I swore to myself I wouldn’t do this, wouldn’t post this article because doesn’t everyone read the Times?
But I have returned from today’s march in downtown New York, where so many people carried terrific signs. One of my favorites read “I’m With Her” and a curving arrow pointing at…the earth.
And anyway I’ve spent the last several years excoriating the Koch Bros–they’re named in this article right toward the beginning so why should I give up now?
The proper title for this article is “How G.O.P. Leaders Came to Be First Threatened and Then Bought By Koch Money.”
Reminder: My category for anything Kochish is The Koch Bros Final Solution to Democracy. This proves it, although we could call it The Koch Bros Final Solution to Life on Earth.
A few pertinent excerpts:
WASHINGTON — The campaign ad appeared during the presidential contest of 2008. Rapid-fire images of belching smokestacks and melting ice sheets were followed by a soothing narrator who praised a candidate who had stood up to President George W. Bush and “sounded the alarm on global warming.”
It was not made for a Democrat, but for Senator John McCain, who had just secured the Republican nomination.
It is difficult to reconcile the Republican Party of 2008 with the party of 2017…
The Republican Party’s fast journey from debating how to combat human-caused climate change to arguing that it does not exist is a story of big political money, Democratic hubris in the Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years like a crack in the Antarctic shelf, favoring extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and conciliation.
Utterly wrong about “Democratic hubris,” of course. The Times can’t seem to lay off the “balanced” approach to news. Unless they’re suggesting a grasp of factual reality and the effort to remedy a dangerous situation for the people who elected them is “hubris.”
That scientific consensus [about climate change] was enough to pull virtually all of the major nations along. Conservative-leaning governments in Britain, France, Germany and Japan all signed on to successive climate change agreements.
Yet when Mr. Trump pulled the United States from the Paris accord, the Senate majority leader, the speaker of the House and every member of the elected Republican leadership were united in their praise.
Those divisions did not happen by themselves. Republican lawmakers were moved along by a campaign carefully crafted by fossil fuel industry players, most notably Charles D. and David H. Koch, the Kansas-based billionaires who run a chain of refineries (which can process 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day) as well as a subsidiary that owns or operates 4,000 miles of pipelines that move crude oil.
It was called the “No Climate Tax” pledge, drafted by a new group called Americans for Prosperity that was funded by the Koch brothers. Its single sentence read: “I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, was the first member of Congress to sign it in July 2008.
As Congress moved toward actually passing climate change legislation, a fringe issue had become a part of the political mainstream.
“That was the turning point,” Mr. Horner said.
Unshackled by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and other related rulings, which ended corporate campaign finance restrictions, Koch Industries and Americans for Prosperity started an all-fronts campaign with television advertising, social media and cross-country events aimed at electing lawmakers who would ensure that the fossil fuel industry would not have to worry about new pollution regulations.
Their first target: unseating Democratic lawmakers such as Representatives Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello of Virginia, who had voted for the House cap-and-trade bill, and replacing them with Republicans who were seen as more in step with struggling Appalachia, and who pledged never to push climate change measures.
But Americans for Prosperity also wanted to send a message to Republicans.
Until 2010, some Republicans ran ads in House and Senate races showing their support for green energy.
“After that, it disappeared from Republican ads,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity. “Part of that was the polling, and part of it was the visceral example of what happened to their colleagues who had done that.”
What happened was clear. Republicans who asserted support for climate change legislation or the seriousness of the climate threat saw their money dry up or, worse, a primary challenger arise.
“It told Republicans that we were serious,” Mr. Phillips said, “that we would spend some serious money against them.”
By the time Election Day 2010 arrived, 165 congressional members and candidates had signed Americans for Prosperity’s “No Climate Tax” pledge.
Most were victorious.
“The midterm election was a clear rejection of policies like the cap-and-trade energy taxes that threaten our still-fragile economy,” said James Valvo, then Americans for Prosperity’s government affairs director, in a statement issued the day after the November 2010 election. Eighty-three of the 92 new members of Congress had signed the pledge.
The sentence I bolded above is a sterling example of the repulsive deceitfulness of these people. The “midterm election” was not a “clear rejection of policies.” It was the first time huge amounts of dark money bought politicians outright. Outright.
And the only way they can do it is by using that money to sell oil-drenched crapola to voters who apparently don’t know the difference between a con job and facts.