Saturday, September 30, 2017


An extremely unsubtle Breitbart story makes clear that Steve Bannon & Co. really don't like the Koch brothers:
VP Mike Pence to Be Keynote Speaker at Pro-Amnesty Koch Brothers’ Retreat

Vice President Mike Pence will be the keynote speaker at pro-mass immigration GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch’s New York political strategy retreat.

... The retreat is also to cultivate Republican candidates for the 2018 midterm elections who are in-line with the Kochs’ open borders agenda.

... Pence’s speaking engagement at the event is at odds with his social conservative history and base of supporters, as the Koch brothers remain heavily supportive of cultural libertarianism, open borders, the importation of cheap foreign labor, and driving down wages for American workers who are forced to compete with a never-ending flood of chain migration.
Hey, don't hold back, guys. Tell us how you really feel about the Kochs.

I don't know whether this is merely an ideological war -- the phrase "the narcissism of small differences" comes to mind -- or whether Steve Bannon's Breitbart sugar daddy, Robert Mercer, and his daughter Rebekah merely want to supplant the Kochs as the biggest machers in the GOP donor community. (Rebekah Mercer, who's 43, must be acutely aware of the fact that the much older Kochs aren't going to be around forever.)

As a recent HuffPost story informed us, the Mercers see themselves as being in an ideological competition with the Kochs and the GOP establishment:
The Mercers are “purists,” says Pat Caddell, a former aide to Jimmy Carter who has shifted to the right over the years. They believe Republican elites are too cozy with Wall Street and too soft on immigration, and that American free enterprise and competition are in mortal danger. “Bekah Mercer might be prepared to put a Democrat in Susan Collins’ seat simply to rid the party of Susan Collins,” a family friend joked by way of illustrating her thinking. So intensely do the Mercers want to unseat Republican senator John McCain that they gave $200,000 to support an opposing candidate who once held a town hall meeting to discuss chemtrails....
(That would be Kelli Ward, who's now preparing a run against Arizona's junior GOP senator, Jeff Flake, in 2018, with the Mercers' backing.)

The Breitbart story makes no secret of the fact that an effort is under way to dethrone the Kochs:
Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon told the New York Times that the populist-nationalist movement’s political strategy for 2018 is centered on promoting the America First agenda through candidates who will challenge the GOP establishment. Bannon and conservative donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer are reportedly seeking to create a coalition and think tank to rival the Koch brothers’ organizations and advance the populist economic nationalist agenda.

“We’ve got a long haul in front of us,” Bannon said. “But look at how the conservative movement and the Republican establishment groomed the guys that the populist, nationalist Trump went through like a scythe through grass. How long had they been groomed?”
Do the Mercers really have the wherewithal to take out the Kochs? Maybe not. As The New York Times notes,
the Bannon-Mercer coalition is much less organized at this stage compared with other major donor operations, particularly the Kochs’ network, which resembles a privatized political party with offices in most states and which has spent more than $1.5 billion over the past dozen years trying to reshape American politics....
But, hey, we may soon hear Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham denouncing the Kochs as RINOs and swamp creatures on Fox. Republican voters may start talking about the Kochs the way they talk about George Soros, and rejecting candidates they bankroll. That would be fun, wouldn't it?

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