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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It Turns Out, the Fear- and Hate-Mongering Games Pay Really Well

Posted by on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 10:23 AM

In an incidental link at the bottom of this very funny Crooks and Liars post about the outraged conservative response to the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who asked Obama to raise his taxes, I learned something new:

Teabagger sugar-daddies the Koch Brothers are now the fourth richest Americans, according to Fortune magazine. Their personal worth has skyrocketed since 2004, and downright exploded since the Tea Party has come onto the national scene. I know "follow the money" is a cliché, but seriously: If you follow the money, you'll see who has the most to gain out of exploiting the fearful and selfish instincts of conservative America.


Comments (16) RSS

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I see the connections, but isn't it a bit chicken and egg still - yes, they're certainly whipping up fearful and selfish instincts in others, but they have those instincts themselves to begin with, right? And don't they almost certainly think they're performing a noble service spreading that to others in what seems to me like a frenzy of wickedness?

I'm not convinced by the premise that they're doing all this *primarily* for financial gain rather than out of their genuinely alarmist, reactionary fear and selfishness, which has always had its place in corporate America. While that premise may be true, it's not been demonstrated quite yet, I don't think.
Posted by gloomy gus on September 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 15
I find it kind of hilarious that funders of the Teatards are rich fucks who've speculated so successfully in oil futures that gas is $4/gallon, which in turn enrages Teatards further.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 27, 2011 at 1:38 PM · Report this
@12, It's fair to infer from his post that Paul is suggesting that since the Kochs are making more money, it must be because they are influencing the political process so much. With their money. And fear. And I hope we can agree that money and fear are the biggest tools in the box for all politicians.

But the fact is and has been that left-leaning organizations are just as, if not more, present in the gears of the political money machine. It is also a fact that Democrats use fear as often and to the same degree that Republicans do. And Paul has a well-documented tendency to focus on the shenanigans of the Republicans while turning a blind eye to the exact same shenanigans of the Democrats.
Posted by LJM on September 27, 2011 at 1:27 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 13
Actually, the Koch politics are probably more hereditary than strategic, and are surely tinged by their father’s politics. Read his book “A Business Man Looks at Communism” if you really want to “know your enemy”. Unlike the kitchen table socialists blogging on Slog, he actually experienced firsthand what it’s like to do business in a communist state when built several plants in the USSR in the late 20’s early 30’s.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on September 27, 2011 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Zebes 12

Good job countering Paul's clearly stated argument that "All the big donors out there are Republicans," guys
Posted by Zebes on September 27, 2011 at 12:58 PM · Report this
What I'd like to see is a chart showing the Koch's rising wealth overlayed with a chart of how many people they employ. By their logic, since their taxes have come down and they've dramatically increased their wealth they should have also dramatically increased the number of employees they have right? I'm sure that's what's happened.
Posted by Root on September 27, 2011 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Yes, let's follow the money.…

Wait, what?
Posted by LJM on September 27, 2011 at 12:50 PM · Report this
In particular, it's pretty easy to see a connection between the Kochs and the concerted push to roll back EPA regulation or dismantle the agency altogether.

One would be tempted to term their intrusion into American politics (via ALEC and many other front groups) as a coup, except their goal seems not so much to assume control of the government as to cripple its regulatory authority so they can operate without any constraints.

They want to bring down the government but they're dumb enough to believe that everything will keep humming along fine without it. A case study in falling for your own crap; hereditary billionaires who believe they are Rand-esque self-made titans of industry.
Posted by Proteus on September 27, 2011 at 12:29 PM · Report this
venomlash 8
@7: n=10 is a bit small, don't you think? How about the top 50? And how about some sauce?
Posted by venomlash on September 27, 2011 at 12:12 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 7
Okay… Let’s follow the money. Here’s who’s got it and how they use it politically. Here are the 10 richest hate and fear mongers:

1. Bill Gates $59B Primarily supports Democrats
2. Warren Buffet $39B Primarily supports Democrats
3. Larry Ellison $25B Primarily supports Democrats
4. Charles Koch $25B Primarily supports Republicans
5. David Koch $25B Primarily supports Republicans
6. Christy Walton $24.5B (No Records)
7. George Soros $22B Primarily supports Democrats
8. Sheldon Adelson $21.5B Primarily supports Republicans
9. Jim Walton $21.1B Primarily supports Republicans
10. Alice Walton $20.9B Primarily supports Republicans

So the “real” money is behind the Democrats. The top 3 ($123B) are all Democrats and of the top 10 there are 4 Democrats ($145B) vs 5 Republicans ($113.5B) and one unknown ($24.5B).
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on September 27, 2011 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 6
Actually, the only cliche' going on here is a "journalist" dismissing a timeless truth.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on September 27, 2011 at 11:32 AM · Report this
You're suggesting a causal connection???

Spell it out!
Posted by RonK, Seattle on September 27, 2011 at 11:28 AM · Report this
This is written as if Obama isn't exploiting the fearful and selfish interests of conservative America (which includes Obama supporters). Indeed, follow the money of those contribute to his campaign and who he hires and who benefits most from his policies at home and overseas.

I know it's fun and easy to point out the corruption of the other team. But unless you hold yourself and your chosen political allies to the same standards, well, you're kind of like a political Teg Haggard.
Posted by LJM on September 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Posted by rob! on September 27, 2011 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Posted by maddogm13 on September 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM · Report this
I don't see how the success of the business lines they're in can be attributed to their political work - I think people of any stripe who owned the businesses they do would have had a hard time not making huge money - but maybe somebody can connect the dots for me.
Posted by gloomy gus on September 27, 2011 at 10:36 AM · Report this

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