How The Koch Brothers Engineered The Shutdown

Koch Brothers

The Article: The 5 creepiest things about how the Koch brothers engineered the shutdown by Robyn Pennacchia in Death And Taxes.

The Text: This weekend, The New York Times revealed how the Koch Brothers and Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese engineered this here shutdown we’re dealing with right now, and how they’d been planning it ever since Obama was reelected. I wasn’t especially shocked by it, myself. Hell, half of the Tea Party people in the House actually campaigned on it. Which is why I have been annoyed as hell with the whole “Oh, well, it’s really both parties at fault here!” line of reasoning that some people have been trying to take.

Anyway, in case you’re not hep to it, months and months before the shutdown happened, Freedomworks, one of the fake astroturfing groups set up by The Brothers Koch, with the assistance of Reagan Attorney General Ed Meech, created a blueprint for how it was all supposed to go down. They also created a “tool kit” for dealing with it. And they had the chutzpah to actually post these things online, in plain view of god and everyone.

The whole thing gives me the heebeejeebees. So, for your edification, here are the 5 creepiest things about it.

1. The fact that it has been in the works since February.

Just getting this out of the way now, because that is just seriously creepy as hell. The fact that their actual plan was to shut down the government, put people out of jobs, leave kids without HeadStart, and generally just screw everything up for everyone in order to get their own way is absolutely frightening and incredibly selfish. Those people don’t matter? They’re not as important as you? All those sight-seeing veterans you’re so very concerned about–you didn’t think they’d be affected?

2. They actually told people what to Tweet.

The key hashtags for this week are:





.@Senate_GOPs Stand with @TedCruz! #DontFundIt #MakeDCListen

.@LindseyGrahamSC Your vote for cloture was a vote to fund #ObamaCare #DontFundIt

.@TedCruz & .@SenMikeLee thank you for standing strong. #DontFundIt

Call both of your Senators today 202.224.3121 and ask them to delay #Obamacare. #DontFundIt #MakeDCListen

If all of Obama’s friends deserve #Obamacare waivers, don’t the rest of us deserve a one-year delay? #DontFundIt #MakeDCListen

#ObamaCare isn’t ready for Big Labor, Big Government, or Big Business, so they all got exemptions. What about the rest of us? #DontFundIt #MakeDCListen

Seriously, Tea Partiers. Your organizers think you’re so freaking dumb, and so likely to make spelling errors, that they made you a list of things to Tweet. Don’t you know when you’re being insulted?

3. They not only knew that the Republican Party would be blamed for the shutdown they engineered, they came up with talking points to repeat to the media in order to try to deflect said blame:

1. What happens when you shut down the government and you are blamed for it?
—> We are simply calling to fund the entire government except for the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.

—> If Congress is willing to defund this terrible law and stand up for the American people, the American people will support them.

This is the exact response members of Congress have been giving to the media. It’s a ridiculous response and makes no sense whatsoever, but they’ve all been repeating it like it made some kind of sense. Now we see why.

The fact that they have been so open about their plans to shut down the government and are now trying to pretend that it’s totally not their fault is a classic example of pissing on someone’s leg and telling them it’s raining–it requires an unimaginable amount of chutzpah.

The first suggested response is basically the same thing as shooting someone during a robbery and then explaining to the judge that it’s really their fault because if they’d handed over their wallet you wouldn’t have had to shoot them.

You know what the second response reminds me of? When Charles J. Guiteau assassinated Garfield, he legitimately believed that he would be hailed as a hero. After he shot him, he yelled “I am Stalwart of the Stalwarts! Arthur is President now!” and he really, truly believed that instead of being sent to jail, he would be showered with praise. While he was in jail, he constantly made up stories about all the fan mail he was getting from admirers who were thrilled and delighted that he had shot the President. Of course, no such mail existed.

Pretending the whole world is on your side does not make it so.

4. This whole spiel about how it’s totally fine that people with pre-existing conditions don’t get to have health care:

What about the people with pre-existing conditions who cannot get health insurance without the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare?

—> Health insurance does not equal health care. There are several studies that show that patients on Medicaid have no noticeably improved health outcome over people who completely lack health insurance. After studying 800,000 patients, the study’s authors at the University of Virginia concluded that patients on Medicaid (a program that Obamacare greatly expands) are just as likely, and sometimes more likely, to die than patients without any health insurance coverage.

Oh! Well then! There you go! I bet that’s why the Koch Brothers themselves don’t have health insurance, and why none of the Congressional Tea Party Republicans have health insurance! And probably why they don’t ever go to a doctor, because you could totally go to the doctor and die anyway, so why bother?

5. The End Game

This is not just about defunding the Affordable Care Act. This is about getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid, it is about privatizing the Veteran’s Administration, it is about getting rid of the EPA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education. All the things on the Koch Brothers wishlist. Why? Because they’re rich dudes who want to be more rich. And they want the American people to help them. Once all those things are privatized we’ll need corporate solutions to fill the services they provide. And guess who can provide those corporate solutions? The Koch brothers have engineered an entire “grassroots movement” dedicated to helping them get more rich at the expense of the American people. It’s straight up bonkers.

The vision that Charles and David Koch have for America is only good for people who are as rich and powerful as they are. What they are engineering isn’t just a shutdown, it is an America where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and where no one has a say in their government unless they have piles of cash.


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