April 10th, 2014

What’s behind the war on the Kochs?

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.

44 Responses to “What’s behind the war on the Kochs?”

  1. expat Says:

    Also, some people get a real ego boost by thinking they know something no one else knows. I suspect young people would be most susceptible. They are convinced they are smarter than all those old folks.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    Like Palestinians, if there are no Jews to hate, they will create something as good to hate.

    For the Left, Bush and Palin are neutralized on the political scene so….

  3. Ackler Says:

    I agree entirely. I think the primary purpose of the anti-Koch smear campaign is to motivate the base. Bush hatred, while still potent among many lefties, is finally starting to wane. No national GOP politician currently elicits the type of rage Bush did for the last 7 to 10 to even 14 years. The Kochs represent an ideal abstraction upon which to base and fuel leftist hate: ultra wealthy corporate moguls involved in a wide array of business ventures and very active in right of center political and policy matters.

    Expect to hear red faced

  4. Cornhead Says:

    Spot on. Check out Daily Kos or the particularly insane Fire Dog Lake and you can see how the loons go wild over the Kochs. They use their “info” to try and influence their less informed friends to vote Dem.

    All of this is a distraction from Obamacare.

    My big point is this: Have the Kochs broken any laws?

    Compared to the corrupt Harry Reid, the brothers are secular saints.

  5. Ackler Says:

    Sorry, didn’t finish my comment.

    Expect to hear red faced diatribes against them with ever more frequency (particularly if the Democrats’ poll standings don’t improve) until election day.

  6. LisaM Says:

    They’re the current incarnation of Emmanuel Goldstein.

  7. Eric Says:

    It’s all about the narrative.

    Same reason the 77 cent pay gap myth is pushed despite repeated debunking.

    Same reason that the false narrative about the Iraq enforcement endures despite that it falls apart under a cursory critical review.

    It’s all about the narrative.

    And it works.

  8. Eric Says:

    Add: It’s all about the narrative … and the zeitgeist.

  9. Ray Says:

    The democrat base is composed of various victims groups and normally they would be fighting each other for handouts. The only way to get them to act in concert is to fire up their hatred. You saw it work with Romney. Romney didn’t pay his taxes, he was a thief, he hid his money in a foreign bank, he shut down businesses and threw people out of work and even gave some poor woman cancer. He also gave some guy in highschool a haircut. I was amazed the media could find out what Romney did in highschool but couldn’t find out anything about Obama.

  10. Eric Says:

    Ray: “I was amazed the media could find out what Romney did in highschool but couldn’t find out anything about Obama.”

    Simple. One side had a competitive activist social movement. The other side did not.

  11. Ann Says:

    Just came across this over at Powerline — a letter from Chuck Schumer thanking KOCHPAC for contributing to his 2010 campaign.

    Truly, the Dems have no shame.

  12. Ann Says:

    Another possible reason for the fixation on the Koch brothers may be to damage Scott Walker. Remember that fake David Koch phone call in 2011? At the Huffington Post:

    One of the most famous episodes of the 2011 labor battles in Wisconsin was when Gov. Scott Walker (R) took what he thought was a phone call from conservative billionaire David Koch. He later found out that it was actually a prank call from a journalist. In his new book “Unintimidated,” Walker says the incident showed him that God was speaking to him.

    The call, from Ian Murphy, editor of the Buffalo Beast, an alternative publication in Buffalo, N.Y., occurred on Feb. 22, 2011. Murphy, posing as Koch, asked Walker if he would be “planting some troublemakers” in the peaceful crowds that were protesting his anti-union legislation in Madison.

    Walker replied that his office had “thought about that,” in a comment that the Madison police chief later called “very unsettling and troubling.”

    “It was a really dumb thing to say,” writes Walker in his book, which will be released on Nov. 19 but was obtained by The Huffington Post in advance. “The fact is we never — never — considered putting ‘troublemakers’ in the crowd to discredit the protesters. The unions were doing a good enough job of that on their own with the agitators they were bringing in from outside the state. But I had made it seem like we had.”

