This should blow a few Left Wing minds:
Koch Industries, in partnership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is financing a program to provide scholarships and training for public defenders. The grant will also pay for a review of indigent defense programs to see what works in providing legal representation to those who can’t afford it.
Charles G. Koch, the chairman of Koch Industries, said in a statement that the grant was a way “to make the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to counsel a reality for all Americans, especially those who are the most disadvantaged in our society.”
The company’s interest grew out of its own experience during a criminal case in Texas and underscores a growing area of common ground between conservatives and progressives on criminal justice issues like sentencing reform.
The liberal echosphere has demonized the Koch’s for so long that I expect the response to this to be a) denial; b) animosity toward the NACDL. At least once a month I point out to some Koch-knocker that the Koch’s have long supported civil liberties, gay rights, the arts and sciences only to have proof demanded over and over and over again. The idea of the Koch brothers as Satan is so embedded with some political factions that they simply can’t process reality.
Eric Hoffer once said the following: “Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.” Whether it’s the Koch Brothers, the NRA, the Tea Party or Big Oil, the Democratic Party can not survive without someone to demonize. Even if that someone is doing more to help poor people and right injustices than they are.
Let’s face it: the Democrats are scared. Polling shows them down, Nate Silver now projects the Republicans to gain the Senate this year and while Hillary is popular in Democrat circles, it is quite likely she would lose a general election. There is a very real possibility the Republicans could control both Houses and the White House in 2017.
There are many ways for the Democrats to respond to this downturn in their political fortunes. They could work on getting their message out. They could change their agenda to be more in tune with reality and the needs of the … spttt … teeheeehee …. OK, I can’t finish that sentence with a straight face. I actually think the best political strategy for anyone, regardless of party, is just to shut the hell up and let your opponents defeat themselves.
But no, they’ve decided that the path to electoral victory is … attacking the Koch Brothers. I’m not joking. Harry Reid has been lambasting them on the Senate Floor. A progressive group incorrectly accused them of being behind the Keystone XL pipeline (said group being under the impression that Americans oppose it). That turned into a hilarious incident in which the WaPo mindlessly repeated their bogus claims. When called on it, they said:
The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.
In short, the Democrats are going to make the Koch Brothers an issue so we are going to make them an issue, facts be damned.
There’s only one problem. Most Americans could give a rat’s backside about the Koch Brothers. Half of Americans don’t even know who they are. Another fifth don’t care. The only people who really care about them are … passionate partisan Inside the Beltway Democrats and their adherents.
This a perfect distillation of how the Democrats have gone from the Party of Destiny to the Party of Density. They are constantly railing about side issues that no one cares about, constantly glomming onto some issue that they think will propel them to victory. They do this because when it comes to the most important issue right now — the economy — they haven’t the faintest foggiest fucking clue as to what to do about it.
If the Democrats think they’re going to ride Koch hatred to victory, they are deeply mistaken. But then again, they’re mistaken about almost everything.