Frum Explains: He Was Forced Out by Donor Pressure
Friday, March 26, 2010 at 9:35 am
David Frum explains to Mike Allen his departure from the American Enterprise Institute. (Frum politely declined to explain much more about the situation to me last night.)
There’s a lot about the story I don’t really understand. But the core of the story is the kind of economic pressure that intellectual conservatives are under. AEI represents the best of the conservative world. [AEI President] Arthur Brooks is a brilliant man, and his books are fantastic. But the elite isn’t leading anymore. It’s trapped. Partly because of the desperate economic situation in the country, what were once the leading institutions of conservatism are constrained. I think Arthur took no pleasure in this. I think he was embarrassed. I think he would have avoided it if he possibly could, but he couldn’t.
I’ve got a copy of Brooks’ upcoming political book, “The Battle.” It’s the kind of thing that will please donors, but it really presents no challenge to GOP strategy and rhetoric. Meanwhile, as Frum tweeted last night, AEI has retained Jonah Goldberg and Marc Thiessen — two big names in conservatism, but not two who have criticized the party for failing to work with Democrats.
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