Four Aprils ago, polling showed Donald Trump in or near the lead in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. In a Wednesday column, Heather Digby Parton suggested that Scott Walker could wind up as the Trump of this election cycle: the guy who peaked when he wasn’t even an official candidate.
Parton admitted that she’s never understood why so many Republicans think Walker’s great or why so many Democrats believe he’d be a tough opponent, given that he supposedly “makes epic gaffes over and over again.” In any event, she argued that now he’s hurt himself badly by going hard-right on immigration, thereby displeasing libertarian conservatives like Charles and David Koch who “tend toward a more moderate stance” on the issue and, of course, donate megatons of money to political causes.
Wednesday night must have been “Attack The Koch Brothers” night over on Comedy Central as both of the network’s late night hosts, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and The Nightly Show’s Larry Wilmore, eagerly tore into the libertarian businessmen for pledging to spend $889 million on the 2016 elections to help elect conservative candidates. Both Stewart and Wilmore opened their nightly programs by viciously attacking the Koch brothers with Stewart making a sex joke to smear them as “going to want something in exchange for spending the gross national product of many countries on one election cycle? And is the thing they want control over the levers of our democracy or would they settle for hand jobs?”
On Monday's Morning Joe, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough prompted hippie icon Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash fame to promote his new song about the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Nash wildly contended that "what happened with...almost, the execution of Michael Brown, we had to say something." He also took a shot at a regular boogeyman for MSNBC: the Koch brothers.
It’s a day that both conservatives and liberals never thought would happen. An MSNBC host on June 23 actually took time out of his program to thank one of that network’s favorite bogeymen: David Koch.
Although he softened the blow by insisting that he still held to Sen. Harry Reid’s criticism of David Koch and his brother Charles (Harry Reid called the two “un-American,” and accused them of leading a “cult”), Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” had to admit that he was thankful for how much the conservative donor has given to hospitals.
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When it comes to big money in politics, there’s only one name the broadcast networks dwell on – the Koch brothers.
Billionaires David and Charles Koch are major contributors to both conservative and Republican causes. Democrats are “placing them at the center of their midterm election strategy,” according to Daniel Schulman, a senior editor at the George-Soros funded Mother Jones.
An article appearing in the Wednesday print edition of the New York Times (“In Wichita, Koch Influence Is Revered and Reviled”), reporter Carl Hulse traveled to the hometown of businessmen and libertarian donors Charles and David Koch in Wichita, Kansas.
Much to the dismay of the newspaper that has an obsession with peddling Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers, Hulse was unable to find anyone besides three progressive activists that had anything negative to say about them. Instead, he found that the Koch brothers are held in high regard in the community where, among many generous donations, the Wichita State University basketball arena was renamed the Charles Koch Arena in 2003 after he gave $6 million to have it completely renovated. Here’s more from Hulse:
President Obama's newly-announced EPA regulations on coal-fired electric plants are engendering opposition from red-state Democrats hoping to win crucial Senate elections this November. For her part, Senate Energy Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who says she favors "reduc[ing] carbon in the atmosphere," criticized the president's end-run around the legislature. "Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe" for the policy, she insisted in a statement quoted by The Hill newspaper.
But you'd know nothing about this if you only got your news from MSNBC's Hardball, where on his June 2 program, host Chris Matthews used the new EPA regs simply as an excuse to team up with two liberal guests -- Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Center for American Progress's Neera Tanden -- to blast Republicans as know-nothings on climate change who are motivated sheerly out of partisan animus in opposing the president's push for curbing carbon dioxide emissions. Matthews also worked in a swipe at the Left's favorite fraternal bogeymen, assailing the Koch brothers as moral monsters for "hurting the planet's health so they can have more money." [Listen to MP3 audio here; Watch video below page break]
The old saying goes that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder," but during Tuesday night's edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, the same principle was applied to hypocrisy.
Jon Stewart charged that Senate majority leader Harry Reid has criticized Charles and David Koch more than 140 times this year but said during an interview that people shouldn't “pick on” Sheldon Adelson, a gambling billionaire and supporter of the Nevada Democrat. [See video below.]
On the Wednesday, April 30, PoliticsNation, Al Sharpton charged that the Republican Party "demonizes the working class" and that GOPers "attack the working poor" as the MSNBC host trashed Republicans for opposing a minimum wage increase. [See video below.]
The host of MSNBC's weekday afternoon program The Ed Show has often hammered the donations to GOP candidates and projects made by wealthy conservative brothers David and Charles Koch, but does he feel the same when rich Democrats enter the political fray?
We got our answer on Monday, when Schultz happily interviewed Tom Steyer, a prolific Democratic donor who has pledged $50 million of his own money -- which will be matched by other members of “the party of the little guy” -- to support candidates who oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline and attack Democrats who support the project, which has interestingly been delayed by the Obama administration until after this November's midterm elections.
"Koke adds life where there isn't any," warned the Clash about cocaine back in 1980, a year that shook the ground under American politics. The Koch -- pronounced "Koke" -- brothers, David and Charles (though not sibling Bill, for the time being) serve a comparably stimulative role for liberals in 2014, another election year with seismic potential.
In recent weeks, self-proclaimed working-class hero Ed Schultz has shown he can barely pass a waking hour without vilifying the cursed Kochs. Yesterday Schultz regurgitated a persistent leftist falsehood about them and did so in a way that showed he wasn't even sure about the claim. (Audio after the jump)
Remember the extreme discomfort Senator Chuck Schumer displayed recently when pressed by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's Morning Joe as to whether he agreed with Harry Reid's description of the Koch brothers as "un-American?" After much evasion, Schumer finally agreed with Reid that the Koch brothers were un-American due to the political ads they are running.
It now turns out that Schumer's uneasiness with calling the Koch brothers "un-American" didn't have as much to do with casting aspersions upon their character as it had to do with something in his past that he probably knew would expose him as a hypocrite. And that something was a 2009 letter from Schumer thanking the Koch brothers political organization, KOCHPAC, for a contribution to his campaign. The letter can be seen after the jump.