David Frum's forced resignation from the right-wing think tank AEI has let the cat out of the bag. Frum's friend and fellow ex-AEI think-tanker Bruce Bartlett unburdens himself of the secret:
Since, he (Frum) 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's a good thing that the Democrats managed to pass a health insurance reform bill. Success brings more success and more popularity, and that might embolden them to craft actual progressive solutions to some the country's many pressing problems. Failure such as was sought from some quarters like FDL would have brought nothing good at all.
At the same time, people should recognize that the insurance reform that was passed was a conservative solution to the problem of medical coverage. A bill creating single payer or a strong national or state public option addition to the system would have been progressive legislation.
When you uncritically parrot the media's meme that this health insurance reform that the Democrats have passed is in any way progressive, you undermine the possibility for true progressive action in the future by helping them move the Overton Window ever rightward.