Either that, or Politico hires some pretty sloppy writers. Personally, I’m voting for the latter.
The background: Politico decided to write an article that attempts to answer the eternal question, For just how long will George Soros keep throwing money down the rathole which is the Activist Left*? It’s an interesting question in its own right – the article suggests that Soros is getting pretty darn tired of piling up his money in the policy equivalent of an empty field, then setting the pile on fire – but there was one throwaway line in the piece that made me roll my eyes at what fools these mortals be:
And — like Koch brothers’ philanthropy — the recipients of Soros’s largesse do not all fit into neat liberal-conservative constructs.
Soros’s Open Society Foundations, for instance, have contributed $431,000 since 1996 to the Cato Institute to fund its drug reform, civil liberties and anti-corruption programs. And the Kochs have contributed tens of millions to the arts and cancer research.
OK. Stop right there.
I agree with Soros’ funding of Cato being an eyebrow-raiser. That’s because: Soros is, bluntly, a liberal; Cato is, bluntly, a libertarian organization; and liberals and libertarians are natural ideological enemies. Liberals like state action, libertarians do not; if one is funding the other, then there has to be an underlying reason for that**. So far, so good… but Republicans, conservatives, and/or libertarians are NOT anti-arts and pro-cancer. I am aware that all three are often sneered at as being anti-arts by, well, liberals – but then, the people doing the sneering also seem to think that self-indulgent, intellectual masturbation has a place in the arts in the first place***. And I somehow missed the process by which private philanthropists funding critical medical research became contrary to the small-government principles that run through conservative, libertarian, AND Republican thought.
The ironic bit? The author of the piece (Kenneth Vogel) probably thought that he was being fair and balanced to those dastardly cancer-loving Republicans, and everything. But then, it’s the little things that trip up people.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*We will table the discussion of the relative effectiveness of Soros and his funded groups in the political arena for another day.
**In this case it’s because the Democrats have graphically no interest in drug, civil liberty, and/or corruption reform anyway; and the Right returns CATO’s calls.
***Which I would be more or less resigned to concede that it does, except that I’m also expected to help pay for it.