Democrats have for too long been passive in the face of the vast amounts of corporate money, most of it secret, that are being spent to evict them from office and dismantle their policies. By far the largest voice in many of this year’s political races, for example, has been that of the Koch brothers, who have spent tens of millions of dollars peddling phony stories about the impact of health care reform, all in order to put Republicans in control of the Senate after the November elections.The Hill brings us a great quote from yesterday's climate change speeches in the Senate:
Now Democrats are starting to fight back, deciding they should at least try to counter the tycoons with some low-cost speech of their own. Democrats may never have the same resources at their disposal — no party should — but they can use their political pulpits to stand up for a few basic principles, including the importance of widespread health-insurance coverage, environmental protection and safety-net programs.
The leader of this effort has been Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, who has delivered a series of blistering attacks against the Kochs and their ads on the Senate floor over the last few weeks. In addition, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has set up a website, www.kochaddiction.com, to remind voters of just what the Kochs stand for, and why they raised $407 million in the 2012 election.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) used an all-night climate change campaign in the Senate to once again bash Charles and David Koch.Much more on the day's top stories below the fold.
“It's time to stop acting like those who ignore this crisis — the oil baron Koch brothers and their allies in Congress — have a valid point of view,” Reid said Monday evening. “But despite overwhelming scientific evidence and overwhelming public opinion, climate change deniers still exist. They exist in this country and in this Congress.”
Leslie Sullivan at The Nation:
Reid said he doesn’t begrudge the Kochs their wealth, but “what is un-American is when shadow billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system and benefit themselves and the wealthiest 1 percent.”Tom Keane on how the Republican Party may be finding its extreme-right identity but is turning off voters in the process:
That might sound hyperbolic unless you have followed the long list of ways the Kochs are indeed buying America. For starters, while their Koch Industries is the one of the nation’s largest air polluters, their money is a huge factor in blocking climate change progress and spreading know-nothing denialism; they fund ALEC and its stand-your-ground political agenda; and they’re waging a multimillion-dollar war against the Affordable Care Act, trying to convince young people, through ads like the one with the creepy Uncle Sam gynecologist, that they should be afraid, very afraid of Obamacare. Through innumerable think tanks, PACs, nonprofits and dark-money trap doors, Koch money has formed a veritable “Kochopus” that reaches deep into academia, industry, state legislatures and Congress.
The big problem with the GOP is that its ideologies profoundly alienate vast swaths of the electorate. Gay rights and same-sex marriage — overwhelmingly supported by the young — are as thoroughly owned by Democrats as were civil rights two generations ago. Republicans’ harsh rhetoric on immigration puts off the rapidly growing Hispanic population. Democratic stances on choice and workplace equality attract women. And GOP opposition to a higher minimum wage drives working-class voters into Democratic arms.Greg Sargent on why the GOP should embrace immigration reform:
Thus, the crying need for a Republican makeover. If the GOP wants to capture the presidency in 2016, it needs to shed its preachy moralizing and divisive rhetoric and come up with something new and all-encompassing. The old ideas just don’t sell anymore.
A new analysis performed at my request by political scientist Michael McDonald, who heads the United States Elections Project and studies voting patterns, underscores once again the perils [an anti-immigration reform position] holds for the GOP. The analysis finds that the share of the eligible voting population that is Latino will rise by two percentage points from 2012-2016 in three critical presidential swing states: Florida, Colorado, and Nevada. It will rise by two percentage points in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. And it will rise by one percentage point in Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina. While that last finding may seem negligible, it is a sign demographics in those three states — one purple swing state that’s key in presidential elections; the others long reliably red — are trending in a favorable direction for Dems:Speaking of immigration reform, Oscar Chacon and Amy Shannon at The Nation:
If we really want to create good public policy on immigration, we need to look beyond all the current proposals in Washington and dig deeper into the structural problems with our outdated, isolationist and fundamentally inhumane policy regime around immigrants and immigration. In the short term, we simply must put a stop to the rampant detentions and deportations that are causing so much pain in immigrant communities.Turning to the topic of health insurance, surprise, surprise, another "victim" of Obamacare really isn't:
A Dexter cancer patient featured in a conservative group’s TV ad campaign denouncing her new health care coverage as “unaffordable” will save more than $1,000 this year.
Julie Boonstra, 49, starred last month in an emotional television ad sponsored by Americans for Prosperity that implied Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters’ vote for the Affordable Care Act made her medication so “unaffordable” she could die. Peters of Bloomfield Township is running for an open U.S. Senate seat against Republican Terri Lynn Land.
The Detroit News and fact checkers last month cast doubt on the accuracy of the TV ad. On Monday, Boonstra acknowledged which health plan she chose, offering the first evidence of cost savings.