Opponents of immigration reform legislation have been trying to steer clear of white nationalists lately, hoping to keep their opposition to citizenship for undocumented Latino immigrants free from the taint of racism.
But they just can’t seem to run fast enough.
Last week, a major Heritage Foundation report about the supposed costs of illegal immigration was pilloried after the revelation that one of its authors, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Jason Richwine, had earlier claimed that there are deep differences in intelligence among races (with Latinos toward the bottom). Richwine resigned from the conservative think tank amid the outcry.
Now, this week, we discover that ProEnglish, a group with white nationalist ties, has launched an ad campaign against immigration reform. The first target is Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, according to BuzzFeed. The group’s minute-long radio ad features a Spanish-speaking character, apparently representing an undocumented immigrant, thanking Graham “for not requiring him to learn English in exchange for amnesty.”
ProEnglish, founded in 1994, is part of the network of organizations founded by anti-immigrant movement architect John Tanton, a Michigan ophthalmologist who, over the years, has corresponded with white nationalists, eugenicists and Holocaust deniers, and written that in order to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority is required.”
Robert Vandervoort, executive director of ProEnglish, also has ties to white nationalist groups. He formerly ran the Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a group that supports white nationalist Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance. Taylor has claimed that any kind of civilization disappears when black people are left to their own devices. Vandervoort has also attended events held by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, which distributes books by the late Sam Francis, who was a resident scholar at the foundation and a leading figure among white nationalists who argued for “white racial consciousness.”
Jason Richwine, the co-author of a study by the Heritage Foundation claiming immigration reform would add $6.3 trillion to the deficit, has resigned from his position at the conservative think tank.
Heritage had already sought to distance itself from Richwine amid reports that he suggested in a Harvard thesis and a panel at the American Enterprise Institute that the United States discourage various non-white groups from immigrating because they have lower IQs. He also wrote articles on Hispanic incarceration rates for a white nationalist website.
Read more at livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com
The Heritage Foundation made something of a splash with its study suggesting that immigration reform will cost the public trillions. Past work by one of its co-authors helps put that piece in context.
Jason Richwine is relatively new to the think tank world. He received his PhD in public policy from Harvard in 2009, and joined Heritage after a brief stay at the American Enterprise Institute. Richwine’s doctoral dissertation is titled “IQ and Immigration Policy” the contents are well summarized in the dissertation abstract:
The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.
Richwine’s dissertation asserts that there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races. While it’s clear he thinks it is partly due to genetics — “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ” — he argues the most important thing is that the differences in group IQs are persistent, for whatever reason. He writes, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”
Scratch an opponent of reasonable immigration reform, uncover a racist. Every time.
More on Jason Richwine from the SPLC,
“The argument that immigrants themselves are no different from the ones that came 100 years ago I think is quite wrong, and I think that the major difference here is ethnicity — or race, if you will.” Not only do people of the same race tend to stick together, Richwine said, but “races differ in all sorts of ways, and probably the most important way is in IQ.”
Not surprisingly, Richwine’s remarks were warmly received on white nationalist blogs. “Definitely someone we want to keep our eye on,” wrote Marcus Epstein on the blog of the anti-immigration hate site VDARE.com.
“[His] name sounds Jewish, which makes what follows even more remarkable,” crowed Larry Auster, who runs the blog View from the Right.
Richwine joined Krikorian and Fred Siegal, a professor at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, for the July 1 discussion at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an influential, conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. Richwine, who is completing a dissertation on immigration and IQ, is a National Research Initiative fellow at AEI and will remain there after finishing his degree this fall. He joins AEI-sponsored scholar Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve, the highly controversial 1994 book that argues that blacks and Latinos have lower IQs than whites and that most social welfare and affirmative action programs are doomed to failure as a result.
Read the whole thing.
Former Sen. Jim DeMint, the new president of the Heritage Foundation, began work there Thursday with a letter to the group’s staff outlining his vision for the organization. Mitt Romney would find much to admire in it.
Though he adjusted the former GOP presidential candidate’s estimate that 47 percent of the voting population is “dependent upon government,” DeMint doesn’t stray far from the underlying message.
“Today, more people than ever before — 69.5 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries — depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions,” DeMint wrote.
Or workhouses and debtor prisons. Now, of course, we have the streets, so there’s no reason these worthless old geezers and other unproductives should cost us a dime.
“The United States must reverse the direction of these trends or face economic and social collapse.”
CNN is reporting that Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a favorite of Tea Party types, is quitting the Senate to head up the Heritage Foundation, a DC-based conservative “think tank”.
Well this is an interesting find. The Heritage Foundation, which supported the individual mandate for a long time, praised Mitt Romney’s universal health care law in Massachusetts when it passed in 2006. In fact, they had a team of people advising him on how to do it.
