Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
Barbara Walters finds David Koch to be one of 2014’s “most fascinating” people. I find him to be an insufferable libertarian douchewaffle. I see nothing fascinating about him at all and lord knows I’ve been trapped in so many tedious conversations with his ilk for the past twenty some odd years. Decide for yourself who is right here:
Koch, along with his brother Charles, spends obscene amounts of money influencing elections, which has included a boatload of cash to anti-choice and anti-LGBT groups. But David told Barbara Walters that he’s “socially liberal”.
“I’m basically a libertarian and I’m a conservative on economic matters, and I’m a social liberal,” Koch responded.
Walters then asked Koch why he uses his wealth to elect socially conservative candidates if he supports gay rights and a woman’s right to choose.
“Well, that’s their problem. I do have those views,” he said.
“What I want these candidates to do is to support a balanced budget,” he added. “I’m very worried that if the budget is not balanced that inflation could occur and the economy of our country could suffer terribly.”
It’s all a big misunderstanding, you see, this notion people have that the Koch brother are a pair of big old culture war reactionaries! Actually, that’s not quite right:
Helping to drive the right-wing offensive in the states and in Congress is a network of deep-pocketed business titans convened by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, principals in Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States. Like the Kochs themselves, many of the donors in the brothers’ networks signal disinterest in fighting against women’s rights or LGBTQ rights, yet anti-choice groups have seen their coffers swell with millions of the network’s dollars.
“If you want to promote a pro-corporate agenda, you’re only going to get so far,” Sue Sturgis, the Durham, North Carolina-based editorial director of the progressive website Facing South, told RH Reality Check. “But when you start weaving in these social issues like abortion and other reproductive rights issues, then you’re gonna appeal to a broader range of people, and a very motivated voting bloc. They will turn out. So it serves your larger cause.”
This approach by the Kochs reminds me of the behavior of two of our dogs toward the vacuum cleaner. Einstein the Corgi hates the vacuum cleaner and flies into a rage the second it is turned on – snarling at, circling, and even biting the machine when he can. Also pees on it any time it is out of the closet unattended. Vacuuming is never acceptable to Einstein, not even to save the life of the floor. If those were legitimate dust bunnies and furballs that floor would have ways to shut that whole thing down as far as Einstein is concerned! Einstein could definitely be said to be a true believer in the anti-vacuuming cause.
Robby the Corgi, on the other hand, joins Einstein in the barking at and biting of the vacuum cleaner. But he also wags his tail the whole time and often lets us run the hose up and down his back while clearly enjoying it. We have a sneaking suspicion that Robby is pro-vacuuming. Nevertheless, both dogs still make vacuuming a giant pain in the ass and we have come to believe that Robby is simply egging Einstein on with the expectation that both will be comforted and get treats once the vacuum cleaner is turned off. Similarly, David Koch can claim he’s pro-choice and pro-gay rights all he wants but the Kochs are still biting and pissing on those rights with bigger teeth and a much bigger bladder than the conservative activists they pander to.
Koch’s interview with Walters has undoubtedly thrilled legions of libertarian dudebros, who will annoy people like me in perpetuity with this bogus “social liberal” claim. (Thanks a lot, Barbara.) But it also shows that even David Koch knows that pro-choice and pro-gay rights stances are popular. Koch’s insistence that he merely wants to get people elected who will “balance the budget” reveals how stupid and dangerous he truly is. Talk of “balancing the budget” from a very wealthy person is hardly an indication of economic wisdom. It is nearly always code for “gutting safety net programs while still extracting taxes and rents from poor people.”
But the deficit scolds aren’t giving up. Now yet another organization, Fix the Debt, is campaigning for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, even while making lower tax rates a “core principle.” That last part makes no sense in terms of the group’s ostensible mission, but makes perfect sense if you look at the array of big corporations, from Goldman Sachs to the UnitedHealth Group, that are involved in the effort and would benefit from tax cuts. Hey, sacrifice is for the little people.
As for the Koch brothers’ vaunted philanthropy – the museums, public TV, universities and whatnot – that just seems to be mainly aimed at indoctrination rather than anything truly helpful. Really, that which would actually improve the lives of poor Americans is anathema to the Kochs. So the next time some obnoxious libertarian pissant tries to argue that the Kochs are “socially liberal”, like that means something, remember that it means exactly nothing. They’re awful human beings because of what they do, despite whatever they say about themselves.