Center for American Regress

To be fair, I don’t think CAP interferes with what people write at Think Progress (although they may assign them “corporate-friendly” pieces — who knows?). But it’s a corporatist place, and I don’t trust them.

In October, CAP hosted a conversation with Allison Macfarlane, chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “Nuclear power is our nation’s largest low-carbon power source,” read CAP’s invitation to the event. “Over the last two decades, U.S. nuclear plant operators have shown an excellent record of operational safety and have greatly increased the operational performance of reactors.” The pro-nukes positions in the post-cap-and-trade phase of policymaking might well have something to do with the significant stakes in nuclear energy shared among at least half a dozen Business Alliance members: GE, Pacific Gas Electric, Duke Energy, American Electric Power, Constellation Energy, and Xcel Energy. It’s a safe bet, at any rate, that this powerful group of funders has been quite pleased to see the recent boilerplate pro-nuclear PR copy going out under CAP’s letterhead.

Thus, it seems, CAP really is the perfect liberal think tank for the age of Obama, when the core policy options and alliances that shape American politics are simply dictated by the flow of cash. The former staffer who spoke with me about CAP’s frequent communications with the Obama White House succinctly summed up the gnat-straining fate of the multimillion-dollar think tank. “They totally bought into the Obama vision, and he had no vision,” he said. “When Obama was progressive and talked about the stimulus, they were for that, and when he cut a deal with Boehner, they were for that. They don’t stand for anything themselves.” Except, it seems, for the moneyed regurgitation of the current Democratic mush.