Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Paranoid Style of Liberalism

And for those interested in the paranoid shennigans of the liberal media, Andrew Ferguson reviews The New Yorker's scary story about the billionaire Koch brothers.
Over the past 30 years, Charles and David Koch, owners of a Kansas-based family business called Koch Industries, have given hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations that advance their political views. Those views can be described as unevenly conservative and generally libertarian (pro-gay marriage, anti-ObamaCare). The donations are readily observable in foundation tax records posted on the Internet, as all such transactions are, and the brothers themselves have made many public appearances on behalf of the think tanks and magazines they fund, given speeches and media interviews, issued statements of support, sat on boards—even, in David’s case, made a hopeless and expensive run for the vice presidency on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980.

Oddly, it took a while for the Inspector Clouseaus of the American left to smell a rat. And in fairness, it should be said that hiding in plain sight can often be the most sinister form of disguise for billionaires like the Kochs, the tricky bastards. About a year ago, the alarming rise of the Tea Parties inspired researchers at a website called ThinkProgress to start Googling. Among their discoveries, breathlessly reported, was the news that one of the Kochs’ foundations had funded Americans for Prosperity, a group instrumental in the Tea Party movement.
Read it all, it's good.

UPDATE: Especially, this part:
The only support in (Jane) Mayer’s article for this extravagant charge (that the Tea Party movement has been completely manufactured from the top down) comes from second-hand assertions, usually in quotes from the brothers’ critics. Many are anonymous. Others are incompletely identified. Conservative think tanks and activists are carefully pinned with the ideological tag; liberal think tanks and left-wing activists are, well, just think tanks and activists. A man named Gus diZerega is hauled in to describe David Koch’s “wayward intellectual trajectory” toward conservative activism; Mayer describes diZerega only as a “former friend” and “political science professor.” In a bio note on his blog, diZerega is more definitive: after working “to prevent the triumph of what he feels are the moral monsters that long controlled the U.S. government and still dominate the Republican party,” he says he quit poli sci for the study of “Neo-paganism, the earth religions more generally, and shamanic healing.” Talk about a wayward intellectual trajectory.
Well, to be fair. If you sympathized with Democrats and looked at the polls, you'd think the world was out to get you too.


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