Monday, April 20, 2015

The Koch Brothers Aren't The Issue - The Policies Are

For all its significance, campaign finance as an issue still doesn't register on the radar of the average voter. True, it affects how government interacts and deals with every other issue, but it's still very meta, and in that sense very inside baseball.

Campaign finance also suffers from false equivalency media coverage. There are multiple multiple GOP SuperPacs and free-spending billionaires, but as long as you can name Tom Steyer and George Soros, both parties are "equally" to blame, your story is Balanced And Objective, and average voters lump it into the category of "they're all crooks anyway."

Bruce Braley ran harder against "the Koch Brothers" than he did against his actual opponent. If Koch Brother Demonization worked, Braley would be in the Senate and not in a Denver law firm.

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of bashing Koch Brothers Bashing. But that doesn't mean their insignificant. They're insignificant as an issue that moves voters, but dropping their name sure motivates the Democratic base. And, of course, the actual support they offer is significant.

And they now have a favorite:
Charles G. and David H. Koch, the influential and big-spending conservative donors, have a favorite in the race for the Republican nomination: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

On Monday, at a fund-raising event in Manhattan for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch told donors that he and his brother, who oversee one of the biggest private political organizations in the country, believed that Mr. Walker was the Republican Party’s best hope for recapturing the White House.

“We will support whoever the candidate is,” said Mr. Koch, according to two people who attended the event. “But it should be Scott Walker.”
Why Walker? It's what I've been saying all along: the issues that propelled Walker to national prominence are close to the heart of what the Money Wing of the GOP actually cares about - radically shrinking government and lowering wages.

Whether you're in a union or not - most aren't, I am - collective bargaining is a big force in setting prevailing wages across all sectors of the economy. And in post-industrial America, the strongest sector of the labor movement is the public sector.

By breaking public sector unions, an issue that was rarely mentioned in public in his 2010 race, Walker struck a blow against all paycheck workers. If he's able to do it nationally, that drives the entire wage scale of the economy downward.

So it's no shock that the Koch brothers love him. Now what Democrats need to learn is: they have to explain the argument, and not just bash the name.

No comments: