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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