    But as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported, in a 20-minute press conference the day after the phone call was released, Walker admitted having considered that option.

    A Chris Christie Bridgegate redux?

  13. parker Says:

    I’ll go with they have nothing affirmative to campaign on so they need a new bogeyman. GWB is viewed in a positive manner (as a man, if not a president) by all but the hardcore left and BDS has lost its appeal. I seriously doubt big pocket donors will shy away because of the outlandish words of the likes of Reid & Schumer. And the counter spin on the Kochs will be easy for the reason the Ann highlights above. Plus, their generousity is not limited to politics, they are some of the largest contributors to various charities in the country.

  14. Steve57 Says:

    On a basic level the Democrats need to accuse the Koch brothers of trying to buy Congress because they need to divert attention from the fact they’ve already sold their souls.

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    Yeeland gun running couldn’t buy up all the Democrat souls yet. Some of it had to go into Fast and Furious for black Holder.

  16. Alan F Says:

    The three reasons seem very insightful. Yet, now that you’ve listed them, they seem obvious. Is the Obama team, which includes Harry Reid and Pelosi, really this diabolically clever? Neo, you are brilliant at combining hard politics with the informed scrutiny of psychology.

  17. Eric Says:

    They’re constructing a straw man for the narrative.

  18. kit Says:

    Aren’t the Koch brothers rich enough and savvy enough to tell their own narrative and destroy the false narrative of the left.
    And start their own social activism BIG time.

  19. expat Says:

    OT:I just read at Gateway Pundit that Sebelius has resigned.

  20. Steve57 Says:

    kit is right, of course.

    But what the Democrats need to do is divert attention away from the heist. I suppose the Democrats picked the Koch brothers to be the public face of the Keystone pipeline because they’ve already invested so much in demonizing them.

    The Koch brothers are sort of a metophor for the private sector to the Democrats. Everything they say about the Koch brothers applies equally to the private sector writ large.

    Which is not beholden to them like government rent-seekers. Such as the “green energy sector.” Which includes Al Gore and Tom Steyer.

    It doesn’t matter what the Democrats call the heist. It doesn’t matter what it is. The Stimulus. The GM bailout. Universal preschool. It is all cover for the plan to loot their critics bank accounts, and shovel that money to their allies.

    Who will in turn launder the funds back to the institutional left. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    For instance, the Democrats will never give up on Obamacare. Which is not designed to do anything but expand government. There is no more faithful constituency of the left then the public employee unions that comprise big government.

    The natural constituency of Obamacare are the administrators of Obamacare. They could care less if anyone gets healthcare. That’s just he pretense for the heist.

    And “fixing” Obamacare will be the pretense for the follow-on heists. Job security.

  21. Steve57 Says:

    It’s probably not necessary to point this out, but bankrupting the coal industry and blocking the Keystone pipeline is a way to manufacture a facade. An artificial need for green energy. Tom Steyer and friends will grow rich feeding at the public trough. And the Democrats will eliminate their competition because the competition will be drained of money through higher taxes, paying bills to green energy companies owned by their allies, etc.

  22. parker Says:

    I don’t think the Koch brothers, the war on women, amnesty, and AGW are winning issues in the upcoming election. The only narrative that may have traction is raising the minimum wage. People are concerned with jobs, the adult children back in their old bedroom, falling incomes, inflation at the grocery store, the price at the pump, higher premiums and deductibles, and perhaps the chaos of team obama’s foreign ‘policies’.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left doesn’t win elections based upon platforms, but based upon 2 minute hates.

    So their issue is ensuring that Republicans are seen as too evil to vote for, no matter how many children were found in the basement of a Demoncrat.

    Most of the Democrat voters don’t even understand the issues. They lack the education to understand what minimum even is.

