Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Think Tanks Being Rethought

The Wall Street Journal today is reporting on the developing story of the hard times the conservative think tank industry has apparently fallen on.

According to some estimates, the cost of keeping zombie right-wing ideas up and running has nearly tripled in just one election cycle.

Said Dr. Richard Armour from the American Foundation Enterprise Institute Research Center, a boutique think tank specializing in anti-science ideas, “As just one small example of the astronomical number of financial Catch 22s the conservative think tank industry’s numbers crunchers are dealing with these days, the more truckloads of money we spend convincing America that you have to pay your best people truckloads of money, the more truckloads of money our think tanks need to pay their best people or everybody’s going to stop buying the high-dollar zombie idea that you need to pay your best people truckloads of money.

“The cost of protecting our investment in skyrocketing CEO compensation is just skyrocketing. The American Foundation Enterprise Institute Research Center is paying me seven figures for god sake. We can’t afford that and expect to keep keeping alive all the ideas running counter to modern science—not with all the big government money all the Poindexters and propeller heads have at their disposal.”

Said Shane Baxter from the Liberty Freedom Eagle Patriot Group, “Even the name of our industry is just killing our bottom line.

“Think about it. Our think tanks only work if the people we’re working on don’t think. And these right-wingers, in case you hadn’t noticed, are a highly suggestible bunch.

“So when the word ‘think’ keeps coming up every time a conservative think tank gets mentioned in the liberal media, well guess what, these people just keep putting their thinking caps on and we keep pouring more and more millions into life support for all the ideas that thinking tends to kill.

“It literally strikes me dumb sometimes how dumb we’re being. We’ve spent how many billions of dollars spreading an anti-intellectual fervor across the land and we go with ‘think tank’ as the generic name for our various ideological enterprises?

“It literally boggles the mind. We all call ourselves think tanks and yet we can’t even think up the idea that it might be time we had our wonderboy Frankie Luntz dream up something to call us other than ‘think tank’.

“Something along the lines of truth tank maybe. Or common sense tank. Or even belief or faith tank. Anger tank wouldn’t be too bad.

“Sometimes I wonder if maybe we all haven’t been pushing these zombie ideas a little too long. I think it might be having a bad effect on our ability to formulate ideas that actually make some damn sense.”

Said Heritage Foundation president and former Republican Senator Jim DeMint, “In our shop for the first time ever we’ve had to move to a managed care system of life support delivery.

“Certainly it helps that the media is doing more for us than ever before to help keep our zombie ideas on their feet, but gone are the days that we can afford for every single idea coming out of our think tanks to fly blatantly in the face of empirical reality.

“And now there’s even talk of big government trying some kind of a cap and trade type of deal where think tanks start bearing some of the cost of all the so-called toxic ideological hooey in the air.

“What kills me is this pretty pass we’re at could not have come at a worse time. Roaming around out there right now even as we speak are some of the most important zombie ideas this nation has ever desperately needed to keep alive and well.

“Lord help us when we start pulling the plug on the idea that money trickles down, or that you can tax cut your way to general prosperity, or that government’s the problem, or that now is the time for austerity, or that it’s the greed of the Takers making life miserable for the Makers.

“What’s going to become of America when her conservative think tanks get too cash-strapped to even keep alive the idea that it’s the liberals whose ideas are just killing this country?”

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