I came across this interesting infographic at Muckety, a site that uses interactive maps to attempt to illustrate the connections of money, influence and power among corporations, politicians and prominent individuals.
In this case, Muckety is locating the connections among the American Enterprise Institute, former Bush officials and the foundations that fund the think tank.
As Muckety puts it:
The Cheneys can always count on a warm welcome at the American Enterprise Institute.
The conservative think tank has long channeled people and policy to Republican administrations, serving as a landing pad for administration higher-ups before and after their time in Washington.
I’m curious to know what readers think of this.
On the one hand, visualization of complex relationships is extremely helpful. But on the other, it’s something of a foregone conclusion that think tanks and administrations have a “revolving door” relationship. AEI and the Center for American Progress are two examples of this dynamic on an ideological basis (Brookings and the Council on Foreign Relations take significant numbers from both parties).
So, what additional data points on a map like this would be necessary to make it more revelatory about the complexities of think tanks, administrations, influential individuals and foundations?
It’s also worth pointing out that there is at least one individual who would disagree that AEI is a “safe house for Bush alumni.”