Heritage Foundation senior foreign policy analyst John Hulsman, who was fired for criticizing the President's policies, describes the idyllic atmosphere inside the think tank to TNR's Spencer Ackerman:
When [Hulsman] arrived [at Heritage] in 1999 to revitalize its European studies program, Heritage seemed an exciting and intellectually open place to work. "It was always a big tent," he remembers. "There was a sense that you had authoritarians, neocons, realists and libertarians, all bubbling along."
As the Sesame Street song goes, one of these things is not like the others. Hint: It's the one Merriam-Webster Online defines as "(1) of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority; (2) of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people."
This is the most important conservative think tank in Washington. Isn't it a big deal when a former Heritage analyst describes members of its staff as authoritarian?
Postscript: Back in 2002, David Broder, the "dean" of the Washington press corps, wrote that Heritage and the Cato Institute's "usefulness in Washington politics stems from their intellectual honesty and their willingness to question conventional wisdom, even when their friends are in power," ignoring ample evidence of Heritage's intellectual dishonesty. Hulsman's firing perfectly illustrates the extent to which Heritage is willing to "question conventional wisdom, even when their friends are in power." Anyone think Broder will reconsider?
Correction 8/10 10:42 PM: As Mungowitz points out in comments, the original version of this post inadvertently stated that Broder ignored "ample evidence of their [Heritage and Cato's] intellectual dishonesty." It has been corrected to say "Heritage's intellectual dishonesty" above, which was the point I was trying to make (hence the link to a Spinsanity article about Heritage). Apologies for the error.