Friday, May 30, 2014


The Daily Beast inexplicably gave many column inches today to Reason's Nick Gillespie so that he could proselytize for libertarianism and praise the Koch brothers (without whose largesse Gillespie would be unemployed). Gillespie points the Beast audience to the recent work of Daniel Schulman, author of Sons of Wichita, a new book about the Kochs. If you have eyes, prepare to have wool pulled over them now:
In a recent piece for The Washington Post, Schulman reminds readers that while the Koch brothers remain staunch opponents of Obamacare and government spending, "they are at odds with the conservative mainstream" and "were no fans of the Iraq war." As a young man, Charles was booted from the John Birch Society (which his father had helped to found) after publishing an anti-Vietnam War newspaper ad, and David told Politico of his support for gay marriage from the floor of the 2012 Republican National Convention. In the past year, the Charles Koch Institute cosponsored [an event] with Buzzfeed about immigration reform (which angered many on the right)....
The Kochs didn't like the Iraq War? Funny, I don't recall them putting together a massive interconnected funding apparatus to stop the war. Nor do I recall them doing any such thing to advance the cause of same-sex marriage or immigration reform. In fact, the vast majority of politicians who've benefited from their help have been pro-war, anti-gay, and anti-immigration. Curiously, when faced with politicians who agree with them on some things and not others, the Kochs always choose the ones whose areas of agreement would line the brothers' wallets.

Gillespie goes on to assure us that the Kochs are a real wild card:
As Schulman writes, the Republican establishment has always had reservations about the Kochs, "who often aligned with the Republicans on free-market issues and downsizing government... [but] Republicans [couldn't] count on the Kochs to fall in step on issues such as immigration, civil liberties, or defense, where they held more liberal views. The brothers and their company also opposed subsidies across the board, a position GOP members didn't always share. 'The Republicans don't trust us,' said one Koch political operative."
But then Gillespie writes:
When it comes to the social issues the GOP refuses to stop talking about despite declining levels of support among voters, the Kochs' record of direct activism has never been strong.
Gee, ya think?
During the Libertarianism 2.0 phase [which "covers the past 30 years or so," according to Gillespie], they supported libertarian groups such as Reason Foundation and Cato that call for drug legalization, marriage equality, open borders, and the like, but there's no question that they focused most of their literal and figurative political capital on economic issues that caused less stress among establishment Republicans.
But hey, that could change any day now! No, really!

No, not really. Gillespie is trying to deceive us, or is deceiving himself. Apart from Ralph Nader, I hope no one is stupid enough to believe him.


Ray said...

Thanks for calling out BS for being what it is BS...

Tom Hilton said...

Yup, exactly.

Also, too: jeebus, Nick Gillespie is an idiot. He's like the poor man's Matt Welch, or maybe the middle-class man's Megan McArdle...not sure which.

Roger said...

He's the mentally-challeged wingnut's Fonzie.

Eric said...

Libertarian talk is cheap? Is it cheaper than the cheap moralizing of the liberal left?

Give me a call when Al Gore or Al Franken funds a PBS series or the largest cancer research program in the country.

Victor said...

Have you ever heard of tax write-off's?

Were you born stupid, or did your mom drop you on your soft head while you were still an infant?

Steve M. said...

I'm Italian. The Mafia guys in the old neighborhood gave a lot of money to the church. So what?

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Steve M. said...

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