Koch Brothers Donate $25 Million To The United Negro College Fund

David Koch

I think it was a smart move by the Koch Brothers to give a $25 million grant to the United Negro College Fund. If their goal is to improve their public reputation in response to the campaign by the Democratic Party to vilify them, such a move is likely to be far more effective than Charles Koch’s whiny and misleading op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. Maybe they hope that this will help counter some of the harm done by their financing of the Tea Party which, while containing a variety of views, far too often looks like the KKK without the white sheets. The willingness and ability of the Koch Brothers to receive this form of favorable publicity also gives an example of why it is foolish for the Democrats to spend so much effort in their campaign against the Koch Brothers personally as opposed to actually learning how to promote a coherent message.

There are many reasons to vote for the Democrats over the Republicans with the Republicans adopting an extremist agenda, acting to undermine the foundations of our Democratic system, and failing to engage in any rational thought as they pursue policies in contradiction of economics, science, and the very principles of individual liberty which this nation was founded upon. There are so many issues for the Democrats to concentrate on, yet Harry Reid wants to concentrate on a pair of brothers who most people have never heard about. Sure attacking the Koch Brothers might be good for fund raising emails, but this is no substitute for coming up with a real message.

The fact of the matter is that the Koch Brothers are not the worst enemy faced by the Democrats and supporters of liberty (true liberty, not the plutocracy and religious authoritarianism promoted by the right wing under this label). There is certainly quite a bit of hypocrisy  in the economic views of the Koch Brothers, who made their fortune taking advantage of government programs while selectively arguing for economic libertarianism as a means to escape regulation. However in some ways the Koch Brothers are preferable to the standard Republican line, from opposing the Iraq War to being more libertarian on social issues. David Koch also has a long history of philanthropy. They could even be a force for moderation of some of the extreme views of the Republican Party.

Of course this is not meant to excuse all their behavior, including suspected illegal activity and funding of efforts to deny climate change (which on at least one occasion has blown up in their faces). The most reprehensible has been the funding of dishonest advertisements against the Affordable Care Act.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when they spread false information which contributes to mistrust of a law which has resulted in improvements in the lives of millions, they risk doing serious harm to those who remain uninsured based upon misinformation. The Affordable Care Act is also a good thing for the economy, helping to reduce the deficit, reduce unemployment, and enable people to leave jobs they remain in for insurance coverage to work for or form small businesses of their own. Those who truly support freedom, as opposed to giving it lip service as the right wing does, would prefer a system which gives more choice to individuals rather than leaving them at the mercy of an insurance industry which has existed without serious competition in most markets, and which found it to be more profitable to find ways to deny providing care. Support of Obamacare is the only rational position for those who support the rights of the individual over the rights of abusive monopolies. Unfortunately such a choice is beyond the thought process of those on the right who have been brainwashed to see our tradition of self-government as the source of tyranny.

I would find it far easier to ignore the Koch Brothers if they would cease spending their money on these dishonest ads and ideally use their influence to truly promote freedom. Regardless, we could show appreciation for contributions such as this and perhaps it is time for Harry Reed to find a new bogey man–or preferably to do a better job of actually promoting ideas.


  1. 1
    Brian says:

    The funny part is that the author used the words “promoting ideas” and “Harry Reid” in the same sentence. Remember, corrupt-o-crat Reid is not some fringe figure. He’s the Senate Majority Leader, the second most powerful Democrat in government, with the full support of his Democratic colleagues both in & out of the Senate. These Democrats know that they cannot prevail in a battle of ideas (“war on women,” anyone?), so demonization of Emmanuel Goldstein figures is the best strategic move they have available.

    Harry Reid is the face of the Democratic Party. Your party.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    In any debate based upon ideas, the Democrats blow away the Republicans. Republican ideas are so off the wall these days that it is no contest. The problem is that the Democrats have a hard time coming up with a good, short elevator pitch for commercials and campaigns. Republicans are great at that–they just lie. Democrats have not figured out how to condense complex policy ideas into sound bites. Republicans have no policy idea.

    The war on women may or may not be the a good way to put it, but Democrats are certainly correct in attacking the Republicans for the manner in which their policies are harmful and unfair to women. At least war on women conveys the idea and most people know what they mean. I fear that only a handful of people who follow politics closely have any idea as to what Harry Reid is talking about when he attacks the Koch Brothers.

    Oh, and the Democrats are not my party. We have only one party in this country which is serious about governing. We only have one party which has any concept as to how the economy works in a modern market economy. We have only one party which which respects rather than ignoring science and reason. We have only one party which has any respect for individual liberty (including the reproductive rights of women). We have only one party which works to preserve our economy. Therefore I vote for the Democrats as the only choice which a rational and moral person can make these days, but that doesn’t mean they are my party.

  3. 3
    David Duff says:

    OK, that’s it, your holiday is over! Well, to be precise *mine* is over which means that yours is over, too.

    Brian is entirely right and I would only add that the only thing Harry Reid ever promoted was Harry Reid.

    By the way, did you miss me? Sorry, didn’t quite catch that . . .

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Brian is wrong but I did think of you during our vacation. I read Defending Jacob last weekend. Maybe I’ll put up a post with my thoughts on it.

  5. 5
    David Duff says:

    Here’s another but only if you enjoy a truly *thrilling* thriller. “I Am Pilgrim” by Terry Hayes. It’s a long book, 900 pages, so best saved for holiday, but it had me turning them as fast as I could because one truly scary thing happened after another. Of course, it’s a yarn and not to be taken seriously but it is definitely the most thrilling thriller I have read in years!

    I shall look forward to your views on “Defending Jacob”.

    I had about five recorded episodes of “Fargo” to watch when I got back which I did in one sitting. I have completely lost the main plot but thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing – and there’s another three to come!

Leave a comment