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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 10:36 AM

1. Charles Koch’s Frankenstein Problem: He Created the Tea Party Monster

http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/charles-kochs-frankenstein-problem-he-created-tea-party-monster-and-now-hes

Charles Koch’s Frankenstein Problem: He Created the Tea Party Monster — and Now He’s Horrified With the Results
The Koch network gave rise to the rabid right. But now Charles Koch wails about a 'lack of substance and civility.'
By Sean Illing / Salon October 27, 2015


I’m a big fan of irony, which is why I enjoyed this Wall Street Journal profile of Charles Koch so much. In an interview with Patrick O’Connor, Charles – evidently the more diplomatic half of the two most politically active Koch brothers – spoke somberly about the tone of the 2016 presidential race and of political discourse more generally. “It’s mainly about personalities and ‘your mother sucked rotten eggs,’” he lamented to O’Connor.

On the one hand, I understand Charles’s frustration. After all, he and his brother are looking to invest $750 million on this election. When a man, his brother, and 450 wealthy donors build a national network of umbrella organizations in order to dictate political outcomes via dark money, they expect to get the results they want.

Here’s the problem: The Koch brothers, whether they know it or not, got exactly what they paid for. If the tone of our politics has sunk to Cro-Magnon levels, it’s because the process has been flooded with money and propaganda and rabid right-wingers who’ve coarsened the discourse and made compromise impossible.

Everything about our politics took a dark turn around the time of Obama’s election in 2008, which is precisely when the Koch brothers’ political machine exploded into being. As O’Connor writes:

In 2003, Mr. Koch convened about a dozen like-minded conservatives in Chicago with the goal of becoming more overtly political. Those efforts took hold early in Barack Obama’s presidency amid voter unease with the bank bailout signed by President George W. Bush and with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Groups financed by the Kochs and their alliance spent more than $400 million in 2012…In that year’s presidential election, Americans for Prosperity and two other Koch-financed groups spent a total of more than $50 million on television ads.

(snip)

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