There is a saying in the entertainment industry that any publicity is good publicity, and although it is primarily true for entertainers, it is not the case for politicians. For the dark money and puppeteers behind conservative politicians, anonymity is the preferred state and any publicity is inherently bad regardless if they fund extremist politicians or schemes to shut down the government. After news broke that the billionaire oil magnates the Koch brothers funded the culprits behind the still-ongoing government shut down, they finally spoke out in a letter to Senators claiming their innocence and denying they had any part in teabagger and Republican machinations to hold the government hostage in exchange for killing the Affordable Care Act.
The Koch brothers’ letter claimed they had no part or took no position “on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding ObamaCare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding ObamaCare,” but like their Republican lackeys; they are filthy liars. The Koch-funded FreedomWorks issued a letter in February that said, “Conservatives should not approve a CR unless it defunds Obamacare. This includes Obamacare’s unworkable exchanges, unsustainable Medicaid expansion, and attack on life and religious liberty.” If paying a surrogate to demand Republicans and teabaggers tie defunding the Affordable Care Act to keeping the government operating is not taking a position on the government shutdown and the continuing resolution, then the Sun rises in the West and the Earth orbits the moon.
Obviously the bad publicity frightens the Koch brothers and doubtless they are legitimately concerned they will lose influence with their right wing conservative base who are taking a beating in the public sphere for their fervent support of the government shutdown. Likely, the Koch’s are not happy their reputation could be further sullied for backing the extremist wing of the Republican Party led by Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz, and Steve King who championed the government shutdown strategy to eliminate the health law. It is also likely they did not miss Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s accusations they were behind the shutdown, or the articles, petitions and calls for the Justice Department to investigate them for sedition that never had a snowball’s chance in Hell of touching the Kochs.
However, there is a statute in the U.S. Code that does apply to the Koch brothers and every other conservative that spent the past three years attempting to prohibit implementation of the Affordable Care Act and it is a legitimate and actionable offense the DOJ can prosecute with extreme prejudice. In 18 USC § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy, it plainly says; “If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspires to oppose by force the authority of, or prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.” For the Americans affected by the government shut down, and those who live in Republican states that rejected free Medicaid expansion written in the Affordable Care Act, it is highly likely they would support fining and imprisoning the Koch brothers for twenty years.
The U.S. Code says “if two or more persons” are involved in a conspiracy to oppose the authority of, prevent, hinder, or delay any law they shall be punished and that means that every single Republican, teabagger, conservative media, and libertarian belief tank is in line to be prosecuted for seditious conspiracy by the Department of Justice. Every Republican in the House that voted to tie defunding the Affordable Care Act is part of the conspiracy, and that also applies to Republicans who voted in lockstep to prevent the law’s implementation by tying defunding the law to passing a continuing resolution to open the government.
Republicans in leadership positions in the House and Senate are particularly culpable for preventing the law’s enactment and not because they wasted taxpayer time and money voting over forty times to repeal the law, but because their propaganda, lies, and misinformation incited hostility in the states to oppose the authority of the law. In states such as Arizona, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, and Missouri Republicans refused to enforce the law, and after the general election at least three Republican states voted to arrest any federal official who tried to implement the law making them part of the seditious conspiracy as much as the Koch brothers who paid hundreds-of-millions to hinder the law’s implementation. One former Republican, Joe Walsh (R-IL) actually went so far as to provoke his supporters to “defy and or break the law” if faced with what he called “restrictions” in the federal health law. Three GOP-controlled states openly voted to “nullify” the law in typical Confederate fashion.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and yet Republicans have never admitted it is the law of the land. It is true that after the 2012 general election Speaker of the House John Boehner had a moment of clarity and said “Obamacare is the law of the land,” but he, and his fellow conservatives treat the law as if it is a piece of legislation still up for debate and negotiation. Since the law is over three-and-a-half years old, every Republican, teabagger, conservative think tank, and even conservative media is guilty of conspiring to oppose the authority of, or prevent, hinder, or delay the ACA and it is incumbent on the Department of Justice to charge every last one of them with seditious conspiracy under U.S. Code 18 USC § 2384, but especially Charles and David Koch.
The DOJ will have an easy time prosecuting and convicting the Kochs and their conspirators because there are money trails leading directly to PACs whose primary purpose was inciting opposition to the established law. There are also videos, angry screeds, and floor speeches from Republicans in the House and Senate demanding the ACA be defunded and delayed that would give any prosecutor an easy task of proving seditious conspiracy.
Americans have put up with criminal sedition from the Kochs and Republicans for too long and they cannot be held to a different standard or above the law because they are rich and powerful. In fact, their violation of the U.S. Code may well be the easiest, and only, means of stopping their continued assault on America’s representative democracy. Obviously the Koch brothers were rattled by charges they were behind the government shutdown through their funding efforts to hold the government hostage in exchange for eliminating the ACA or they would not have written a letter lying about their involvement. But they, their think tanks, PACs, and cohort in Congress and the states cannot deny they are guilty of seditious conspiracy to “oppose the authority of, or prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States” and no American should be satisfied until they are fined or imprisoned for twenty years. If there is any justice left in this corrupt nation, they will get both.
The fact that states voted to arrest federal officials attempting to enforce the health law, coupled with the growing threats of armed violence against the government due to the health law’s enactment meets the definition of “by force” originally omitted in the U.S. Code’s description. By definition, a conspiracy means the planners, inciters, and funders are guilty the same as Osama bin Laden was guilty for recruiting, planning, and funding al Qaeda terrorists who flew commercial airliners into American buildings.