But when Erickson has allies in New York and Washington? Let's return to Erickson's thoughts on the Heritage Foundation as an example:
The Heritage Foundation set the stage for Ronald Reagan. Without
Heritage, no doubt Reagan could have won. But Reagan's ideas and
policies were incubated in the Heritage Foundation.
Heritage was the
foundation of the Reagan Revolution.
Unlike many leaders in the conservative movement, Ed Feulner has
actually led all the way. He did not pass off his role to be just a
figure head. He has been engaged. He kept and is keeping conservatism
alive well past Reagan, through reading a lie off George H. W. Bush's
lips, through Bill Clinton's triangulation, even to now during this
superficial revival of American liberalism in politics and popular
culture. Like a monk preserving knowledge in the dark ages in a
monestary, Ed Feulner turned the Heritage Foundation into a monastery of
conservatism making sure the timeless principles of Burke and Kirk and
Hayek and Reagan found the intellectual footing to advance philosophy
into policy and policy into politics.
More importantly, Ed Feulner did it right. He has not left without
making sure his organization could stand without him. In doing so, he
made probably the boldest move since his founding -- aligning an
organization many, including myself, have criticized in the past decade
as becoming too aligned with the GOP at the expense of conservatism
itself and stumbling on health care policy, with the grassroots of the
conservative movement. It is a near phoenix like move.
It appears that when Erickson is allied with you or your organization, residence in D.C. or New York is no obstacle to helping reform conservatism, even if you're much more a part of the D.C. establishment than young pundits whose northeastern location renders them ideologically unclean.
Geography isn't the only reason Erickson would have us ignore Barro:
Barro has never had a job in responsible policymaking or politics of any
kind. He has worked no campaigns. He has answered to no constituency.
He has enacted no ideas into policy, ever. He is a wholly inexperienced
nitpicker and scold of the sort that Theodore Roosevelt admonished us --
rightly -- to ignore as pitiable and irrelevant. And the sad part is that he's just the latest in a long line of 'those cold and timid souls.
I don't know that the resume sketch is accurate, but notice the strangeness of the critique. One minute, it's inside-the-Beltway types who are worthless. The next, it's disqualifying to have never had a job in policymaking. And how consistently does Erickson employ the latter standard? "The way I see it, Rush Limbaugh is a fighter," he wrote just last month in a post touting his supposed value to the Tea Party's reform efforts. There are standards to disqualify pundits Erickson disagrees with, and very different standards for the pundits Erickson regards as allies.