“Think tank” is not a concept you would associate with George W – and sure enough, there won’t be much thinking done in the Bush library and think tank to be built at Southern Methodist University.
The Bushites have cut a deal with SMU executives to locate his presidential library on this private campus in one of Dallas’s wealthiest neighborhoods. They’ve targeted some Arab oil kingdoms, corporate chieftains, and wealthy heiresses to be the “megadonors” they need to raise half-a-billion bucks to establish George’s ex-presidential palace.
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This one is to be markedly different than the usual complex of library, museum, and policy institute that other presidents have built. First (and unsurprisingly), rather than placing the full archive of the administration’s papers in the SMU complex so historians and others have access, Bush is to have a heavily-censored, anti-academic library. None other that Karl Rove will help with the censoring, making sure that historians only peruse documents that cast the Bush-Cheney regime in a glowing light.
Second, the policy institutes at other presidential libraries are scholarly units of their host universities. The work done in them is judged by normal academic standards, deans are chosen by university presidents, etc. George W’s think tank, however, is to be academically-unattached to SMU and will unabashedly push a partisan, ideological agenda. It will hire conservative acolytes and, as an insider told the New York Daily News, “give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President’s policies.”
Bush Library Courts ‘Wealthy Heiress, Arab Nations, Captains of Industry’ To ‘Polish’ History,” www.thinkprogress.org, November 27, 2006