Cato Institute VP Sneers At Ron Paul: He’s Not Our ‘Kind of Person’!

A recent short piece in The Nation, “Ron Paul’s Roots,” by Christopher Hayes, has this eye-popping denunciation of Rep. Paul by the unbearably pompous Brink Lindsey, a Cato Institute “scholar” and recently appointed vice president for research,

“He doesn’t strike me as the kind of person that’s tapping into those elements of American public opinion that might lead towards a sustainable move in the libertarian direction.”

Here’s a new logical fallacy: the argument from snobbery. He isn’t our “kind of person.” What kind of person might that be? Well, it’s not at all clear. What is clear, however, is who isn’t “our kind of person.” As Senor Lindsey puts it:

“You have this weird group of people. You’ve got libertarians, you’ve got antiwar types and you’ve got nationalists and xenophobes. I’m not sure that is leading anywhere. I think he’s a sui generis type of guy who’s cobbling together some irreconcilable constituencies, many of which are backward-looking rather than forward-looking.”

Oh, those backwoods anti-IRS hicks, with necks redder than the reddest state, hopeless Neanderthals who would never read Lindsey’s book, The Age of Abundance, wherein he describes the supposedly “libertarian” utopia being ushered in by “the sexual revolution, environmentalism and feminism, the fitness and health care boom and the opening of the gay closet, the withering of censorship and the rise of a ‘creative class’ of ‘knowledge workers.'”

Lindsey and his fellow creative geniuses are too good for the poor untutored hoi polloi who don’t go to the gym four days a week and are neither feminists nor gay. In Lindsey’s lexicon, “Forward-looking” means “people like me,” and “backward-looking” stands for non-feminist non-gay non-gym-going proles, who don’t count anyway.

In any case, sneers Lindsey, Paul “comes from a different part of the libertarian universe than I do.” Yes, it’s all about him and his exotic prejudices.

I had to laugh when I read how Hayes demarcates the pro-Paul “populist” libertarians from the anti-Paul crowd — the latter are deemed the “cosmopolitan” faction! Yeah, as in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Lindsey’s haughtiness is really a joke, especially when it’s married to his clueless political analysis: who are these “xenophobes” he talks about — the overwhelming majority of Americans who don’t support his own “open the borders” position? And as for these alleged “nationalists” flocking to the Paulian cause: I guess this means they’re attracted to Ron’s questioning of why we’re going to war on account of UN resolutions and entangling alliances. Otherwise, I can’t imagine a less nationalistic candidate, in the modern sense of aggressive expansionism — which surely is better suited to Lindsey’s own position in favor of the Iraq war and the “liberation” of the Middle East.

What the Nation doesn’t tell us, however, is what might really interest Nation readers: that Lindsey’s critique of Paul is really rooted in Lindsey’s pro-war position. He argued in favor of the Iraq war in a piece for Reason magazine, basically making the neocon “weapons of mass destruction-they’ll-greet-us-as-liberators” argument, while Paul, of course, was against the war from the beginning. Having abandoned the core libertarian stance — opposition to mass murder by the State — Lindsey and his ilk are on their way out of libertarianism, as I’ve explained elsewhere, while Paul and his “backward-looking” brethren represent the future of the movement.

The hostility of the Beltway faux-libertarians to the Paul campaign is no surprise, as I explained here, but I’m glad to see the Reason folks are coming around. As the Hayes piece puts it: “Nothing breeds harmony like success, and the Paul bandwagon is now getting big enough for both the Hatfields and the McCoys to get on board. ‘Our readership is very enthusiastic,’ says Nick Gillespie, editor of the DC-based magazine Reason. A few months ago Reason published an article titled ‘Is He Good for the Libertarians?’ That no longer seems an open question.”

Hayes has got that right. Unfortunately, he gets other matters quite wrong: for example, I haven’t seen a single “Confederate nostalgist” at a Ron Paul event, and I’ve been to a few. I don’t imagine there are very many of these in New Hampshire, at any rate, where Ron is up to 8 percent. Hayes also brings out the “white supremacist” canard, based on the unsolicited “support” of someone who served with Dubya’s shock troops in Florida during the recount — a coincidence that seems just a bit dicey, if you think about it for a moment.

