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Hullabaloo


Saturday, May 24, 2014

 
At Least They're Sincere and Open

by tristero

Nick Lemann reviewing a book about the Koch brothers:
[The author Daniel Schulman] grants Charles and David two key concessions: They have sincere political views that go beyond being just a cover for their companies’ interest in lower taxes and fewer regulations, and many of their political activities have been right out in the open, rather than lurking in the shadows.
Well yes. And while we're at it, let's grant that Henry Ford really wasn't so bad, at least he was sincere in his anti-semitism and he surely never tried to hide it. And y'know let's also cut old Roger Taney some slack, too: heck, at least he was both sincere and open about his racism in the Dred Scott decision.

We can play this game all day. The bottom line: sincere and openly held malicious beliefs are still malicious. Sincerity and openness are for all intents and purposes virtue-less when employed in a bad cause and Schulman, assuming he does grant them these "key concessions" in his book, is quite mistaken to do so.

As for Nick's conclusion:
If Schulman winds up denying his readers the satisfaction of believing that if only two malign figures can somehow be beaten back, American conservatism would be crippled, that’s probably a good thing. Even the Tea Party movement is not entirely dependent on intravenous feeding from the Kochs or that other favorite liberal villain, Fox News.
As Maxwell Smart might say, it's the old The Situation Is More Nuanced Than You Liberal Naifs Believe It Is trick.

Actually it's not. Without the moolah flowing from the Kochs or the loon whisperers at Fox News, there'd still be too much funding and exposure of rightwing extremists but there would be a lot less of it. And yes, I would be satisfied that things were flowing in a good direction if the Kochs and Fox were "beaten back."

Don't underestimate them, Nick. These are not good people.  And by the way, given they don't openly admit their racism like their daddy did, nor permit detailed examination of their businesses, they are neither sincere nor open.

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