StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

David Frum and the Closing of the Conservative Mind

25 Mar 2010
Posted by Bruce Bartlett

As some readers of this blog may know, I was fired by a right wing think tank called the National Center for Policy Analysis in 2005 for writing a book critical of George W. Bush's policies, especially his support for Medicare Part D. In the years since, I have lost a great many friends and been shunned by conservative society in Washington, DC.

Now the same thing has happened to David Frum, who has been fired by the American Enterprise Institute. I don't know all the details, but I presume that his Waterloo post on Sunday condemning Republicans for failing to work with Democrats on healthcare reform was the final straw.

Since, he is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI "scholars" on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do.

It saddened me to hear this. 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, such as the one recently established by McCain economic adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin.

I will have more to say on this topic later. But I wanted to say that this is a black day for what passes for a conservative movement, scholarship, and the once-respected AEI.

Note: Further comments and clarification here and here.


 He's been AEI's "house liberal" for decades. He has also long gotten more press mentions than any other AEI fellow.

Frum and AEI

I have long admired Frum's work, although I confess to not having paid much attention to his critiques of Republicans and conservatives. Speaking as one of the AEI health policy scholars, however, the notion that we have been muzzled on health care reform is bizarre. So many op-eds, so many AEI pubs, so many media appearances and interviews and quotes ... I have to wonder whether David was quoted correctly on this point.

Sadly there is no place for us to go...

Welcome back to the Sacralized Private Sector, where rugged individualism and Social Darwinism reign and all good things come from the hottest refiner's fire of competitive reality. Is it so hard to leave the Public Sector of government service and 501(c)3 service (think-tanking). Is it not clear that the Public Sector is a corrupt, fetid corpse of self-preservation? At least that's the stated ideology of the Republican Party (except when it pays the bills nicely; see Gingrich, Armey, DeLay, Abramoff, et alia.)

Who's next?

Intrade should start taking bets on the next conservative to be purged from the movement. It's funny, though--I've been sitting here trying to think of candidates, and I can't. Most of the major conservatives (at least the ones who came to mind) are so much in lockstep that there's not much of anything to distinguish one from the other.

Maybe David Brooks, for being squishy? John Derbyshire, for being pro-choice and pro-science? Hard to say.


There won't be any more purges. The message has been sent clearly enough. Those desperate for a job because they have kids in college or whatever will know to keep their mouths shut and work only on issues where they don't disagree with the party line. I often hear from such people privately. I feel sorry for them.

Frum and You

I'm just really sad for David Frum and how painful this must be for him.

As another liberal reader of your site and FrumForum, what I like about both of you is that you occupy the same reality I do, where 2 + 2 = 4. You're both smart, interesting and honest. (Plus, I genuinely enjoy your site. I learn something every time I come here.)

It is really disturbing that there is no place for people like you and David Frum in one of the two major movements responsible for governing this country.

"It is really disturbing that

"It is really disturbing that there is no place for people like you and David Frum in one of the two major movements responsible for governing this country."

Speaking as a Democrat, I feel certain there would be a place for Bruce Bartlett in our ranks, as we mindlessly lead America into the dark night of Soviet-style communism.

C'mon Bruce, feel your anger. Embrace the power of the dark side of the force! Bwwaaaahaha!

The interesting thing to me

The interesting thing to me is that Frum's recent work was arguing that the Republicans should be doing now exactly what he and Bush did on Medicare Part D.

I realize that you're complaining about being open-minded, but it seems like first you complain that the Republicans are too much into supporting Medicare Part D, now you complain that they've abandoned the Medicare Part D model of compromise.

Part D

There was no compromise. Every Democrat voted against it. Get your facts straight.

Part D

That's actually not true. Small numbers of Democrats in the Senate (i.e. Ron Wyden) and the House (i.e. Cal Dooley) voted for Part D.

please be forthcoming with the facts please...

What the Democratic critics and apparently Bruce Bartlett fail to mention is that the Democratic alternative proposal to Medicare part D cost significantly more than the Bush proposal which was eventually enacted into law.

ah, but there is cost, and

ah, but there is cost, and there is revenue.
The Democrats keep proposing fiscally sound, paid for plans, not the unfunded plans intended to get paid for by some kind of trickle down voodoo thing...

'Dems keep proposing fiscally sound, paid for plans' Prove it...

The Democrats were pushing their own (unfunded) drug benefit through Congress as their big issue around the same time. The Republicans ran with the idea essentially stealing it from the Democrats. When it was all over, the Democratic cry was that Part D wasn't big enough.