Hayes doesn’t want us to know that the key issue between the tiny Lindsey faction and the really existing libertarian movement is the war, and the issue of our foreign policy of global aggression. Just like he doesn’t want us to know the difference between Paul and all the Democratic presidential aspirants but Kucinich — which is the former’s unequivocal opposition to the war and his call for the immediate withdrawal of all US troops. If Paul runs as a third party antiwar candidate, and Hillary gets the Democratic nod, good luck to The Nation in walling off its leftist audience from Ron’s appeal. That some alleged “libertarians,” who are furthermore associated with the leading libertarian think tank, are helping to smear Ron and allowing themselves to be used in his way, is beneath contempt.

101 thoughts on “Cato Institute VP Sneers At Ron Paul: He’s Not Our ‘Kind of Person’!”

  1. When you hear Ron Paul talk, whether in speeches or in debate, you know you are hearing a person of integrity devoid of purely personal ambitions. He is in the race to tell Americans that peace is vital to liberty and that our Constitution is being destroyed by Republicans and Democrats alike. I am quite tired of the argument that some of his supporters are nuts. I am sure that is so; just like *most* of the supporters of George W. Bush. This is a defining moment for libertarians. If we spend our time complaining that Ron Paul is not perfect, who will benefit? Who is better? It is time to grow up.

  2. I guess uniting Libertarians is a lot like herding cats. Real liberty encompasses all the unwashed masses, not just the elitist views of of a few academics. Who are any of us to look down our pointy noses and think that any lawful citizen is unworthy of the Libertarian message?

  3. Something about the Cato Institute doesn't 'smell right' to me, and this confirms it. Brink Lindsay's priorities leave something to be desired, to put it politely. Here's less polite: Brink Lindsay has his head stuck in a dark place.

    Ron Paul is the BEST thing that has ever happened to Libertarians and true Republicans in our lifetime. What the hell does he (Lindsay) want?

    I've read somewhere that Cato isn't really Libertarian, but just a pseudo-Libertarian front for the oligarchy. I have good instincts, and I'm generous with causes I fell are worthy, yet never felt like contributing to them. Now I feel vindicated. They can kiss a smelly orifice.

    !Viva Ron Paul!

  4. I was previously a big supporter of CATO (because of their promotion of Liberty) until I heard David Boaz make disparaging comments on CNN one evening. That was it. I pulled all my funding and wrote CATO explaining that they will no longer receive any proceeds from me. I redirected my annual giving to Mises.org (although this organization looks good too!).

    1. I have read every word P. J. O’Rourke has written up to the acknowledgments in ‘Peace Kills’, where he thanks Max Boot. I haven’t had the strength to open a book of his since…

  5. I for one will be devoting a few minutes of my day…everyday…to informing the good people of SC what their globalist neocon senator stands for. It is the opposite of conservative! It is the opposite of American!

    1. Your furor is understandable, but I *think* that you saw “Senator Lindsey (Graham)” when what Justin actually said was “Senor Lindsay”. Graham *is* one of the neocons, but I doubt that anyone would ever call him a libertarian, even one of the statist, “regime libertarian” variety.

  6. I have also been a big supporter of Cato for most of my life, but I have to admit I’ve been becoming increasingly concerned about their positions during the last five to ten years. Their condemnation of Ron Paul is the final straw. Despite the common views that I hold with Cato on some issues I will never again see them as the friends of liberty that I once thought they were. They’ve shown their true status quo colors in opposing the most liberty minded individual to run for President in over a century.

    1. I gave up on the Cato Institute when they supported the invasion of Afghanistan. Knew they were no friends of libertarianism after that.

  7. “Left” Libertarians love the war while “Right” Libertarians oppose. The political spectrum is getting ready for another shift. The Old Right is back!

