What Does Tom Cotton Have In Common With the Koch Brothers?

Not a joint checking account, alas. No, Tom has the honor of being the subject of an extraordinarily dishonest Democratic Party attack ad. The television ad, paid for by Patriot Majority USA (i.e., rich Democrats) and the Senate Majority PAC, is playing in Arkansas. It attacks Tom on Medicare:

Tom Cotton, just elected and already seeking the national limelight. Behind the glitz, Tom Cotton forgot about us. Supporting a plan that the Wall Street Journal said essentially ends Medicare, costing some seniors 6,000 [dollars] more a year, while voting Congress taxpayer-funded health care for life. Congressman Cotton: out for himself, not us.

How dumb is that? Dumb enough that the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler awarded it the coveted Four Pinocchios:

[C]an’t get these guys come up with some new talking points?

The ad, like similar attacks last year, tries to give itself credibility by citing The Wall Street Journal, which has a conservative-leaning editorial page. But it is quoting from a 2011 news article about a House Republican plan for Medicare — and badly truncates the quote. This is the complete sentence:

The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.

Note that the full sentence is referring to Medicare “directly” paying the bills, not to the end of the entire program. Under the plan advanced in 2011 by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, the bills would have been paid indirectly, as Medicare beneficiaries would instead receive help in buying private insurance, known as “premium support.”

Of course, Tom Cotton wasn’t even in Congress in 2011.

But there’s an important reason why the Democrats have to reach back to a 2011 news article to trash a Republican who was not even in Congress at the time: Ryan’s plan was substantially changed in 2012. For instance, he decided to allow an option for seniors to keep the traditional fee-for-service Medicare plan if they preferred, though critics have suggested that over time only the least healthy individuals would remain in it. …

[A]ll of these estimates are highly speculative, especially because the current version of the Ryan plan would not even go in effect until 2024. But it is telling the Democrats are citing an estimate that is no longer even relevant. …

Finally, the ad claims that Cotton “voted” to give Congress “taxpayer-funded health care for life.” This only means that he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, which will force lawmakers and congressional aides out of the health-care program for federal employees and into the exchanges created by the law. …

It’s pretty shameful that Democrats are still attacking Republicans for a Medicare proposal that has been substantially revised, especially in an ad that concerns a lawmaker who was not even in Congress when the initial version was unveiled.

Shameful indeed. But that is par for the course for the Democratic Party. Probably the real significance of the ad is that it is sponsored by the Democrats’ Senate PAC. That tells us that the Democrats think Cotton will run for the Senate seat held, precariously, by Mark Pryor next year. If Tom does run, he will be a heavy favorite, so the Dems are desperate.

Meanwhile, the Democrats can’t help blurting out references to the Koch brothers as though they were Tourette’s sufferers who can’t help themselves. No relevance is required; pretty much every Democratic Party fundraising appeal includes a reference to Charles and David Koch. This one came in yesterday from “Democratic Headquarters.”

Subject: we’re in deep trouble

In fact, the Dems are smashing their own fundraising records.

John — You’ve been great this year (thanks!), but we need you to step up again in the next 72 hours.

Actually, of course, I haven’t given them a nickel.

Frankly, we didn’t expect the Koch brothers to start this election cycle by dumping more cash into Congressional races than ever before. If we get buried on Sunday’s FEC fundraising deadline, our chances of winning a Democratic House for President Obama are in deep trouble.

We only have 72 hours left to fill this $630,000 fundraising hole.

Click here to give $3 right now and make sure the Koch brothers don’t drown us out. This deadline is so important that all gifts will be TRIPLE-MATCHED.

The Kochs know that they can grind President Obama’s entire second-term agenda to a halt if they can shore up Boehner’s Tea Party House majority.

That means we need to meet the Koch’s record breaking fundraising surge with one of our own. John — you’ve come through before and President Obama’s agenda needs you to come through again.

Can we count on you?

Thanks for your support.

Democratic Headquarters

You can always tell when a political party is hard up for cash; it starts triple-matching donations. But the Democrats didn’t let even 24 hours go by without going back to the well, attacking their favorite villains. This one came in today:

Subject: BREAKING: (incredibly dangerous)

BREAKING: Republicans Vote to Massively Expand Dangerous Drilling Rigs

This is just downright insulting:

After President Obama’s call to protect our environment with real solutions, Republicans just voted to allow incredibly dangerous drilling off beaches up and down both coasts.

It’s no surprise that this vote came after the Big Oil billionaire Koch brothers gave Tea Party Republicans record amounts of cash.

Koch Industries refines oil, it doesn’t extract it. Koch doesn’t do offshore drilling, or drilling, period.

John — If you want to show Boehner, Cantor, and the Republicans that we’re tired of them selling out our environment for Big Oil cash, now’s the time. Our campaign to kick the Tea Party out of Congress is up against our biggest deadline of the year in 48 hours.

ALL DONATIONS TODAY TRIPLE-MATCHED: Give $3 right now to fight back against the Republicans and their Big Oil buddies like the Koch brothers.

It’s unbelievable that more than three years after the BP spill, Republicans in Congress have yet to enact a single legislative reform to improve the safety of offshore drilling.

This is beyond stupid. When the BP spill occurred in April 2010, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. They could have passed whatever drilling legislation they wanted. At no time since the spill have the Republicans controlled Congress.

And now, Republicans want to allow even more unsafe drilling rigs to pop up off of beaches in California and across the East Coast.

The only way we’ll get real action to protect our environment and combat climate change is if we kick out these anti-science Republicans and replace them with a Democratic House majority.

Climate change! Anti-science! This sort of nonsense resonates with the Democrats’ base.

Right now, we’re looking at a $450,000 hole in our budget. We could really use your help before Sunday’s fundraising deadline.


Thank you for all of your support.

The Democrats’ campaign appeals are both dishonest and vicious. Their tone is lowbrow, and they are directed toward the least informed segment of our polity. But they do succeed in raising a great deal of money.

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