The un-American anti-Koch campaign

The left can be forgiven for thinking everyone else is as obsessed with the Koch brothers as they are. The log on the Koch Industries website of the more than 200 New York Times stories mentioning the Kochs since 2011 runs about 20 pages when printed. The iconic motto of the paper could be updated to “All the News Fit to Print about the Shadowy Brothers Trashing America.” The logical endpoint of this anti-Kochery was the spectacle the other day of left-wingers protesting the coming advent of the David H. Koch Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital because of its association with a philanthropist with uncongenial politics. How long before demonstrators target the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center during a New York City Ballet performance of “Swan Lake,” and interrupt the dance of the little swans with cries of “Koch Kills Democracy”?

It is inevitable that any conservative writing about this kind of campaign will quote the Saul Alinsky dictum from his book “Rules for Radicals”: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” In its piece on Reid’s anti-Koch gambit, The New York Times reports, “The majority leader was particularly struck by a presentation during a recent Senate Democratic retreat, which emphasized that one of the best ways to draw an effective contrast is to pick a villain, one of his aides said.”

How high-minded. For a powerful national officeholder to stoop to such personal invective against private citizens seems bullying and itself vaguely un-American. But I defer to Harry Reid. He is the expert on American-ness.