    1. What the hell is a “left” libertarian? I thought libertarianism was all about the irrelevance of “left” and “right”.

      If there is such a thing as a “left” libertarian, I am one. I was a long-time Democrat disillusioned with bracket creep. In my search for a party of principle, I found the Libertarian Party in 1982. I was always suspicious of the faith-based belief that “the market” could control corporations, natural monopolies and the disproportionate power of concentrated wealth, but I figured not much else was working, so I bought in to see how things would work out. Well, after 30 years of deregulation, an underfunded SEC, the S&L disaster, foreign labor arbitrage, outrageous executive stock options and golden parachutes for poor performance, pension thefts, usurious credit card interest rates, CDOs, SIVs and the rest of the mess we’re in, it’s pretty obvious how things have worked out.

      When will libertarians stop drinking the the fundamentalist laissez-faire Kool-aide, wake up and realize that corporations are not individual people? They are collectivist entities chartered by the State. They should not, must not be granted the same inalienable rights that individual persons have.

      I still consider myself a libertarian, but given my belief in a “mixed” economy I’m sure most libertarians would consider me a leftist. I believe in the Constitution, individual rights, a non-interventionist foreign policy and dismantling our empire of bases. I certainly do NOT love the war. I don’t know of any real “leftists” or progressives who do, so stop sowing confusion. There’s nothing either libertarian or leftist about being pro-war, and the people you refer to as “left” libertarians are neither. They are jingoist statists, closet fascists.

      It’s time “right” libertarians started recognizing who their real political allies should be — leftists and progressives. It’s they who can most accurately be labeled “left” libertarians. Both Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy, deep cuts in military spending, dismantling our empire of bases so we can begin getting out of debt, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, respect for international law and treaty obligations and the humane treatment of prisoners. I also think that a return to federalism would provide for a resolution of many issues that currently divide the Paul and Kucinich camps (at least at the Federal level), such as health care and education. Those problems are not soluble until we get our financial house in order by curbing military spending anyway. It’s time for “right” libertarians to stop using the “socialist” canard against Dennis Kucinich, and time for leftists and progressives to stop using the “fascist” and “racist” canards against Ron Paul. Neither is either.

      The only way the “mainstream” war party is ever going to be defeated is for REAL libertarians of both the “left” (La Follette, McCarthy and McGovern progressives) and “right” (Taft conservatives) to band together, just as anti-slavery Democrats and Whigs formed the Republican Party in the late 1850s.

      1. Yes, we are cats, not sheep! I myself believe very strongly in laissez-faire, because giving the government any role in the economy makes its intervention in their favor the goal of those business interests which would like to make their competition illegal. In fact, the legitimization of the notion of the corporation as a person was just such a move; this was done in the 1870s, I believe. The so-called “deregulation” of the last 30 years or so has only applied to large business entities, not to the little shopkeeper on the corner, who has almost been driven to extinction by regulations and taxes — which were deliberately designed with this purpose in mind.

        At any rate, I believe in laissez-faire, and do not partake of the Kool-Aid you mention. Corporations are the enemy of free enterprise, and must be held in check. Future historians, if at all perceptive, will see the growth of very large business as the phenomenon that destroyed post-Renaissance civilization. It would be a very good thing if the major corporations could be cut down to size, but I am not optimistic in this regard.

        What is most probable is that corporate excess will eventually generate enough revulsion that the force of government will be used to destroy big business; the government will then be running everything that counts, and we will therefore be within sight of complete societal collapse.

        I hope I’m wrong about all this. One thing that could help to make me wrong would be the de-recognition of the corporation as a person — but, given the clout those “persons” have gained in the running of the government and society, I am not holding my breath.

        1. Wow! It’s the first time I read the clear description of the situation. I could not formulate clearly what is wrong with the Western economical/political order… indeed – democracy can not function properly when physical persons AND corporate “persons” are both actors. It turns into anti-democracy and after some gyrations turns into socialism or worse (national socialism).

        2. Bill makes smart sense. A ticket of Kucinich/Paul would be effective to getting back our country and dumping the false entity called corporation.

      2. I too am anti war and anti interventionist.

        However, as to your complaints about corporations, I have to differ. Corporations are simply groups of individuals united to offer products and services. The are NOT fascist in and of themselves. A corporate form can exist without the state, through contract. Limited liability for investors is a privilege but it encourages investment which leads to better products.

