The Banality of the Koch Conspiracy

The Banality of the Koch Conspiracy

The Banality of the Koch Conspiracy

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 20 2010 12:42 PM

The Banality of the Koch Conspiracy

See what I mean about the perils of the Koch brothers pretending that they don't actually have both feet firmly planted in the world of tea parties and politics? I agree with Matthew Yglesias's take on the invitation to a Koch-hosted political forum, the details of which are being reported fairly breathlessly by Kate Zernike.

I suppose I don’t begrudge rich businessmen the opportunity to hang out with one another throwing a weird pity party about how overtaxed they are. But it strikes me as almost self-refuting for a bunch of billionaires to be chilling at a lavish resort talking about how Barack Obama has somehow done away with American liberty.

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Indeed, the Kochs' "secret meeting" in June with investors and high-profile journalists was written about at the time by Tim Carney, who has another take on it today. The details of who shows up at such things are sort of interesting. The fact that these things happen is completely banal -- elevating it is really just the left's revenge for a decade or so of the right attempting to scandalize and criminalize the influence that George Soros and other billionaires have on Democrats.

I take Yglesias's point that the Kochs have a different motivation than the Soroses of the world. They advocate against policies that would hurt their bottom lines; it is by no means clear that big liberal donors do so. In fact, they're usually advocating for policies that will raise their taxes.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.