  24. Beverly Says:

    Pour encourager les autres.

    Also, “filths savour but themselves.”

    Watching the leftwing lynch mob is like watching the Wicked Witch unleash the Flying Monkeys of the Dark Side — “SEIZE them!”

  25. Beverly Says:

    Did anyone hear Rush and Rep. Louis Gohmert talking yesterday about baseline budgeting?

    EVERY Federal department gets an AUTOMATIC increase of 8 – 10% annually.

    Automatic. Ten percent. Annually.

    That’s the BASELINE. The only “fight” is over the size of increases ABOVE that baseline — IOW, it’s even worse than we thought!!!!

  26. rickl Says:

    I saw a very interesting comment by zombie at Ace of Spades this afternoon. It was in response to a post about polls:

    Somewhere way back I wrote a long essay examining the bizarre fallacy that intentionally skewing polls intended to sway public opinion simply doesn’t work as the libs imagine it does.

    Here’s a very small sampling from it:

    “Implicit in the Left’s continuous attempts to exaggerate Obama’s perceived support is the belief that “a crowd draws a crowd” and that undecided voters will be drawn to the Obama camp if they think “everyone else” is supporting him. But is that an accurate assessment? Is there any evidence that it’s true?

    Well, actually, yes. There is evidence. Or should I use scare quotes: “evidence.” I believe that a series of experiments carried out in the 1950s by social psychologist Solomon Asch were in fact the (now long-forgotten) inspiration for and justification for the current strategy, especially the strategy of online opinion-poll-stuffing after debates and other major news events.

    Starting in 1951, Asch, a professor at Swarthmore College, ran a series of unusual experiments to generate a quantitative measurement of the subjective term “conformity.” The experiments, which many now consider somewhat unethical and a bit sadistic, went like this:

    A volunteer was recruited to participate in a vision test. He was brought to a room with seven other volunteers who were also to take the same test, in a group. Little did the volunteer know, however, that his fellow “volunteers” were all confederates of the experimenter, and the test was not a vision test but a psychological torture session designed to elicit conformist behavior. The experimenter would then unveil a pair of displays, one showing a single black line, and the other showing three black lines of varying lengths. The volunteer is told to simply state which of the three lines most closely matches the length of the single line.

    Sounds simple, right? In every instance, the correct answer was quite self-evident, as only one of the lines was even close to the correct length. The volunteer, who was always placed in the second-to-last position, was only allowed to state his answer after he had heard most of the other faux-volunteers give their answers. For the first two rounds, these confederates were instructed to give the obviously correct answer; in each instance, the test subject would then also give the correct answer. But starting on the third round, the confederates, as instructed by Asch, intentionally gave a consistently wrong answer; the goal of the experiment was to see if the volunteer would “break” and also begin to chime in with the wrong answer as well. Most volunteers would resist for a few rounds, but eventually the majority would cave in at least part of the time and give the wrong answers in complete defiance of their own perceptions. Overall, the test subjects gave the wrong answers 36.8% of the time — an astonishing result.

    What would you do if you had the ability to conduct this “experiment” on a vast scale? And if the results of the experiment were not just of academic interest, but affected the real world? What would you do if you had a monopoly on the media, and could affect each individual’s perception of how the general public felt? You could take the Asch experiment nationwide. You could deceive every single individual voter into thinking he was all alone in his opinions. And consequently, due to social pressures to conform, they’d change their allegiances. You could use it to win elections.

    That’s the position in which the Left — the Obama campaign, its supporters, and the liberal media — imagine themselves to be. They’re trying to use the principle of behaviorial conformity as a weapon in the campaign. But there is a terrible flaw in their plan. The Asch experiment doesn’t work unless the test subject is unaware that he is being duped. And I’m telling the subject right now: you’re being duped.”

  27. Lizzy Says:

    So, is Haliburton still doing evil throughout the world or did they close the business in January 2009? Strange how we never hear about them anymore,eh?

