Harry Reid's Two Minutes Hate

Efficacious as this approach can prove to be, one can’t help but notice that the Kochs are a peculiar choice of popinjay. Certainly, the pair vehemently opposes the Democratic party’s core economic agenda, which, in the waning days of Obama’s influence, consists of defending Obamacare, instituting a carbon tax, and refusing steadfastly to do anything about the federal government’s spending problem. But the Kochs are not as simple as the hysteria would have them be. Indeed, even the lightest of research reveals them to be in favor of gay marriage, of drug legalization, of reforming and expanding the immigration system, of withdrawing troops from the Middle East, of cutting defense spending, of curbing the NSA’s overreach, and of helping to balance the budget by raising (some) taxes — all of which, it presumably doesn’t need spelling out, are positions that the Democratic party purports to support. Among the “shadowy” groups to which the Kochs have contributed are the ACLU (which received $20 million from the duo to support its work against the PATRIOT Act), a variety of cancer-research foundations, and a wide range of museums, musical venues, and art galleries.

Strangely enough, Senator Reid has never complained that the voices of those who would defend the PATRIOT Act are being “drowned out” by a flood of corporate money, nor has he questioned the public spirit of those Americans who have joined the fight to legalize pot, redefine marriage, declare an amnesty, or alter the nation’s foreign policy. (Michael Bloomberg’s $19 million gun-control push, for example, appears to have escaped his notice, as has Tom Steyer’s recently announced plan to spend $100 millon dollars helping candidates who agree with him on climate change.) All told, one cannot help but wonder whether this has less to do with Reid’s taking a principled stance against “money in politics” and more do with the Kochs’ decision to give nine out of ten of their contributed dollars to party in which Senator Reid does not serve and whose electoral success could see him imminently relegated to the minority.