The Republicans having only fifty-one Senators, passed part D in the Senate 76-21. The truth being that a majority of Democratic Senators voted "for" part D. The conferenced version passed the cloture vote 61-39.

So the Democrats certainly came on board in a bipartisan way and certainly share responsibility for enacting part D.

11 Democratic Senators and Jeffords voted for Part D

I'm sorry, I have my facts straight. 12 Democratic Senators and 16 House Members voted for Part D. Here's the official roll call.

Sens. Baucus (D-MT), Breaux (D-LA), Carper (D-DE), Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Jeffords (I-VT), Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln (D-AR), Miller (D-GA), Nelson (D-NE), and Wyden (D-OR)

Part D was also a "compromise plan," in that the Democratic alternative would have cost even more than the Republican plan.

I understand you criticizing Republicans for casting people out (though Frum himself was guilty of that quite a lot himself, as I recall his "Unpatriotic Conservatives" story about the war), but I think you're going a little too far here. Please don't accuse me of failing to have my facts straight.

Didn't you write a book about how bad Medicare Part D was?

Every Democrat voted against it. Get your facts straight.

Wow, are you nowhere close to correct. 11 Democratic Senators plus Independent Sen. Jeffords voted for Part D in the final roll call vote. (There was a cloture vote before that too, here I'm counting the final vote.)

Is that the kind of "getting your facts straight" that you do when you write books? I wouldn't mind so much (even your rudeness) if you hadn't written a book about it. Here I was thinking that your firing was a terrible injustice, but maybe it's because your factual standards are that low.

I'm also a little frustrated

I'm also a little frustrated that I have to get through a moderation queue (to prevent people from posting off-topic comments) in order to complain about groupthink and closed-mindedness.

Good Luck

I don't even know what else to say to you and Frum. You're like lost voices in the snowstorm of anti-intellectual Natavist (non) thinking. The Republican Party decided a while ago that winning was more important than either being right or working for the good of the country. And once you have a party decide that it wants to game the system, you have to hope that enough people see through it to punish the dishonesty.

The irony that the Democrats passed a HCR bill that was effectively a retooling of the Republican Ideas from 1993, to total Republican opposition in 2010 is one that shouldn't be lost. Nor the implications on the state of 'left' versus 'right' in the country today. The Right of 1993 is now the Left of today.

Sure there are other differences, but for HCR, it's obvious that The Democrats came around to Republican thinking, that maybe the Republican bill of 1993 was a really good place to start. Only to find the Republicans reflexively opposed the bill for no other reason than to try to deny a win for the Democrats.

The merits of the bill can be argued, but the Republicans aren't willing to do any honest debate, they simply want to win. Even if it hurts America.

In the end, people like you and Frum, may have to realize that the Republican party, as a party of rational thinking has been lost, and with a lot of conservative elements deciding that rather than staying in that toxic, hateful environment, it's better to join up with the Democrats until rational thought process appears, either in the Republican party, or in a third party that can take the mantle of Center Right without becoming beholden to Religion or Zealots on the fringe.

Slightly OT: Ornstein?

This is an OT question, and certainly a bit of a n00bish one, but I've always wondered: how does Norm Ornstein maintain his position at AEI? For decades, every time I read him in Roll Call or hear him on the radio, I can't fathom how he can continue to stay there year after year. He's like Cold War-era Berlin. Any light anyone can shed on this would be greatly appreciated.

More on-topic, as a fairly centrist Dem, I've enjoyed your writing for some time now, at least since Sully started linking to you. Frum not so much, since, as you note, he's toed the GOP party line too assiduously for my tastes until recently. Something definitely changed in his outlook over the last 6 months, and surveying his posts in the recent past, one can see how they led up to the angry brilliance of his Waterloo rant. As I've always been a Napoleonics buff, I greatly enjoyed the comparison of Obama with "Old Hook." In terms of personality, Obama and Wellington do appear to share more than a few traits.

Neocons are not conservatives

Like all things, politics exists on a continuum, and this is just as true of the center-to-right spectrum. Certain factions of the Right have been actively, if quietly, working since the 1980's to purge the Right of all moderates and of all those who understand that politics in a democracy is about working with opponents so as to try to arrive at the most good for the most people - the agenda of these factions is not the democratic politics of political cooperation, but rather, the politics of authoritarianism.