        The corporate monopoly STATE is the evil in the equation. The progressive era’s reliance on regulation was easily coopted by corporations to limit competition. So regulation is not helpful to achieve better results for consumers. More competition, which arises with less government regulation, is more of a check on corporate power than any government regulation can be.

        Many of these problems you mention will disappear with sound money and the end of the FED. Support Ron Paul!

        1. Therein lies the fallacy you mistakenly claim. A corporation is a piece of paper, an entity that exists only on paper and in people’s fantasies. A COMPANY is a group of people offering services.

          A company does not take up the responsibility of its membership for its actions. A corporate entity does. There is no “company” entity… there is only a corporate entity, because the corporate is a fictional construct. A company is exactly what you were referring to, a “company of men, united in a common purpose or for a common endeavor”.

          Corporations have reared their ugly heads in the past and every time they have done massive damage to the places they appeared in.

          It is exactly this misappropriation and improper definition of terms that leads to the so called “bad guys” taking over.

          So please, defend the right terms, because they refer to the right things or ideas.

      3. Great comment! I’m a Kucinich supporter and a former Libertarian. I cast my first Presidential ballot ever for Ron Paul in 88. But I’ve come to realize that there is no such thing as a power vaccume. If the state has no power to act to prevent exploitation and abuse other powers will rise up to exploit and abuse. This is what even the mild libertarianism of Reagan has brought us – a governement co-opted by corporate interests and a population of debt slaves. If you don’t like imperialistic wars then I would suggest supporting a truly democratic state power enabled to manage the rise of corporate abuse. Laissez-faire makes for great Ayn Rand novels but in real life the elites will fuck you up one side and down the other if you give them free reign. Halliburton loves Libertarians, I promise.

  8. The Cato Institution is well-enough funded that they have become true conservatives. And a conservative is someone who likes things just the way they are. The Cato blowhards all write as if by quill amid oaken book cases under coffered dome ceilings. They are manufacturers of arrogantly large rhetoric designed to preserve and protect the status quo.

  9. Considering the small size of the Libertarian party, the CATO Institute and the other ivory tower libertarians should stop turning away fellow libertarians like those of us who support Ron Paul. I’m a self-avowed libertarian, I even ran for office once, and the only way the party will grow will be to accept members who come from eclectic backgrounds, such as Ron Paul has managed to do. Lindsay has apparently lost sight of what libertarianism means and sounds more like an eight year old boy in a treehouse saying “no gurlz allowed” than a political scholar and leader. Sad. Very sad.

  10. It is amazing to me how the terms for Dr. Ron Paul say “he’s out there” or “extreme”, what ever; they see that extreme which is morally right. The surprise isn’t that, the “Suprise” is they can’t even see the tragic & bizare way they have (Congress OUR Reps./! Blind to the over whelming treason taking place, or are they?) abused every power given to the with large amounts of money lost or unaccounted for, especially the Pentagon.(2.3 Trillion~as reported by Rumsfled in ’01…have we already lost OUR COUNTRY? Don’t they know making him look abnormal or belittling his statements which I have researched and “ALL ADD UP!”. They are now blatently lies to the public, and getting no one paying attention to stop it. PEOPLE WAKE UP… who have we allowed to represent “us” the people? Why did they NOT read the “Patriot Act” before they voted?????? we truly are being hijacked.

  11. These stooges are all about their DC think tank lifestyle. They never had any real interest in promoting liberty, thus it is no surprise that they are horrified at the thought of actually electing a libertarian president. Their interest is mainly in using the donations of well-intentioned but misguided folks to live the beltway think tank life. Cato should just become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AEI and get it over with.

  12. It seems Cato is being infiltrated and corrupted from within just as the GOP has been and as seems to be a recurrent problem with collectives. Ambitious and unprincipled politicians and careerists selling out the ideals of liberty and promoting both overt and thinly veiled “progressive” ideas are the only sanctioned leaders and experts. If Brink Lindsay is “forward looking” then I am proud to call myself a “backward looking” ANTI-WAR prole. He’s not fit to shine Ron Paul’s shoes.

  13. Or course the CATO people hate Ron Paul. If he’s elected president, it would put them out of business.

  14. Well, give Lindsay credit for acknowledging that the universe is a libertarian one. Now we just have to figure out which part of it he claims to be from.

