Billionaires Protest Billionaires
5:00 PM, Jan 31, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
In Palm Springs, California, this past weekend, one set of rich folks was the target of another set of rich folks. It is, uniquely, an American story. Here’s how it played out: The Koch brothers, Charles and David, held a closed-door meeting with their political allies at a local hotel. Outside, Common Cause, with plenty of support from the Center for American Progress and several others, held a protest, saying that the Koch meeting shouldn’t have been private and that the billionaire brothers were up to no good.
Now, the Kochs are billionaires, and they’re involved in financing numerous political groups. Common Cause themselves are financed by at least one notorious billionaire – George Soros – and are involved in numerous political activities, but they seem to think there’s a problem that the Kochs are involved in politics, too.
The main difference between the two sets of rich folks? The Kochs are conservative – well, libertarians anyway – while Common Cause is liberal.
But back to Palm Springs. The conservatives were inside, presumably chatting and planning their political activities. Not much else is known about that. But outside, on full display, was the Common Cause-sponsored protest. According to a source at the scene, the protest was put together in conjunction with local labor groups, and at least 10 bus loads of protesters were hauled in to make a scene.
As Ken Vogel of Politico, who was at the scene, reports:
So one group is inside, peacefully (and legally!) assembling, while the other group is outside accusing its foes of murder (and apparently Nazism, too!).
The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney was also on hand – he delivered a speech to the Koch group – and neatly summed up the distinction separating the two groups:
As Carney mentions, the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington, does not disclose its own donors. Yet such rank hypocrisy is hardly an obstacle to protesting another group’s supposedly shady actions.
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