In today's Examiner, Mark Tapscott discusses William F. Buckley's banishment of John Birchers to the fringe of the conservative movement decades ago and how it relates to today's conspiracy mongering on the left. In particular, the bleatings about the influence of Koch Industries have run comepletely off the rails and it's discrediting to the left:
Typical is this from a fundraising e-mail circulated yesterday by Faiz Shakir of the Center for American Progress: "Before most of the general public knew who they were, we were exposing the Kochs as the architects of the Tea Party movement in early 2009. We revealed their culpability for severe air pollution and, most recently, catalogued their union-busting efforts in Wisconsin."
The paranoid left has made much of the Koch Political Action Committee's $43,000 donation to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, saying that money proves the Badger State GOPer is a Koch puppet. They never explain how a politician who, according to MAPLight.org has received more than $9.7 million in political contributions since entering politics in 1993 could now be swayed by a contribution that represents 0.004 percent of his total career funding.
Thus is illustrated what Buckley meant by views being "so far removed from common sense."
The stereotypical conspiracy theorist, of course, is Welch, thanks to decades of mainstream media agitprop. That's ironic considering Saul Alinsky's Rule 12: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." With that maxim, Alinsky unhinged the Left by turning political paranoia into a strategic necessity.
Is there a liberal editor today willing to do for the Left what conservative Buckley did decades ago for the Right?
Be sure and read the whole thing. Just add to Tapscott's point, this the left's collective Koch delusions are especially odd considering that for years liberals have been accusing conservatives of wallowing in the fever swamps whenever George Soros' name comes up. And in some select instances, this is a not unfair criticism.
But Tapscott's fellow Examiner columnist Tim Carney has made the point that the political influence of the different billionaire funders is an instructive contrast. Charles and David Koch own a privately held company, whereas hedge fund head and currency manipulator George Soros depends a lot on state coercion to make his money.
Further, Carney notes that some of the biggest critics of Koch on the left, such as the Center for American Progress and Common Cause, are big recipients of Soros funding. Go figure.