Sunday, March 1, 2009

Newt. Again.

A Democrat's -- and a Liberal's dream.

FOR CONSERVATIVES, who have traditionally valued their grand theorists more than their campaign consultants, the buildings that house Washington’s premier think tanks are like a second set of grand monuments, symbols of a movement built on brash ingenuity. The Cato Institute, headquarters of the nation’s libertarian academy, occupies a stunning steel-and-glass tower on Massachusetts Avenue, boasting the kind of light-filled, contemporary opulence you would expect to find in Silicon Valley. The American Enterprise Institute displays a tasteful logo outside its longtime offices on 17th Street, where some 200 employees and 90 scholars confront the issues of the day a few blocks from tony Dupont Circle. And several blocks from the Capitol stands the beast of them all, the almost mythical Heritage Foundation, with its $60 million budget and eight-story complex, complete with housing for 60 interns, two auditoriums and two broadcast studios. Heritage is the Parthenon of the conservative metropolis, the names of its founding donors inscribed on the lobby wall for history to remember.

Heritage has this catchy motton on its website: the Left is on the march. Heritage has the answers. That's drawing the line. Cato almost seems to be leaning left of left: Obama's Iraq Withdrawal: Not Quick Enough?. AEI isn't sure. Perhaps Comrade, er, President Obama has the ideologues back on their heels. And some of the party faithful do not hold them in high regard.

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