    Under Obama we have seen Community Organizer tactics implemented at a national level, by the White House and the Democrat party. As disturbing as the Koch attacks are – and it is disturbing to see our legislators like Reid publicly target and slander private citizens from the Senate floor – the demonization of private citizens has spread far and wide. The IRS harassment of Tea Party groups, the BLM action in NV, the seizure of Gibson Guitar’s property, and the petty, targeted National Parks closures during the budget standoff are all variations of Obama’s sick habit of intimidation and retaliation.

  28. AZ bill Says:

    Attacks on the Kochs reinforces the meme that the Republicans are the party of the rich, and distracts from the reality of the deep-pocketed Dems (Soros, for example).

  29. Eric Says:



  30. Eric Says:

    kit: “Aren’t the Koch brothers rich enough and savvy enough to tell their own narrative and destroy the false narrative of the left. And start their own social activism BIG time.”

    That’s not how it works.

    Lizzy: “Under Obama we have seen Community Organizer tactics implemented at a national level, by the White House and the Democrat party.”

    The Right needs to adapt, learn, and apply “Community Organize tactics”, ie, activism, in order to compete. There’s no other way. The Marxist-method activist game is the only social-political game there is.

  31. Richard Saunders Says:

    Every time somebody says “Koch Brothers” to me, I just say “George Soros, convicted felon,” right back. I love to watch them dance around that.

  32. Ymarsakar Says:

    Beverly, which is why budget cuts aren’t effective. Budget cuts merely mean that politically less powerful orgs get less funding, like the US military. The funding does not decrease overall but is rerouted to Democrat agencies, which get something like a 2x or 3x increase in their budget.

  33. Trimegistus Says:

    Liberals are seething with hate. They need someone to hate, and the Koch bros. are a good target.

    It’s a huge mistake to think of liberals as essentially well-meaning, naive, or slightly foolish. I used to believe that. But over the past few years it has become obvious to me that they know exactly what they are doing, they are absolutely insane with hatred, and they are utterly free of any moral or ethical restraints. Anything they believe they can get away with, they will do. And with the media protecting them with an iron curtain of lies and disinformation, that’s pretty much everything.

    From time to time conservatives fret that we’re in a Weimar Germany situation. They’re wrong. Our Weimar period ended six years ago. It’s 1934 in America and the Night of Long Knives is about to begin.

  34. J.J. Says:

    The Koch brothers are the perfect target for the progs, especially the Green Weenies. They earn their money mostly in oil refining, paper, and other basic chemical products. Those are DIIRTY industries to the Greens. Add in the fact that the company is privately owned – no public disclosure like publically owned corporations. They can use innuendo and rumor against them more easily than against a publicly owned company. Lastly, the Koch’s are unrepentant libertarians who donate large sums to political candidates. Those characteristics make the Koch brothers the ideal piñata for the left.

    Way back when the TEA Party began (2009), Nancy Pelosi claimed that the TEA Party was “Astroturf” funded by the Koch brothers. That was the first time I had ever heard their name. Since then the false drumbeat against them and the TEA Party has been coordinated.

    Our local TEA Party group would love to get some outside money from the Koch brothers or anyone else. Alas, our activities are still financed out of our own pockets. :-( The accusations by the progs are, of course, false and actually a case of the pot calling the kettle black. They are accusing the Kochs and TEA Party of using the tactics that they use.

  35. Ymarsakar Says:

    To reference Trim’s point, a lot of the regular cannonfodder people see in their neighborhoods, whether you call them Leftists or liberals (they don’t believe in liberty and thus aren’t liberals), need the emotional 2 minutes of hate because otherwise some other emotion might be felt. An emotion such as guilt for trying to publicly rape Sarah Palin and her family. An emotion such as doubt or a questioning of their Dogma, their Theocracy, or their Faith.

