Prior to 2009, maybe 2010, very few Americans had ever heard of the billionaire oil magnates the Koch brothers; likely by very careful design. Today, their name is synonymous with wealthy fascists attempting to rule America. It is that repute that Charles Koch has spent the past year attempting to transform into something more palatable and he continued the “please love me” campaign this week by opining on the state of the current presidential primary; rather, the dysfunction of the Republican presidential primary. The Democratic primary, and its candidates for president, are polar opposites of Charles and David Koch’s Republican operatives if for no other reason than they are civil and substantive.
In a Wall Street Journal profile of and interview with Charles Koch, the oil magnate and libertarian fascist weighed in on the tenor of the Republican presidential primary and, more revealing, about the nature of “political discourse in general.” What is revealing is Koch lamenting that there is no sense of civility, substance, or issues driving the Republican candidates or the GOP’s primary process. Koch bemoaned that, “It’s mainly about personalities and ‘your mother sucked rotten eggs.'”
It is not that Koch is wrong about the Republican primary race, but he does know that every single one of “the personalities,” every lack of civil discourse, and every Republican void of substance are Koch creations going back farther than the rise of one of the brothers’ crowning achievement; creating the Tea Party. Today Koch is frustrated because he, his brother, and about 450 wealthy donors plan to use Koch’s network of umbrella organizations to spend $750 million on the 2016 election to buy the right “dictate all political outcomes via dark money.” Koch expects results for his investment, but it likely looks out of reach to him with the current batch of “personalities lacking any substance and civility.”
The Koch brothers have no right whatsoever to complain about the tone of Republican politics because it is exactly what they paid for and wanted. Today’s Republicans have driven Washington politics to “Cro-Magnon barbarianism” because the process is polluted and flooded with Koch money and propaganda that elevated rabid right-wingers who have “coarsened the discourse and made compromise impossible.” It is important to note that one of the primary goals of the libertarian fascist Kochs is putting an end to government and they have spent no small amount of time and money to see that end reach fruition.
The Kochs may have made their official public entrance into politics after the 2008 general election, but they began their anti-government crusade over thirty years ago; about the same time Reagan’s “government is the enemy” campaign was off and running. Whether the Kochs conspired with conservative demigod Reagan’s anti-government crusade or not is not important, what is important is that they have used every means at their substantial disposal to advance the agenda including spending millions on Republicans without an ounce of substance or civility because it has worked miraculously well; likely because the Republican base is ignorant and uncivil.
All of the “lack of substance and civility” that Koch is complaining about began in earnest with the rise of the Tea Party packed with “real Americans” lacking substance and civility. That the tea party became a centralized movement is only because of a very concerted effort by Koch-funded groups such as Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works that brought much-needed expertise to mobilize angry, racist, religious, and anti-government types Koch is pretending to be disgusted with. As an aside and to demonstrate how long the anti-government Kochs have been influencing Republican politics, both Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks were at one time a single libertarian organization, Citizens for a Sound Economy, which the Koch brothers founded during the Reagan administration in 1984.
It is possible the Kochs did not expect their creation, the Tea Party, to last this long. The Kochs’ “pet project” was designed and created from its inception to disrupt Washington politics after Americans elected a President and Congress conservatives could not tolerate. Despite what the Kochs claim, the tea party anti-government disruption plot was entirely a Koch project because they created the first national website to give the movement national exposure as a “grassroots” populist movement.
As plenty of pundits and political observers have noted for years, part and parcel of advancing what Charles Koch says is his only interest, advancing “free-market, small-government ideals,” entailed manufacturing “a faux-populist movement” to whip the Republican base into a full-blown anti-government frenzy that produced the current crop of Republicans lacking substance and civility. Let’s face it; it does not take substance or civility to disrupt and obstruct governance and if nothing else, Republicans have been fairly successful using “teabaggers” to retard progress and disrupting government operations on myriad levels.
Charles Koch is not concerned about “the personalities” he helped create or the Republican dysfunction in Washington because they are under Koch’s anti-government influence; influence Charles Koch has spent a year claiming is non-existent. This dirty liar has said before that he holds no sway over the Republican Party or GOP members of Congress, but everything Republicans are doing, attempting to do, or undo aligns perfectly with every anti-government agenda the Kochs want enacted.
In the WSJ interview, Charles Koch cited the Republicans’ recent failure to block legislation extending a series of tax breaks for a wide swath of big businesses as proof that he and his brother have no influence on Republicans and are not getting what they want. But Republicans did not fail from a lack of trying or propagandizing; they failed due to President Obama’s firm hand to sustain America’s economic recovery that more tax cuts would surely retard. Koch has said often that “They say we have all this influence. Well, where?” Koch may claim he is a libertarian, and that may be the case, but he is also a typical Republican liar; he knows where “all this influence” is and what it has produced.
The list of influence on congressional Republicans is too long for one article, but there are several Republican states heavily-influenced by Koch ideology, and money, that are suffering from “all this influence” to shrink government by starving it of revenue and slashing programs and departments. In fact, there is very little that occurs in Republican-controlled states that is not very heavily influenced directly by the Koch’s money and vision, or indirectly by their substantial operatives in Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Charles Koch is not concerned over the lack of substance or civility among Republicans running for president any more than he is concerned about the dysfunctional religious extremists they bought to control Congress. No, what Koch is concerned about is his public image and what impact the negative publicity the brothers are finally receiving will have on the Kochs’ goal of taking over the government to dismantle it.
If anything, Charles Koch should be proud of his and his brother’s creation because they have given the Kochs control of the House and Senate, a majority of state governorships and legislatures, and they have won with two very potent weapons; no substance and no civility. They are the two most important qualities of what the Koch brothers’ tea party acolytes claim are “real Americans” that Charles and David are secretly very proud of or they would stop funding them.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.