Mr. Frum is only a recent example of this long-term transformation of the American Right from a conservative wing into a corporatist authoritarian wing. Have we not seen this process before? Does history not show us examples of the political pre-emptive strike of accusing one's political opponents of being exactly what one's own agenda strives to be, the reason being that one can then loudly and publicly claim "persecution" when his own agenda is brought to light? Are we no longer aware of the previous use of claims to lawfulness, and of the law itself, to circumvent and then destroy and replace the law? Have we forgotten the power of lies that appeal directly to the mind's fear-centers, bypassing any and all rational analysis?

I don't have to use the now-shopworn sound-bite to say it. You know full well what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about conservatism or constitutional concerns; I'm talking about destructivism, about nihilism, about that which wishes to manipulate valid concerns, and fears, so as to destroy constitutional law, destroy democratic process, destroy first the rights of some and eventually the rights of all, and erect in their place the iron edifice of authoritarianism.

You know what I'm talking about. The question is, when faced with people who make it clear that their guns and bullets are to replace talk, will talk be all we have, all we do?

Mr. Bartlett, your country needs you

Your country needs you and those Republicans who hold similar views to fight against the growing wave of hysteria and ignorance being fostered by the likes of Glenn Beck. The policy debate is too important to be left in the hands of one party. That is what happens when the teabaggers yell and scream and throw temper tantrums: They, and their supporters, are excluded from the debate.

Mr. Bartlett, your party is in the midst of an identity crisis. One loud, stupid, and growing wing will spell ruin for the party and, should they (God forbid) gain power, the country. As intelligent, moderate conservatives, it is the duty of you and Mr. Frum to resist them.

You face an existential crisis. Now is not the time to meekly fade away.

Someday there will be a home for us

I left the Republicans straight away when Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition came around. I have never really found a political home since.

Hopefully one of the two parties will make a geniune attempt to speak to people who are socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Preferably before I die!

Centrists Unite

I read Obama's "Audacity of Hope" and was surprised and pleased at how thoughtful he was about issues and how he seemed to be driven by providing solutions rather than preaching ideology. I guess I'm a liberal since I believe in the power of government to help create a more level playing field for all Americans (although not a totally level one) against the wealthy and powerful, but I also believe fiercely in being self-sufficient. However, I despise the fact that our political discourse is being defined by idiots (Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter) and that the right is demanding ideological purity.

The American system of government was created by well-read, thoughtful, yet strong-willed people with ideas. These guys had strong disagreements, but they realized their collective strength in the give-and-take of reasoned debate. The current talking heads on TV and radio are destroying our country. Is it possible for you and like-minded conservatives to join with the Jim Webbs and Sam Nunns to create a new birth of America? Could there be a place for reasoned debate, or do we already have that on C-Span and PBS and the American public is just too drawn to red meat? At 54 years of age, I'm becoming increasingly concerned with the future of our country.

Sad time for America

I am further left on some policy than most Beltway Democrats (though not all policy), but I want to say that I've appreciated your writings, Mr. Bartlett. I've learned a lot, even when I disagree.

I'm not a great fan of the D.C. establishment of either party, and haven't been for quite a while. But while I don't have a lot of respect for the integrity or conviction of most top Democrats, I am revolted by the Republican party's strategy of repeating absolute lies over and over again, with no sense of responsibility or maturity.

For example -- during this healthcare debate, they promoted the idea of "death panels" and pretended to be defenders of Medicare -- a program they opposed vehemently in the past, then have tried to reduce and outright kill many times over.

Now they have decided to whip their base up with more hysteria, drama, and outright falsehoods. Shameful.

Sorry you and Frum are

Sorry you and Frum are feeling so sorry for yourselves, but that's the breaks. If you can't toe the company line, the company has the right to boot you. You and Frum are both crybabies.


No one denies that NCPA had the right to fire me, nor AEI's right to fire David. But think tanks like to pretend that that are like universities without the teaching. That implies a university-like tolerance for reasoned intellectual dissent. I'm just saying that they have no right to maintain such an appearance. Right wing think tanks today are mostly just research arms for the Republican National Committee. That's fine. But the work that comes out of them shouldn't be taken any more seriously than press releases from the RNC. They don't deserve to be treated as serious, scholarly organizations.

I think by "company" he means

I think by "company" he means the Republican Party and/or the conservative movement. Which says a lot about what's wrong with the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

Bruce, did you check out the

Bruce, did you check out the facts behind your accusation, or did you shoot from the hip?