    The Left can’t have that. So they inject the hate in, give them a target to throw stones at, and everything becomes calm and good then.

    That is why the Left’s cannonfodder will obey orders from the Left. That is why it doesn’t matter what they call themselves, it doesn’t affect their guilt in crimes against humanity and it doesn’t affect their role in the Left’s army.

  36. Ymarsakar Says:

    JJ, that might have saved your Tea Party cells from the IRS and Holder’s black death squads and SWAT teams. I’ve seen what happened to organizations and cells that tried to go public or get official lobbying status, so that they could get donations.

    Eventually people will look at WACO and think not that many children died there. They will look at a 80% casualty rate for the bureaucracy and think it a cheap price to pay for prosperity and security. A price that went on sale long ago and is no longer available.

  37. Artfldgr Says:

    its funny reading so many people flounder around on the deck like a fish out of water.

    And yet the activist liberals and left keep hammering away at them. Why?

    what the Democrats need to do is divert attention away from the heist. I suppose the Democrats picked the Koch brothers to be the public face of the Keystone pipeline because they’ve already invested so much in demonizing them

    you dont find diamonds in a silver mine
    so if you dont know where to look, the answers of the whole thread are like what you have. a whole lot of nutting but made up imaginings.


    in 2009 warren buffets berkshire hathaway bought 100% of BNSF rail, which has made quite a few billion a year since then as its moving what keystone would move if allowed.

    berkshire hathaway stock is about 175,000 a share.
    keystone is about 45… (didnt look its from memory)

    steyer is another billionaire…

    all the carbet bagging leftists are doing is colluding to pour money into their collective pockets…

    you can figure it out by looking at finances, and maps and stuff… never from pundits and such as they are way too lazy to pull up maps and work things out from the perspective of the people they are analysing

    why is the stock market being pounded this past month? no one has a good reason… usually you get an idea, but not this time…

    Satellites Show Russian Forces Poised Near Ukraine


    the rest is easy to explain IF you know something of the actual people involved.

    The Koch family f industrialists and businessmen is most notable for its control of Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States

    1) Carghill 136.7 billion revenue (140,00 employees)
    2) Koch 115 billion and 60,000 employees
    3) Dell
    4) Bechtel
    5) Mars
    6) Price Waterhouse Cooper
    7) Pilot Flying J
    8) Publix Super markets
    9) Loves Travel STops
    10) Ernst & Young

    The family business was started by Fred C. Koch, who developed a new cracking method for the refinement of heavy oil into gasoline

    the key is not the industries, the key is:
    David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch — the two brothers still with Koch Industries — are affiliated with the Koch family foundations. Annual revenues for Koch Industries have been “estimated to be one hundred billion dollars”

    like the fords and others, these are neuveu rich who have their own foundations

    The Koch family foundations are a group of nonprofit organizations in the United States associated with the family of Fred C. Koch. The most prominent of these are the Charles Koch Foundation and the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, created by two of Fred C. Koch’s sons, who own the majority of Koch Industries, an oil, gas, and chemical conglomerate, which is the U.S.A.’s second-largest privately held company

    The Koch Family Foundations began in 1953 with the establishment of the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation. In 1980 Charles Koch established the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and in 1981 he created the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation when he was left in charge of Claude Lambe’s estate.[2] David H. Koch established the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation.

    of course most people have no idea what people at that level do to do the things they do… heck, give them 100 million and most lose it within a few years!!!

    some stand asid and do not fight on the world stage
    for that, they are mostly left alone…
    ancillary characters who are of litle significance

    then you have the wealthy collectivists, like dodd informed us, who actively are working towards world communism… (yes, its the WEALTHY who are creating that… not the poor whom they use as an unpaid army without a head you can attack)

    and you have almost no one in opposition to them that is a lot like them… except koch…

    bascially, anyone who can fight them the same way they do, is dangerous to them… and more dangerous than others who cant even figure out who is on which side!!!

    its a private war between the despotic rich who cheat, and the somewhat less cheating hard earning self made men…

    the key difference here is that the former are often the children of wealthy or came into wealth in a way in which they are not sure they can earn it again… so they are willing to literally do anything to preserve their place, even if they own nothing…
    [edited for length by n-n]

  38. Eric Says:

    The form of the hate exploited to the Nth degree by the Left is Resentment or Ressentiment as termed by 19th century philosophers.

