Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, who made waves earlier this week by criticizing the Republican political strategy on health care reform, is parting ways with prominent conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute. Many observers are concluding that the differences are ideological--Frum is somewhat more moderate--as well as political, given the strength of Frum's condemnation of the GOP. Frum will appear on Keith Olbermann's Countdown tonight on MSNBC at 8 p.m. In the meantime, here's what people are saying. You'll notice that, although many disagreed with Frum, no one is defending his termination.
- Lonliness of 'Sensible Conservatives' The Washington Independent's David Weigel tweets, "So who'll fund a Sensible Conservative think tank with Frum, Bartlett and... uh... others?"
- Taking the 'Think' Out of 'Think Tank' The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen shakes his head. "Consider the larger pattern here," he urges, surveying a history of other prominent conservatives booted from various think tanks for, as Benen says, criticizing the party line. "Intellectually, modern conservatism is facing a painfully sad state of affairs."
- No Dissent Allowed! Mother Jones' Adam Weinstein scoffs, "Is this further evidence the GOP and its ilk plan to go more paleo with their paleoconservatism? That remains to be seen. But one thing's certain: Whatever the prevailing conservative narrative becomes - and however much it seems to contradict reality - nobody in the flock had better question that dogma."
- What Was His Crime? Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias shrugs. "Not even sure I understand exactly what David Frum's heresy was. Is *tactical* criticism of GOP Senators really out of bands?"
- Only Wants to Help Party National Review's fellow conservative Mona Charen defends, "David may be wrong about the Republicans' 'Waterloo' but it is simply unfair to impugn his motives. [...] I continue to respect David very deeply and know that he has only the best motives."
- Independent Conservatives Like Me Have No Home Conservative EconoBlogger Bruce Bartlett sighs, "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. Sadly, there is no place for David and me to go. The donor community is only interested in financing organizations that parrot the party line."
- Frum's New Job (Not Really) Mother Jones' David Corn quips, "Sign posted outside Frum's office: 'Will punditize as a reasonable-sounding conservative for food.'"