Here are the "scholars" (as you'd have it) listed at AEI for the health care area:

Scholars on Health Care Policy
Joseph Antos
John E. Calfee
Newt Gingrich
Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Robert B. Helms
R. Glenn Hubbard
Aparna Mathur
Thomas P. Miller
Sally Satel, M.D.
Bill Thomas

Antos publicly commented on the Obama administration's health care proposals, in opposition to them. Calfee did the same. Gingrich did the same. Gottlieb did the same. Helms did the same. Hubbard did the same. Thomas did the same. Lots of these comments were in places like the WSJ and National Review, but I think those still count as public. That leaves Mathur, Miller and Satel. Miller is clearly expert in the area, and described the new law after passage as "coyote ugly", but perhaps there are some beautiful features in the ugly mess. So we're down to two, one of whom hasn't written much on health care at all, and another who hasn't written on health care financing.

Of course, now you can shift gears, and say that the unanimity is artifical, and also proves his point. But there's no reason for any of the rest of us to take you seriously.

I wouldn't echo the tone of this...

but the question seems fair - when I first read your post, I assumed there had been literally no statements by AEI health care people on HCR, or perhaps no interviews. But the site has a number of recent articles, as well as numerous press releases offering to connect journalists with AEI scholars on specific issues.

Perhaps you could clarify specifically what you meant?

I don't have any apologies

I don't have any apologies for the tone. Either Bruce is lying about what Frum said, or Bruce is passing on a lie from Frum. In either case, what Bruce said about AEI is a lie. There's no foundation for it at all, as you can tell by looking at AEI's website.

Intresting Report

Dear Mr. Bartlett,

I admire your commitment to intellectual honesty and freedom that so much of the conservative movement now lacks. A vibrant conservative movement would greatly improve American political and policy debates.

Thank you for your service.

Frum tells you something in

Frum tells you something in confidence and you betray that confidence because you want the world to know you may have been terminated under similar circumstnaces?

You're probably shunned by conservative society and losing friends for more reasons than you are willing to admit.

You sound like a bitter old man.

Fired is another word for Freedom

This has an easy solution.

Don't go to the cocktail parties. Don't ask for acceptance. Don't fret being shunned. Start a blog.

Michael Yon

Bill Lind "left" the Free

Bill Lind "left" the Free Congress Foundation in December of last year, as well. While I vehemently disagree with a great deal of his thought, it definitely is thought. And Fourth Generation Warfare theory was a brilliant formulation, a genuine advance in military strategy.

doughnut hole in US politics

Bruce --

I have been a longtime admirer of yours as well as of David Frum's, and it's no surprise that both of you have been marginalized by the ideological conservative, and the Republican Party they control.

What has befallen you both is, I think, an inevitable byproduct of the transformation of the Republican Party over the past 10-15 years. The GOP has essentially cut itself off from its own past, and particularly from the tradition of fiscal conservatism where I'd locate you and David. The problem that faces the US is that it desperately needs a return to fiscal stability, but that neither party as now constituted can provide that. The Democrats are almost inherently incapable of making cutbacks -- it's not in their party DNA -- and the Republicans are too much in the grip of ideological rigidity to face the necessity of raising some taxes as well as cutting certain pet areas of government spending such as defense.

I see you and David as firmly in the Dwight Eisenhower tradition of fiscally responsible Republicanism, but that's now more or less extinct in the US. I'd love to believe that there's some way to revive that wing of the GOP, but I don't see it happening, for all the reasons you mention. Perhaps the outlook may change when our bond auctions start failing. But until then I hope you and David will manage to make some impact by holding up lanterns to attract the honest.

Business Interests

I'd like to know to what degree are so-called conservative institutions funded to support viewpoints that have the effect of defending existing enterprises whose business models are at risk of being commoditized in some respect or another by societal action.

Insurance is a prime example. One of the founders of Heritage was one RM Davis who made his fortune financing insurance companies.

Offering health insurance is no longer rocket science. As a society, one of our options is to provide our citizens with health insurance in the same way we provide them with, say, interstate highways.

The AEIs and Heritages of the world, and the current GOP, would make the case that we lose our freedoms by doing that. True or not, their insurance industry funders certainly see a risk to cash flows. And other entrenched actors would not enjoy increased attention (into the details of why US healthcare costs are so much higher than in other developed nations) that might arise under a publicly financed system.

One wonders: whose interests are being protected, RM Davis's or the mutlitude of citizens who are not owners of equity in insurance companies?

Our Democratic party really

Our Democratic party really is a large tent to accommodate you and Fru, and will always have a place for differing views.