  39. Eric Says:

    JJ: “Our local TEA Party group would love to get some outside money from the Koch brothers or anyone else.”

    Tip: Use college students and campus activism as a or even the center of gravity for your social movement.

    There are a host of organic, pragmatic reasons the radical Left protests of the 60s used college campuses as ground zero.

    College activists have the personal qualities (ah, youth), status, platform, infrastructure, setting, and funding (extra-curricular activities are part of their ‘job’ paid by parents, scholarships, and loans) to build and project social movements.

    Our universities are trend-setting, normative cultural and intellectual fonts for our society. Therefore, the wider and long-term effects of social changes on campus are magnified and multiplied.

    Big activist bang for minimal activist bucks on campus.

    As a method, activism is activism. Tea Party activism is no different than Left activism in its practical considerations. The Left has solved many of the practical issues of activism. The Tea Party and other people of the Right would do well to learn the Left’s activist ways and means, such as using college students and campuses to grow the cause.

  40. Ymarsakar Says:

    I prefer high schools. Colleges have speech codes and have been fortified against external and internal assaults. High schools, not so much.

  41. blert Says:


    You’re going to be run off high school campus as a perv.

    College is the ticket.

  42. J.J. Says:

    The JC in my area is so full of progressives, both teachers and students, that my trying to organize them would be like shoveling s**t against the tide. We encountered them when Glenn Beck was in town to speak. They were trying to shut him up. We were demonstrating in favor of free speech. Beck spoke, So, there’s that. But it was a close thing.

  43. blert Says:


    OT — but not by much.

    It’s now coming out that the true reason that the BLM is attacking the Bundy ranch is because of Harry Reid’s economic interest in a Red Chinese funded solar power project — also in Nevada.

    The way it works is that the Chinese project is going to have an unavoidable environmental impact.

    [ Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone -- it's just around the corner.]

    (These would be the same Red Chinese investors that have palmed serious money to Reid’s kin, of which much is in print.)

    So the BLM is going to shift the Bundys off of their range so that they, the BLM, can credit the range land towards sustaining the native wildlife.

    All of this convolution is required by long standing statutes.

    The reason it just came to a head was that the new BLM top gun just got Senate approval this very week.


    Previously, the BLM had been under the functional control of Harry Reid. His own boy:

    “BLM Acting Director Ron Wenker, who will return to his current position as BLM’s Nevada state director…”

    had been on the Senator’s personal staff going back years.

    Wenker is now apparently in hot water:

    Reno resident Ronald Wenker was sentenced three life terms in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of Sexual Assault and one count of Lewdness with a Minor Under the Age of 14, according to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. ”

    “Wenker, a former Director of the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada, pleaded guilty to all three charges in the 2nd Judicial District Court of Nevada on February 21, 2013 and was sentenced on May 14. Wenker could be eligible for parole after 30 years. ”

    In the interregnum, Mike Pool (California) was acting director.

    The new broom is also Harry’s boy:

    “Kornze worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada…”

    IIRC, Harry Reid is a Reno resident. His home is not very pretentious — since he rarely spends any time there.

    Wiki has been sanitized to omit Wenker…


  44. Ymarsakar Says:

    High school is what the Left is going to target next. They have already seeded it with homosexual rapists and various others that will Activate when the signal is given, turning high school campuses into modern day 1970s college campuses.

    While those that think they are being pro active when targeting college campuses, to the LEft that’s already old news.

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