    Could it be the collision of Galaxy Sell-Out with Galaxy Trotsky, resulting in Galaxy Neoconservative? This would be unfortunate, as the galaxy seems to be collapsing in on itself, all while spewing out more failed stars and noxious clouds of gas.

    Could he be referring to the admittedly small, backward-spinning Galaxy Cosmopolitan Libertarianism, created by the collision of Galaxy Liberal and Galaxy Denial?

    Maybe he’d be so kind as to enlighten us.

  15. Ron Paul’s run for the Presidency is not very complex. Step One: Get the troops our of Iraq and Afghanistan, then Korea (35,000) Europe (50/60,000), the Japan, Okinawa and 125 other countries. This is the pivot for getting our financial house in order. Most of this can be done by the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces (Ron Paul). Then make the concerted effort to get the Congress on board (When they bully you back, go on National TV to tell the world who and why they are holding up the plan to put the US back on sound footing. Lot of places to save additional dollars, so we can end up with a SS program for the young while protecting the old and a graduated way of tackling medical in the US as well. It does not take a genius to think of ways of savings dollars in the Military Industrial Complex where all parties are in a better position including the ultimate consumer.
    His plans on Immigration also make sense.
    In spite of the jabs, Ron Paul is going to be the next President of the United States.
    Watch his smoke in New Hampshire and the tremendous effort he puts forth in Iowa.

    1. The only way it’s going to happen is to get massive caucus and primary participation from the heretofor uninvolved and massive crossover from Kucinich supporters.

      As you point out, either one of these guys can right things very quickly. As commander in chief they can withdraw and cut military spending unilaterally, unless they are assassinated.

  16. Thanks to Justin Raimondo, as he has once again exposed CATO (or is that STATO!)for the phony libertarianism they promote. To think that when Ed Crane spoke at the LP convention in Anaheim, California in 2000, basically saying that the LP was great, and a leading force in the fight for liberty, I trusted him. Well, Mr. Crane, more than 70% of the LP membership supports Ron Paul (thanks to Steve Gordon for that statistic), so your CATO is way, way out of step with what libertarians want. CATO, you are history. The Koch’s may have the money to fund you, but as the Ron Paul Revolution has shown, only a true grassroots movement has real clout. p.s. Has the CATO Institute had $18,000,000+ in funding in a year . . . ever? Ron Paul has! I rest my case.

    Steve LaBianca

  17. I have to say that not everyone at Cato is dismissive of Ron Paul. Whatever my other disagreements with Tom Palmer, he has been very supportive of the Paul campaign, and that is to his credit. Cato, like any large institution, is not a monolith, but I agree with those who find the direction it seems to be going worrisome.

  18. One small correction . . . Ed Crane spoke at the 2002 LP convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, not the 2000 convention in Anaheim, California.. My mistaken recollection.

  19. The US of A is heading full speed towards a cliff, a Ron Paul presidency is the emergency brake that will stop the disaster.

    Vote freedom, vote Ron Paul!

    1. Damn straight. Dr. Paul’s the only candidate who’s pro-freedom and anti-warmongering.

      The American government badly needs an enema. Paul’s the doctor who can administer it!

  20. “You have this weird group of people. You’ve got libertarians, you’ve got antiwar types and you’ve got nationalists and xenophobes. I’m not sure that is leading anywhere. I think he’s a sui generis type of guy who’s cobbling together some irreconcilable constituencies, many of which are backward-looking rather than forward-looking.”

    Sounds like an average slice of America to me.

  21. You finally got me, Justin – I just contributed. We don’t have a lot of money, and my wife will probably fuss at me, but it’s worth it to support such fine Rothbardian libertarians. Many thanks for your tireless efforts!

