A Strong Contender for this Year’s “World’s Smallest Violin” Award

Politico reports that Philip Ellender, president and COO of Government and Public Affairs for Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, has hit back hard against President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s recent anti-Koch rhetoric. “Apparently, the President and his allies do not want to lose that perceived fundraising advantage during the 2012 Presidential campaign, and are trying to intimidate into silence those who may disagree with them and who may decide to support other candidates,” he told Mike Smith.

Can we please, please, please put to bed the “Don’t bully me into silence!” gripe? There are people in the world — lots of them! — who really can’t say what they want to say because they face some sort of actual threat if they do so. People who witness crimes in certain dangerous neighborhoods. People living in Syria.

But if you work in politics in the United States, where anyone with an Internet connection can spew whatever stupid nonsense they want onto the Internet with impunity, and particularly if you are affiliated with billionaires, you really can’t say this without sounding like a jerk.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.