The Heritage response really seems to boil down to two things:
- How dare you question the Heritage Foundation; and,
- Don't you know who we are?
Unfortunately for the Heritage Foundation, the response, which accuses me of "misstating [their] writings" dodges, ducks, and weaves around my post.
First, and I think this is telling, I wrote:
The Heritage Foundation was instrumental in getting RomneyCare passed in Massachusetts. Because the program had Heritage’s blessing, it gave conservatives cover to support it. The plan is now sinking the Massachusetts budget. Why? Because all legislation is part of a series of compromises. Heritage laid a foundation onto which special interests and others could add heaping piles of dung — all the while with Heritage’s imprimatur on the plan. Now the dung heap that is RomneyCare, as passed by the Democrats in the Massachusetts General Assembly is a stinking, flaming pile of budgetary pooh.
The Heritage response cannot bring itself to admit or even address that reality.
Sadly, though, the far left Mother Jones not only points it out, but notes some of the central parts of Barack Obama's healthcare plan come from the Heritage Foundation.
Second, the Heritage Foundation says
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank that prides itself in offering better policy solutions from a free-market perspective. It is our responsibility to assess legislative proposals in Washington, research them and offer our members the best analysis available in America.
In other words, "don't you know we are above politics? Don't you know who we are?"
As I stated in my original post that the Heritage Foundation seems to think totally misstates their position, "The Democrat proposal is nothing like what Heritage suggested, just with bits and pieces from Heritage’s proposal thrown in so people like Enzi have something to vote for."
This all goes to the overarching point: Whether the Heritage Foundation likes it or not, they are part of the political dialogue. If they were not part of the political dialogue, why is Stuart Butler running around defending Ezekiel Emanuel from Sarah Palin?
He just can't help himself — that's why. Stuart Butler wants it both ways. He wants to be a part of the political conversation without actually being a part of the political conversation.
The Heritage Foundation is having its own work used against them in the healthcare debate. Now it's having its own terminology used against them.
And yet, based on their response, they are perfectly happy keeping on keeping on because — don't we know who they are — they are a think tank and they must keep thinking.
The Heritage Foundation, trying to separate its big ideas from the politics of the day, is being just as unconnected from reality in its ivory tower as Barack Obama is in his.
This is the real world. Words do matter. And the Heritage Foundation, trying to be helpful, is giving cover to a host of Republicans who desperately want to vote for something, anything to say they supported healthcare reform.
The Heritage Foundation has not learned its lesson from the Massachusetts healthcare debate and, consequently, will become useful idiots to the left in the national healthcare debate. The Heritage Foundation, because of political tin ears among its healthcare scholars, is adding confusion in the political discussion.
That is terribly, terribly unfortunate because the Heritage Foundation continues to be the leader of ideas for our movement. But having decided to remove themselves from the reality of the political conversation in order to take a high minded path devoid of reality, they have left themselves open to Democrats subverting their message.
Lastly, and the key here — note how the media is talking about Democrats embracing cooperatives. It takes a lot longer for the Heritage Foundation to explain that all away than it does the media saying "Democrats, like the Heritage Foundation, are now embracing cooperatives."
It was and remains a stupid decision and an inane defense on the part of a very noble organization. It must be said.