Fellow denizens of the left:
You may have heard rumblings of an attempted Koch brothers takeover of the Cato Institute. You may have then asked yourself: Wait, don’t the Koch brothers already control the Cato Institute? Or you may have smirked a little bit at the notion of infighting within the party of laissez faire. Or maybe it just doesn’t seem important to you one way or another.
But personally? This dirty welfare-and-unions-loving pinko finds ample reason to be unabashedly supportive of Cato’s anti-Koch insurgency. Their economic policy output may be usually misguided, often even contemptible and sneering, but it’s still better than it would be if the organization were the Koch-subsidized GOP SuperPAC that it always has been in the progressive imagination. Independence of spirit and some sort of internal integrity is better than none of either. It certainly makes for more fruitful arguments between libertarians and the left.
Besides, Cato’s work on Internet privacy and criminal justice is invaluable (thanks in no small part to friends of the blog Julian Sanchez and Jon Blanks). If Cato gets subsumed into the conservative Beltway borg, then civil libertarians lose a stauncher ally than they’re likely to find — let’s face it — anywhere on the center-left.
But the main thing is that if intellectual freedom matters, it always matters. Keep Cato free and feisty.