Koch, the GOP, and HR1

For decades now, a group of the super-wealthy, led by Charles Koch, have engaged in a very expensive campaign, much of it pursued under the radar of media scrutiny, to discredit the postwar consensus that a mixed economy, with important roles for the market and for government, serves us best — especially the middle class.

The corporatist crusaders, who recruited the GOP to the cause (see in particular the virulently anti-government rhetoric of Reagan and his disciples), succeeded to a remarkable degree in convincing centrist and center-right voters to turn against their self-interest, enthralled by a promised “freedom” that really amounted to marginal incremental freedom for the already very free indeed.

The modern GOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary now of the Koch crowd. And what’s on their immediate agenda? They want to kill the electoral reforms in HR1 — legislation that would shine a light into the recesses where they’ve been hiding their dark money. For the lowdown on this, read Jane Mayer’s new piece in the New Yorker. And for a thorough look at the Koch shenanigans, read her book Dark Money.

The reality is that the approach to economic and fiscal policies pushed by Koch and the GOP is contrary to settled macroeconomics — ie, it’s voodoo — and amounts to greed. They get away with it in large measure because GOP candidates can count on the good ole boys to re-elect them as long as they present themselves as the only bulwark against “the libs.”