Thursday, April 3, 2014

Charles Koch's Pity Party

In a shocking and unexpected turn of events, Charles Koch defended his War on America in an opinion piece Wednesday, in The Wall Street Journal.

It’s barely more than a ‘stop picking on me’ screed in which Koch tries to convince people that he’s really one of the good guys, and anyone who says otherwise is stupid and just being mean.

Let’s unpack what this Son-of-a-Bircher, who owes a measure of thanks to the former Soviet Union (a well-known anti-American group) for his inherited wealth, has to say.

The very first sentence sets the tone for the entire piece when Koch says “I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives”.

If this is true, then you've failed. Epically. Queue faceplant picture.

That is, unless you think that the principles that enable people to improve their lives are the purchasing of a political party which you then use to reshape the political landscape of a once-free country to your own personal fantasy, then okay. Otherwise, no.

Charles, not everyone inherited a fortune from daddy. What that means, Chuck, is that most of us don’t have the means to buy an entire political party. Weird, eh?

Prince Charles adds “Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government”. This part is true, at least since him and his brother, the other Son of a Bircher pretty much are the government at this point.

Chuck says that “the fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life…” Wrong again, Chuck. The real fatal conceit is that you think you should be able to decide whether or not we are able to decide what kind of society we want to live in.

Since you seem to enjoy giving advice and life-lessons, Chuck, here’s one for you: we, the people of the United States of America, a long time ago, had already examined the landscape of political philosophies and then we decided that the one that would serve all of us was the democratic model. As this model is unfamiliar to you, allow me to provide a synopsis for your personal edification.

In a democracy, Chuck, the people get to do this thing called voting (this is where each person gets his or her own little say in how things should be run, very different from what you like best, buying entire political parties fully packaged in your own Bircher image).

It is often the case in a democracy, Chuck, where the way you wanted (the guy you voted for) isn’t the way most other people wanted. This is called ‘losing’. When that happens, as an adult, you accept it for what it is and prepare for the next vote, where your preferred way may prevail. But what is considered poor sportsmanship (for lack of a better term), is instructing the politicians that you’ve paid for to fight reality and refuse to do any of the people’s work unless and until you get your way. We don’t tolerate that kind of behavior from children, Chuck. That’s one reason why you draw so much criticism.

You, Chuck, a Son-of-a-Bircher, have the nerve to decry character assassination, but only when it’s directed at you. Otherwise, you’re okay with the tactic, and have given money to your surrogates, sycophants, toadies, flatterers, bootlickers, brownnosers, grovelers, cronies, underlings, juniors, subordinates, subjects, pages, minions, and assistants, (directly or through the web of quasi- and pseudo-political groups you give money to), to do so. Paul Ryan’s (a known hypocrite) lamenting of the ‘takers’, Ted Cruz (a known hypocrite), Scott Walker (a known hypocrite), Rush Limbaugh (a known hypocrite), Sean Hannity (a known hyp…oh, enough!), Bill O’Reilly, etc., etc.

Then, and this, for me, is the best part, you accuse those who do not agree with you of not understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. You state that your critics would have us believe (hey – pay attention, Chuck – we are your critics), that you’re “un-American”, are trying to “rig the system”, and are against “environmental protection”, and finally, eager to “end workplace safety standards”. Good for you, Chuck, you got something right!

You cite Sen. Moynihan and his well-known quote about opinions vs. facts. You say that people are not entitled to their own facts. Not yet. That will have to wait until you and your brother are done buying the country, then you can focus on purchasing individual facts.

Yea, we think that. Because there’s overwhelming evidence that’s exactly what you’re doing. Oh, to be sure, you personally don’t do these things. No, you have your toadies to do that for you. What else are toadies good for anyway?

Then you spend some ink in talking about how many people you employ and how good your businesses are for the economy, as if it’s some charity you’re running. We know better.

By the way, this isn't the first time one of the people-should-be-more-self-reliant-and-earn-for-themselves heirs to a fortune that was made in the USSR by their father, a staunch anti-communist has complained about being 'a whipping boy'.

Finally, you state that “If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off…” I agree with that statement, Chuck, I really do.

So, why don’t you start doing that?