Obama campaign now fundraising off of high gas prices by blaming ... the Koch brothers

Nothing new here. Remember, O’s very first campaign ad of the year was also aimed at the Kochs. Until the GOP chooses a nominee, the Emmanuel Goldstein brothers will have to do as the designated root of all political evil. Look at it from Obama’s perspective: What’s more likely to get a shrieking leftist to open his wallet, some perfunctory grumbling about Mitt “Meh” Romney or a dire new warning about just how far the Kochtopus’s tentacles extend?

The title of the fundraising e-mail, no joke: “They’re obsessed.”

In just about 24 hours, Mitt Romney is headed to a hotel ballroom to give a speech sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a front group founded and funded by the Koch brothers.

Those are the same Koch brothers whose business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump, and who bankrolled Tea Party extremism, and committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama before Election Day.

So in the hours before Romney courts two men obsessed with making Barack Obama a one-term president, let’s see how many of us can chip in to the Two-Term Fund.

Looking forward to Monday when Jay Carney gets to elaborate on the tea party’s “extremism” vis-a-vis Occupy Wall Street, hopefully with that trademark look of constipation on his face. As for the charge that the Kochs are manipulating oil prices, their spokesman responds:

[I]t is false that our “business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump.” Our business vision begins and ends with value creation — real, long-term value for customers and for society. We own no gasoline stations and the part of our business you allude to, oil and gas refining, actually lowers the price of gasoline by increasing supply. Either you simply misunderstand the way commodities markets work or you are misleading your supporters and the rest of the American people…

If the President’s campaign has some principled disagreement with the arguments we are making publicly about the staggering debt the President and previous administrations have imposed on the country, the regulations that are stifling business growth and innovation, the increasing intrusion of government into nearly every aspect of American life, we would be eager to hear them. But it is an abuse of the President’s position and does a disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy. The implication in that sort of attack is obvious: dare to criticize the President’s policies and you will be singled out and personally maligned by the President and his campaign in an effort to chill free speech and squelch dissent.

I’m not sure why he bothered responding. Their appeal to stop using the bully pulpit to attack private citizens obviously isn’t working; they’ve been making that point for months, most famously when Koch lawyer (and liberal ally on gay marriage) Ted Olson ripped Obama for having a de facto “enemies list,” and yet the demagoguery rolls on. In a sense, it’s not worth taking personally: If it wasn’t them, it’d be someone else taking the blame for Obama’s failures. That’s how scapegoats work. Go read this WaPo piece from this morning describing how the per-person cost under ObamaCare’s high-risk pools is already expected to more than double the initial estimate made in 2010. In a few years, when health-care costs start to spiral, a scapegoat will be needed for that too. Will it be the Kochs or some other lucky extremist plutocratic boogeyman? Stay tuned.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on February 04, 2023