  22. Tom Palmer aside, Mr. Raimondo, but I would have (half) expected David Boaz to at least have some positive words for Ron Paul. I’ve met Mr. Boaz before, and he seemed like a well informed guy. My opinion of him changed, when he recently alluded (on some news show) that Ron Paul was not the “ideal” candidate. Maybe so Mr. Boaz, but how about all the excellent libertarian qualities Ron Paul possesses and libertarian positions he takes? Nothing but silence on Boaz’s part. Truly shameful. I mean, my understanding is that Dr. Paul runs a lean and mean campaign . . . no lavish spending. Just focused, targeted spending to get the message out. How much more libertarian can you get that that???? Supporters expect their money to go far, and they are getting it! Every libertarian and Libertarian should get on board the most successful libertarian presidential campaign ever, even though Paul isn’t the “ideal” candidate. “It’s the message, Stupid!”

  23. I am yet another former Cato sponsor. I have become increasingly disillusioned with the Cato Institute for a variety of reasons. They are increasingly establishmentarian, uncomfortably compromising on the non-aggression principles of libertarianism and dismissive of Ron Paul. They are hardly radical llibertarians. One wonders if they really want to change things in a libertarian direction or just like playing the part of chronic complainers and collecting their donations.

    I came to these conclusions without knowing the history of the Cato versus Mises Institute “rivalry” until today. The insult directed at Lew Rockwell was pretty much the last straw for me. Count me in the Rothbard/Mises/Rockwell camp.

    And please vote for Ron Paul!!!

  24. The CATO is the example of what is wrong with so-called “beltway libertarians.”

    They aren’t libertarian, they are more concerned with donations than they are with policy and they are too close to the power.

    They’ve never had any real influence in Washington, but Washington has had an influence on them.

  25. Thanks for exposing these effete and silly snobs. Or rather for just reporting their talk and and letting them expose themselves. Who would have thought there could be a foppish Libertarian? (I somehow picture the ridiculously pompous “public” persona of David Niven in The Scarlet Pimpernel, perfumed hanky in sleeve.) Most definitely, Dr. Paul is not their sort. Not their sort at all.

  26. This Lindsay fellow seems a tad effeminate.. like a high class male prostitute in the days of the crumbling Roman Empire, who cato’d to emperors. Doesn’t he realize that inflation has gone up 300% since 1971? The Age of Abundance indeed.

    Hey, I go to the gym, buddy. :)

  27. I quit respecting CATO when I realized so many of their researchers spent their time helping Republicans fine-tune government programs. The last thing politicians and bureaucrats need is more academics telling them they need to make more programs, but I guess that’s what statist interventionists do and that’s what CATO has become. Didn’t they just host Helicopter Ben? Who’s next – Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee?

  28. I guess Doug Bandow got out of CATO before the milk turned sour!

    Funny though, that I remember Doug Bandow opposite Pat Buchanan on Crossfire one time. It’s likely they both (at least somewhat) support Ron Paul! Just one more indication of how the Ron Paul Revolution unites most of us, except the “beltway libertarians”!!

  29. One of my biggest reservations concerning the Anti-Paul libertarians and some of the high mucky mucks of the “Big L” libertarians is the growing suspicion that they would far rather continue to hold court over 0.5% of the electorate than allow a populist Big Tent libertarian movement like the one congealing around Ron Paul’s candidacy to dilute their august voices. Huge numbers (especially by Libertarian Party standards) are waking up and learning about libertarian principles and, heaven forbid!, forming their own opinions! It must be stopped so that we can go back to running a group so small that’s its not even considered the fringe, just the fuzz on the fringe.

    “What if they held a Revolution and forgot to ask your opinion?”

  30. I remember Ed Crane, David Boaz, Tom Palmer, and the rest of the CATO crowd standing up and walking out of the 1983 LP Nominating Convention when their presidential candidate Earl Ravenal was bested by David Bergland. Murray Rothbard had earlier pegged them for the “right opportunists” that they have shown themselves to be over and over again (http://mises.org/story/2651).

