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Heritage Foundation’s “final straw”

This should have been a banner week for the Heritage Foundation, but instead it's turned into a bummer of one.

The conservative think tank helped kill comprehensive immigration reform under George W. Bush with an influential study arguing there would be trillions in costs, but the much-ballyhooed sequel, released Monday, has ricocheted back on them, thanks to accusations of shoddy methodology and the revelation that one of the study's authors once wrote what critics call a racist study on immigration.

Everyone expects ideological think tanks to produce studies that confirm their worldview, but when even conservatives call their new immigration report “deeply flawed,” as Marco Rubio did, or not “serious analysis,” as Haley Barbour did, you know Heritage has gone beyond the pale.

“It’s part of a longer trend” for the think tank, Bruce Bartlett, an apostate former Reagan adviser who worked at Heritage in the 1980s told Salon. “I think there’s been a decline in the quality of research with an increase in partisanship ... It’s much, much worse than in my day.”

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