The New York Times has a nice news news feature today about the large internship program for young conservatives at the Heritage Foundation here on Capitol Hill. The facility even includes dorm rooms that are the envy of many, or so it seems. Reporter Jason DeParle has all kinds of fun trying to label the different think tanks in this city. Check this out, for example:
The Brookings Institution, a centrist group more than 50 years older than Heritage, has no paid interns. Neither does the Progressive Policy Institute, which promotes a centrist version of liberalism. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a premier antipoverty group, has 10 paid interns. People for the American Way, a bulwark of Beltway liberalism, has 40 -- but no dorm.
What, pray tell, is a "centrist version of liberalism"? And, on cultural issues, is Brookings in the center?
Ah, but this is almost beside the point. What is interesting about this story is that it is haunted. Something crucial is missing (or all but missing) and, methinks, this means that DeParle didn't get to the heart of some of the divisions in modern conservatism.
Check it out. Sense the ghost?