Ed Rogers points out that for the most part the American public couldn’t care less about the Kochs. And yet the activist liberals and left keep hammering away at them. Why?:
…Democratic campaign managers are not crazy; there is no chance they really believe an anti-Koch message drives votes. But perhaps there is a method to their madness. There are two lines of thinking that might be driving their strange Koch brother-focused messaging. First is that the Democrats have nothing affirmative to talk about…
And second, it is possible Democrats are defaming the Kochs in hopes it will intimidate other possible Republican donors.
Of the two, the second is most important, IMHO. The revelations about the persecution of conservative groups by the IRS underscore how useful and vital the technique of intimidation is to the Democrats. Anything that slows down or discourages conservative fund-raising, organization, and communication with the public is golden.
But there’s a third—and I think very large—reason for the Koch demonization. Rogers has written “there is no chance they really believe an anti-Koch message drives votes,” but that’s only true if you look at the votes of moderates or Republicans. It most definitely could help drive votes on the left.
Winning elections is not just about getting moderates to vote for you, or even about undermining the voting drive of your opposition. It is also very much about energizing your own base to get out and vote. The Democratic base nowadays—the left—is motivated in no small part by a combination of self-righteousness and hateful rage. Anything that drives one or both of those emotions is a plus for the party. Stoking Koch-hatred performs that function.