The Koch Agenda and the Republican Party: Why Won’t They Answer the Question?
It is no wonder why the Koch brothers always hold their political retreats with their fellow billionaires and multimillionaires in highly secretive sessions, the things they say and the agenda they lay out, while “inspiring” to Mitch McConnell, is repulsive to most Americans. They believe the minimum wage leads to Nazi-ism, Stalinism, Maoism, and suicide bombers. They believe the homeless should be dismissed by telling them to get off their ass. They compare Democrats to the leaders of North Korea. They say they want to decrease regulations “because we can make more profit.”
But even more importantly than these absurd and offensive individual beliefs, is their absurd and offensive overall agenda. The Kochs’ VP for Policy and Research described an ideal society where the only government would be the military, police, and court system:
“Government is thus limited to a small, but absolutely critical number of tasks, basically keeping our neighborhoods and cities safe from crime, defending our country from those who might violate our national territories, our commerce at sea, and providing justice in a fair and apolitical — political court system.”
In this ideal system, there would be no C, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no food or water safety protections, no national park system, no public education or student loan programs, no public roads and bridges. They would not have taxes on corporate profits or the wealthy at all. There would be no consumer, homeowner, or worker protections from Wall Street banks, big energy companies, pharmaceutical giants, health insurance companies, fast food companies.
This is the Koch agenda, laid out clearly and unequivocally at the Koch secret meeting in June, the agenda that Mitch McConnell found so inspiring. This agenda is so stark that since the news of his attendance at the conference came out, McConnell has either downplayed the meeting, contradicted what he said at the meeting — for example, here on the minimum wage, or just refused to answer the question here and here.
McConnell isn’t the only Republican candidate refusing to answer questions about their allegiance to the Koch agenda. The issue came up twice in the Joni Ernst-Bruce Braley debate in Iowa on September 28, and Ernst avoided the topic entirely the first time, and defensively and immediately changed the subject the second time. And Congressman Jim Jordan, another speaker at the secretive Koch conference, simply refused to answerthe question as well.
The Koch agenda, which is now on tape and in transcript form for anyone who wants to look, is devastating to Republicans if Democrats make it an issue. Democrats just have to pound it home — keep asking the question Republicans refuse to answer, about whether they would repudiate the agenda laid out at the Kochs’ secret conference. Because the Republicans are so controlled by the Kochs, Democrats across the country need to be spelling out what the Koch agenda is, and asking Republicans whether they support it. If the narrative of this election is the debate over whether we want the Koch agenda, Democrats will win this cycle going away.