AEI Says Goodbye

March 26th, 2010 at 9:45 am David Frum | 476 Comments |

| Print

I have been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute since 2003. At lunch today, AEI President Arthur Brooks and I came to a termination of that relationship.

Below is the text of my letter of resignation.

Dear Arthur,

This will memorialize our conversation at lunch today. Effective immediately, my position as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute is terminated. I appreciate the consideration that delays my emptying of my office until after my return from travel next week. Premises will be vacated no later than April 9.

I have had many fruitful years at the American Enterprise Institute, and I do regret this abrupt and unexpected conclusion of our relationship.

Very truly yours,

David Frum

Follow David Frum on twitter: @davidfrum

Originally Posted on March 25th, 2:49pm.

Recent Posts by David Frum



476 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Mar 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    …Hope you get the gig…..one of the reasons I know you are definitely an engineer by training and it’s more of an open question with CRW (the two faced man) is that basically you have some sort of residual committment to hard data even if you spin(there’s also the anality) but Janus Ford either has no knowledge of the facts or completely ignores them…..I can honestly say I’ve never seen this in an engineer and I’ve known literally hundreds (Chemical and Mechanical)……they can boring, wrong, argumentative, bloody minded but there’s something inside that says I’ve got to stick with the data

  • stevereededr

    Of course, we are all interested in AEI and their reasons for terminating their relationship with you.
    I think it is because you don’t adhere to the basic tenants of conservatism, which is to follow the Constitution and put reason and dedication to the philosophy that guided the founding fathers. Instead, you would rather compromise to gradually advance your idea of conservatism. How can you advocate compromise with what is so obviously against the liberty of the people of the US?
    Your attacks on Rush show clearly that you are not of the same mindset of most of us. You are not compatible with Conservatism. Soon you will be an independent, then working with the Democrats. We won’t be surprised. I wish you well . We don’t all have to think alike.

  • Newsericks » Blog Archive » Exit Stage Right (or, the GOP’s ‘Binge and Purge’ Eating Their Own Disorder)

    [...] regret this abrupt and unexpected conclusion of our relationship. Very truly yours, David Frum” (FrumForum [...]

  • ottovbvs

    stevereededr // Mar 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    “I think it is because you don’t adhere to the basic tenants of conservatism, which is to follow the Constitution and put reason and dedication to the philosophy that guided the founding fathers. ”

    …..After the events of 2001-2008 when the constitution was repeatedly trashed and government departments politicized (most scandalously at DOJ) one wonders how you can write this with a straight face…..the idea that Cheney or Gonzales were putting reason and dedication to the philosophy that guided the founding fathers at the center of their conduct is truly grotesque

  • Drasties - Dutch on the World - World on the Dutch

    [...] he wanted to downgrade Frum to a nonsalaried position. Frum declined the offer and posted a letter of resignation on his personal website. read [...]

  • Curious

    David Frum is not a moderate he is a conservative. He would never be comfortable in the Democratic Party, nor would the REAL progressives of the party be comfortable with him.

  • cj_1009

    Too bad AEI was so short sighted with their dismissal of David. He spoke the truth and they “couldn’t handle the truth”.
    I hope he keeps speaking out as a strong voice of reason amidst the current insanity. As a Democrat I firmly believe that we need a “loyal opposition” who is willing to work and compromise on the big issues, not a Republican Party who cowers to the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. (statements and retractions after Limbaugh attacks are easily documented)
    This is “our country”, not yours or mine. I believe that the majority of the Republican Party probably agrees with David on some level . . .come back to the table. The “Waterloo” strategy is not working. “We the People” want ALL of Congress to work for us.

  • tmurf

    This shows the GOP and the AEI and lots of other so called conservative groups for what they really are, a bunch of people who think it is more important to be in lock step on every issue than to work for something that the average citizen needs. The AEI is a “think tank” where you thoughts are handed to you at the door and any thinking outside the box is frowned on. Thinking and expressing those thoughts is severely frowned on and thinking and experssing your thoughts publicly is just un-thinkable.

  • nwahs

    The job isn’t to stop the train wreck, but to let the train wreck happen. Hand the party to Rush Limbaugh. Give it to him completely.

  • sinz54

    tmurf: The AEI is a “think tank” where you thoughts are handed to you at the door and any thinking outside the box is frowned on.
    That’s going a bit far. Even Frum would disagree with you about that.

    The AEI normally welcomes all kinds of fresh ideas.
    But these aren’t normal times.
    We’re in a bad economy.
    Evidently their donations have dried up.

    And when any organization falls on hard times, there are calls to retrench: Keep the tried and true, and don’t “waste” your limited funds on radical high-risk projects. Focus on the current bottom line, not the next ten years.

    I’ve been “Frummed” (is that a word now?) out of certain private corporations, myself.

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Mar 27, 2010 at 10:24 am

    ” I’ve been “Frummed” (is that a word now?) out of certain private corporations, myself.”

