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claymisher
03-26-2010, 07:50 PM
Lotsa Frum news. Wingnut welfare is no joke:

Frum made $100,000 and by his own admission didn’t actually do much at AEI.

http://trueslant.com/johnmcquaid/2010/03/26/david-frum-aei-and-the-dangers-of-washington-cocoons/


In the real world being asked to quit or work for nothing is the same thing as being fired. And AEI wasn't under financial pressure. In just the last few weeks they have hired Republican political hacks Marc Thiessen and Jonah Goldberg.

http://www.capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1606/did-aei-muzzle-its-scholars#comment-6706

When AEI fires Frum right after his recent controversial remarks, and possibly (though I realize this remains unproven) sets about muzzling good experts, while also hiring a few too many rancid and rabid hacks (even if an occasional one comes with the territory), it slaps in the face the reputable people who continue to work there. Sure, maybe they should consider leaving, but that's easy for us to say. Opportunities aren't infinite, indeed sometimes they're scarcely even finite. AEI and its legitimate scholars have been members in good standing of a broader, ideologically diverse community of experts in various fields. And whatever the other incentives that AEI might face, it is hurting itself, good-faith versions of the ideas it espouses, and the broader policy process if it throws this away in the pursuit of enforced political orthodoxy.

http://danshaviro.blogspot.com/2010/03/flap-over-aeis-firing-of-david-frum.html

bjkeefe
03-26-2010, 09:45 PM
Lotsa Frum news. Wingnut welfare is no joke:

Thanks for those. I also found this observation from your third link (http://danshaviro.blogspot.com/2010/03/flap-over-aeis-firing-of-david-frum.html) significant, especially the last sentence:

Some rebuttals of the claim that AEI could have been muzzling its healthcare scholars note that, for example, Glenn Hubbard has frequently and recently opined in print about healthcare reform. But, while Glenn has a long history of writing about healthcare in relation to the fiscal system, he would not have been among the people Frum would have had in mind. I won't name AEI's healthcare specialists here, but you can find their names on the AEI website, and I don't think they've had much to say publicly on the topic in the last couple of years, which is interesting and indeed surprising.

And:

In short, I see a compelling circumstantial case in favor of the claim of muzzling that Bartlett reports.

==========

[Added] Also, I'd encourage everyone to read the post at clay's second link, Bartlett's follow-up (http://www.capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1606/did-aei-muzzle-its-scholars). Note in particular these bits:

To begin with, I think the important thing about what David told me is that I believed it instantly because it seemed very plausible for two reasons. First, I know from personal experience and from private comments by people I know in the conservative think tank community that there is enormous pressure to follow the Republican Party line. Those that dissent keep their mouths shut lest it cost them their job, a promotion, friendships or just because they don’t like to be hassled by those they work with. I’ve known people who shifted their specialties so they wouldn’t have to work in areas where they had objections to the party line that may have only involved tactics.

And:

So it didn’t surprise me at all that some AEI health specialists would have agreed with much of what Obama was proposing. Nor did it surprise me that the media and fundraising people at AEI might have suggested that they avoid making public comments supportive of the Democrats’ health plan. Before I was fired by NCPA I was often told that my comments critical of George W. Bush were unhelpful to fundraising even though they agreed that I was right on the substance.

bjkeefe
03-26-2010, 10:14 PM
Administrivia:

For those interested, more Frum-firing discussion may also be found in two other threads, starting here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=155973#post155973) and here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=155972#post155972). (Using threaded view instead of linear may help.)

listener
03-26-2010, 11:14 PM
Frankly, I'm disappointed. From the title of this thread (Frum!), I was expecting to find here a brainstorming session about creating a new, exciting feel-good Broadway musical of that title, based on the Life and Hard Times of a Heterodox Conservative. Fun for the whole family!

But nooooo........... (h/t John Belushi)

claymisher
03-29-2010, 11:45 AM
Mark Schmitt's take

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_high_cost_of_conservative_int ellectual_bankruptcy

listener
03-29-2010, 03:54 PM
Mark Schmitt's take

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_high_cost_of_conservative_int ellectual_bankruptcy

Good article. Thanks.

bjkeefe
04-07-2010, 09:45 PM
Mark Schmitt's take

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_high_cost_of_conservative_int ellectual_bankruptcy

On a similar theme, occasional B'head Julian Sanchez has a good post up (http://www.juliansanchez.com/2010/03/26/frum-cocktail-parties-and-the-threat-of-doubt/).

I agree with DougJ (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/04/06/epistemic-closure/): this bit really stands out:

But I think there’s something else going on here too. One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!) This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity and energy, but it also renders the conservative media ecosystem fragile. Think of the complete panic China’s rulers feel about any breaks in their Internet firewall: The more successfully external sources of information have been excluded to date, the more unpredictable the effects of a breach become. Internal criticism is then especially problematic, because it threatens the hermetic seal. It’s not just that any particular criticism might have to be taken seriously coming from a fellow conservative. Rather, it’s that anything that breaks down the tacit equivalence between “critic of conservatives and “wicked liberal smear artist” undermines the effectiveness of the entire information filter. If disagreement is not in itself evidence of malign intent or moral degeneracy, people start feeling an obligation to engage it sincerely—maybe even when it comes from the New York Times. And there is nothing more potentially fatal to the momentum of an insurgency fueled by anger than a conversation. A more intellectually secure conservatism would welcome this, because it wouldn’t need to define itself primarily in terms of its rejection of an alien enemy.

listener
04-07-2010, 11:09 PM
On a similar theme, occasional B'head Julian Sanchez has a good post up (http://www.juliansanchez.com/2010/03/26/frum-cocktail-parties-and-the-threat-of-doubt/).

I agree with DougJ (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/04/06/epistemic-closure/): this bit really stands out:

Yup, that's pretty darn good analysis.