Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recommended Reading

If you've followed domestic politics for the past few years, you know how the increasingly bitter, take-no-prisoners brand of politicking in Washington can be tied to the rise of the Tea Party and the calls for ideological "purity" on the right. What you may not be aware is the role of right wing think tank the Heritage Foundation (from whence the infamous "individual mandate" originated) in this process, and more specifically its lobbying operation, Heritage Action.

While former Senator Jim "Waterloo" DeMint, who famously vacated his seat to head up Heritage earlier this year, has been the most public face, its young president Michael Needham has been just as integral in propagating the kind of fire-breathing rhetoric that's made the job of day-to-day legislating so fraught. As this in-depth piece by Julia Ioffe over at The New Republic makes clear, you can pretty much draw a straight line between last month's government shutdown and Heritage's increasingly stringent purity standards. A long one, but well worth a read.

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