    …..Interesting…..I’ve found that on the whole private corporations are much more receptive to new ideas and iconoclasm than public ones

  • feralrom

    OK, FRUM, is there room for a independent loyal opposition center in the dialogue? Welcome. Get enough of us to be heard, and perhaps the center will hold.

  • Wiliam Doyle

    I’m as liberal and/or as progressive as one can get; and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d subscribe to David Frum’s web site. But there is something in most people that responds to truth.
    For a “Think Tank” to fire someone for speaking his or her mind calls into question what kind of thinking, if any, goes on at said “Think Tank.”
    I always thought Think Tanks should encompass all thought. When Conservative Think Tanks came along (they are relatively new) I thought, how odd for an organization purported to be in the thinking business to expound only one point of view .

  • 1 Boring Old Man » the truth hurts…

    [...] We have both been part of the conservative movement for, as mentioned, the better part of half of our lives. And I can categorically state I’ve never seen such a hostile environment towards free thought and debate — once the hallmarks of Reaganism, the politics with which we grew up — prevail in our movement as it does today. The thuggish demagoguery of the Limbaughs and Becks is a trait we once derided in the old socialist Left. Well boys, take a look in the mirror. It is us now. Frum’s own update was rather more terse: “I have been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute since 2003. At lunch today, AEI President Arthur Brooks and I came to a termination of that relationship.” [...]

  • Fruminations « regulation2point0

    [...] performance as a team player–for example, his failure to contribute regularly to the AEI blog. Frum, for his part, has been mostly [...]

  • narfull

    The AEI’s firing of David Frum shows the intolerance of today’s Tea Party loving Republican Party. Could you see the Brookings Institution getting away with firing someone two days after they express a contrary opinion? Not a chance. They’d never get away with it. If the Republican Party has a future, it will not be with the morons who discount global warming because it gets cold on a particular winter day or complain that “there won’t be enough doctors” if the nation provides medical care to the uninsured–saying in effect, “Let them continue to live without medical care.”

    The smarter, more thoughtful Republicans are being systematically purged, or are cynically pandering to the mob (like Mitt Romney, who is suddenly against the health care mandate he championed in Massachusetts). I applaud Frum for telling it like it is and hope he can find a place for the intelligent in the Republican Party.

  • What to Say When the Team Loses « Just Above Sunset

    [...] is saying his side could never win this one. But Bush’s former speechwriter, David Frum, was asked to leave the American Enterprise Institute for saying Jim DeMint was wrong, that healthcare reform wasn’t Obama’s Waterloo, it was [...]

  • Pippi’s ClipBoard « Streams of consciousness

    [...] David Frum has resigned from the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, Frum announced on his Web site Thursday afternoon — a move which suggests the conservative movement has cut ties with Frum [...]

  • Discover Texarkana » Blog Archive » Will Republicans aid financial reform? | Thomas Noyes

    [...] we ended with none“. Frum’s remarks generated so much heat among conservatives that he resigned from the American Enterprise Institute before the week was [...]

  • Angry America: why an oil-man’s scenario worries me

    [...] “Why are the Tea Parties always being labeled as terrorist? Why is it? “They’re extremists, they’re terrorists, they’re hatemongers, they’re dangerous!” What is it that these evolutionaries want? You’d pick up a gun? You ever thought of that? These people have. Because possibly, maybe the question should be asked: Maybe they’re tired of evolution, and they are waiting for revolution.” At the end of the broadcast Beck calls for a return to rational discourse. But those like former Bush aide David Frum who have urged the movement to moderate its language in order to give elected representatives room for manouver have themselves been given short shrift. [...]

  • Can ‘No’ Revive the Republicans? – New York Times (blog) | Republican.Gnom.es

    [...] Frum’s own update was rather more terse: “I have been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute since 2003. At lunch today, AEI President Arthur Brooks and I came to a termination of that relationship.” [...]

  • What's the Matter with Kansas? » How to Escape a Partisan Echo Chamber

    [...] recently, after former Bush speechwriter David Frum lost his job for criticizing Republican intransigence in the health care debate, conservative thinkers have started to debate whether their side is stuck in its own echo chamber [...]

  • Quote of the Day: David Frum on How To Get Off Oil | Green Living

    [...] David Frum does, as he hits TreeHugger two days in a row for being….sensible. No wonder he got fired from the American Enterprise Institute. He writes in CNN.com about the tough but necessary slog to get off oil: President Obama is right: [...]

  • Quote of the Day: David Frum on How To Get Off Oil : TreeHugger

    [...] David Frum does, as he hits TreeHugger two days in a row for being….sensible. No wonder he got fired from the American Enterprise Institute. He writes in CNN.com about the tough but necessary slog to get off oil: President Obama is right: [...]

  • CNN Hires a Kinder, Gentler Conservative | Con Games

    [...] had a very public split with the conservative establishment in March of last year when he was booted from the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. Questions still linger as to the [...]