Koch Brothers Can’t Control Their Tea Party Monster
Insani-Tea Reigns: Koch Brothers Fail To Control The Monster They Created
by Rick Unger on Forbes"With great power comes great responsibility.”
This often quoted adage—first offered up by an old comic book friend of mine—is one that is not to be taken lightly by those who rise to positions of great power and then propose to use that power to change the face of entire nations.
Sadly, it is a bit of wisdom that David and Charles Koch appear to have never taken to heart.
Thanks to the very elected officials who achieved their Congressional offices as a result of the organizational and financial contributions of Charles and David Koch, the brothers’ massive business interests—along with the interests of just about every business in the nation—are poised to take a major hit at the hands of those they placed in positions of power.
Indeed, so concerned are the Kochs with the damage already done and the catastrophe we—and they—may now be facing, they are scurrying to gain some measure of control over their Frankenstein monsters.
Last week, Koch Industries sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) making it clear that, while they continue to object to Obamacare, they do not support the linking of Obamacare to the passage of a continuing resolution that would re-open the government.
Now, NBC is reporting—
“But privately, Koch officials have expressed concern to lawmakers that the prospect of a government default over the Obamacare issue would be a “disaster” for the economy, according to one GOP consultant who recently discussed the matter with Koch officials and asked for anonymity.”If the circumstances were not so tragic the irony would be delicious.
Despite the Koch Brothers being among the key drivers of The Tea Party (some would say that they have, in fact, co-opted the Tea Party) a Pew Poll out last week reveals that 69 percent of those who identify with the Tea Party believe that the United States can blow by the debt ceiling deadline without major economic problems.
While the fact that nearly 70 percent of Tea Partiers see the failure to raise the debt ceiling as no big deal will be a disturbing revelation to a majority of Americans, what is more significant is the fact that 23 percent of Tea Partiers recognize that it is essential that we raise the debt ceiling to avoid the catastrophe that would likely result.
Why are the Koch Brothers not using their money and influence to choose candidates from that 23 percent who share the Kochs’ ideology but have the brains to understand basic and widely accepted economic reality? Why are they unable to find candidates in the Tea Party who ‘get’ that while the Treasury may have sufficient revenue coming in to pay the interest on our bond debt, we would necessarily be left to default on other obligations we have—taking huge sums of money out of the economy which, inevitably, leads to another deep recession if not worse?
While I would take issue with the suggestion that our nation benefits when two people—no matter what their political preferences—can exercise so much influence because they have lots of money to toss about, our laws permit the Koch Brothers to pursue their right to spend a part of their large fortune in support of their vision of what they believe makes for a better America—or at least a better America for David and Charles Koch.
However, acquiring the power their fortune has granted them must comes with responsibilities—responsibilities the Koch Brothers have grievously failed to take seriously. Now, their efforts to get some control over those who wish to push America’s economy over the edge are too little and much too late.
Would it have been asking too much of Charles and David Koch to actually vet the quality of their candidates rather than just throwing huge sums of money in the direction of anyone running for office who proudly waves the Tea Party banner? I know some pretty intelligent members of the Tea Party and, while I may disagree mightily with these people on policy, I certainly recognize them as competent to serve in high office.
Why did the Kochs fail to exercise their responsibility to find higher quality people to support rather than settle for candidates that include a physician who claimed to be pro-life but turns out to have forced a mistress to get an abortion; or a candidate who voted to increase farm subsidies while dramatically cutting food stamps who turns out to be pocketing huge sums of that farm subsidy money; or a candidate who claims that the concern for how failing to raise the debt ceiling could be devastating to our economy is nothing but “media hype”?
Could Charles and David not have foreseen that by simply funding anyone willing to voice a shared perspective, they might be sending people to Washington who lacked the basic competence and understanding of important issues to handle the job in a manner that even comes close to being responsible?
Like most things in life, throwing money at a problem is rarely the solution. If you want to get something done, you better be prepared to do it the right way or, as the Kochs are now discovering, it will almost always come back to bite you where the sun don’t shine.
It makes no difference what your politics may be—with great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, Charles and David Koch have failed to assume the responsibilities inherent with their desire for power and now —whether we get a debt-ceiling rise or not—their country is far worse off as a result of their carelessness and the quest for ideology over competency