Once upon a time we had the House Un-American Activities Committee. Most people, certainly most Democrats, would call that an ugly chapter in our history. But those who were called “un-American” during the 1950s were (or were believed to be) traitors in the pay of a hostile power. Calling them “un-American” was not such a stretch.
Since then, the term has gone entirely out of fashion. Can you imagine the howls of outrage if President Bush had called those who disagreed with his Iraq policy “un-American”? But now, suddenly, it is back: Harry Reid, one of the country’s top three Democrats, along with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, called political opponents of the Obama administration “un-American” on the floor of the Senate:
The “dishonest ads” Reid referred to are the ones in which victims of Obamacare truthfully relate their experiences of losing their health insurance, contrary to the Democrats’ promises. This was the same speech in which Reid said that all such accounts are lies.
Harry Reid is a low, corrupt politician. He has become a wealthy man while serving his entire adult life as a public employee. How does that happen? Obviously, he has taken bribes, sometimes in the form of sweetheart Las Vegas real estate deals. Harry Reid is the epitome of corrupt cronyism. Not coincidentally, cronyism is precisely what Charles and David Koch are fighting against.
This interview with Charles Koch in the Wichita Business Journal is a good introduction to the man:
Your political views and involvement seem to garner the most headlines nationally these days. Why continue those investments, given the type of coverage it seems to have sparked?
It’s like Lee Trevino used to say, somebody asked him how are you winning all these golf tournaments, and he said, “Well somebody has got to win them and it might as well be me.” That’s the way I am on this. There doesn’t seem to be any other large company trying to do this so it might as well be us. Somebody has got to work to save the country and preserve a system of opportunity.
I think one of the biggest problems we have in the country is this rampant cronyism where all these large companies are into smash and grab, short-term profits, (saying) how do I get a regulation, we don’t want to export natural gas because of my raw materials … well, you say you believe in free markets, but by your actions you obviously don’t. You believe in cronyism. And that’s true even at the local level. I mean, how does somebody get started if you have to pay $100,000 or $300,000 to get a medallion to drive a taxi cab? You have to go to school for two years to be a hairdresser. You name it, in every industry we have this. The successful companies try to keep the new entrants down.
Now that’s great for a company like ours. We make more money that way because we have less competition and less innovation. But for the country as a whole, it’s horrible. And for disadvantaged people trying to get started, it’s unconscionable, in my view. I think it’s in our long-term interest, in every American’s long-term interest, to fight against this cronyism. As you all have heard me say, the role of business is to create products that make peoples’ lives better while using less resources to do it and making more resources available to satisfy other needs. When a company is not being guided by the products they make and what the customers need, but by how they can manipulate the system — get regulations on their competitors, or mandates on using their products, or eliminating foreign competition — it just lowers the overall standard of living and hurts the disadvantaged the most.
We end up with a two-tier system. Those that have, have welfare for the rich. The poor, OK, you have welfare, but you’ve condemned them to a lifetime of dependency and hopelessness. Yeah, we want hope and change, but we want people to have the hope that they can advance on their own merits, rather than the hope that somebody gives them something. That’s better than starving to death, but that, I think, is going to wreck the country. Is it in our business interest? I think it’s in all our long-term interests. It’s not in our short-term interest. And it’s about making money honorably. People should only profit to the extent they make other peoples lives better. You should profit because you created a better restaurant and people enjoyed going to it. You didn’t force them to go, you don’t have a mandate that you have to go to my restaurant on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or you go to prison. I mean, come on. You feel good about that?
Now, does that philosophy strike you as un-American? I doubt it. It is quintessentially American, in my view. But it is the opposite of the corruption that Harry Reid, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi stand for, so they revile Charles Koch and his brother David.
Today ABC’s Jonathan Karl pressed White House spokesman Jay Carney to say whether President Obama agrees with Reid’s characterization of the Koch brothers as “un-American.” Carney lied; he said that he was unaware of Reid’s inflammatory charge–that can’t possibly be true–and that he has never discussed the brothers with Obama. That can’t be true either. But Carney refused to distance himself or President Obama from Reid’s disgraceful conduct.
We are reaching, it seems, a new low in the tenor of our domestic politics, and the blame rests squarely with the seedy Harry Reid and fellow Democrats Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
UPDATE: More here.