Sunday, March 4, 2012

Libertarian Palace Intrigue- Koch v. Cato

Last week, David and Charles Koch launched a lawsuit against their best known puppet organization. The billionaire brothers are suing their libertarian Cato Institute for full control. The Volokh Conspiracy has the full details about the history of the takeover from inside Cato.

It seems that the "libertarians" working there object to being bought out by their sponsors during an election year for the primary purpose of "defeating President Obama."

It's quite a reflection of the modern Republican party. What genuine activism and intellectual effort goes into propping up the more serious aspects of Republicanism is a cheap trapping to the actual owners of the party. They neither respect nor value the work of their underlings. Party insiders, truly the core of the modern conservative establishment, get the wool yanked from their eyes; Cato scholars suddenly recognize that they are not employed in an intellectually honest venture. Their only purpose is to serve the interests of Koch Industries.

If you think I'm overstating the case, check out the letter from Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow at Cato.

From the letter:
this bid by the Kochs to take over Cato – if successful – can only lead to the destruction of the most prominent and influential libertarian think tank in the world. Anyone who considers Cato an asset to the public policy debate cannot be happy with what they are doing here.
I can't think of anyone who actually considers Cato an asset to the public policy debate, so this situation is all upside.

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