  31. I dont get it? So is there a more “appropriate” libertarian running? Or since Paul isn’t EXACTLY the libertarian candidate lindsey wants, he will support another? Petty

  32. First- all polls are MSM propaganda- They have become meaningless to anyone with a brain and an on-line computer. The big threat is massive voter fraud. Transparent, publicly verified voting process (on paper) has served every democracy well. Hell, its the very foundation of Democracy! Have we forgot 2000 and 2004? You can rant endlessly about policy. It means nothing. One man. One vote. Fairly counted. When our nation gets back to that, the Republic will heal itself. Good night, and good luck…Dexter

  33. I’ve recently converted, ideologically speaking, to the real Libertarian Party, Rothbard style. CATO had me intrigued for a time, but they look to me like phony Libertarians. Having divorced myself some time ago from the phony Republicans, I can no longer stand the picking and choosing that occurs within these ideological establishments. It’s bad enough that Bush and his religious-based, warmongering factions are picking a little Constitution, a little religion, and a little “conservatism” here and there, but what’s CATO’s excuse?

    Having lived in the Beltway for 16 years, I know what it is: money and political insidership over principle. I am similarly dismayed by Pat Buchanan, who seems to be torn between the religion and anti-war angle; his piece on Romney today concerned me, and heightened my fears over the power of political insidership/money in this town. Though I agree with many of Buchananan’s positions, I see too much of the “playing the field” mentality. (In the case of Romney, it seems, the God of War is OK, even though war is not the best option and Empire is doomed by expansive spending and excess immigration.)

    Note to Pat: We can’t have it all and be all things to all people; there’s no logic in half-war, half-empire, or half-principled spending. Well, Pat is running out of field, as are CATO. While I may not agree with, or perhaps understand, all of Paul’s arguments, I am more willing to accept over-principled dogma than under-principled rhetoric and pomp. Appeasement to party principles is acceptable when meted out in the democratic process, but not within an ideological party’s platform.

  34. The article was so overblown. Cato is not a news organization and they don’t want to get their hands dirty in politics. Ron Paul makes them uncomfortable because they don’t want to look out of the ivory tower.

  35. Recently I heard someone describe themselves, with utmost sincerity as an “Oscar Wilde Catholic.” To give credit where it is due, it seems to me that CATO Institute has done almost as much to promote true Libertarianism as the works of Oscar Wilde have done to promote true Christianity. The only thing marrs the analogy is that Wilde’s deathbead conversion was undoubtedly sincere.

  36. Shame on the Nation magazine. I dropped my subscription years ago. It is an apologist for the Democrat party, and constantly runs smear jobs on independents. It hurts me so that it tries to throw roadblocks in the way of different types of people trying to unite to stop the war and fight imperialism, the primary struggle for the usa today. Thanks, Justin, for your insights and insults to those who call themselves Libertarian, and then denounce the Honorable Ron Paul by supposed association.

    If I may please ask all to call the Pakistan desk at our State Dept., 202-647-9823, and denounce their government’s ugly crackdown on civil society and on codepink activists during our visit there, asking that US cut off all financial aid.

  37. Did we really expect that CATO would maintain its pure libertarian roots when it is located in DC and is trying to participate in the influence game? Once you enter that game compromise is the name of the game when you play politics. Reason will end up being the same as it tries to become a big player in the privatization game. If you want pure libertarian philosophy stick with the Foundation for Economic Education, Mises Institute, and similiar organizations.

    1. Being located in DC leads to disconnection from the rest of the population. The information sources there consist essentially of the MSM and other professional “speakers to power” – all trying to influence the government by creating a distorted (or downright fake) image of the world.

      (Indeed, IMHO the MSM distortions of polling results and selective reporting, and other blatant propaganda are primarily aimed at the denizens of DC – especially the congresscritters – rather than the population at large, who are mainly in the crosshairs during election season.)

      No excuse, of course. But the social pressure of that odd environment may at least help explain the spectacle of a libertarian think-tank warping into a statist toolchest.

  38. Having spent time in the company of David Boaz, Tom Palmer, and several CATO staffers I can conclusively say this: everyone has their own opinion. This past summer I got a scholarship to go to the annual CATO University held by the institute. While there is much common ground between CATO people they still find their divides. Brink Lindsey is no exception. More importantly, he does not speak for the institute though his comments do reflect upon it. Please remember that while Mr Lindsey may not think well of Dr Paul, that is his own opinion and not the opinion of the CATO Institute.

