There is a marked difference in how Republicans and Democrats campaign for political office, and more importantly, who each party’s candidate appeals to for support. In fact, few Americans would argue that Republicans make even a passing attempt to appeal to the people in general, and they would likely say that Republicans are either out of touch with the population, or are so driven to serve the Kochs that they openly oppose policies the people support. It would be difficult for even Fox News to argue against the idea that Republicans only campaign, and act, according to the will of the Koch brothers, and two candidates for the Republican presidential nomination are already vying to impress, and best serve the interests of, the Koch brothers, not the American people.
The Koch brothers have already anointed their college dropout hero and puppet, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, as their preferred surrogate to sit in the White House. Walker has closely followed the Kochs’ libertarian-model in Wisconsin, and this week he signaled that he was preparing to follow through on another favorite Koch target. Walker’s move likely prompted former Florida governor Jeb Bush to promise the Kochs that if he is their White House surrogate, he already has plans in the works to fulfill one of their 35-year dreams.
It is no secret that the Koch brothers have dreamed of abolishing the Federal Elections Commission, campaign finance laws, and at least thwarting any effort to monitor adherence to election laws. In Wisconsin, Scott Walker showed the Koch brothers that he knows how to deal with campaign and election laws that do not give Republicans free rein to cheat. Walker’s latest plan is dismantling Wisconsin’s independent state agency that oversees elections and enforces campaign finance laws. Walker wants to eliminate the independent agency staffed with non-partisan former judges and replace it with, as he says, “something completely new.” Something new is a Koch-partisan panel that will never authorize investigations into Walker’s, or any other Republican’s, shady, if not illegal, campaign activities.
The Koch governor was emboldened, and sought retribution against the elections board, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court put a halt to the elections’ board-approved investigation into conservative groups that illegally coordinated with Walker’s 2012 recall campaign. Since he cannot count on the state’s High Court to always put a stop to election board investigations, Walker will just dismantle the panel and appoint a group of Koch acolytes to serve as a sham accountability board. Walker also promised to follow through on a months-long threat to launch an investigation into the current, non-partisan board for having the temerity to do its job and order an investigation into Walker’s corrupt campaign activities. At any rate, Walker’s dismantling of the Accountability Board sends a strong message to his masters, the Koch brothers, that he will fulfill their every wish and more if they buy him a term in the White House.
Not to be outdone, and to earn the Koch brothers’ support, this week while speaking at an event sponsored by the Koch brother’s Americans for Prosperity, the allegedly moderate Republican, Jeb Bush, told the Kochs and their rich cohort that it was time to “phase out” Medicare. While some pundits claim that Bush’s statement was a radical idea, to the Americans for Prosperity club it is just a small first step in the Koch crusade to phase out the federal government in its entirety.
Bush lied and put on a performance for the Koch crowd, even criticizing ‘the left‘ for not joining the Kochs to get rid of Medicare. Bush criticized Democrats for being truthful and complained that the left was dishonest in striking fear among the elderly that when Republicans eliminate Medicare, they will lose their healthcare insurance; even if they paid for it throughout their working lives. Jeb complained to the Kochs that, “The left needs to join the conversation, but they haven’t. I mean, when Representative Paul Ryan came up with one of his proposals (coupon scam) as it relates to Medicare, the first thing I saw was a TV ad of a guy that looked just like Paul Ryan and he pushing an elderly person off the cliff in a wheelchair. That’s their response. We need to be vigilant about this and persuade people that when your volunteers go door to door, and they talk to people, people understand this.”
It is, indeed, curious how the Americans for Prosperity and Koch “volunteers” will make people understand that eliminating their medical insurance they paid for is a good thing, or that Republicans are doing them some kind of huge favor. What the Koch volunteers will learn is that most people (89%) do understand that if not for Democrats and the left opposing the GOP’s Medicare elimination scam, the idea of a patient-funded healthcare program for the elderly would have disappeared three years ago.
What Bush is implying is that there is something inherently, and terribly, wrong with anyone who opposes the Koch’s demand that as part of the federal government, Medicare needs to be eliminated. It is just one, among many if not all, federal programs and agencies, like the FEC, that the Kochs have called for to be abolished for over thirty years.
Even though Bush was preaching to a friendly congregation about the need to abolish Medicare, he took care to pander to the Kochs specifically and proffer some of their typical Americans for Prosperity lies about the fifty-year-old Medicare program. It is a mystery why, in “preaching to the libertarian choir” Bush just did not admit that because the Kochs and the rich want Medicare abolished, the Republican thing to do is just get rid of it; but he lied instead.
Like a typical Republican, Bush lied when he claimed that Democrats ignored having a conversation about Medicare’s fiscal health. Democrats did more than talk about Medicare’s fiscal health, they took action even as Republicans were doing everything to eliminate the popular program, and with President Obama’s assistance Democrats successfully strengthened Medicare’s finances and extended its fiscal health until at least 2030. That fiscal health is just one reason Republicans want to immediately “phase out Medicare” because contrary to Bush’s lie, a healthy Medicare program does not mean the people “will not have anything.” Since Republicans launched their crusade against the program and opposed any means to keep it solvent long into the future, it was left to President Obama and Democrats to put a serious dent in current and future Medicare shortfalls with passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Now that the general election season is a year-and-a-half slog, and frankly disgusting, Republicans are pandering to the only people they intend to serve if they win the White House, the Koch brothers. For both Walker and Bush to take positions contrary to the overwhelming majority of Americans, it should be obvious to the voters who they intend to govern for if they are victorious. It is noteworthy that 90 percent of the American people demand some serious campaign finance reform to gain back their vanishing democracy while Scott Walker is telegraphing his plan to “dismantle” election and campaign finance watchdogs for his Koch masters.
Bush is not going to be outdone and took the highly unpopular position of publicly calling for the end of Medicare when an incredible percentage of Americans want the wildly popular and successful program strengthened and protected for future generations. What is apparent in both Bush and Walker’s campaigns to impress the Kochs is that the lure of nearly a billion dollars in campaign donations to put a Republican in the White House drives them to openly oppose the will of the people. It is not that Republicans opposing the people, or working against them, is anything new, but to openly campaign on serving the billionaire cabal is nearly as brazen as campaigning to abolish Medicare and eliminate agencies tasked to keep the election process fair and democratic.