The Koch brothers are waging a valiant fight to save America from utter ruin, people who give lots of money to the Koch brothers say.
In a Dallas Morning News op-ed posted late Monday night, Doug and Holly Deason, two major donors to Charles and David Koch's conservative political network, argue that the billionaire brothers want nothing more than to "help the least fortunate, defend individual freedom and create lasting prosperity for more and more hard-working Americans." That may come as news to observers who associate the energy billionaires with self-interested campaigns to defeat government regulation, elect hard-right Republicans, and create an electoral system dominated by a select few plutocrats. But these totally disinterested observers are here to disabuse you of such misinformation.
"We want Washington to do what it hasn’t done for years: work for, not against, the American people," the Deasons write of themselves and fellow attendees of the Kochs' recent donor summit in southern California.
But the Deasons, who help fund the Koch-backed Freedom Partners, warn that the country is currently on the road to ruin.
"Special interests have never been more powerful in Washington," they write. Fair point! After all, we do have a political system in which two brothers can but a $900 million price tag on an election. Of course, that's not the kind of rigged system the Deasons decry. To hear them tell it, big government is the real culprit, creating a status quo of "subsidies, favorable regulations, pork and special favors."
Meanwhile, the Deasons lament, government spending is "out of control -- and more wasteful than ever." Actually, non-defense discretionary spending will soon fall to lowest level as a share of gross domestic product on record. But enough with such pesky facts!
Predictably, the couple also denounce efforts to curb the influence of money in politics -- or, as they put it, "control political speech." Absent the Kochs, who will prevent the erosion of our most basic freedoms?
Karen Hobert Flynn, the senior vice president at Common Cause, has a ready retort. "The notion that the Koch brothers and their friends want to protect the rest of us from special interest influence in Washington is hilarious -- the ultimate illustration of the pot calling the kettle black," Flynn told Salon. "
"All the available evidence says that they want to toss aside clean air and clean water laws, demolish workers' rights, and make it harder for people who don't share their views to vote," she added, referring to the Koch network's support for voter suppression efforts.
Yet it's all in the service of the good old US of A, the Deasons insist. "Washington is broken. And it’s harming the American people and destroying our country’s future," they ominously warn. All they're asking for is a government that's "impartial, accountable, efficient and limited."
And that comes at a price tag of just under $1 billion.