If you’re doing me the honor of reading this, you’re presumably a regular on the progressive blogosphere, and I don’t have to explain to you what the noxious right-wing billionaires David and Charles Koch are all about. Bilious disgust almost certainly rose in your gorge at the mere sight of the name. (If you’d like some kind of overview, anyway, here you go.)
What, if anything, can be done to neutralize their efforts to create a full-blown capitalist dictatorship? It’s important to understand that to creeps like those two, it isn’t just about cynical greed and powermongering; they honestly see themselves as the last righteous bulwark against the accelerating American plunge to homosexual communist hippie atheism. Discussion, below the fold.
- Bring them down financially. Efforts to organize a boycott of products produced by Koch-controlled companies have in fact been undertaken. They haven’t worked. Their holdings are just too huge and too widespread. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t consider trying it anyway; I avoid anything associated with them, except PBS. (Perhaps you too have noted that the David Koch Foundation is an underwriter of, I believe, the Nova series; it’s announced, at the beginning of every episode. It seems like you just can’t entirely escape those f**kers.)
- Effective criminal prosecution. There can be little doubt that the Kochs have broken the law many times, in both their corporate and political activities. There is also no doubt that the laws that they’ve broken have gone largely unenforced in this country, for decades now. I’m an Obama supporter, on the whole, but I have plenty of beefs, and #1 is his refusal to prosecute flagrant corporate and political criminality, particularly regarding the crime against humanity that is the Iraq War. I’m aware of his explanations, about “looking forward, not back” and “we can’t govern out of anger.” I also know that convictions would be hard to come by, with the sorts of lawyers these people can afford, performing for a largely conservative judiciary. I’d go for it anyway, but it just so happens that I don’t have the president’s ear.
- As I see it, our best bet is continued progress toward real progressive legislative, executive, and judicial governance. I know that that has been an infuriatingly slow, halting, frustrating endeavor, even with a populace that is, despite the efforts of the likes of the Kochs, increasingly knowledgeable, and therefore increasingly contemptuous of all things conservative. That’s going to take a long time. Believe me, I wish I had a quicker fix, and I’m open to suggestions.