In reality, those who want to create a consumer-based health system and deregulate health insurance should view Romney’s plan as one of the most promising strategies out there. I know, because I’ve been part of the Heritage Foundation team advising the governor and his staff on the design, which builds on some of my work with officials in other states.
The overall design has two basic parts: reforming the state’s insurance market structure and reforming its uncompensated-care payment system.
And how did it reform its uncompensated-care payment system? By requiring everyone to have health insurance to end the free rider problem, enforced through a tax penalty. You know, the same thing Obama’s plan does that is now causing us to become the Fourth Reich.
Once seen as non-ideological “universities without students,” the American think tank has, in many cases, become a partisan stalking horse that devalues the sector’s scholarship.
While think tanks claim to be nonpartisan, most in Washington know their ideological leanings. One think tank scholar has posited in a new article that think tanks have proliferated to the point of devaluing the research and ideas that come out of them. (Jupiter Images)
One of the strangest institutions in Washington — and perhaps the hardest to comprehend from the outside — is the think tank, that quasi-academic, sort-of-political organization that offers, as its primary output, ideas. Universally, think tanks claim to be nonpartisan, and as tax-exempt nonprofits, this is a basic requirement in the tax code. But most people in Washington know the ideological leanings of think tanks that may obscure this fact in their titles: There’s the Cato Institute (libertarian), the Heritage Foundation (conservative), the Brookings Institution (moderate liberal) and the Center for American Progress (progressive).
And that’s just four of the 400 think tanks that have grown up in town, by Tevi Troy’s count. Troy is a think tank scholar himself, from the Hudson Institute (“a nonpartisan, independent policy research organization dedicated to innovative research and analysis that promotes global security, prosperity, and freedom”). In a thoughtful new article in the journal National Affairs, he argues that think tanks have proliferated to the point of devaluing the research and ideas that come out of them. Most damning, he suggests that these institutions — once thought of as “universities without students” — have become political, stripping them of the power to float new ideas that politicians would never put forward.
THE IDEA LOBBY
Miller-McCune’s Washington correspondent Emily Badger follows the ideas informing, explaining and influencing government, from the local think tank circuit to academic research that shapes D.C. policy from afar.
Outside of Washington, Troy’s criticism resonates for a reason that may disturb academic researchers: it is the work of think tanks, and not cloistered scholars at traditional universities, that really influences Washington policy. In his article, Troy unearths a telling 1988 quote from Ronald Reagan: “Today the most important American scholarship comes out of our think thanks,” the president said, pointing to one in particular, the American Enterprise Institute.
From the creation of AEI in 1938 (originally the American Enterprise Association), Troy traces a dizzying think tank “arms race.” Like some of the earliest think tanks, including Brookings (1916), the Hoover Institute (1919) and the RAND Corporation (1946), AEI was long in the business of informing but not advocating. The conservative Heritage Foundation was born in the early ’70s as a direct response to AEI’s hands-off approach. Heritage became extremely effective at not just pondering ideas but also pushing them, particularly in an era when conservative public intellectuals didn’t feel welcome in academia.
Liberals, startled by the effectiveness of Heritage, created their own counterpoint at the end of the Reagan era, the Progressive Policy Institute, which powered many of the ideas that came out of the Clinton administration. Conservatives in exile from the federal government in this era created yet more think tanks, just as liberals did again during the George W. Bush years with the Center for American Progress. Troy refers to many of these think tanks as “governments in waiting.”
“Lose an election,” he quips, “gain a think tank.”
Bloomberg reported on Monday that Google, joining with the likes of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, will be a primary sponsor of CPAC, the right-wing conference kicking off tomorrow in DC. Google portrayed its sponsorship as just another way for the company to reach campaign professionals, candidates, and tech-savvy young adults:
The company says it will have a presence at both Republican and Democratic events during this year’s election season, including each party’s convention. Google also had a role in the Iowa caucus last month. The CPAC event was attractive because half the attendees are under 25 and heavy users of technology, Google said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
“This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase Google.com/elections and tools like Google+, which we hope will be used by every candidate and campaign,” the Mountain View, California-based company said.
That would make sense if CPAC was just another GOP event. It’s not.
CPAC 2012 is as notable for who is coming as who isn’t. Peter Brimelow is a prominent white nationalist and founder of the racist and anti-Semitic website VDARE. He’ll be at CPAC 2012.
“Birther” leader Joseph Farah will be there. He has boycotted CPAC since 2009 when he was blocked from hosting a panel questioning the President’s citizenship. This year he’s being welcomed back with open arms.
Youth for Western Civilization’s founder was arrested in 2007 for karate chopping an African-American woman on the street while calling her “n****r.” They, like Google, are sponsoring this year’s CPAC.
