The Great Koch Brothers v. R. Paul Losertarian Feud (who knew)

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The Pink Flamingo can’t tell if a feud is brewing between the Ron Paul people and the Koch bunch or if it is all about the irrational behavior of Ron Paul Bots.  It could go either way.  We know that API offices are run by Ron Paul Bots.  The Koch brothers have donated to various Ron Paul related campaigns. We also know the Ron Paul Bots will attempt to destroy anyone who might prove to be a threat to their demigod.

Is it possible the “hits” on the Koch Brothers are instigated and supported by the Ron Paul Bots?

“…The first tea parties were organized by supporters of Ron Paul, who, on the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, in December 2007, held rallies across the country and held a “money bomb” for Paul’s campaign raising the all-time record for a single day’s political fund-raising. The organizations affiliated with the Kochs have long kept their distance from Rep. Paul: they view him as an unbridled radical, and one who – worse, from their perspective – can’t be controlled or reined in….”

Evidently then Rick Santelli began the “tea party” in Chicago.

“...What hasn’t been reported until now is evidence linking Santelli’s “tea party” rant with some very familiar names in the Republican rightwing machine, from PR operatives who specialize in imitation-grassroots PR campaigns (called “astroturfing”) to bigwig politicians and notorious billionaire funders. As veteran Russia reporters, both of us spent years watching the Kremlin use fake grassroots movements to influence and control the political landscape. To us, the uncanny speed and direction the movement took and the players involved in promoting it had a strangely forced quality to it. If it seemed scripted, that’s because it was.

What we discovered is that Santelli’s “rant” was not at all spontaneous as his alleged fans claim, but rather it was a carefully-planned trigger for the anti-Obama campaign. In PR terms, his February 19th call for a “Chicago Tea Party” was the launch event of a carefully organized and sophisticated PR campaign, one in which Santelli served as a frontman, using the CNBC airwaves for publicity, for the some of the craziest and sleaziest rightwing oligarch clans this country has ever produced. Namely, the Koch family, the multibilllionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America, and funders of scores of rightwing thinktanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks. The scion of the Koch family, Fred Koch, was a co-founder of the notorious extremist-rightwing John Birch Society….”

There are quite a few of us who are extremely concerned about the libertarian influence over the GOP.   Since we are the “normal” ones, and not into the whole libertarian, tea party thing, I doubt any of us saw this one coming:  Apparently there are some differences of opinion between the supporters of the Koch Brothers and the Pauls.

Economic Policy Journal

Perhaps the problem is that we “normal” people don’t know the subtle differences in losertarianville.  Evidently there are some very serious differences and divisions.

Maybe we just don’t know the differences.

The Pauls are paleo-con libertarians who are connected to Lew Rockwell.  The Koch Brothers are the money behind the Cato Institute.

Anti-War

The above dirt comes from Justin Raimondo.

“…Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (ISI, 2008), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is a contributing editor for The American Conservative, a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, and an adjunct scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture….”

He is a flunky for the Pauls.

“…Whatever their differences on domestic and other matters, the neocons and the Obama cult agree on one thing: their mutual disdain for the Constitution. The “progressives” sniff at “constitutional fundamentalism,” and the neocons regard Constitution-citing conservatives such as Paul and Lee as “dogmatists.” They hate the Constitution because it restrains their overweening (if often competing) ambitions, and holds them accountable – not merely every few years, at election time, but all the time. In a constitutional republic, such as we once had, there’s always someone looking over the governing elite’s shoulder – and would love nothing better than to dispense with this archaic custom….”

The Daily Paul

“...And, oh yeah, he’s a former chairman (1995-96) and deputy chairman (1992-94) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

What the hell are the Koch brothers thinking?

When you compare Ron Paul to Herman Cain, the choice is obvious. Congressman Paul says, let’s start by bringing U.S. troops home from overseas to help reduce the budget deficit and shift priorities to Americans. He is like that on every issue. He is always about details and specifics He doesn’t talk in generalities such as  “Well I’m a great manager”, like Cain does. Everybody says that, from Mitt Romney to Rudy Giuliani. Who needs more of that?

Congressman Paul is also more principled. You would never see Congressman Paul, as a libertarian, ever say that the food stamp program is a good program. And it appears he has a different view about the Fed, than does the former Fed insider Cain.

So what are the supposed libertarian Koch brothers up to here? It sure isn’t about backing the most libertarian candidate. That’s clearly Ron Paul. It really strikes me that Cain is likely more controllable than Congressman Paul. You know in advance where Ron Paul is going to stand on issues. He is not about to change anything for a couple of billionaire brothers playing Kochopoly with the world.

Cain on the other hand doesn’t strike me as the type that is as hardline on his non-government views. I mean he has already said that he is for food stamps. He has come up with a brand new reason why attacking Iraq was a great idea. And somehow he ends up as head of the KC Fed.

