A reader writes:
"Your post, "Republican Degeneracy Watch" is a headline in search of a story. Cato and CAGW and other think tanks, left and right, have identifiable agendas. These agendas coincide with various other groups’ agendas. We are to be surprised, shocked, disheartened when the relevant groups support the think tanks with whom they agree or the think tanks that will promote their side? Let’s not imply a scandal where there is none.
Should we expect that all think tank funding be ideologically driven? It is very difficult even to untangle the relationship between interests and ideology. Circumstances, to a large extent, drive people’s ideology. Most members of the teacher’s union are ideologically opposed to vouchers. Most union members are ideologically in favor of higher minimum wages. Pornographers are strong promoters of the first amendment right to free speech, as they interpret it. Big farmers support ag policy that includes generous subsidies…
All will insist that their position is independent of their particular status. “Even if I weren’t an administrator in a public school I would still be opposed to vouchers… etc. As long as the think tanks do not engage in direct lobbying activity and various other restrictions they are ok. CAGW was doing what think tanks do promoting their agenda that happened to be to in line with what big tobacco wanted to promote. Big Deal."