Kochtopus

“We must make a choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

-Louis Brandeis

Bernie Sanders gets this, and he’s a good guy. There are two brothers from Kansas who get this, and they are pretty much bad guys.

They are the kind of people who, when they can’t get duly elected to government office, scheme up elegant but steamroller-like contraventions to democracy, and persist in this notion for decades with chilling success. Their family history is a tale of arrogance, love of power, and a razor-like dedication to the edges of reason.

Kochotopus is the collective name for a sprawling network of thirty-four foundations and public networks supported by Charles and David Koch. Prior to 2008 the effects of their activities were relatively benign, but all that changed when Obama was elected.

I’m not a conspiricist and most of us aren’t. I’d rather be skeptical of things in general before I try to examine them. It’s just a good starting-off point.

So I’ve never assumed too much about conspiracies. But there certainly have been conspiracies through history and the participants seem to have too much passion or virtually none (there is something to be said for the great middle way).

The Kochs are very, very secretive. They’ve been up to no good for thirty-five years. They’ve managed to fund a myriad of organizations that have their interests at heart. They are Kochotopus, waging a non-stop political campaign against the rest of us, but especially targeting the president. The idea of the ‘incessant political campaign’ was created by Karl Rove and implemented right after Obama was elected in 2008.

Forty-eight hours after he was sworn in Obama introduced the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Americans For Prosperity (a Koch-funded front group) began attacking immediately. As the legislation took shape, Americans for Prosperity sent letters to all the Republicans in congress demanding they vote “no” on the legislation, regardless of any compromise offered.

Why did Charles Koch immediately label the new president as the “most radical president we’ve ever had as a nation”? We’ve heard this ad nauseum over the past seven years. Why the disdain?

Matthew Continetti interviewed Charles Koch around 2011. Here is what he said about the president:

“His father was a hard core economic socialist in Kenya. Obama didn’t really interact with his father face-to-face very much, but was apparently from what I’ve read a great admirer of his father’s points of view. So he had sort of anti-business, anti-free enterprise influences affecting him almost all his life. It just shows you what a person with a silver tongue can achieve.”

Bill Burton, a noted Democratic consultant, believes “you can’t understand Obama’s relationship with the right wing without taking into account his race. It’s something no one wants to talk about, but really you can’t deny the racial factor. They treated him in a way they never would have if he were white. The level of disrespect was just dialed up to eleven.”

If you only extrapolate from the events unfolding in 2009 to the present, it seems reasonable to conclude that the almost complete legislative intransigence in Congress, the vigor of the Tea Party, and the deep, pervasive support for uber right-wing political candidates, stems primarily from the intentions and the enormous wealth of the Koch brothers.

It is and it does, and it’s being assiduously documented by concerned citizen journalists. I got most of the material for this column from Dark Money, written by Jane Mayer, a respected investigative reporter. You will get yourself a good education if you read this book.

Google defines conspiracy as a “secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful; the action of plotting or conspiring.”

I think these guys are morbidly secretive, don’t give a shit about the law, and are plotters supreme.

The California  primary is coming up June 7. Vote on!

Sue C