Monday, March 5, 2012

But What If the Dictator is BENEVOLENT, Smart Guy?

The Kochs file a Lawsuit for Liberty!*

Julian Sanchez:
I don’t generally subscribe to the popular caricature of the Kochs as supervillains. [...] So if this were ultimately just about an ego contest between the pretty-rich guy (Cato President Ed Crane) and the insanely rich guy (megabillionaire Charles Koch), I’d be content to keep my head down and scribble away without too much regard for what the nameplate on the top-floor corner office reads.

[. . .]

Unfortunately, it’s fairly clear already that rather more than that is afoot. As my colleague Jerry Taylor lays out over at Volokh Conspiracy, after years of benign neglect, the Kochs have suddenly decided to use their existing shares in the Institute to attempt to pack the board with loyalists, several of whom are straight-up GOP operatives.


As I said, I’m in no great hurry to leave a job I enjoy a lot—so I’m glad this will probably take a while to play out either way. But since I’m relatively young, and unencumbered by responsibility for a mortgage or kids, I figure I may as well say up front that if the Kochs win this one, I will.
Baffled tool Daniel Foster:
The Kochs could be seeking to turn the great libertarian think tank into an arm of the Republican Party. They could also be seeking to turn the Republican Party into an arm of the libertarian movement. Even a little bit of the latter would, of course, be a boon to Sanchez, as it would put his papers on, e.g., civil liberties into more staff offices on the Hill. By foreclosing or ignoring this possibility, he instead seems to affirm the caricature (which is, sadly, too often accurate) that the worst thing you can accuse a libertarian of is political efficaciousness. That they will fight to their dying day to remain irrelevant.
Foster's right, the Kochs are as rich as gods and can do ANYTHING. Cato scholars could have a special lab to test their theories! I picture everything covered with gold... 14 KARAT GOLD! Maybe they'll turn Cato into a cool libertarian rocket!

*Cato has never needed your support more than now.
The Cato Institute has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities and non-profit organizations. In earning this four star rating, Cato has demonstrated exceptional fiscal responsibility and efficiency.
See that? Donate to the free-market champions and your cash dollars won't be lost in some elephant somewhere, it'll be spent with penny-pinching care on the elimination of the very idea of charity, you stupid asshole friend of liberty, you.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Cato has never needed your support more than now.


tigris said...

That they will fight to their dying day to remain irrelevant.

When obviously Libertarians could be totally relevant if they just quit pretending not to be Republicans!

wiley said...

Well, it always did strike me as strange that the Cato Institute appeared to be giving a lot of money to PBS--- if I'm remembering that correctly.

What the hell does a self-centered middle class white guy who is smart enough to jump through a few hoops; but not smart enough to be a serious competitor,have to do to get a break?

Sometimes this shit is confusing.

Substance McGravitas said...

I know there's a guy called Cato who sends PBS money, but I think this kind of thing is the general rule.

mikey said...

Back during the endless, grinding and altogether quite stupid health care legislation debate, I found myself engaged with a libertarian (here, let me help you - that's pronounced Fuck-ing ID-iot) on Facebook. He asked me for some documentation to back up my position so I sent him the regular links - Ezra Klein, Jon Cohn, Krugman, Atul Gawande - people who have thought and written extensively about health care policy.

Well, he came back and told me that he couldn't even be bothered to read them because they were all liberals and he sent me six links to six different articles - every god damn one of them from Cato.

I swear to you there is simply nothing dumber than a libertarian...

Substance McGravitas said...

It's not like those guys are the Red Brigades, for god's sake.

Smut Clyde said...

They could also be seeking to turn the Republican Party into an arm of the libertarian movement.

I suspect that this would involve packing the Republican Party with libertarians rather than vice versa.

Whichever way the Kochs' takeover bid is operating in, it involves subterfuge and the dishonest portrayal of the taken-over group as something it is not, in order to advance the agenda of the taking-over group more effectively than it could be advanced honestly.* Sanchez might cling to the outmoded concepts of 'scruples' and 'integrity' and not wish to be involved. These concepts seem to be alien to Daniel Foster; he is literally unable to imagine them.

* Or "they could be advanced honestly," if you hold to the view that 'agenda' is a plural.