  39. This is not an intellectual debate in a smoky drawing room, we do not have any time to ponder nuances of Libertarianism. This is a down and dirty fight for the life of this country. Are we turning it over to the despots with a vote for any candidate other than Ron Paul or are we participating in this Revolution? I don’t mean to get personal Mr. Hayes, but you are intellectually challenged if you believe that any libertarian that is “your kind of person” can launch a successful campaign for the presidency in this election. Our candidate is the most honorable man in Washington, maybe that isn’t “your kind of person”. He doesn’t pander to any group or special interest. That’s what we like about him. He says what he means and he means what he says. You can either join us in this Revolution and stop this slippery slid to tyranny or get out of our way, we are taking no prisoners!

  40. For all the noise being made about Ron Paul, the fact is that he will have as much impact on the 2008 Election as Nader had in 00 and o4: i.e., None. The impact candidate this year will be Mary Tillman, who is going to run as the standardbearer for the T-For-Truth Party: her primary campaign intention, to get elected President and then order the de=classification of EVERYTHING about who killed her son and why, and about Cheney’s Energy Task Force, and about when Osama bin What’s-his-Face stopped working for the CIA (and no, it wasn’t on September 10, 2001), etc.

  41. The Nation’s tawdry, odd-couple one-nighter with Lindsey reminds me of liberals going to Cato and other establishment free-market outlets for their open borders arguments. Someone will have to slip out quietly in the morning to avoid the awkward moment. And both parties will feel a little dirty afterwards.
    But seriously, this just illustrates the dirty little secret of the moment for the mainstream Left: they’re willing to sell us down the river on a murderous foreign policy in order to enact their domestic plans. How in the hell they think Hillary-care is worth it, I can’t fathom.

    I understand why the Republicans want to exorcise Paul for the ongoing embarassment of his honesty and constitutional integrity, as well as the uncertainty he throws into the primaries, but why the Left feels the need to take him down at this early juncture is an interesting question. He’s got everyone rattled at this point, and he’d be lucky to draw ten percent running as a third party candidate. But they do fear the issues he raises and the non-denominational appeal, I suppose.

    Lindsey’s “one of us” snobbery reminds me of Conrad’s Lord Jim, only it’s the author who’s ditching his honor to abandon ship and leave the rabble to their fate.

    But I just have to ask, Moebus, with all due respect to Ms. Tillman, are you high? No, really. Like the tail end of a 24 hour Xbox and bong hits marathon delusional? I kid, I kid.

    1. Thank you,Dennis, for exposing the of-the-moment mainstream Left’s dirty (very dirty) little secret. Creepy, eh!

  42. Cato has been deleted from my computer; they’ve lost it when they’ve decided to yield and move against Ron Paul.

  43. The nation piece contains more than one of the several derogatory memes that get recycled in just about every article on Paul.

    There are infinite divisions in all parties, Giuliani is dicing up the republican party, for example. Who cares. The idea that is noteworthy seems to suppose that the natural order for things is that a political party affiliation should define everything down to which brand of socks a person wears.

    As far as CATO goes, let me give you a hint. They are a Washington DC think tank. Their brand of thinking is practically irrelevant, look at the fruits they bare. Just a gate-keeper for libertarian leaning folks, an integral part of the establishment.

    I will say that this Brink fellow sounds “utterly fabulous” – what with all the gym time: Nice glutes, bad ideas.

  44. When M. Gandhi was asked to describe his journey from obscurity to the position of, literally, the liberator of India, his response, in essence, was simplicity at its best: first they ignore, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win.

    R. Paul was ignored, then made fun of and is now being attacked. Do I think he will win the nomination. Absolutely not. The republicans, like the democrats, are for the acquistion and maintenance of power, not diffusion of power to the people as the founders, and R. Paul, advocated. No, the republicans are too far gone to provide any hope for the Constitution to guide them.

    The single most gratifying aspect of the R. Paul candidacy is to reveal to all who will see that the ideas of freedom are alive and well in what is fast becoming what appears to be a police state. From this perspective, there is hope that the final triumph of the megalomaniacal in our society can be averted.

  45. Let’s admit the truth: yes, there are some nutcases that support Ron Paul. That doesn’t bother me in the slightest; Ron is my guy too. Who can’t change things until you get people who are fed up to here with the current state.

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