But just curious; why are you complaining about a movement you helped create, anyway?

Conservative Is A State Of Mind... is not a party.

Unfortunately, progressive liberals have set the stage where the only hope to return America to her Constitutional foundation with its inherent ideology of personal responsibility is to vote GOP in November.

As one who refuses to affiliate with ANY political party, I see the goal now must simply be for we, the people, to properly vet all candidates ourselves. Stop relying on the GOP or DNC to do it for us and think that showing up on November 2nd and checking off a box is enough. For the truth is that neither party knows better and if we want properly qualified candidates, not puppets of either political machine, we have to be willing to go out and get our proverbial hands dirty.

Until free speech is silenced (gods forbid), there is plenty of room at the table for independent observers of the game of American politics. And those voices are going to be crucial when making that important decision on which box to check next November. Don't think that only the Democrats find their pants all wee-wee'd up these days as their approval rating continues to plummet; Republicans are already seeing their warmed-over menu choices being turned down in favor of average-American conservatives. IMNSHO it is precisely the independent voices that can help bring them all properly to heel.

sorry to hear this

i am a left-leaning independent and think there is a very important place for center-right discourse that is intelligent, questioning of platitudes and a counter to the Dem lock on all levers of power. But that is nowhere to be found. All you get from the right, with the exception of a couple of TV pundits, is a mindless, narrow-minded refusal to engage and be constructive. this is very sad. i feel like we are headed for a third party made of moderate conservatives, leaving the Republican party in the hands of knuckle-dragging bigots who will drag it all the way back to the 15th century. maybe this is not a bad thing.

You Cannot Be Serious

is the famous John McEnroe.

While you are free to disagree with Bush or conservatives or whomever, your stifling of dissent comments sound ridiculous to me.

That's Obama; That's Pelosi; That's the Democratic Party.

I am independent, center right.

Bush did the right thing foreign policy wise (generally speaking). That you seem to think Obama has it right is downright frightening.

You are entitled to your views; but no need to besmirch conservatives in general b/c your elitist little think tank thingy didn't quite work out for you,

Frum here to eternity

DeMint conservative= citizen of rightwingnutistan.

There aren't any principled conservatives left in public office at the national level. Anyone who can support tax cuts that just add to the deficit, waging 2 wars without paying for them, and starting a new entitlement with no funding stream (medicare d) can be a republican (actually must be one) but can no longer be considered a conservative if the term has any meaning.

Just Please Keep Speaking Out

Bruce and David: I don't agree with you folks on everything, but I respect you for being intellectually honest (especially Bruce). Seems in the Era of Bobblehead Palin and Crazy Glenn, that isn't allowed by the elites of the Right. The worship of crazed ignorance. Something is very wrong if that is what actually sells these days.

Second the notion

Hi Bruce,
Found you via Jonathan Chait. Thanks for the post.

I second (or third?) the notion of a good opposition party. I'm tired of voting against a party. I'd much rather vote for a candidate.

Regarding the funding -- I can't help but feel its a "If you build it, they will come" kind of thing, especially given today's Internet fundraising. In my personal circles, I know quite a number of people who stick with the the Dems mostly because they can't stand the Republicans, but who have plenty of idealogical disagreement with them.

Good luck!

Goldwater, GHWB... you!

I had a brief exchange with Patrick Ruffini earlier on Twitter, where I mentioned that the individual mandate was a 90s-GOP idea, supported then by Senators Hatch, Grassley and others (who oppose it now!) Ruffini's take: that idea did not belong to the "modern conservative movement."

Cheney, Palin, Limbaugh, Beck etc. run the show, claiming to be the descendants of Reagan (maybe they are, I don't know), and anybody who does not toe the purist, Christian conservative line - Goldwater, Papa Bush, Frum, you - are excommunicated (as a Church might...!) And folks like Ruffini just follow their lead. Sad.

Good luck!

Second the notion

Hi Bruce,
Found you via Jonathan Chait. Thanks for the post.

I second the notion (made by an earlier poster) of American needing a good opposition party. I'm tired of voting against a party. I'd much rather vote for a candidate.

Regarding the funding -- I can't help but feel its a "If you build it, they will come" kind of thing, especially given today's Internet fundraising. In my personal circles, I know quite a number of people who stick with the the Dems mostly because they can't stand the Republicans, but who have plenty of idealogical disagreement with them.

Good luck!

