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American Spectator has nice things to say about me!

By Joe Romm on February 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm

"American Spectator has nice things to say about me!"

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New conservative policy shop to be headed by a one-time supporter of cap-and-trade!!

I don’t normally agree with the uber-conservative American Spectator — and vice versa (see here).   But there is, as they say, a first time for everything.

In a piece titled, “Norm Coleman’s Right-Wing CAP,” their assistant managing editor writes about the Center for American Progress (CAP), where I work:

Another feature that sets CAP apart from the right-wing organizations is its messaging operation. It was a leader in sending out a daily briefing and using blogs to disseminate research, which are both now common practices among think tanks. But it also took the unusual step of hiring professional bloggers to spread its ideas. Joseph Romm, a giant among environmental experts, blogs for their climateprogess.org. And CAP hired Matt Yglesias, a prominent young liberal blogger, away from the Atlantic to blog under their umbrella.

Thanks.  Let me tell you this kind of thing is very helpful around performance evaluation time.

I do, of course, have to correct one mistake here, which long-time readers may spot….

I was not a professional blogger before CAP.  Indeed, I had never blogged before.

It was CAP’s idea for me to blog, and I started very part-time, posting once a day, if you can believe it.  Needless to say, I am rather grateful that they came up with the notion.

If you want to know more about CAP and its competition, I do recommend the Spectator piece and the piece it draws on, the NY Times “G.O.P. Group to Promote Conservative Ideas,” which begins:

A group of prominent Republicans is forming an organization to develop and market conservative ideas, copying a successful Democratic model and hoping to capitalize on the fund-raising and electioneering possibilities opened up by a recent Supreme Court ruling.

The organizers, including former Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the senior policy adviser to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, describe their emerging American Action Network as a center-right version of the Center for American Progress, the six-year-old group for progressive policies that was founded by John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and an informal adviser to President Obama….

The conservatives’ policy shop will be headed by Mr. Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. In an interview last May, he said the Republican Party needed to be “more welcoming of different ideas.”

Holtz-Eakin is no John Podesta, that’s for sure — although at one time he agreed with CAP on cap-and-trade back in the good-old-days when his boss did (see McCain “might take [new CAFE standards] off the books”):

Cap and trade, Holtz-Eakin said, is the ideal solution by itself”¦. Asked if this position meant McCain would block implementation of new corporate average fuel economy requirements that President Bush signed into law last December, Holtz-Eakin replied, “He’s not proposing to eliminate those. He simply wants to check as time goes on if they become completely irrelevant. You might want to take them off the books [!!!], but we’re not there yet.”

Seriously.  Well, that qualifies as “different ideas,” though it might take some explaining to the anti-science idealogues.

Steve Benen of Washington Journal explains what is truly bizarre about the rationale offered for this new think tank:

When the idea for the Center for American Progress was first coming together, it was widely apparent to progressive leaders that the left lacked the intellectual infrastructure of the right. Conservatives already had plenty of think tanks — Heritage Foundation, AEI, Cato, and to a lesser extent, the Family Research Council — churning out right-wing ideas and serving as something of a farm team for Republican administrations and congressional leaders. The left decided it needed to keep up and create some parallel entities.And now the right looks at CAP and thinks, “Hey, we need one of those.”

The creation of this new think tank would seem to be a major slap in the face of Heritage, AEI, Cato, CEI, and so on — basically saying, you guys just aren’t cutting it in the internet era.

Ho.  Ho.  Ho.

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9 Responses to American Spectator has nice things to say about me!

  1. David B. Benson says:

    Uh, you’re sure being mentioned by these folks is a good thing?

    [JR: Compared to what they normally say about me....]

  2. BT Turner says:

    The plain language of “hiring professional bloggers to spread its ideas” is ambiguous. It could easily mean that when they hired you to write posts on a blog, you became a professional blogger, regardless of what you did before.

    [JR: Well, the "mistake" was pointed out to me by others who read it the way it seems to be meant. Yglesias was a professional blogger beforehand, and I wasn't. In any case, I don't consider it a big mistake, but at the very least, the ambiguity is misleading and I wanted to set the record straight. These things do have a way of taking on a life of their own.]

  3. Jeff Huggins says:

    Very Interesting — I Wonder Whether They “Get It”?

    Good thinking isn’t the same as superficial ideology.

    Thinking that is grounded in science, excellent reasoning, internal coherence (in combination with those other things), and so forth is not the same as choosing what one WANTS to be correct and then coming up with rationalizations for that and messaging strategies to convey whatever BS results.

    So, is the (apparent or implied) dissatisfaction with the existing right-wing “think tanks” that they don’t recognize science, and other facts, and that they don’t reason well, and that they don’t propose responsible and effective policies, OR is it that they don’t communicate BS well, using the latest “messaging” strategies and on-line techniques?

    How can any of these places think of themselves as “think tanks” when they don’t recognize basic findings of the scientific community, when they don’t admit that a free market can’t “recognize” and address a key element in a situation if that element has no price or cost attached to it, and so forth?

    Some of these places are redefining what it is to “think”, by not doing it while claiming that they are.

    Sigh,

    Jeff

  4. Richard Brenne says:

    Just to get your CV straight, Joe, you were the Jolly Green Giant before or after MIT, Scripps and RMI? And what exactly were you wearing there and why?

    (Can anyone else tell it’s time for me to get back to work on my book? Climate Progress is my crack or crystal meth.)

    [JR: Don't you watch "Lost"? It's time travel!]

  5. The conservaties’ policy shop will be headed by Mr. Holtz-Eakin … he said the Republican Party needed to be “more welcoming of different ideas.”

    So, given that last bit, do we think this fellow’s tenure will be measured in days or hours?

  6. sailrick says:

    Speaking of right wing “think” tanks, have you been reading the editorials by Thomas Sowell, of the Hoover Institute? I’ve been visiting LA recently and have read one editorial in the Daily News, where he uses the term histeria to discribe concerns about global warming three or four time in the same article.
    On Feb 2nd, in his editorial against health care reform and minimum wages, (the title of which is “Our politicians live in a kind of wonderland”) he drags out the old canard about how minimum wages increase unemployment ( which of course has never ever happened in the history of minimum wages). He asks readers to “stop and think” before starting in on the most amazing pretzel logic about why insurers shouldn’t have to insure some people and why minimum wages shouldn’t be mandated. He may be right about politicians living in a wonderland, but so apparantly does he.

  7. Marion Delgado says:

    How big is that alleged giant, by the way? 6’5″? If those people are to scale with normal green beans, and he’s only a giant compared to them?

  8. Stuart says:

    As I started reading the post I thought “Joe works for Norm Coleman?! No way!” and luckily I read the rest and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

    While ol’ Norm is not a complete troglodyte, I am sure if the GOP found out he was behind a blog like this he would be stoned as a heretic.

    I’m just happy there is now a real (and snarky) progressive in the seat once held by Paul Wellstone.

  9. Richard Brenne says:

    Marion (#7) -

    Good call on the Giant only being 6’5″, but we sometimes forget his excellent post moves and rebounding for that height. And the trampling of countless villagers. . .