Why Does The Right Need a New Think Tank


I endorse all of Tim Fernholz’s criticisms of Matt Bai’s piece on the new American Action Network, which is supposed to be a conservative answer to CAP/AF.

But to add a criticism of my own, I think the issue reporters and analysis ought to be asking about the idea of a “CAP of the right” is why it is that the right perceives a need for such a thing. When CAP launched, it was shorthanded as “the Heritage of the left” and the Heritage Foundation is still there. As is AEI. Of course there were progressive think tanks and advocacy organizations before CAP, but I think I can give you a pretty clear and cogent explanation of why there was a perceived need for a new one. There really was no other organization designed to do what CAP does. ANA, if I understand it correctly, is supposed to do exactly what Heritage and AEI are supposed to be doing. If they’re ineffective, then why is that? Maybe starting a new group is the most effective way to respond to whatever those problems are, but it would be interesting to know what the problem is supposed to be. The more I hear about it, the more it sounds like the problem ANA is supposed to address is the fact that Norm Coleman and Doug Holtz-Eakin don’t have jobs at the moment.