Via Politico, time for another round of “crazy like a fox, or just crazy?” This soundbite, you’ll be pleased to know, comes replete with a nifty new graphic from Reid’s staff that’ll soon be appearing in a fundraising e-mail near you:
Many Republican senators might as well wear Koch insignias to denote their sponsorship. pic.twitter.com/tcDY5nZPTm
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) April 7, 2014
I’m out of theories to explain his Koch crusade — right now, “voices in his head” seems as good a guess as any — so I asked people on Twitter to clue me in. Among the usual explanations (donations, changing the subject from Democratic failures) came this interesting one from Benjy Sarlin of MSNBC. Maybe Reid’s trying to bait righties intp saying something damaging in response that can be further exploited by Democrats. They did okay with Todd Akin two years ago. Why not go fishing for Akin Part II?
Here’s what he means by “CEO Nazi talk.” If you had a bunch of Republican congressmen regularly riding to the Kochs’ defense plus an outre comment or two from the brothers themselves, a Democratic ad team could make fundraising hay with it, but how bad would the comment have to be to make it some sort of game-changer worthy of the effort Reid’s putting in on this? Realistically, how bad could it be? Ted Cruz isn’t going to stand on the Senate floor and call for concentrating all wealth in the hands of an enlightened few libertarian-leaning conservatives. The best lefties are going to do here by way of demagogue-able material is having big-name Republicans occasionally compliment the Kochs for being “defenders of liberty” and maybe an op-ed now and then from Kochworld itself. (If Charles Koch’s piece for the Journal last week wasn’t enough to jumpstart a media feeding frenzy, what will be?) Frankly, the longer this goes on, the more I suspect we’re overthinking what Reid’s up to. This is his standard M.O. during campaigns: He picks a target, winds up, and then punches it repeatedly below the belt. Demagoguery is a force of habit at this point; essentially he’s America’s most prominent troll, right down to shutting Republicans in the Senate out of the amendment process. I have every confidence he’ll go on holding his Senate seat and leadership position until the day he decides he doesn’t want them anymore, because this really is the best America seems able to do these days. In a weird way, the Kochs shouldn’t take it personally.
Before you watch the clip, a little light reading.
— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) April 7, 2014