John Merritt posted his conspiracy theory interpretation of the Koch brothers' attempt to take over the Cato Institute in a comment to my post a couple of days ago, and I enjoyed it so much I will reproduce it here:
"CATO has been a vocal opponent of the DrugWar, and in the last 6 months or so has turned out a lot of anti-DrugWar articles. With polls showing a majority of Americans now favoring some kind of legalization of pot, the social conservatives have to attack, and this may be one such avenue, i.e. taking over a major source of anti-DrugWar propaganda and silencing or running off the DrugWar opponents."
One possible problem with the theory is that the Kochs have been giving money for many years to libertarian groups that promote drug legalization; surely if they object to such positions, they would have noticed years ago and cut off the money. On the other hand, maybe someone got to the Kochs!
John also mentioned, "
I have been a long-time though modest supporter of CATO from several reasons, and a putsch by the Koch Bros would definitely end my support." That's pretty much how I feel.
More on this from Gene Healy and Jason Kuznicki. Kuznicki thinks the Kochs want to silence Cato ""on civil liberties and the War on Drugs," so he backs Merritt's theory.
Incidentally, I notice that Cato's plight seems to be enjoyed both by right-wingers and left-wingers. Bipartisanship at last! The bipartisans gave us the "war on some drugs" and endless Asian land wars. Maybe they can destroy the Cato Institute, too.
Merritt's blog is here.