Why the Liberals Are Going After the Kochs Again

The media deliberately ignore liberal big money interests.

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Members of the "Save Our News'' coalition, including: Courage Campaign, SEIU, Forecast the Facts, Greenpeace and the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, rally before delivering a 500,000-signature petition urging the Tribune Co. management to reject any offers by the Koch Brothers to buy The Los Angeles Times newspaper outside the newspaper headquarters in Los Angeles Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Brothers Charles and Bill Koch have donated millions to several conservative causes.
Protesters hold masks with the faces of brothers Charles and Bill Koch.

It wouldn't be the new year without a season-opening shot by The Washington Post against Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who are among the most active and generous philanthropists anywhere in the United States.

To the left, the Kochs are the devil incarnate because of the force-multiplying effect their contributions have in conservative circles, helping organizations that wave the banner of personal liberty and promote economic freedom get their message across.

The Post's latest hit, an article headlined, "Koch-backed political network, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012," was based on a report issued by a supposedly nonpartisan group that claims its mission is to follow the influence of money in politics. It might be more accurate to describe it as a pro-liberal clearinghouse for information about campaign contributions that echoes the conventional wisdom that the big money is all behind conservative causes. But, as anyone who follows the issue for real knows, the real money is with the left and has been for at least the last several decades.

[Check out 2013: The Year in Cartoons]

Strangely enough the Post acknowledges this in a paragraph buried about a half a dozen paragraphs below the headline: "The left has its own financial muscle, of course; unions plowed roughly $400 million into national, state and local elections in 2012. A network of wealthy liberal donors organized by the group Democracy Alliance mustered about $100 million for progressive groups and super PACs in the last election cycle, according to a source familiar with the totals."

If the network of organizations supposedly in orbit around the Kochs and its myriad activities now match what labor unions spent in 2012, can we expect The Post to publish a similar expose concerning just what other groups benefit from the financial largess of the AFL-CIO and its member unions and how that money is spent? The answer, of course, is no. That's a taboo subject, even for the notoriously anti-union Washington Post because it would reveal too much that is damaging to the union puppets who populate the federal government – not just on Capitol Hill but throughout the executive branch.

There is a distinct disparity in the way campaign money going to the Republicans is covered compared to what the Democrats get, from whom and how it is spent. This is not sad nor is it regrettable so much as it is deliberate.

[Check out our collection of political cartoons on Super PACs.]

Without offering so much as a scintilla of actual evidence, the implicit message of almost all the campaign finance stories involving the Kochs and other active and committed donors is that there has to be a quid pro quo somewhere. No one has yet to figure out what it is but the cynical liberals who cover the issue are certain it is there. Yet it somehow never occurs to them, if it is true for the Republicans that the Democrats might be just as guilty. Think about it: When was the last time you read an article that looked at what Warren Buffett or George Soros or, to borrow from the progressive lexicon, the evil corporations and malefactors of great wealth are getting in exchange for helping groups like the Center for American Progress, the Democracy Initiative and others make payroll while hip-checking Republican candidates and initiatives into the boards.

It's as though all the altruism was on one side and all the venality was on the other – which may be true except that the scribblers who compose the first draft of history may have them mixed up. After all it wasn't a conservative White House that leaned on the Internal Revenue Service to harass and slow-walk the applications for tax exempt status of liberal groups to keep them on the sidelines in 2012. Furthermore it's the Obama administration's IRS that is proposing new rules that will have a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of groups organized as not-for-profit issue advocacy groups dedicated to improving the nation's social welfare.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

Make no mistake. The community organizers who followed the current president to Washington want names. The want to know who is giving to what so they can call them racists, threaten their families, camp out on their front lawns and disrupt their sleep with all night drum circles and endless, off-key renditions of Kumbaya (without, by the way, any public disclosure of who is paying for all that nonsense).

The left's singling out of Charles and David Koch – without even listening to what either of them has to say – is a tactic straight out of "Rules for Radicals." By personalizing their enemies the left makes them that much more real to the disinterested voter. It may not move many votes but it does rally the great masses of the unwashed on which they are increasingly dependent to carry out their campaigns of intimidation. More than anything else, this may be the reason that liberal billionaires and Wall Street bankers, financiers and investors are never subjected to the same scrutiny in the press. To the easily manipulated masses that follow slavishly the Obama agenda, one malefactor is as good as another and billionaires are, after a fashion, all the same. Therefore, in an intellectually honest world the liberal pickets that have tried to storm the barricades at the Koch seminars in previous year might just get the idea that they ought to be in front of the annual meeting of the Center for American Progress too.

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