How To Be a ‘Principled’ Beltway ‘Libertarian’

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Mark Ames’s article in The Nation that mocks the Cato Institute’s supposed “independence” from its donors provides a few examples (among hundreds more, one can be sure) of what it takes to be a beltway “libertarian.” These include:

  • Put the notorious John Yoo, defender of torture and the abolition of civil liberties during Bush’s “war on terra” on your Supreme Court Review editorial board.
  • Publicly attack critics of the neocon “war on terra” as “terrorism’s fellow travelers.”
  • Call for yet another war by invading Pakistan.
  • Call for expanded FBI spying on Americans through warrantless wiretapping.
  • Call on Congress to expand and strengthen the odious PATRIOT Act.
  • Fire any genuine anti-interventionists on your foreign policy studies staff and force others to resign.
  • Hobnob with the likes of Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.
  • Pretend to be a “Gay Rights” organization while kissing up to people like Dick Armey who once called Barney Frank “Barney Fag.”
  • Boast of how many of your former employees got appointments in the Bush administration.
  • Consider the placement of the chief funder of the neocon movement and all of its warmongering, Rupert Murdoch, on your board to be the coup of the century.
  • Have employees who give loads of money to Republican Party politicians.
  • Hire many former GOP political hacks to pretend to be “policy analysts.”

Two things missing from Ames’s list are: “Wage a vicious and malicious smear campaign against Ron Paul”; and, “After ignoring Ron Paul, the most prominent critic of the Fed in the past thirty years, at your annual monetary conference for 29 years, you finally get around to inviting him to speak there since he has become so enormously popular and will attract a crowd to your boring and predictable conference that no one cares about.” Note:  Dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of Fed bureaucrats have spoken at Cato’s annual monetary conference over the years.

The extreme hypocrisy of Ames and The Nation should also be pointed out by saying that The Nation would never, ever, publish an article that challenges the independence of leftist academics whose research is funded by the government.

7:48 am on April 21, 2012