Via Sandefur I find that Tom DiLorenzo (author of a paper I just can’t stop plugging called The Myth of Natural Monopoly) has changed a Lewrockwell blog entry smearing the Cato institute, possibly because of an e-mail I sent him. DiLorenzo never replied, so I can’t know for sure. Here is what I sent
I prefer LRC and LvMI to Cato, but I think you can go overboard in your criticism of them. I didn’t read the Ted Galen Carpenter piece because you didn’t link to it, but reading their cato-at-liberty blog seems to make it evident that they prefer (although I think it is their position never to officially come out in favor of any candidate, which helps keep them tax-exempt) Ron Paul and don’t care for neo-con hawks. Going to Cato.org I found http://cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8798 by Ted Galen Carpenter which has nothing positive to say about Thompson. In addition, I think making up nicknames like “STATO” for institutions you dislike only serves to make your criticism look childish and dismissable. When Cato screws up, like with the Canadian drug importation bill, I think it is useful for other libertarian organizations to correct them, but I don’t think that criticism will get the attention it deserves unless the people who give it act like adults.
As long as I’m on the subject, here is an e-mail I sent Sandefur on Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams replying to this post, though I don’t know if this was ever read either.
I read your post on Ron Paul at your blog. I assume you get lots of rambling angry mail from his supporters, but this one will be short and civil. Paul and McAdams are not alone on the fringe in their suspicion of “freedom” or “color” movements in eastern europe and/or central asia. Just today Reason Hit & Run had a story on the repression of the “Rose Revolution” government of Georgia. Libertarians hostile to the creepy paleos of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and Lew Rockwell Center can also oppose many of the laws concerning gay marriage that Ron Paul does on strict libertarian grounds. His position in the separation of church and state isn’t necessarily anti-libertarian or dominionist, but rather in his view adhering to the written Constitution. I myself am an atheist (and of the Max Stirner variety denouncing other atheists for insufficient atheism) and I think he is correct. We do not have to claim that the Constitution separates Church and State while advocating it, just as we do not have to ignore its denial of the vote to women and a host of rights to African-Americans.
Hopefully by preventing libertarians from granting near-divine status to the Constitution (which Ron Paul is guilty of) we can rehabilitate the reputation of the anti-federalists who opposed its adoption.