Romney, Gingrich and Santorum will be there too, along with major Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council.
In 1999, shortly after the Senate voted to acquit President Clinton on two charges of impeachment stemming from his affair with the intern Monica Lewinsky, Paul Weyrich — mastermind of the union of the Republican Party and the Christian right, a founder of the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the Free Congress Foundation — threw up his hands in despair.
In a letter to his ideological allies, Weyrich declared: “I no longer believe that there is a moral majority. I do not believe that a majority of Americans actually shares our values.”
Weyrich declared defeat:
Cultural Marxism is succeeding in its war against our culture. The question becomes, if we are unable to escape the cultural disintegration that is gripping society, then what hope can we have?
In the face of this onslaught of moral corruption, Weyrich counseled withdrawal from society at large. A “legitimate strategy for us to follow is to look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness, or by other enemies of our traditional culture,” he wrote. “We need to drop out of this culture, and find places, even if it is where we physically are right now, where we can live godly, righteous and sober lives.”
What would Weyrich, who died in 2008, make of the fact that Newt Gingrich — who was himself having an adulterous affair during the Clinton impeachment proceedings (one of several conducted by the former speaker, according to his own testimony and a number of lengthy journalistic investigations, including this one from CBS and that one from the Daily Beast) — won the 2012 South Carolina Republican primary with a plurality of voters who described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians?
Exit polls show that Gingrich beat Romney by 44-22 among born-again and evangelical Christians, and by 46-10 among voters who said the religious convictions of the candidates mattered “a great deal.” His margins were equally strong among supporters of (and sympathizers with) the Tea Party, a constituency that closely overlaps with religious conservatives.
In fact, the Gingrich campaign reveals the current state of the Christian right, its status anxieties, its desperation, its frustration and in particular its anger. The extreme volatility of Gingrich’s primary season bid reflects not only the success and failure of his own tactical maneuvers and those of his opponents, but also the ambivalence of the Republican electorate in choosing between ideology and pragmatism — an intraparty struggle dating back to the candidacy of Barry Goldwater in 1964.
In strategic terms, religious conservatives need to be motivated to turn out in high numbers. Republican consultants have developed tools to identify and inflame what they call conservative “anger points.”
Has Heritage become so overrun with zealots on a mission that you can’t trust them on defense issues anymore?
Almost 30 years ago, in 1983, the Heritage Foundation stepped forward as a thoughtful, independent thinking participant in the then-raging debate over Ronald Reagan’s defense budget increases. In one of its major policy publications, Heritage published an insightful analysis with an unambiguous conclusion: “The increased spending secured by President Reagan should afford significant improvements in force size. It does not.” (See Agenda ‘83: A Mandate for Leadership Report, Richard N. Holwill, ed., The Heritage Foundation, 1983; see chapter 4, p. 69 of “Defense” by George W.S. Kuhn.)
The analysis was crammed with data and straightforward logic as it made the case for real reform in America’s overpriced, underperforming defense budget. But since then, Heritage has come a long way in defense policy analysis, all of it downward.
On December 26, 2012 the Director of Heritage’s Center for Foreign Policy Studies, Dr. James J. Carafano, published a commentary in the Washington Examiner, “What To Do about Obama’s Pound-Foolish Air Force.” Without saying so explicitly, he implied that the legendary Col. John R. Boyd, “a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot” in Dr. Carafano’s words, would favor what the good doctor wants: to reopen production of the $411 million F-22 and to buy more $154 million F-35s.
(Col. Boyd was much more than “a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot.” His revolutionary air-to-air tactics manual changed the way every major air force in the world flies. His brilliant energy-maneuverability approach to fighter design saved the F-15 from becoming a lumbering F-111-like disaster—and created the extraordinarily successful F-16. Read more about him in the Naval Institute Proceedings article Genghis John or better, in Robert Coram’s excellent biography Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War.)
Each of us knew and worked closely with John Boyd. Invoking Boyd’s legacy to endorse Carafano’s ideas about the F-22 and the F-35—ideas that would have been anathema to Boyd—profoundly offends us. Demonstrating ignorance about both John Boyd’s thinking and about fighter aircraft fundamentals, the Carafano article’s pervasive disregard for facts provides an excellent example of the ethical bankruptcy that lies at the core of our defense problems and our defense budget debate today. With this editorial by their Director for Foreign Policy Studies, Heritage signals a descent from serious analysis of the nation’s defense needs to contemptible gimmicks for pushing the big-spending agenda of the Foundation’s defense industry funders—specifically, in this case, pushing the agenda of Lockheed-Martin, manufacturer of the F-22 and F-35, and major contributor to Heritage .
H/T Abu Muquwama