Monday, May 7, 2012

Buckley Bashes AEI Through Fictitious Think Tank

In his latest Washington satire titled They Eat Puppies, Don't They?, Christopher Buckley writes about a defense lobbyist (Walter "Bird" McIntyre) who leans on a fictional think tank (Institute for Continuing Conflict) and think tanker (Angel Templeton).  Bird works for the fictional aerospace giant Groepping-Sprunt.

Here is a description from the Washington Post:
When Groepping-Sprunt’s latest project, the massive and massively armed drone Dumbo, is canceled in a Senate hearing because of a “ ‘funding factor’ (Washington-speak for ‘appalling cost overruns’ ” and “a bit of a ‘perception problem’ (Washington-speak for ‘reality’),” Bird is dispatched by his bosses to start a phony foundation to create a new threat to American security.
The target: China.
Bird’s first stop is the Institute for Continuing Conflict — a think tank with a thinker named Angel Templeton, one of that breed of “tall, blond, buff, leggy, miniskirted” conservative commentators who seem to be manufactured in a Fox News lab somewhere.
Here is a description from the Wall Street Journal:
Walter "Bird" McIntyre, a well-remunerated lobbyist for the defense contractor Groepping-Sprunt, is tasked with stoking tensions with China to ensure the approval of an ultra-secret weapons program. McIntyre's campaign is assisted by Angel Templeton, a sexy, slightly unhinged right-winger with a son named after Barry Goldwater and a perch at a brilliantly named think tank, the Institute for Continuing Conflict. ("We're not really into deterrence at ICC.") Buckley is being mischievous here, reproving the American Enterprise Institute for firing his friend David Frum in 2010.
It is very interesting to note the ICC/AEI connection.  Back in 2010, David Frum lost his job at the conservative AEI after criticizing Republicans, and shortly after that, Buckley wrote that it was a mistake for AEI to fire him.  Buckley and Frum have been friends since 1982.

Update: David Frum's new novel Patriots, which came out May 7, 2012, apparently is some more revenge against AEI.