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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Liberals Fear the Heritage Foundation and They Should

The other day on Morning Joe, Eugene Robison was on and lashed out at the Heritage Foundation for leading the fight against Obamacare. He, like many other concern trolling liberals, said “Heritage Foundation, for example, which, you know, you would think ought to be coming out with those sort of reasonable [health care] policies … now they’re like, one of the loudest voices thanks to Jim DeMint and Heritage, which used to be a real think tank, is is now this kind of shrill voice that’s not helping.”

Oh, good grief.

Heritage has been putting out mountains of research and policy solutions this year just like they have every year since the 1970′s. Liberals aren’t concerned about Heritage losing influence under Jim DeMint’s leaders; they are freaked out about Heritage’s rising power and they are trying to use establishment GOP handwringing over Heritage Action for America to talk down the Heritage Foundation.

The truth is that liberals have been jealous of Heritage for decades. Old Clinton hands admit to starting Center for American Progress to mirror Heritage on the left.

By the late 1990s, liberals were anxious to pull the party and the conversation back to the left. That was the idea behind CAP, as it founder, longtime Clinton adviser John Podesta, explained at the time. “One of the things that The Heritage Foundation, I think, has done a good job of is that they’ve gotten their people out into that public debate,” Podesta told National Public Radio in 2003. “They’ve had a strategy to not just come up with analysis, not just to write good ideas in papers and in academic journals but to actually get out and fight for the hearts and minds of the American people for public opinion. And that’s what we aim to do.”

Now that Heritage has combined top level conservative policy research with an aggressive activist and lobbying arm, Heritage Action, the left is in full panic (along with a good many members of the Republican Party suddenly finding themselves being held accountable for not practicing what they preach).

Witness this post at ThinkProgress (the blog for CAP’s version of Heritage Action) where they slobber in jealousy over Heritage’s success under Jim DeMint’s leadership and wish and dream they can create something similar on the left:

DeMint used traditional Washington tools — his Senate seat, a well-funded PAC, and an influential think tank — to parlay the Tea Party groundswell into real power for true believers. It’s the same cookbook that the original generation of Reagan-Goldwater-Buckley conservatives used to take over the Republican Party… Radical leftists have never had this kind of success infiltrating the American governance.

So whenever you hear liberals attack Heritage or Club for Growth or other critical conservative groups, understand they are scared of the power grassroots conservatives have built outside the status quo party structure. The left has succeeded in so much, except one area where Heritage Action, the Club, Senate Conservatives, etc. are winning — winning intra-party fights, including primaries. Witness the crash of Ned Lamont vs. the ascending of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and others.

K Street and Republican establishment? The left knows how to buy them off and make them capitulate (see the Chamber of Commerce and RNC working with AFLCIO and LaRaza on amnesty), but they can’t do that with Heritage and other groups. So they seek to destroy and peddle lies like Heritage doesn’t do research anymore. With DeMint arrived and Ed Feulner retired, suddenly liberals can praise the Heritage Foundation that was in contrast to the Heritage Foundation that is. It’s their oldest trick. Nixon was awesome once Reagan was in the White House. Then Reagan was awesome once the Bushes were in the White House. Etc.

On this argument about Heritage no longer generated research, I asked Heritage for some recent examples of health care work. Apparently, Robinson and other liberals don’t know how to pick up the phone or use the search function on www.Heritage.org. A sample of recent research is below.

This is exactly the kind of intellectual firepower that is critical to conservative success, and why Heritage has been pivotal to every serious conservative politician’s success since Ronald Reagan. And thanks to the great work of Heritage Action in promoting these conservative policies with grassroots and holding members accountable in Washington, conservatives are well poised for future victories.

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