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The Koch (pronounced "Coke") Brothers, Wilbur Koch and Orville Koch, are the subversive powers behind the Republican throne (although it has now been years since any member of the Republican Party got near any significant throne, aside from Larry "Wide Stance" Craig). Republican Party biographer George Soros has called the Koch Brothers "the party's main source of dirty money" and notes that the Party has steadfastly refused his offers to give it a discreet laundering. He has said, "The Party won't even let me wash its mouth out with soap."
The Koch Brothers own and operate one of America's largest and most secretive privately-held corporations, Koch Enterprises. It is the nation's primary bottler of Koch-a Coal-a (as their father, from the Old Country, refers to the product). President Barack Obama has stated, "Whatever it is that they do, I support a single-payer system for all of it." That would put the Koch Brothers out of business and may be the source of their notorious work in conservative, libertarian, and anti-Obama political organizations and think tanks.
Wilbur Koch was the Libertarian candidate for Vice President in 1980. He advocated the abolition of the FBI, the CIA, the public schools, and the states of New York, New Jersey, and California to boot. He and his Presidential running mate Timothy Leary received the highest Libertarian vote total ever, though he probably bought those votes, as no large political party would ever consider doing. However, the effort soured him. "The American people don't want a Vice President; they want a guy to put on firefighter hats and do photo-ops," he said, espousing the same reluctance that in turn torpedoed the 2008 campaign of Fred Thompson. Wilbur ceased to be a candidate and instead has bankrolled other people who were gullible enough to take out the petitions themselves.
Orville Koch, by comparison, started as a money bundler and simply stayed there. After his brother ran for office, Orville became more disillusioned, and said, "Politics is such a corrupting business. Being in the business of corrupting politicians is relatively pure."
Both brothers, through their mysterious, shadowy organizations, recruit and mentor young libertarians, put on plush banquets with rubber chickens at which economists talk about public policy issues, and send three or four virtually identical postcards per week to every registered Republican in the political "battleground states."
Americans For Prosperity (AFP)
In 2004 (net of several strategic name-changes), the Koch Brothers founded Americans for Prosperity. The only comparable group affiliated with the Democratic Party is the notorious Americans for Poverty and Squalor.
Since the founding, the brothers have funneled an obviously excessive amount of money into AFP. At an AFP rally in 2009, Orville said, "My brother and I provided over a million dollars to this organization, and it is astounding to see that it has become a million-dollar organization."
The Koch Brothers contribute to, or sit on the boards of, many other organizations, personifying in each case a stock reason for the Democratic Party to argue for immediate mistrust of them. Indeed, after a Democrat runs out of legitimate rebuttals, it always works splendidly to call his adversary a sockpuppet of the Koch Brothers.
Success across the board
The Koch Brothers' use of unregulated, undisclosed money to secretly bankroll supposedly independent organizations has given them unprecedented influence over the United States Government. In particular:
- Patients United Now advocated against a single-payer health-care system in the United States, making Obama-care seem like a kindly and moderate alternative.
- Citizens for a Sound Economy has advocated free-market reforms. As well as letting Obama argue that George W. Bush ushered in an era of banking anarchy, this group has succeeded with much legislation (in filing it, not passing it). The resulting U.S. economy is sounder than ever, at least compared to Greece and Spain.
- Americans for Prosperity (see above) in the 2012 election taught Republicans and libertarians the exact limitations on a carpet-bombing direct-mail campaign in support of a courtly old rich guy who couldn't remember what his message was nor tell anyone how it would work.
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group of Republican legislators supported by the Koch Brothers that met and compared notes to ensure that their work in different states wasn't completely at cross purposes, drew such flak as to give even Walmart cold feet about backing it.
In an article in the August 30, 2010 issue of Mother Doobie, acknowledged expert Jane Mayer argued:
|The Koch Brothers are libertarians who believe in drastically lower taxes, minimal social services, and less oversight of industry. Obviously, their only possible motive is hatred, they intend for hunger and disease to become epidemic, and they stand to benefit personally from the policies they advocate. Also, they are in climate science denial. 'Nuff said, really.|
To be entirely fair, several scruffy libertarians have taken issue with Ms. Mayer, arguing that not everything the Koch Brothers do is evil, and that the proof that the Koch Brothers are merely pursuing personal profit is not air-tight.
Republicans and Conservatives
Mean and cranky is your only safe choice
|Presidents: Bush #43 • Cheney • Bush #41 • Quayle • Reagan • Nixon • Agnew|
|Supporting cast: Boehner • Fox • Jesus • Kissinger • Koch • Tea Party • Trump|
|Loozahs: Romney • Ryan • the 2008 loozahs • Dole|
|Commentators: Beck • Coulter • Kudlow • Limbaugh • Talk radio|