$889 Million To “Slow Down March Towards Collectivism”

In conjunction with the Koch Network’s little clambake in Palm Springs, Politico‘s Kenneth Vogel updates us on that network’s fundraising and spending goals for 2016. The big round number is $889 million for the cycle, or well over twice what these birds spent in 2012, and between four and five times the cost of their 2014 campaign spending.

The willingness of the network’s donors to resume their big giving after Election Day 2012 failed to produce a GOP White House or Senate demonstrated that the Kochs and their donors took a long view unique in American big money politics and would not be dissuaded in their pursuit of their public policy agenda: a smaller government that does not stand in the way of markets.

During a Saturday night welcome speech in Rancho Mirage, Charles Koch took the slightest of victory laps – calling the midterms “an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism” – but he implored the assembled donors to dig deep headed into 2016.

I don’t know about you, but this sort of rhetoric makes me a bit crazy. The Koch Brothers and presumably most of their donors have done insanely well during this “march towards collectivism,” whether that means the Obama administration, or the the Clinton-Bush-Obama administrations (they probably view Bush 43 as only marginally less socialistic). Engorged with profits, and unencumbered by any real limits on what they can spend, they are determined to shut down progressive politics for the foreseeable future. And it’s yet another reason a lot of Republicans don’t think they need to moderate their policies. Money covereth a multitude of sins, and the people providing it don’t want moderation.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.