Excerpted from Mark Ames’s longer article at The Exiled.
Ezra’s shine-job, headlined “How powerful are the Koch brothers?” does its Beigeist best to muddle the reader’s head into believing that, yeah, the Kochs are kinda bad ‘n stuff, but hey, it’s just how things are:
as far as I can tell, the Koch brothers are rich ideologues/industrialists who are in competition with other rich ideologues, trade organizations, interest groups, constituents, activists, electoral incentives and so on to set the agenda of the Republican Party. Sometimes they are part of the coalition that succeeds, as in the case of energy policy. Sometimes they are part of the coalition that fails, as in the case of foreign policy.
Yeah, they win some, they lose some. Except in the Kochs’ case, even when they supposedly “lose” in foreign policy, they actually win–military contracts that is, for wars they really, really hate, as Yasha Levine points out here.
So all in all, yeah, Ezra Klein looks at this and decides, “It’s just like ACORN, nothing to worry about folks, keep moving along”:
In general, the Koch brothers are in a similar category: Influential political players court them for their money, work with them when it suits their purposes and ignore them otherwise. That makes them a lot more powerful than you or me, and certainly worthy of attention. But it doesn’t make them into a grand unified theory of conservative politics, and people should be skeptical when they’re presented as such.
Really, the problem isn’t so much Ezra–after all, he’s a former roommate of Megan [McArdle]’s and a longtime friend of hers, Weigel’s, and every other corrupt libertard scavenger in DC–the problem is that the Washington Post must have known what they were doing when they zeroed in on this gullible, star-fucking pipsqueak to represent the so-called liberal consensus. The Fred Hiatts and Charles Lanes chose Ezra Klein for the same reason Roger Ailes chose Alan Colmes to sit next to Hannity.
But I’m in a charitable mood today, now that America’s beloved celebrity medium, television, has finally come around to acknowledging that, well, how do I put this? I guess: “WE WERE RIGHT AND YOU WERE FUCKING WRONG” would be a start.
Anyway, Ezra, here’s a little advice: go back to school. Then go out and get a job. A real job: “Obama Administration waterboy” doesn’t count as a job. Meantime, here’ s a quick study guide that might help you understand why the Kochs really are very, very different:
- From the time they founded the Tea Party in 2009 to today, their wealth shot up from 28 billion to 44 billion, nearly 60 percent;
- They led the campaign against health care;
- The Kochs spend more fighting climate change than anyone or any company in the world;
- The Kochs bankrolled Scott Walker;
- The Kochs wrote Bush’s environmental policies;
- Cato wrote the Republican Congress’s 1995 legislative agenda, acting as the think-tank for Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.
- The Kochs control up to 35,000 miles of pipelines in the US and Canada, enough to circle the globe 1-1/2 times.
Should I go on?
No need. That’s a nice list. And it looks like owning a few Congress critters and a “grass roots” movement can have a fantastic ROI! Also, too, Young Ezra was Megan McArdle’s room-mate? What’s up with that?