Conservatism has been destroyed by nationalism

It is tragic to see voices like yours and David's drummed out of the "conservative" movement. It has been happening for a long time, but the American conservatism has become merely a cover for nationalism. This health care bill desperately needed engagement by true (as in Burke and John Lukacs)conservatives, but the Republican Party abdicated completely.

The electorate voted resoundingly for Obama and a platform that included health care reform. Conservatives should have worked with him (and I do believe he was willing to do so), at the least for the sake of the nation.

The Republican party is being (has been) taken over by Know-Nothing nativism and nationalism. This is appalling. It leaves a huge gap in the political discussion that can only be filled by voices such as yours and David's. Please keep speaking. The time will come when this populist nationalism has run its course.

Randy Foote


It's hard for anyone watching the theatrics of the right-wing in this country to come to any other conclusion than this:

Republicans = The worst America has to offer

A forgetten part of the conservative lexicon


Joe Scarborough used it in his keynote speech at the Cato Institute, specifically in reference to Bush the Elder's restraint of some MacArthur-esque generals during the First Gulf War. While I believe that Joe is an asshole, he made some very compelling points in his address (see ).

What we have now is no longer the "Grand Old Party" but the John Birch Party, minus the focus on fluoridation. Just take a look at the results of the Harris Poll of a few weeks ago:

Majorities of Republicans believe he is a socialist, he wants to completely end gun ownership rights, and that he is Muslim. 45% think he was not born in the United States, and 42% believe he is a racist.

And as the recent documentary "Waiting for Armageddon" elucidates, there are about 50 million evangelical Christians in the U.S. and of those about 15M are "end-of-times" Zionist Christians. Thanks to their concentration in rural districts/states, combined with what appears to be exceptional political involvement and high voting percentages, they form powerful political coalitions that are essential to Republican electoral success.

David Frum has correctly noted that right-wing commentators like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are pushing the conservative base to new extremes and Republican politicians are largely trying to ride the wave (guys like radical Kings Pete and Steve are more of the exception, as I see it). Prudent fiscal conservatism is being subsumed by a coalition of corporatist interest groups, militarist groups like Liz Cheney's "Keep America Safe" foundation, and extremist religious groups, e.g. those who funded Prop 8 in California.

I doubt we will see Eisenhower Republicanism again in our lifetimes.

Oh my god! This is where the

Oh my god! This is where the reasoned memeners of the GOP have retreated to! Please take your party back so together we can debate and run this country! ~ Best, Rob

You're welcome

to join the dark side! If you believe in creating conditions that actually help small businesses and encourage entrepreneurial spirit in this country, you're more than welcome in the Democratic party. We are a big tent party and we welcome debate and dissent in our ranks. As a liberal, I strongly support policies that make it easier for creative people to start their own businesses and thrive. I also believe that the best way to do that is to provide the American people with a quality education, affordable and adequate health care, and up-to-date, high quality infrastructure that enables people to get their ideas and products to the market in an efficient manner... all while maintaining a safety net for those who fall through the cracks.
If we create a citizenry that is happy, healthy, and well educated, business will prosper!
So, I welcome you to join the Democratic party and make American business thrive and make opportunity for all a reality!

Bartlett and Frum Are Not Alone

In my opinion the University of Delaware has without a doubt the most reactionary department of economics in the country with the possible exception of George Mason University. Despite its modest size an amazingly abnormal number of our economists signed both the letter endorsing McCain in the 2008 presidential campaign and the Boehner letter opposing the discretionary fiscal stimulus.

It's a simple matter to do the count and calculate the proportions. In other words qhat I'm saying is easily corroborated with just a little bit of mathematics.

I am, alas, a Roosevelt Democrat and an all but dissertation PhD student in economics at UD. Thus they elected not to allow me to teach Macro despite the fact it was my specialty (they were in mortal terror that I would mention the concept of "unemployment") and they eventually took me off teaching altogether because of my well known reality biased views (despite having a 4.6/5.0 on enthusuasm and a 4.0/5.0 on effectiveness in my teaching evaluations). GPA was not an issue either as I have a 3.67. Nor were other requirements as I have passed the comprehensive and field exams.

Despite the fact that I am not a conservative my circumstances help illustrate a mentality that is currently pervasive in conservative culture. As Bruce put it, "rigid conformity is being enforced, no dissent is allowed, and the conservative brain will slowly shrivel into dementia if it hasn't already."

In my case they got rid of me rather than honestly face the challenge of an alternative point of view. This failure to openly and honestly face any challenge is a symptom of a large and growing failure.

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