Cato’s libertarian stance, once viewed as fringe, is now considered respectable. With its anti-incumbent, anti-Washington attitude, Cato has antagonized liberals with its push to privatize Social Security, as well as conservatives with its vigorous opposition to the Iraq war.In my mind, it is much deserved. If you keep up with Cato's blog, Cato@Liberty, read any of their recent works, or check out their events, it's clear that Cato is on the cutting edge of ideas and changing the public policy debate towards that of liberty. The fact that Students for a Democratic Society felt it was necessary to protest Cato several months ago only solidifies this in my mind. It's not a proclamation of victory for Cato's ideas, but it is nice to see Cato recognized outside the libertarian world.
Note: For full disclosure, I am spending the year as a Koch Associate at the Cato Institute and so am biased. However, I also think it's just true that Cato has been doing a great job and know that others like Radley Balko agree with me.