In what alternate reality does the New York Times think that the Cato Institute is “ultraconservative.”

February 10th, 2014

The Times profiles the story of Xia Yeilang, a Chinese dissident who was dismissed as an economics professor from Peking University for speaking out against government policies. Yeliang will become a visiting fellow at Cato. So far, so good. And how does the Times characterize Cato?

The political labels of Professor Xia and the Cato Institute, in Washington, are strikingly different. Professor Xia got into trouble in China for being too liberal, while the institute is known as libertarian or — less to its liking — ultraconservative. But the professor and Cato officials say they have the same focus.

Who in the world thinks Cato is “untraconservative.” Cato supports gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, non-interventionist foreign policy, etc, etc, etc.

It irks me when libertarians (myself included) are described as “conservative.” But “ultraconservative”? That’s just lazy.