways of doing things and thinking about the
world just don’t work or seem to apply any longer.

Major disruptions the current paradigm is coming
quickly and because those in power have chosen not to
address it, it will not be pretty and it will be
violent.

I fear the “let your anger show” movement will turn
deadly and will spread like wild fire.

All revolutions appear to come spontaneously and from
no where to those that are so heavily invested in the
status quo and today surely isn’t any different.

Look out, punctuated equilibrium is here.

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By Vic Anderson, March 26, 2010 at 5:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Antidote to Excess of Evil? See NO Frum. Hear NO Frum. Speak NO Frum.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, March 26, 2010 at 3:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Frum knows that barn burning is not legitimate political policy.  About 20% of the public identifies with Limbaugh and making him their spokesperson locks republicans into that 20%.  What we have been witnessing since 2006 is the end of the 40 year coservative ascendency.  They didn’t know how to accept it gracefully.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, March 26, 2010 at 3:17 am Link to this comment

Have any of you watched mountain climbing movies where one climber slips and drags the entire group, which is roped together for safety, over the edge?  That is the conservative movement right now.  The radical fringe has thrown itself into the abyss and all the other parts are being dragged in with them.  Limbaugh and Beck, among others, need the energy of this group to build their numbers and pad their bank accounts.  Politicians are afraid of leaving their “base” so they are blindly following them no matter how stupid they become.  David From, being a more intelligent and thoughtful conservative, realizes this and is screaming for some sanity.  But, given the abyss analogy, he has chosen to disconnect himself from the rope so he survives.  He can stand there and watch all his “friends” and other less sane conservatives disappear into the darkness.  Perhaps that is what’s needed for conservatives to survive.  Some of them need to detach from the rope and let everyone else go.  They will be lonely for some time but they form the future nucleus for the right.  And, despite being a liberal, I think we need a viable conservative side to keep us liberals from getting equally stupid and doing the same thing.

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By OldManCA, March 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

Truth is the antidote to radical poison, whether from the right or left. 

But some people cannot handle the truth.  It sounds like the American Enterprise
Institute is one of the institutions that does not want to face reality.  Too bad.  The
Republicans could use some truthful straight thinkers.

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By Walter L. Tayes, March 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am glad Mr. David Frum got fired, the last thing we need is another RINO (Republican In Name Only) to be telling us to become liberals just to win an election!

I strongly believe that the Conservative way is the only way to maintain a free and prosperous America, if Republicans are to give up their Conservative values and beliefs they might as well sell their country to Communist Russia or China.

Republicans are to be Conservatives and there should be no compromise of conservative values, if this means Republicans are going to be the minority party for the rest of America’s life than so be it!! I rather go down fighting for my freedoms and values and those of my countrymen, than become part of group that wants to control and maybe even oppress its people!

If Mr. David Frum called himself a Conservative and worked for a conservative media he was to stay conservative, and if he was to compromise his values for the sake of winning a seat than he was to get fired and sent to work for a liberal media outlet!

MR. FRUM: WE NEED NO RINOS IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, SIR!! IT IS BECAUSE OF RINOS LIKE YOU THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS SUFFERED MANY LOSES IN RECENT YEARS, BUT WE ARE IDENTIFYING THOSE RINOS, SIR, AND WE ARE GETTING RID OF THEM!! AND YOUR TIME JUST CAME, SIR. YOU ARE TO GO AND SEARCH YOUR SOUL AND SPIRIT AND FIND OUT WHO YOU REALLY ARE AND WHAT YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN, SIR, BUT UNTIL THEN YOU ARE TO STAY AWAY FROM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND AWAY FROM POSITIONS WHERE YOU CAN INFLUENCE CONSERVATIVE MINDS!

IF AFTER CONDUCTING A SOUL SEARCHED YOU FIND OUT THAT YOU ARE A LIBERAL, THAN A LIBERAL YOU OUGHT TO BE, BUT YOU OWE HONESTY NOT ONLY TO A POLITICAL PARTY, BUT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. IF YOU ARE A LIBERAL THAN LIBERALS AWAIT FOR YOU, SIR, BUT DON’T COME TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WITH PRETENCES, YOU OWE THE PARTY HONESTY!!

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By Francis, March 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Frum says he wasn’t fired.  He says AEI was thrilled with the debate he stoked.

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By gerard, March 25, 2010 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

If most “think” tanks didn’t get corporate money they would go out of business. Most of them “think” like corporations; no room for deviatioin from the party line. They are part of the revolving door syndrome. Their main purpose is to prove conventional free enterprise ideology correct. The word “think” is a euphemism for “support.”  They paint a gloss of academic authenticity over corporate power and help to steer conservative political opinion.  They suck all the air out of real public opinon before it can reach politicians.
They are an important part of what “goes on behind the scenes” in Washington.

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