I don’t normally agree with the uber-conservative American Spectator — and vice versa (see here).   But there is, as they say, a first time for everything.

In a piece titled, “Norm Coleman’s Right-Wing CAP,” their assistant managing editor writes about the Center for American Progress (CAP), where I work:

Another feature that sets CAP apart from the right-wing organizations is its messaging operation. It was a leader in sending out a daily briefing and using blogs to disseminate research, which are both now common practices among think tanks. But it also took the unusual step of hiring professional bloggers to spread its ideas. Joseph Romm, a giant among environmental experts, blogs for their climateprogess.org. And CAP hired Matt Yglesias, a prominent young liberal blogger, away from the Atlantic to blog under their umbrella.

Thanks.  Let me tell you this kind of thing is very helpful around performance evaluation time.

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I do, of course, have to correct one mistake here, which long-time readers may spot….

I was not a professional blogger before CAP.  Indeed, I had never blogged before.

It was CAP’s idea for me to blog, and I started very part-time, posting once a day, if you can believe it.  Needless to say, I am rather grateful that they came up with the notion.

If you want to know more about CAP and its competition, I do recommend the Spectator piece and the piece it draws on, the NY Times “G.O.P. Group to Promote Conservative Ideas,” which begins:

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A group of prominent Republicans is forming an organization to develop and market conservative ideas, copying a successful Democratic model and hoping to capitalize on the fund-raising and electioneering possibilities opened up by a recent Supreme Court ruling.

The organizers, including former Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the senior policy adviser to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, describe their emerging American Action Network as a center-right version of the Center for American Progress, the six-year-old group for progressive policies that was founded by John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and an informal adviser to President Obama….

The conservatives’ policy shop will be headed by Mr. Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. In an interview last May, he said the Republican Party needed to be “more welcoming of different ideas.”

Holtz-Eakin is no John Podesta, that’s for sure — although at one time he agreed with CAP on cap-and-trade back in the good-old-days when his boss did (see McCain “might take [new CAFE standards] off the books”):

Cap and trade, Holtz-Eakin said, is the ideal solution by itself…. Asked if this position meant McCain would block implementation of new corporate average fuel economy requirements that President Bush signed into law last December, Holtz-Eakin replied, “He’s not proposing to eliminate those. He simply wants to check as time goes on if they become completely irrelevant. You might want to take them off the books [!!!], but we’re not there yet.”

Seriously.  Well, that qualifies as “different ideas,” though it might take some explaining to the anti-science idealogues.

Steve Benen of Washington Journal explains what is truly bizarre about the rationale offered for this new think tank:

When the idea for the Center for American Progress was first coming together, it was widely apparent to progressive leaders that the left lacked the intellectual infrastructure of the right. Conservatives already had plenty of think tanks — Heritage Foundation, AEI, Cato, and to a lesser extent, the Family Research Council — churning out right-wing ideas and serving as something of a farm team for Republican administrations and congressional leaders. The left decided it needed to keep up and create some parallel entities.And now the right looks at CAP and thinks, “Hey, we need one of those.”

The creation of this new think tank would seem to be a major slap in the face of Heritage, AEI, Cato, CEI, and so on — basically saying, you guys just aren’t cutting it in the internet era.

Ho.  Ho.  Ho.