If I’m a billionaire playing Kochopoly, I like this guy. He seems to have that ability to fine tune his thinking to the greater good of the billionaire game. I’m thinking, we may have another Paul Volcker or Colin Powell type. Volcker and Powell, I’m convinced, if called upon by their controls, could justify doing pretty much anything.

Further, Cain’s not stuck on liberty the way Ron Paul is, he understands the necessary nuances that so often only billionaire oligarchs see….”

The following piece in Think Progress led to an interesting conversation at The Daily Paul.

Think Progress
The Daily Paul

Who is Peter Schiff?

“...Schiff was an economic adviser to Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. In support of Paul’s economic revitalization plan, he said: “We need a plan that stimulates savings and production, not more of the reckless borrowing and consumption that got us into this mess in the first place. Ron Paul’s plan is the only one that amounts to a step in the right direction. If you want meaningful change—for the better that is—Ron Paul is the only candidate capable of delivering it.”…In an interview in February 2009, Schiff’s position was summarized as a nonpartisan critique of American policymakers, comparing former presidents George W. Bush to Herbert Hoover and President Barack Obama to former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, with neither of the more recent incumbents comparing favorably to the earlier ones. Schiff supports the reduction of government economic regulation, and is concerned that President Obama’s administration may increase such regulation.

Schiff says that the current economic crisis provides an opportunity to transition from borrowing and spending, to saving and producing. Schiff is critical of the U.S. government’s efforts to “ease the pain” with economic stimulus packages and bailouts. According to Schiff, the U.S. government’s approach of replacing “legitimate savings with a printing press” could result in hyperinflation….”

This is just way much fun!

“...The Rich-Mayer conspiracy narrative that puts the Kochs at the epicenter of a Vast Right-Wing Cabal to Take Over America creates a fearsome amalgam that throws everyone to Obama’s right in the same pot, creating a goulash of some rather discordant ingredients. Rupert Murdoch isn’t funding the Tea Parties, as much as Fox News is promoting them: he is funding the Weekly Standard, the chief organ of yet another rightist groupuscule, the neoconservatives, which is seeking to hitch a ride on the Tea Party bandwagon. These are the mosque-bashers, who seek to scapegoat Muslim Americans the way Rich’s hero, Roosevelt, scapegoated Japanese-Americans. Yet the Cato crowd has not joined that particular lynch mob, and it is totally unfair to group the Kochs with Murdoch and the neocons.

Another point to make is that the Rich-Mayer narrative portrays the Koch brothers as dangerous “radicals,” whose anti-government politics are close to anarchism. If only! The truth is that the entire history of this tendency is one of almost fanatical moderation: if anything is to be gleaned from their thirty-five year history as an organized force on the right, it is that they often mistake respectability for success. In 1980, when their chosen candidate for President, Libertarian nominee Ed Clark, appeared on national television in an appearance that has become legendary in libertarian circles, he described libertarianism as “low tax liberalism”! The final straw, as far as many LP activists were concerned, came when Clark (at Cato President Ed Clark’s urging) refused to come out for abolition of the income tax – a stance which made him less radical than the neoconnish Jack Kemp.

Crane and Koch walked out of the Libertarian Party because the party refused to moderate its radicalism – which makes it more than somewhat ironic that Mayer and Rich are attributing the LP’s radicalism (long since dissipated, by the way) to the Koch brothers. And when a truly radical libertarian current did emerge, out of the Ron Paul campaign, with a real mass following, the Cato-ites disdained it, telling Chris Hayes of The Nation magazine that Paul was too populist and plebeian for their aristocratic oh-so-high-minded selves. He wasn’t, they averred, cosmopolitan enough.

Always behind the curve, never ahead, the Kochtopus is an unwieldy, and often clueless entity, one that usually goes along with much of the Washington conventional wisdom in order to get along. Far from being the “Invisible Hands” of the American right-wing, or of anything else for that matter, they are Johnnie-come-latelies to the tea party, and simply hope to cash in on a movement that has already taken off.

What is so dishonest about the Rich-Mayer conspiracy theory, however, is not what they say about the Kochs, but what they leave out. That $20 million contribution to the ACLU, post-9/11, pretty much says it all: these are not reactionary Know-Nothings, or even Republicans of a familiar hue. The fear and hate exuded by the “get the Kochs” crowd is motivated by panic: the fear that the Obama-ites are about to lose their grip on power, and that they’ll lose it in part due to the Achilles heel of this administration: our interventionist foreign policy.

The Kochs, and Cato, have been staunch opponents of the Af-Pak war, as well as the escalation of the war on our civil liberties that George W. Bush started and Obama has continued. The biggest fear of the Obama cultists is that this potent combination – opposition to Big Government and foreign wars – will coalesce in a populist upsurge against Washington. If allowed to take off, such a movement would appeal to the Obama-ite’s base, which, you’ll recall, came together initially due to Obama’s supposed “antiwar” credentials. Now that his administration is handing out trillions to the banksters, the left-wing of the Democratic party is beginning to grumble, and there’s a rebellion brewing in the ranks – which Obama’s wars, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, could ignite into a prairie fire….”

