One of Reid’s pet peeves is to ridicule the powerful and wealthy conservative Koch brothers, David and Charles. Although this appears like a good “campaign strategy” to the aging Nevada Democrat, his venomous tirades are raising eyebrows in his own party.
Part of the skepticism derives from Reid’s plan for a senate vote to “overturn” the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The decision cited the Koch brothers’ campaign spending, which could top $125 million in 2014, according to a new report in Politico.
These reluctant Democrats have been launching a personal assault on the billionaire brothers using Reid’s Senate Majority PAC spending millions of campaign donor’s dollars on campaign ads attacking the Kochs.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee introduced a digital campaign entitled “The GOP is addicted to Koch.” Democrats on the verge of losing in November have embraced this campaign as their ultimate excuse.
Sen. Reid has made the brothers a central talking point on the campaign trail. He calls the Koch’s “power-drunk billionaires” and “un-American” as they are “trying to buy America.” He has mentioned the brothers over 100 times on the Senate floor.
But therein lays the rub of Harry Reid’s incredible hypocrisy. The reality is that it’s the Democrats who have a Koch problem. A recently released Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll indicates the Koch brothers are generally unknown to the American people. Half of those surveyed did not recognize the Koch name and only 21 percent have negative feelings of any kind about them.
At a critical time in American history, when the overwhelming numbers of Americans list the economy and jobs as their top issue, demonizing these two individuals seems trivial, if not childish. In fact, in a number of states, many voters owe their livelihoods to Koch-owned enterprises. Does Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), now losing her bid for another term in the U.S. Senate, understand that? Harry Reid is contributing to her defeat as she already strugggles with her Obamacare vote in 2010.
The Koch brothers do not attempt to hide the fact they spend millions on behalf of Republicans across the country. Yet they also have donated more than $1.4 million to Democrats since 2000. That includes vulnerable Democrats such as Sens. Mark Pryor, Mark Begich and Mary Landrieu. Yes, they have taken money from the brothers, although they conveniently fail to mention that on the campaign trail. Total hypocrisy?
Democrats fail to mention their own party saviors with the cash. Liberal billionaires like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and environmental activist Tom Steyer. Their crosses to bear include gun laws and the Keystone Pipeline.
With or without Koch money, the Democrats face a hostile political landscape. President Barack Obama’s approval ratings continue to search for deeper holes while his health care law is more unpopular than when it was passed. Democratic incumbents are the most vulnerable.
If Harry Reid thinks shouting down the Koch brothers is the best election strategy, the Democrats are in more serious trouble than they already thought. It is not only a foolish strategy; it won’t work.
There is a reason Harry Reid could barely beat the weak Tea Party candidate in his own re-election race in 2010. He had better start looking for a casino job in Vegas once he is labeled the single biggest reason the Democrats lost the Senate in 2014.
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