You may have guessed that I would tend to disagree with much (if not all) of what the Heritage Foundation and now former Senator Jim DeMint have to say. I don't think that either of them do anything to raise the level of discourse in the country or around Washington and I certainly have my doubts about any whether they do any real thinking.
Ezra Klein has a good run down on DeMint's appointment as the head of Heritage and the death of Think Tanks...
To state the obvious, you don’t name Jim DeMint head of your think tank because you’re trying to improve the quality of your scholarship. You name DeMint head of your think tank because you’re trying to become the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party.There's the kernel of a great idea behind the notion of Think Tanks, that they could develop new and innovative solutions to policy challenges that the nation faces and that politicians in office don't have the time, knowledge, or courage to work on or propose. Instead they seem to operate more like well staffed SuperPAC's these days and it's a shame. Read the whole piece above for a quick look at the situation, it won't take you long.
There’s much that DeMint can bring to his new job as president of the Heritage Foundation. Deep connections with lawmakers. Genuine respect from the Tea Party. An immense talent for fundraising. A keen political sense. He might make the Heritage Foundation, which is already an able and effective advocate, a much more powerful force in Republican Party politics. But he will not make it a more respected force in the world of ideas.
There are good ideas out there and we need them.