Quotulatiousness

You really need a score-card to understand all of this do-do.  Evidently the Lew Rockwell people consider themselves more “pure” as far as being libertarians, and with their worship of Ayn Rand.  The Koch Brothers, allegedly are all over the place.  According to what I can find, the “purists” accuse them of being in it for the money.  Of course they are.

Get out that scorecard:

“...God knows, I am no fan of the Kochtopus: I’ve often pointed out their shortcomings, from a libertarian perspective, in this space. They betrayed their founding principles time and time again, driving out their former intellectual mentor, Murray Rothbard, when he wouldn’t toe the party line, and refusing to this day to acknowledge him as the true founder and inspirer of the Cato Institute. They then smeared and demonized him, trying to cut off such support as he had. Yet the Rothbardian wing of the movement prospered without Koch money, and eventually gave birth to the Ron Paul campaign: the most successful libertarian effort in our movement’s storied history….”

New Deal 2.0

About Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand.  I don’t know about you, but this is so much gobbildy-gook.

“…Both Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand were concerned with the nature of man and the world, natural law, natural rights, and a rational ethics based on man’s nature and discovered through reason. They also agreed that the purpose of political philosophy and ethics is the promotion of productive human life on earth. In addition, both adopted, to a great extent, Lockean natural rights perspectives and arguments that legitimize private property. Additionally, they both disagreed with Mises’ epistemological foundations and on very similar grounds.

Both Rothbard and Rand endeavored to determine the proper rules for a rational society by using reason to examine the nature of human life and the world and by employing logical deductions to ascertain what these natures suggest. They agreed with respect to the volitional nature of rational human consciousness, a man’s innate right of self-ownership, and the metanormative necessity of noncoercive mutual consent. Both thus subscribed to the nonaggression principle and to the right of self-defense.

Rothbard and Rand did not agree, however, on the nature of (or need for) government. They disagreed with respect to the practical applications of their similar philosophies. Rejecting Rand’s idea of a constitutionally-limited representative government, Rothbard believed that their shared doctrines entailed a zero-government or anarcho-capitalist framework based on voluntarism, free exchange, and peace.

Rothbard and Rand subscribed to different forms of metanormative libertarian politics – Rothbard to anarcho-capitalism and Rand to a minimal state. Unlike Rand, Rothbard ended his ethics at the metanormative level. Rand, on the other hand, advocated a minimal state form of libertarian politics based on the fuller foundation of Objectivism through which she attempted to supply an objective basis for values and virtues in human existence. Of course, Rothbard did discuss the separate importance of a rational personal morality, stated that he agreed essentially with most of Rand’s philosophy, and suggested his inclination toward a Randian ethical framework. The writings of Murray Rothbard, much like those of Carl Menger, the founder of Austrian economics, have done a great deal toward building a bridge between Austrian economics and Objectivism….”

So, who was responsible for the Tea Parties?

Crooks and Liars
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3 thoughts on “The Great Koch Brothers v. R. Paul Losertarian Feud (who knew)

  1. Lew R has his own bias etc that not everyone who support the Paul’s ‘get into’. However, it is notable, which you leave out, that the Kochs reflexively donated to Rand Paul’s OPPONENT in the primary, donating to the younger Paul only in the general when it was clear he was winning…when even Jeb Bush endorsed him….

    The Federal reserve and whether it is a helpful tool, or stealing from the poor and middle class is a pretty big divide, as is corporatism. Ron Paul is against both. I don’t really care about the Ayn Rand Murray Rothbard stuff.

    Take care.

  2. You have done a lot of very good research — it is interesting reading and fits with what I have been hearing from various sources. Most of the people I know think there is an ongoing feud between Ron Paul and the Koch Brothers dating back to the Bush Tax Cuts when Paul was against them before he voted for them. In the final vote, Paul voted for them but his comments at the time seemed to poison the waters with some large donors like the Koch Brothers. What makes this all even stranger is that Paul and his Paulbots lean Libertarian and so do the Koch Brothers. Is this also a feud about who is going be the face of the Libertarian movement inside the Republican Party?

    It also looks like there are two dueling groups — Americans for Prosperity (AFP) founded by the Koch Brothers and the Paulbots who are now split between Ron Paul and Rand Paul on who should run for President. Some of the AFP heads know little about Government like in my state but then I have been hearing that several groups are now led by Paulbots. As both groups seem part of the ‘my way or no way’ crowd, nothing would surprise me out of them except if they got along together.

    It sounds like one big mess on the far right that is leaving us ‘common sense’ conservatives shaking our heads and looking for a legitimate candidate to oppose Obama in 2012.

  3. Thanks for compiling a thoughtful overview which attempts to unravel the obscure connections and invisible hands relative to the Tea Party movement, Koch sponsored PACs and politicians, and the various “libertarian” camps.

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